Everybody who is descendant from a family of the ancient and noble clan of Keith is technically a clan member, and possesses the entitlements associated with that status. Of course, most folks don’t contemplate these things, or don’t know or care much about their ancestors and heritage. A Clan Society is simply a vehicle for those who do know and do care about these things, and wish to associate themselves with others likewise connected.
In America (and other countries, too) there are scheduled events and celebrations for folks of Scottish ancestry. These Highland Games, tattoos, Robert Burns and St. Andrew’s observances, etc., parallel the hoopla associated with other national groups—like Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, and all that. Such Scottish heritage events are arranged, supported and attended largely by the “clans” or, more precisely, by the clan societies. Clan Keith Society, USA is one of these.
Eligibility for clan society membership is but one of the entitlements borne by members of a clan. Other entitlements include a right to wear the clan tartan, and the right to (properly) display of the chief’s crest. Clan society membership additionally brings you a newsletter and a hearty welcome by kinsmen into the activities already mentioned.
Clearly, many who belong to Clan Keith do not bear the Keith surname. Some descend through a maternal line. Others derive from genetic Keiths who assumed different surnames, and still others come from families which gathered under the banner of the Clan Keith in early times and are considered equal to Keiths in their belonging. Clansmen of the latter two definitions derive from what are called “septs”– families having the surnames of Marshall, Falconer, Austin, Kite, Dick, Dickson, Dixon, Dixson, Harvey, Haxton, Hervey, Hurrie, Hurry, Urrie, Urry, Lumgair, or MacKeith. No matter the surname, if you are “of the clan”, you are eligible for Clan Keith Society membership. The following website links are the best I have found, regarding the sept names involved.
Explore the following sites for more information on surname of:Marshall | Dickson/Dixon | Austin | Harvie/Harvey | Falconer (If you find any of the above links dead, or know a better, please let me know.)Anyone interested in membership should contact Clan Keith Society, USA, for a brochure and membership application, see Clan Keith Society, USA