Morrison, Dun Eistein- Teaghlach Phabbay
Morrison, Morison, Morieson, MacGhille, Mjoire (Gaelic) Morysine etc.
There are two Clan Badges, tartans and crests for the name of Morrison
Legend has it that Olaf the Black, (Olafr Guorooarson) of Norway, according to the chronicle the bishop disapproved of Óláfr’s marriage to Lauon as Óláfr had formerly had a concubine who was a cousin of Lauon. A Synod (an assembly of the clergy) was then assembled and the marriage was nullified. This may have been merely a convenient excuse and that the contention between the half-brothers may have played a part in its demise. In 1216, Lauon and their infant son, Gillemorrie, were sent on a Viking (meaning raid) and became shipwrecked, clung to some driftwood and were washed up on the Butte of Isle of Lewis, Scotland. They merged in with the local inhabits and even some rose to become judges and other high officials.They incurred a few feuds with the powerful MacLeods of Lewis. According to Lewis local lore, the last great clan battle between the Macaulays and Morrisons took place in 1654. Local tradition gives several possible locations for the battle: two at Shader, one at Barvas, and one at Brue. One location said to have been the battle-site is Druim nan Carnan (the ridge from Ness Morrisons). The Macaulays were only able to escape with their plunder as far as Barvas, where the two sides took to battle. It is not known how many died in the conflict, though tradition states that the fallen were buried in the area, and that their graves were marked by cairns (a mound of rough stones built as a memorial) which have now since disappeared. The Macaulays took direct flight to the MacLeods for assistance.
Morrison’s did not have a chance against those numbers and were forced to the mainland of Scotland in the 17th century. The Tutor of Kintail issued a ‘Letter of Fire and Sword’ against Morrison’s.
Some sixty families settled on the mainland at Sutherland. The MacLeods however, continued their feud and even followed them to the new lands that had been granted to them by the Bishop of Caithness. But, some also stayed on Lewis making most of their alliance with the MacDonnells. The Morrison tartan was lost as was the Chiefs Badge and Crest to history for they did not want a reminder for the MacLeods. Some migrated to Ireland in the Plantation of Ulster seeded many Scottish families, who were granted lands previously owned by the Catholic Irish as they were being forced out, mostly in the six northern states of Ulster. And 111 family members were ransferred to Antrim and Down, Ireland.Some disillusioned with Ireland, migrated to the New World, Nova Scotia-Canada, America and even to Austria. They sailed aboard the tiny, overcrowded sailing ships which plied the stormy Atlantic calling them “White Sails.” Frequently they lost 30% to 40% of their passenger list to diseases and the elements. But most of them migrated to northern Scotland and the Isles.
Clan Morrison Society of Northern America
The Morrison’s wanted to reclaim their right to exist and be recognized as Clan Morrison. Researchers established lineage that they submitted to the Lord Lyon, King of Arms for Scotland.
The Clan Morrison Society was founded in 1909, and it was granted letters patent by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms. A new society tartan (green tartan) embraces the surnames of Morrison, Morison, Murison, Brieve and Gilmore. The clan badge is driftwood and its war cry/slogan is Dun Uisdean (Eistein Hugh’s Castle). A clan badge and crest were likewise granted. The green society tartan is a variant of the Mackay sett with an added red stripe.
In the late 1930’s a 300 year old remnant of scarlet tartan was discovered on the Isle of Lewis wrapped around an old Morrison bible. It was declared the true Morrison tartan, and it received official recognition on January 3, 1968. The clan has branches scattered world-wide. Canada and the United States are unified under the North American branch of the Clan Morrison Society.
The Chieftainship of the Clan lay dormant of centuries, beginning in the 1600’s until the 1950’s when W.S. Morrison Viscount Dunrossil (1893-1961) a former Speaker of the House of Commons was informed by the Lord Lyon that he was the strongest claimant to become Chief of the Morrisons.
In 1965, the Lord Lyon King of Arms declared that there was then no traceable descendant of the chiefs of the Morrisons of Lewis, therefore recognized one man is chief of all Morrisons, whether their clans were related or not. The Lord Lyon recognized John Morrison of Ruchdi as the ‘principal chief of the whole name and clan of Morrison’. He acknowledged that Morrison of Ruchdi was chief of the Morrisons of Ruchdi; and that he could trace his lineage back about twelve generations, in a Gaelic pedigree, back to the Morrisons in the Dun of Pabbay on Tarbert of Harris. The current chief of Clan Morrison is Dr. Iain Martin Morrison of Ruchdi. The Clan Morrison Society bought the war cry/slogan “Dun Eistean” and transferred ownership to John Morrison.
Dr. Morrison was born in 1938. He attended public school in Cheltenham and obtained his medical training at St. Thomas’ Hospital (University of London). His family home, Ruchdi, is located in North Uist between Clachan Sands and Trumisgarry. Directly across from it is the small island of Ruchdi-Pabbay. Dr. Morrison assumed the Chief’s mantle on June 12th, 1974. He was succeeded by his son, Dr. Ru Morrison on December 11, 2010.
The circular belt has the Motto of the Chief of the Clan inscribed in it. Within the belt is the crest of the
Clan Chief. The belt and buckle denote the clanspersons bond to the clan. The Clansman’s Crest Badge is
the most powerful emblem of Clan Heritage. Displaying this badge is a symbol of your allegiance to your
clan and is the perfect worn decoration for any descendant.
The Chief of Clan Morrison, Dr. J. Ru Morrison