Clan Rose Crest Badge
A Sept of Clan Rose
Clan Rose Tartan

Finding information on Barron Clan History has the Hens Teeth Syndrome, put Clan Barron into a search engine and you certainly get some weird results, including Mexican cowboy singers. Authorities can't seem to agree, some putting us as from Angus, others Aberdeenshire and Inverness-shire but it's also a name I've come across in France, there's been Barrons in England for several centuries, an old Italian connection and there have been Barrons in Ireland for several centuries. Interestingly the Barron DNA Project seems to agree. The name could be from the Gaelic baruinn, a small landowner, the title Baron is from the Latin "baro" meaning servant or man, I also know people who claim it's from Scots barroned-out, meaning barred-out i.e. barred, possibly from a town and how do these tie in with the French Connection? So far I can find only three facts or sources of agreement on the name, a/ If you look at a demographic map, such as CASA you will find a high concentration of Barrons in the North East and around Inverness, b/ The Barron Clan is a Sept of Clan Rose, c/ Information on clan Septs can be very hard to find. It's not very encouraging and all I feel I can do is outline what I know about Barron history and hope people will enter the debate or come up with some information but please note some of the information I have is speculation, although, the most useful link I've found is on Electric Scotland.

1. We, or at least most Scots Barrons are a Sept of Clan Rose.
2. There is a large Barron population originating in the North East, my own family seemed to have self populated Marnoch, in old Banffshire, judging by their numbers and half of Rosemount in Aberdeen.
3. There's a large population originating in Inverness-shire e.g. there's a large number of Barrons buried in the Kirkyard of the Wardlaw Mausoleum, near Beauly, where the old chiefs of Clan Fraser of Lovat are buried. The body of Simon Fraser 11th Lord Lovat, the Old Fox, last person to be beheaded near the Tower of London, is claimed to be secretly buried there.
4. There is a Fraser connection, how large it is I don't know but quite a coincidence for me, part goes back to 1746 and Culloden thus the barroned-out of Fraser(s) mentioned earlier, who fought at the battle. There's also a 13th century link between the Bissets and Clan Rose, Bisset is a Sept of Clan Fraser. There's more information on the Fraser connection at the previously mentioned Electric Scotland link.
5. Baron is a place name and a surname in France, eg there's the famous Le parc Baron, in Fontenay le Comte, Vendée, developed by Jean Baron in 1819. Could there a Norman connection?
6. There's a number of Barrons in Ireland but were they Scots migrants or Normans or did some of them come to Scotland?
7. I was once told a Jewish man settled in Aberdeen, in the 13th century, bringing the name to the area and I believe there is a large Jewish Barron community, in London.
8. I know of Barrons in England from the 1600s but how long were they there and is there a Scots connection at all?
9. Since opening this discussion another fascinating fact has come to light, a member of Ortiz de Barron family has been in touch to tell me that Barron is a typical Basque surname and is spelt Barrón in Spain. In fact Barron is a town in the south-west area of the territory of Araba, in the Basque Country and the name possibly originates from that town. He also tells us that there are a few possibilities for the meaning of Barron in Basque: IBARRON-Barron: zone of the bank (of a river) BERRON-Barron: brushes, thicket; bramble patch BARAON-Barron: place of seeds or vegetation. This adds an interesting twist to the Barron mystery but is there a connection and to further confuse, don't forget the Baronis in Italy?
Alan Barron from Nairn mentioned that he thought the Inverness Barron's were descended from a younger son of a Rose of Kilravock who purchased Drakies estate possibly in the 16th century. The descendants were known as MacBarron with the Mac eventually being dropped. This ties in with something unverified on the net “John Rose, the third son of the 9th Laird of Kavrock was known as John Mac-a-Bharon in circa 1403. Another angle to the Barrons. He also mentions his brother working in the States and noticing the amount of Hispanic Barrons from Mexico, could they tie in with the Basque Barrons? Also, his DNA has several Hispanic matches and also ties in with the M222 Haplogroup, Niall of the 9 Hostages, named after a 5th century Irish warrior. All these connections may sound stange but will DNA eventually solve the problem of the origins of the Barrons?

I hope this is of interest and I look forward to any response, please feel free to Email me.

7. At least item 7 seems to have been cleared up and can be taken out of the equation, only 6 more to go. In an Aberdeen & NE Scotland FHS Journal, in an article about The Jews of Aberdeen, Nathan Abrams of Bangor University states, "we have thus far no records of Jews visiting Aberdeen prior to the 17th century." If anyone wishes to discuss the topic with Nathan, he can be contacted at his email address


Since this page has been up a number of things have become clearer, there does seem to be a number of Barrons around the world but nothing shows to connect them, so I’ll look specifically at Scots Barrons. First of all no one seems to have a clue why they are a sept of Clan Rose, there are three main areas for Barrons, around Inverness, around Nairn and Moray and also the North East and apart from being near each other geographically, there no proven connection I can see, as yet. Following an email from an Ann Stansbarger in California, who quoted two sources of information, I contacted the well known Inverness historian Hugh Barron, who quoted another source and his own family history and it seems without doubt there is an extremely strong connection with Barrons around Inverness and Beauly and Clan Fraser of Lovat.

The sources are, first of all, an article by W D H Sellar (now Lord Lyon) in which he notes that the Barrons of the Aird were originally descended from Paul MacTyre. They took the name Fraser and became the Barons of Moniack, some of them took the surname Barron, see The other is Marie Fraser of the Canadian Clan Fraser Society, in her article where in the sections “Lineage” she mentions the Barons of Moniack and them being sometimes known as Barron.

Hugh Barron’s own ancestors refused to change their name to Fraser in the early 1700s and become Boll o Meal Frasers, a term referring to the Lord Lovat of the time, the famous “Fox”, who, in trying to build up the clan would reward those who changed their name to Fraser and gave him allegiance.  He also has a theory that some Barrons may have gone with Thomas Fraser of Knockie in the late 16th century, when he married into property in Buchan in the North East, which would explain the large amount of Barrons there. However, what I must thank Hugh Barron for was sending me a copy of three pages from Duncan Warrand’s 1934 book, Some Fraser Pedigrees, where the Moniack, Fraser and Barron connection is clearly mentioned.

Some Fraser pedigrees
Second of three pages from the copies of Duncan Warrand's book, click to enlarge.

So we now know that, I wouldn’t use the word discover, as the information was always there, the Barrons around Inverness have a strong Fraser connection but are they connected to the Nairn/Moray and the North East ones? Well, lets take things one step at a time!


Clan Rose, is descended from Hugh Rose of Geddes who was witness to the foundation of the Priory of Beauly in 1219. There does seem to have been strong connections with the de Boscos and the de Bissets. In 1290, Hugh Rose of Geddes's son Hugh, acquired the lands of Kilravock by marriage to Marie, daughter of Elizabeth de Bisset and Andrew de Boscothey, they made their home at Kilravock. When Hugh, the fourth of Kilravock married Janet Chisholm, he also acquired lands at Strathnairn. When the family lost all the family's writs and charters in a fire, John, son of the fifth of Kilravock, had to reconstruct the family's titles to the landholdings and obtain charters from James I, the Earl of Ross and the Chisholm. Around 1460, the seventh Baron built the Tower of Kilravock.
The Roses supported the Reformation, and even though they had good relations with the Stewarts, the thirteenth Baron opposed the religious policies of Charles I. They were loyal to the government during the Revolution and the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745. Hugh, the 12 of Kilravock, voted against the Union of 1707, but was one of the commissioners to represent Scotland in the first British parliament.
J. A. Rose was an extraordinary player in the French Revolution, he was born in Scotland in 1757 and went to Paris in his early years. He became closely involved with distinguished figures of that eventful era. Kilravock Castle is still the seat of Clan Rose.