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Customs and Traditions

Help with Scottish Tartan?

I am searching for the Scottish tartan for our family (my great-grandfather's surname is Garrett), but I am having the most difficult time with this.  I can only find references online to Garrett being an Irish surname, but I am almost positive we are Scottish.  An online genealogy site even had a map showing the three counties in Scotland where people with that surname lived during the 1800s.So, basically, I'm stumped.  I've been to several sites with huge lists of Scottish surnames, and Garrett never appears.  Does anyone possibly know of a message board or someone knowledgeable on this topic that I could put the request out to?  Thanks!

Re: Help with Scottish Tartan?

  • It's possible that the spelling was changed, or that it was originally McGarrett or MacGarrett. Try searching alternate names?When I was in Scotland I went to a store where they could look up the history of any surname and print it out for you. It was AWESOME. I wonder if there's anything in your area with something similar?
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  • That is the annoying part!  There actually is a Scottish store near where I live.  They had racks of pins with family crests, and I found the one for Garrett, but when I asked the guy who lived there, he disappeared for about ten minutes, and then came back to try and tell me that I should be getting a county tartan for Ireland instead.Also, those websites I mentioned had LONG lists of names and I searched the page, so if Mc or MacGarrett had been on there, it would have popped up anyway.  It's super frustrating, and I'm half wishing I could just get the contact info of a currently living Scottish Garrett, to which they would probably respond, "who are you and why do I care?"  Heh...
  • There are many Scots-Irish.  Garrett may have been a sept of another clan.  If you have any Scottish questions, the best place to start is www.electricscotland.comHowever, when I look at the list of septs there, I don't see Garrett among them, nor any other spelling of it.  I would look at the list, and possibly search other names in your family--maybe your great grandfather's mother's birth name?  A lot of Scots-Irish (not Scotch-Irish, that's a drink) came from Ireland, as did my family (the original name was McWhirter, part of Clan Buchanan) but when the norseman won a large battle, lots of Irish took off for the Scottish highlands. So, even though they may have come to the US from Scotland, they didn't originate in Scotland.   Advice: search all your names.In any event, EVERYONE can wear Black Watch, it's easy to find and rent in kilts, ribbons, etc., so that might be a temporary fix for you.  I'm secretary of my international Clan, so let me know if you need further assistance.       
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  • I think I found it!  I had already been to the website you recommended on one of its pages, but when I followed your link and took a slightly different path, I ended up searching through The House of Tartan website, and by using only the first four letters, I found "Garret," with the Scottish District Tartan of Glasgow, which corresponds exactly with the three counties the genealogy site listed as where my family settled!Good thing, too, because literally the info I gave in my original post was the only info we have.  I only knew because it was my grandmother's maiden name anyway!Yay!  So, judging by what you said, we may not have a clan tartan because of when we migrated from Ireland?  But we have a district tartan because of where we migrated to?  That's my understanding so far.Thanks again, to both of you!
  • You're absolutely correct-the tartans from Ireland are by County.  Glad you found something!  Now, the tough part.  Can you find anyone who has it without having a special weave done?  Some of the less popular tartans are very expensive to have done, but keep me posted on how it goes!
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • Well actually, I was planning to just go with the Scottish District tartan I found, but I know that if I went back to the Scottish store near us, I could get the salesclerk there to tell me which Irish District corresponds to our surname as well.I'm not even entirely sure which one I'm going to end up actually purchasing something from - see this isn't actually wedding related.  It's actually something I've been researching to try and find our clan (or in this case, district) tartan, to get get a woolen scarf for one of my parents.  I'm probably WAY more interested in genealogy and preciseness than either of my parents, but I know they would really appreciate the connection.Since I know our family identifies as Scottish, I guess I'm just waffling over whether to get the Glasgow District tartan, which would be Scottish (and I've already found that pattern and Scottish retailers who sell the cloth).... or whether to trace our lineage back even further and to find the Irish District tartan where we most likely originated.
  • Ooooh.  Sorry. I misunderstood.  In that case, if your local store doesn't carry what you want, I buy all DH's kilts and my kilted skirts from Alexis Malcolm.  She was the woman who actually designed the US Army tartan, and it was approved just a couple of years ago.  She may not carry the district tartans, although she had my Dress Blue Buchanan, which is very hard to find.  I would contact her first. She's in Florida, and very responsive. If you end up going to the UK for the scarf, beware that they tend to need a bit of time to actually do things.  It's sort of like "Island time" which is why I found Ms. Malcolm, and prefer her, and her work.
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • Thanks again, that's very helpful!
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