Clan Buchanan and Culloden

Today marks the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden. I briefly touched upon this in a previous post when I travelled to Inverness a few years ago. My family history is vast and rich what with my mother’s side being Scottish, Irish, and Empire Loyalist, and my dad’s side being Yugoslav. Since we were quite close to my mum’s side of the family, we learned of our heritage from my grandparents and great aunt.

In a long lineage, my grandpa could likely trace his roots back to the Clan Buchanan. His name is one of the many associated with Buchanan. I wanted to know more about them since today marks the anniversary one of the bloodiest battles in Scottish history, and it’s ultimate demise to the Highland culture.

When I visited the battleground of Culloden, I had seen many large stones with clan names engraved in them. These were memorials set up to honour them as there were no proper burials given to them at the time of battle. Clan Buchanan was not amongst them. I never thought much of it at the time, 4 year ago, when I was standing amidst the stones.

Today, having done a bit of research, now I know why they were not among the many clans who perished in battle. Buchanan lands sat very close to lands occupied by Clan Campbell. Historically, the Campbells were on the side of the English. Looking at just a small glimpse of a clan map, you can see the lands of Clan Campbell far exceeded that of the Buchanans.


Since Clan Buchanan was relatively small, they opted to stay out of the Battle of Culloden because of their proximity to Clan Campbell. They would have easily been taken over by the Campbells had they attempted to join forces with the Jacobites. Now all this means is that Clan Buchanan as a whole entity didn’t get involved in the Jacobite uprisings. There were many individuals who were Buchanans that did support the Jacobites, and many who supported the Government. Of those who saw battle at Culloden, they either died on the battlefield or were imprisoned after the battle.

This is just a small piece of Clan Buchanan history. It goes back centuries and centuries. It’s interesting to look into your own history. To see what your ancestors did or didn’t do. I would love to find out more of my lineage beyond my two-times great grandparents. My great aunt, who is 95 this year, has a memory like none other! She can riddle off birthdates and names of our relatives as if she were reading it from a book. Perhaps I should sit down with her and see what all she can tell me. From there, maybe signing up for wouldn’t be such a bad idea. To build a family tree and to know where my family comes from would be an adventure in and of itself.

6 thoughts on “Clan Buchanan and Culloden

  1. Thank you for writing this. My Grandmother’s last name on my father’s side is Buchannen. Always wondered what the clans connection to Colloden was, especially after reading through the Outlander series.


    1. My husband’s family are Buchanan’s and is traced back to Clan Buchanan. I have been doing ancestry for him. So I guess you can say you are a distant cousin of my husband. I’m trying to find out more. We are thinking about taking a trip to Scotland and wanted to look at the history of my husband’s family.

      Liked by 1 person

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