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Clan Gunn or Clan Robertson???

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  • Clan Gunn or Clan Robertson???

    My grandmother's maiden name was Robinson. How can I find out if her ancestor clan was Gunn or Robertson? The Robinson surname is listed in both. I was told that the family name was spelled Robison but added an "n" to sound more "english" when they came to America.

  • #2
    Hi Yankee_Lass, I would recommend that you go to the Genealogy forum and check out the thread for Clan Gunn. It has several sites to check for imformation on your family that could be very helpful. I noticed that there were Robertsons, Robinsons, and various other spelling on that thread. The similar but not quite exact spellings of lots of last names has been attributed to the fact that a large portion of the families who were forced out of Scotland and Ireland could not read or write their name. The spelling of the last name on various documents that had to be done on entering another country fell to the immigration officer, the ship captain, and sometimes the local priest. Hence, some names ended up with all kinds of spellings. One branch of my family is the Farrells. But on the family documents the I have, wills, birth certifates, land records, the name is sometimes spelled Ferrill and sometimes Farrell, sometimes Farrill. Which one am I decented from? All of them! I wish you luck, Dee
    Luceo non Uro -- I shine not burn


    • #3
      This may help a bit

      Gunn Clan
      and related septs

      The Gunn Clan's forefathers once ruled the rugged cliffs of the far North of Scotland Septs of the Clan Gunn
      Allisterson, Anderson, Bain, Corner, Crownar, Crowner, Cruner, Davidson, Eanrig, Enrick, Galdie, Gallie, Ganson, Gauldie, Gaunson, George, Georgeson, Henderson, Inrig, Jameson, Jamieson, Johnson, Kean, Keene, MacAllister, MacChruner, MacComas, MacCorkill, MacCorkle, MacCullie, MacDade, MacDhaidh, MacEnrick, MacGeorge, MacHamish, MacIan, Mackames, Mackeamis, Mackameish, Mackean, Mackendrick, MacMains, MacManus, MacNeill, MacOmish, MacRob, MacRory, MacSheoras, MacWilliam, Magnus, Magnusson, Main, Mann, Manson, Manus, More, Neilson, Nelson, Robertson, Robinson, Robison, Robson, Rorieson, Sandison, Swan, Swanney, Thomson, Tomson, Will, Williamson, Wills, Wilson, Wylie, Wyllie

      Gunn : Origin of the Clan Name
      It is thought that the clan name is derived from the Norse language of Scandinavia whose word "gunnr", means "war". The Norse people originally colonised the north of Scotland, long before the development of the clan system. The first use of the name by the clan was in the 12th century by the Chief of the clan, Olaf.

      The Gunn Clan's Ancestry in Norway
      The Clan Gunn claims descent from the Norse Jarls or Earls of Orkney and from the ancient Celtic Mormaers of Caithness through Ragnhild, daughter of Moddan in Dale, son of Moddan, Mormaer (High Steward) of Caithness, who was killed in 1040, and granddaughter of Saint Rognvald, Jarl of Orkney, who married Gunni, the reputed name-father of the Clan.

      Gunni was himself a grandson of Sweyn Asleif's-son, the 'Ultimate Viking' and hero of the Orkneyinga Saga. Sweyn Asleif's-son had his long hall on the island of Gairsay, off the east coast of the Mainland of Orkney and lands in Caithness at Freswick, a few miles south of Duncansbay. The principal Gunn lands were, however, acquired through Ragnhild, who inherited great estates in Caithness and Sutherland on the death of her brother, Harold Ungi, Jarl in Orkney and Earl of Caithness in 1198.

      Snaekoll Gunn Murders Chief
      These were inherited by Snaekoll (White head) Gunni's-son the second chief of the Clan. His rights to the Norse Earldom were, however, forfeited as he had murdered John, the then Jarl in Orkney, over a land claim dispute arising from their mutual descent from the ancient Jarls of Orkney. Thus from the middle of the 13th century the Gunns were essentially a Caithness family. At this time the Clan Gunn were at the height of their power. They appeared to possess virtually the whole of Caithness, which was then passing from the influence of the Norse Earldom to that of the King of Scots. Snaekoll Gunni's-son is reputed to have built Castle Gunn at Bruan, on the east coast of Caithness south of Wick.

      The Gunn Clan's Homeland in Sutherland
      SUTHERLAND, the home of the clan, is a maritime county in the extreme North of Scotland;

      The North and North West coasts are bold and rocky, some of the cliff scenery being remarkably grand, but along the Moray Firth the ground is generally low and sandy.

      The surface consists chiefly of mountainous moorland, varied by numerous straths or narrow valleys which open towards the sea. The highest summit is Ben More Assynt, alt 3273 ft.

      The principal streams are the Oykell, Brora, Helmsdale, Halladale, Naver, and Hope.

      Of numerous lochs the largest are Lochs Shin, Assynt, Naver, Laoghal, Hope, and More. The angling in the lochs and streams is good, especially for trout. The coast fisheries are considerable.

      The amount of arable land is comparatively very small. There are extensive deer forests, and sheep are grazed in great numbers.

      The county is is bounded W. and N. by the Atlantic Ocean, E. by Caithness and the Moray Firth, and S. by the Dornoch Firth and Ross and Cromarty;

      The greatest length, NW. and SE., 63 miles; greatest breadth, NE. and SW., 60 miles; area, 1,297,846 ac.. pop. 23,370.

      Good Hunting



      • #4
        Gunn or Robertson?

        I have the same question. My grandmother's family were Robinsons. I've never been able to confirm is they would have a sept of the Gunns or part of the Robinsons.

        In my researching, I know they came to Kentucky in 1791 with some other individuals and their families---Rileys, Massies, Colvins, Darnells, and Barnetts from Faquier Co Virginia. I haven't been able to much of anything about them in Virginia (or the other families), which makes me think they may have been recent arrivals. Also, the earliest documents list them as Robinson and Robertson in the same documents! Of course, they may have been an error on whomever was writting, but the interchangablity stayed there for several years.

        Thoughts anyone?