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Ross family crest
Ross
Gaelic Name: Rôs
Motto: Spem successus alit (Success nourishes hope)
Badge: Juniper
Lands: Ross-shire, Ayrshire and Renfrewshire
Origin of Name: Placename, Ross-shire
Pipe Music: The Earl of Ross's March
Clan Chief David Ross of Ross and Balnagowan

Ross History

The name Ross derives from the ancient Celtic word "Ros", meaning "a promontory", in this case the lands of Easter Ross. The clan is known to Highlanders as Clann Aindreas - the sons of Andrew.

The traditional progenitor of the clan was Fearchar Mac an t Sagairt which is translated as "son of the priest". Fearchar was created Earl of Ross in 1234, for services to Alexander II.

The last chief of the clan Ross to hold the earldom died in 1372, having fathered no sons. His daughter tried to claim the earldom, but it passed to the MacDonalds of the Isles and subsequently into the hands of the crown in 1476. The once proud Ross estate of Balnagowan became heavily burdened by debt in the 18th century and it was purchased by a lowland branch of the Ross family who, although bearing the family name, were genealogically complete strangers to the Celtic Earls of Ross.

In the early 20th century the chiefship of the clan Ross was restored to the true line.


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Related Clan Ross Articles


In 1972, during The Highland Clearances a wedding party declared war on sheep and decided to undertake the ambitious job of driving thousands of sheep from the hills of Easter Ross and Sutherland. The majority of them members of the Ross family of Strathrusdale This escalated to 4 days later becoming a massive riotous group of 400 men. The Ross-shire Sheep Riots had begun. read full article on our blog site >>

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