The Clan MacKinnon Society


During a meeting in the Waterloo premises in Glasgow, the Clan MacKinnon Society was founded in the presence of 25 people on December 22, 1891. Already in the first meetings the matter and rules were raised, how the society should aggieren. These should include promoting clan life, building social and community support, promoting education, collecting and keeping records of clan history and traditions, as well as supporting Celtic literature, Highland art and industry. But there was some concern over the clan leadership, whereupon Duncan MacKinnon-the Damil chairman-had twice campaigned for the clan leadership in the Oban Times. However, since there was no agreement, William Alexander MacKinnon – his father was recognized by the Lord Lyon in 1811 – declared by the Society the Chief of the Clan.

The Society grew fast. Unfortunately, in the 1960s, the number of members sunk, so that in 1975 the books were closed in the UK. At the same time, Joanne MacKinnon Osbourne sought to build a clan MacKinnon Society in the United States. Together with her brother Clinton MacKinnon they contacted Neil MacKinnon of McKinnon – the then Chief of the Clan – to obtain the fidelity for this. After initial doubts, he finally gave his blessing and appointed Clinton as his representative.

By 1980, the Clan MacKinnon Society North America was built and just two years later, this numbered 57 members. With the presence of the chief’s representative and 20 other members in Pleasanton, California, the Society was officially recognized in 2005 as the intellectual heritage of the Clan MacKinnon Society of the United Kingdom. It became clear that a new constitution had to be adopted, a new board had to be elected, and the goals of the society had to be extended.

The Clan MacKinnon Society strives to reunite the MacKinnon’s in their geo-realm around the world to enhance and promote the spirit of the clan, appreciation and understanding of history and culture. The Clan MacKinnon Society is now represented in 11 countries with a total of 335 members. These include Canada, the United States, South America, Australia, France, the Benelux countries and Germany.