Clan MacTavish Septs

The following names are considered septs of Clan MacTavish:

Cash, Holmes, Kash, MacCamish, MacCash, MacCamish, MacCammish, MacCavish, MacComb, MacCombie, MacComich, MacComish, MacComie, Macomie, MacCosh, MacKemish, MacKemmish, MacLaws, MacElhose (MacIlhose), MacLehose, MacTeague, MacThomas, Stephen(s), Stephenson, Stevens, Stevenson, Tavis, Tawis, Tawes, Tawse, Tawesson, Teague, Thom, Thomas, Thomason, Thomasson, Thompson, Thomson*, Tod, and Todd

Thom(p)sons from Perthshire and Argyllshire were part of Clan MacTavish (Not all Thomsons would have been a sept of MacTavish).

MacTavish is also down as a sept of Clan Campbell.

According to ‘Ane Accompt of the Genealogie of the Campbells’ the Clan Tavish – not, be it noted, the Clan MacTavish – descend from Taius or Tavis Coir, illegitimate son of Colin Maol Math, great-great-grandfather of Sir Cailean Mor, a man said to be of great courage and valour, who conquered Cowal from the Lamonts.

The name Tavis is anglicised as Thomas and nearly all the names here grouped together from the ‘official’ sept list mean either Thomas or ‘Son of Thomas’

The last two are exceptions; Maclehose derives from ‘Mc Gille Thamais’ – ‘Son of the Servant of (Saint) Thomas’ – as does MacLaws, a variation of the same name, and the name seems to have been found in Perthshire and Stirlingshire. It is a quite distinct name from MacTavish.

Why two further variations of ‘Son of Thomas’ – MacCombe and MacCombich – have been left off the list is unknown and seems odd since they are both to be found in Argyll as is also the variation MacOmish.

It is quite wrong to suggest that all Sons of Thomas derive from the Argyllshire MacTavishes. Thomas or Tom was widely used as a Christian name across the English speaking world and a whole number of totally unconnected users of the name exist including the Clan MacThomas, in Glenshee, who have a Chief of their own and who forms part of the Clan Chattan confederation, while the MacTavishes in Stratherrick are considered a sept of the Frasers (Black, p. 566).

If the evidence for Tavis Coir is uncertain we can be quite sure about Sir Thomas Cambel who appears in 1292 among the list of landowners in Balliol’s new sheriffdom of Kintyre. (55) (APS i, 91.)