Clan History


The word clan is derived from the Highland Gaelic ‘clann‘ meaning ‘children‘. This term later spread to lowland groups such as ours. Clan Forsyth is however a traditional kinship group sharing a common surname and heritage and existing in a lineage based society as it is in Scotland, prior to well before the 13th century.

Clans Forsyth could be mistakenly thought of as based on just blood kinship alone, like most other Scottish clans would be better thought of as a kin to the modern-day corporation.

While originally formed by one of Scotland’s ancient families, like other Scottish clans, we would typically identify with geographical areas originally controlled by the Chiefs. This usually encompasses an ancestral castle where clan gatherings form a regular part of the social scene.

Many ancient  Scottish clans would also built around political alliances and strategy as opposed to genetic similarity.

Today, however modern Scottish clans operate entirely under their own system and recognition with their own traditions and regulations. Many Clan groups now incorporated the Celtic/Norse traditions of heritage as well as Norman Feudal society. Within Clan Forsyth “membership” into the clan is a right of birth and heritage. Anyone who is a Forsyth, married to a Forsyth, descended from a Forsyth or can trace their lineage to one of our historical Septs can be considered eligible for membership.

To make sense of this rich history and lineage, it is equally import to understand both your genealogy along with the history of those that have gone before. This menu is therefore broken down into two main subgroups one being as follows:




Family History


Scotland – Ireland – Queensland

We trust you enjoy our treatment of both of these very important aspects of our heritage.  Details in these sections trace back through settlement in Queensland in the 1860’s by a particular branch of Clan Forsyth, who emigrated to Queensland from County Donegal and Letterkenny in Northern Ireland.

Additionally we will also examine aspects of their lives and their family story while in Ireland on the Ulster Plantation based on first hand field research by our Clan Historian, Lyndall Hill. We will even look back further to the story of how this ancient family from Scotland even came to Ireland during the time of the great Irish potato famine in 1845 that lasted for six years. The potato famine killed over a million men, women and children in Ireland and caused another million to flee the country. We will also examine the question of what contributed to our forefathers coming to Queensland, some 10 year after the famine had ended and life in Ireland had returned to relative normality.


Sketch – State Library Queensland – Migrants Disembarking Moreton Bay Circa 1860

Since the formation of Clan Forsyth Queensland in 1979 our branch has been steadily accumulating genealogical research under the guidance of Beth Forsyth, who has now retired from this position, after accumulating an extensive body of research on our regional Clan pedigree since 1862.


We trust that the information contained on these pages will be of value to you. The ongoing genealogical process is quite extensive, therefore if you have any information that you would like to advise us of, then please do not hesitate to contact us by using the link below.

CLICK HERE to contact Clan Forsyth Queensland Historian