Grant Clan Crest: The burning rock of Craigellachie (the rock of alarm).
Grant Clan Chief's Motto: Stand Fast, Craig Elachie. Clansman's Motto: Craig Elachie
Grant Clan History:
The Grants first emerge in Scotland in the mid-13th century. Sir Laurence de Grant served as Sheriff of Inverness in 1263 and is thought to have come north from Nottinghamshire where his mother's family, the Bissets, were landowners. At the same time, Robert, his brother, held lands in Nairnshire. There is also a tradition that the Highland Grants were somehow associated with Clan Gregor as members of Siol Alpin and thus descend from the father of King Kenneth MacAlpin. Certainly they followed Robert the Bruce, John and Randolph de Grant being taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296. Through their loyalty to King Robert, they received the lands of Glenmoriston and Glen Urquhart, and, owning rich lands in the Spey valley, became firmly entrenched as a Highland clan. In 1563, Sir James Grant built Castle Freuchie, the name being changed two centuries later to Castle Grant.
In the 17th century, the Grants followed the Marquis of Montrose and the Royal Cause in Scotland, but switched loyalties during the invasion of William of Orange. During the 1715 and 1745 Uprisings they supported the House of Hanover. Through the marriage of Sir Ludovic Grant, 7th Baronet and 20th Chief of the Name, to Lady Margaret Ogilvie, daughter of the Earl of Findlater, the earldom of Seafield was later acquired by the 9th Baronet. In 1884, the 7th Earl of Seafield was created Baron Strathspey, and when the 11th Earl died in 1915, the earldom devolved upon his only daughter, with his brother becoming Lord Strathspey and Chief of the Clan.
Sir Francis Grant (1858-1726) became Lord of Session taking the name Lord Cullen. William Grant (1701-64), second son of Lord Cullen, also became Lord of Session, taking the name of Lord Prestongrange. Sir Francis Grant (1803-78) was born in Edinburgh and was a painter of sporting scenes. He became President of the Royal Academy in London in 1866. Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-85) was born in Ohio, USA and became 18th President of the United States of America. James Grant (1822-87) became a skilled draughtsman and wrote 56 novels and other publications, such as The Tartans and Clans of Scotland. Sir Alexander Grant (1826-84) was born in New York and became Principal of Edinburgh University in 1868. James AugustusGrant (1827-92) explored the sources of the Nile and in 1864, wrote A Walk across Africa. Duncan Grant (1885-1978) was born at Rothiemurchus and, a member of the Bloomsbury Set, became an accomplished painter. A number of members of the Speyside Grant family were active in creating today's Scotch whisky industry.
Places of Interest:
Grantown-on-Spey, Inverness-shire. This town was planned by Sir James Grant of Castle Grant in 1776.
Castle Grant, north of Grantown-on-Spey. This dates from the 17th century and, the name having been changed from Freuchie in the 17th century, it became the seat of the earls of Seafield.
Urquhart Castle, near Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness. James IV gifted the castle to John Grant of Freuchie in 1509. It was this John Grant who built most of the structure which can be seen today. The Grants held Urquhart Castle for 400 years despite part of it being blown up to deny Jacobite access in 1691.
Cullen House, Banffshire. Dates from 16th century and was the home of the earls of Seafield.
Rothiemurchus Estate, Inverness-shire. Home of the Grants of Rothiemurchus.
Surname distribution in Scotland: The highest concentrations of the Grant name occur in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire (includes all of the historic counties of Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire and part of Banffshire), Moray (including most of historic Banffshire), Highland (includes the historic counties of Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross and Cromarty and Sutherland) and Perth and Kinross (Perthshire and Kinross-shire).
Associated family names (Septs): Allan, Allen, Bissett, Bowie, Buie,
Gilroy, MacAllan, MacGilroy, MacIlroy, MacKerron, MacKiaran, Pratt, Suttie.