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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Clan Gunn blog; 25,000+ hits

For details of earlier milestones see

The top five countries who have used this site are -

  1. USA 6067
  2. UK 5935
  3. Canada 4081
  4. Australia 2177
  5. Germany 1596
The top five countries remain the same as at 20,000 hits and at 22,500 hits... 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Lord Lyon on derbhfine - Clan Gunn implication

Given that many Clan Gunn MacHamish line descendants - the 'Chief' line - are known on what basis do the petitioners to Lord Lyon wish to ignore Lord Lyon's 2002 statement below -

The derbhfine is very much a last resort and should not consider proposing a person for chief unless there is no real hope that a genealogically related descendant could ever be found.

Lord Lyon King of Arms 19 February 2002 -

I'm a MacHamish line descendant and there are many others...

What do the petitioners not understand?

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Concerning Lord Lyon's jurisdiction on Clan Gunn Chief matters

Concerning Lord Lyon's jurisdiction in matters of Clan Gunn Chiefship - 

The Lord Lyon King of Arms has... no jurisdiction to determine ... a disputed question of chiefship or chieftainship.

From 'the Introduction to the Law of Scotland' by Gloag and Candlish Henderson, 9th edition, 1987, p. 25'

Note - He has no jurisdiction ... to decide a disputed question of chiefship or chieftainship - interesting as this petition, like the others, will certainly be disputed...

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Concerning the Petition to Lord Lyon for a Family Convention / Derbhfine in 2015 for a Clan Gunn Chief

Given the importance of this matter I am repeating here information which I would normally only add to my other main site. The below is a repeat from

Concerning the Clan Gunn Chief Petition to Lord Lyon  for a Family Convention / Derbhfine in 2015

I am amazed to read that yet another petition to Lord Lyon to hold a Clan Gunn Family Convention (to randomly choose a Clan Gunn Chief) is underway, according to the ‘Clan Gunn Society North America –ECB Autumn 2014’ newsletter, and it’s being done by Clan Gunn Society UK ‘stalwarts’.


Consider why a previous Lord Lyon rejected an earlier petition for such a Convention –

it has become evident that there are in all probability clear and proveable lines of descent senior to that of the present Commander.

Yes, Lord Lyon’s key point for rejecting the petition was seniority of known, living people with descent from the ‘Chief’ Gunn Coroner / Gunn Crowner line, in particular the MacHamish line. And this has not changed; there are many descendants of the MacHamish line; see and I have provided Lord Lyon with much further detail for those still living. And yes, I’m one of these descendants.

The new petition ignores the reason why the earlier petition was rejected.


Consider Lord Lyon’s ‘Guidance’ on this Family Convention  issue –

(1)   Where a blood link to a past Chief or Head of Name is likely but is not conclusively proven and it is wished to propose a particular person in that situation to be recognised as Chief.
(2)   Where the main line of descent from a past Chief has died out and it is wished to recognise the Representer of a cadet line as Chief.

I have previously clarified the first point with the Lord Lyon Court; one has to be able to conclusively prove descent but one does not need to have already done so with the Court. What point (1) is really saying is that ‘when all lines from the Chief line have died out as far as can be reasonably ascertained’ then one can choose any person to be a Chief (which is what the petitioners want). But, as said, this is NOT the case with the MacHamish line; many people are descended from that line. The petitioners seem not able to understand the implication of Lord Lyon’s earlier refusal, nor (as far as I am aware) have they clarified the point with the Court. In other words, Lord Lyon has accepted the idea that many can conclusively prove descent from the MacHamish line – that’s why he rejected the first petition.

Consider point (2) – it is logical. If the main bloodline of a Chief dies out then you go to the next valid, closest bloodline for a Chief. There are many such bloodlines. Only if no descent at all from the Chiefly line exists does the Family Convention get a right to randomly choose a Chief. 


Consider the reasons for the new petition (and has this petition been discussed by any Clan Gunn Society?) as given in draft by the Newsletter –

- As there is now no claim before Lyon there is nothing to stop him granting our Petition to hold a Family Convention to discover our Chief.

Except that this comment implies that Lord Lyon must grant petitions; he has already rejected a petition calling for a Clan Gunn Family Convention (and a second which was basically a repeat of the first petition). And the reason he rejected the petitions remain valid for this petition; there are known MacHamish line descendants. So why grant this petition when the reason for rejecting others  is still valid?

It is worth noting, as well, that Lord Lyon and Family Conventions are a difficult area; Lord Lyon is not interested in contested Chiefship matters as he is legally only interested in the coat of arms question see

- No particular person is named as our proposed Chief, and the Family Convention can therefore consider anyone (or no one) for this position. There is thus no good reason why anyone should object.

But this totally misses the point - and it is the same error as in the previous petitions - just because one has not yet proved to be the senior line of descent from the MacHamish line does not mean the whole ‘Chief’ line can be ignored which is the desire of this petition otherwise Lord Lyon’s point (2) above is nonsensical. The petitioners have again not closely read Lord Lyon’s pages – he is interested in the most senior descent from an earlier Chief, then he is after the most senior cadet line and only if ALL blood lines from a Chief have died out does a Family Convention get the right to choose a random individual. Many lines descend from the MacHamish line - it just requires work to find out which is the most senior.

And of course I have ‘good reason’ to object as the petition does not pay attention to Lord Lyon’s guidelines, nor his previous judgement.

- If our Petition is granted, Lyon will appoint a Herald to oversee the Convention and ensure that it truly represents the Clan and is not “packed”.  He will decide who may attend and vote.

Would the Petitioners insist that the Convention held a maximum of no more than half Clan Gunn Society members? Otherwise it will be ‘packed’…

- If all goes forward smoothly it is intended that the Convention should be held immediately before the International Gathering, and John Gunn - who is organising the Gathering - will liaise with the appointed Herald and agree time, place and attendees, etc. Overseas or other Participants who cannot be present may be able to take part by Video link or Conference call, etc.

The timing would be up to Lord Lyon, not the Clan Gunn Society….


I find it amazing that, yet again, Clan Gunn Society members are wasting time on this petition. The Clan Gunn Society would be much better off it got on with the real genealogical work which is tracing – in detail – all descendants of the MacHamish line to ascertain the most senior cadet line. That way the Chief will be found, but apparently that’s my job. The Clan Gunn Society is  just too eager to have a Chief, any Chief, but not do the hard work to find the real Chief...