The Buchan region, in the north-eastern part of Aberdeenshire, verging on Banffshire, is the origin of the name of this clan. The Earldom of Buchan passed through the hands of the Comyns, though it fell from their grasp following their defeat at the hands of Robert the Bruce. Subsequently, the earldom was conferred upon Alexander Stewart, natural son of Robert II, and the notorious ‘Wolf of Badenoch’.
It is important to distinguish, however, that the name would also have been used by local nobility, even though they may have no direct affiliation with their Earls.
Auchmacoy came under the family’s influence from the beginning of the 14th century, though it was not until 1503 that Andrew, the second chief, received a charter to the lands from James IV. The Barons of Auchmacoy were strident Royalists and supported the Stewart claim throughout the 17th century. Thomas Buchan, 3rd Son of James Buchan of Auchmacoy, was appointed commander-in-chief of all Jacobite forces in Scotland following the death of Dundee at Killiecrankie in 1689. He received his commission from the King in Ireland, who returned to Scotland in April 1690 where he met at Keppoch with chiefs sympathetic to the Jacobite cause.
Buchan led the Jacobite forces throughout a protracted strategic struggle with government forces under General Mackay. Following his eventual defeat, he was allowed to seek exile in France, but he fought again at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, and continued his royal allegiance right up to his death in 1721.