Clan Chisholm

Clan Chisholm
Crest badge
[[Image:Clan member crest badge - Clan Chisholm.svg|190px]]
Crest: Gules a boar's head couped Or langued Azure.
Region Highlands
District Ross
Animal Wild Boar

Andrew Francis Hamish Chisholm of Chisholm
Thirty-third Chief of Clan Chisholm
Historic seat Erchless Castle

Clan Chisholm is a Scottish clan. The clan had its origin outside Scotland. The first Chisholm to appear in the records of Scotland was Alexander de Chesholme, who witnessed a charter in 1248/49.



Origins of the Clan

According to a 19th century historian, Alexander Mackenzie, the Clan Chisholm is of Norman and Saxon origin. Tradition stating that the Chisholms were a Norman family who arrived in England after the Norman conquest of 1066. The original Norman name being De Chese to which the Saxon term "Holme" was added upon the marriage of a Norman ancestor to a Saxon heiress. In early records the name is written as "de Cheseholme", eventually later becoming Chisholm. In Scotland the earliest recorded person of the family is on the Ragman Rolls as "Richard de Chisholm del Counte de Rokesburgh", referring to the Clan Chisholm's seat in Roxburghshire.[1]

Wars of Scottish Independence

Sir John de Chesholme led the clan at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 against the English.[2] Robert Chisholm fought against the English at the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, was taken prisoner with King David II and probably not released until eleven years later when his royal master returned to Scotland. In 1359 Robert Chisholm succeeded his grandfather as Constable of Urquhart Castle, and later became Sheriff of Inverness and Justiciar of the North. This Robert was the last Chisholm to hold lands in both the North and South of Scotland. He divided his estates among his younger children.[3]

Clan Conflicts

The Chisholms became well known for cattle raiding. In 1498 Wiland Chisholm of Comar and others carried off 56 oxen, 60 cows, 300 sheep, 80 swine and 15 horses belonging to Hugh Rose of the Clan Rose.

Later in 1513 Wiland Chisholm of Comar and Sir Alexander MacDonald of Glengarry were with Sir Donald MacDonald of Lochalsh on his return from the Battle of Flodden Field when he decided to invade the Clan Urquhart. Some sources say that Macdonald occupied Urquhart Castle for three years despite the efforts of Clan Grant to dislodge them.[4]

Civil War

Glen Affric, former Chisholm land.

In 1647, Alexander Chisholm was appointed to the committee which arranged the defence of Inverness on behalf of the Covenanters against the Royalists. In 1653 the Chisholms stole cattle from the Clan Munro and Clan Fraser, they were however captured and brought to court where they were ordered to return all they had stolen and pay the Chief Munro of Foulis and Chief of Clan Fraser £1000 interest each.[5]

After the Stuart restoration in 1660, Alexander followed his father as a Justice of the Peace, and in 1674 was appointed Sheriff Depute for Inverness. Once again his duties brought him up against the MacDonalds, for in 1679 he was ordered to lead a thousand men of the county to quell a disturbance created by some members of the clan, and in 1681 he was given a commission of fire and sword against them.

Jacobite Uprisings

During the Jacobite risings, chief Roderick Chisholm supported the Jacobite cause and led the clan at the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715 where they were defeated. Some members of the clan took part in the rising of 1719. A landing was made on the west of Scotland, and according to one account, the Chisholms were employed as scouts. They were not present at the Battle of Glenshiel, which ended that Jacobite attempt. Much of Roderick's lands were afterwards forfeited to the Crown. With a number of other chiefs, Roderick obtained a royal pardon in 1727, but he was never allowed to regain his estates, which his brother administered until 1743, when it was transferred to Roderick's eldest son, Alexander Chisholm, younger of Comar. During the 1745 rising, Roderick again supported the Jacobites. His son, Roderick Og Chisholm led the clan at the Battle of Culloden, leading a very small regiment of about 80 men, where he was killed along with 30 clansmen. It should be noted however that two of Roderick's sons James and John were Captains in the British Army of the Duke of Cumberland.[6]

Another portion of the Clan was on the Government side at Culloden.

Clan Castle

The seat of the Clan Chisholm was originally at Comar Lodge and then at Erchless Castle, which was sold in 1937.

Clan Chiefs

The present chief is Andrew Francis Hamish Chisholm of Chisholm, thirty-third Chief of Clan Chisholm.

The following is a list of some of the previous chiefs of Clan Chisholm.[7]

No. Name Died Notes
XXXIII Andrew Francis Hamish Gooden-Chisholm Married Julie Dawn Greenacre.
XXXII Alastair Hamish Wiland Andrew Fraser Gooden-Chisholm 1997 Married Rosemary Yolanda Grant.
XXXI Roderick Gooden-Chisholm 1943 Married Margaret Chisholm Fraser of Cubokie and Guisachan.
XXX Chisholm Gooden-Chisholm 1929
XXIX James Chisholm Gooden-Chisholm Son of James Gooden and Mary Chisholm (daughter of the 23rd chief). Married Anne Elizabeth Lambert.
XXVIII Roderick Donald Matheson Chisholm 1887 Obtained a Commission as Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.
XXVII James Sutherland Chisholm 1885 Great grandson of Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach, immediate younger brother of Roderick XXI chief. Died at Erchless Castle.
XXVI Duncan MacDonell Chisholm 1858 Obtained a Commission in the Coldstream Guards. Succeeded by his cousin.
XXV Alexander William Chisholm 1838 Member of Parliament for Inverness. Succeeded by his brother.
XXIV William Chisholm 1817 Married Elizabeth, daughter of Duncan MacDonell XIV of Glengarry.
XXIII Alexander Chisholm 1793 Known as the "fair-haired Chisholm". Succeeded by his brother.
XXII Alexander Chisholm Married Elzabeth Mackenzie of Applecross.
XXI Roderick Chisholm 1767 Led the Clan Chisholm at the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715 on the Jacobites side. His lands afterwards forfeited to the Crown.
XX John Chisholm Married Jane, daughter of Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Findon.
XIX Alexander Chisholm Sheriff-Deputy of the county of Inverness from 1689 to 1695. Married daughter of Roderick Mackenzie I of Applecross.
XVII Alexander Chisholm Married in 1639, his cousin, a daughter of Mackenzie V of Gairloch.
XVI John Chisholm In 1628 entered into a contract with Colin Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth, Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, Hector Munro of Clynes, John Grant of Glenmoriston, John Bayne of Tulloch and others.
XV Thomas Chisholm 1590 Died soon after his father, succeeded by his brother.
XIV Alexander Chisholm 1590 Married Janet, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, 10th of Kintail, chief of Clan Mackenzie.
XIII John Chisholm In 1542 received remission for all past offences from King James V of Scotland.
XII Wiland de Chisholm First to spell the name without an "e". Laid siege to Urquhart Castle.
XI Wiland de Chisholme Described as "of Comar". Given a commission by George, Earl of Huntly to attack the Clan Mackenzie for the killing of Harold Chisholm.
X Alexander de Chisholme 1432 Described as "Lord of Kinrossy" in a deed dated at Elgin on the 9th August 1422. Succeeded by his brother.
IX Thomas de Chisholme Married Margaret, daughter of Lachlan Mackintosh, VIII chief of Clan Mackintosh.
VIII Alexander de Chisholme Married Margaret, Lady of Erchless.
VII Sir John de Chisholme Received lands of Lower Kinmylies, near Inverness from Alexander of the Isles. Married Cathrine Bisset. Succeeded by his brother.
VI Sir Robert de Chisholme Constable of Urquhart Castle and Sheriff of Inverness. Married Margaret, daughter of Haliburton of that Ilk.
V Sir Robert de Chisholme Fought and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346. Married Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Lauder.
IV Alexander de Chisholme Described as "Lord of Chisholme in Roxburgh and Paxtoun in Berwickshire".
III Sir John de Chesholme Designated Del Counte de Berwyke. Found in the Ragman's Rolls of Edward I of England in 1296 but later joined Robert the Bruce of Scotland and fought at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
II Richard de Chisholme Described as Del Counte of Roxburgh
I John de Chisholme Named in bull of Pope Alexander IV in 1254. Granted lands in the county of Berwick.

See also

The Cadet Families of Strathglass Include; The Chisholm's of Lietry and Kinneries, The Chisholm's of Knockfin, The Chisholm's of Muckerach and lastly the Chisholm's of Struy the senior Cadet Branch of the Clan Chisholm. Chisholm of Struy *History of the Chisholm,1890 Alexander Mackenzie p.x., The Clan Chisholm and Allied Clans, 1935, Harriette F. Thrasher, p.77.

XIX. ALEXANDER CHISHOLM, Generally known as "An Siosal Og," or the Young Chisolm. On the 26th of November, 1657, we find a disposition by William Fraser of Culbokie (who on the 22nd of February, 1636, acquired the lands in question from Hugh Lord Lovat), by Hugh Fraser his son, and by Cristina Chisholm, his wife, all with one consent, in s vour of Alexander Chisholm, of the lands of Wester Comar, alias Comar Croy. This disposition was implemented by two charters of the same date, followed by an instrument of sasine, dated the 3ist of May and registered, as in the last case, on the 8th of June, 1658.

  • Acts of Parliament, Vol. VI. p. 303.

He has a precept of Clare Constat of these lands from Lovat's trustees already mentioned, dated the 23rd of March, 1678, upon which a sasine follows on the 8th, which is duly registered on the I5th of November in the same year.

Alexander is served as heir general on the ipth of June, 1677, and has a sasine following thereon on the nth of April, 1678, duly registered in the Particular Register for Inverness- shire on the ipth of the same month. On the 23rd of March in the same year he has a precept of Clare Constat by Kenneth Mor Mackenzie, third Earl of Seaforth, Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat, and Hugh Fraser of Belladrum, Lord Lovat's trustees, as heir of his father, Alexander, of the town lands of Comar Croy or Wester Comar. Sasine follows on this precept on the 8th of November in the same year, and it is registered in the Particular Register of Sasines for the county on the 14th of that month. On the same* date he has a similar precept from the same parties of the lands of Easter and Wester Erchless and of Comar Kirkton, with a sasine following thereon, duly registered on the i8th of November, 1678. He was Sheriff-Depute of the county of Inverness from 1689 to 1695.

In 1689 General Livingston found it necessary to send troops to disperse bodies of Highlanders, who, after the battle of Killiecrankie, which was fought in that year, continued in arms for the House of Stuart. A detachment of the Strathnaver and Grant regiments, from Brahan Castle, and the garrison of Castle Leod, accompanied by a party of horse under Lieutenant-Colonel Lumsden, were ordered to march against one of these bodies of Highlanders who had collected in Strathglass, and taken possession of Erchless Castle, the seat of the Chisholms, in which they resolved to defend themselves. It was, however, carried by storm, and a great quantity of provisions found within it was secured. Major Mackay, with four companies of the Grants, was left to defend the Castle and as a check on the disaffected, but the following summer he and his

  • Invernessiana, pp. 93-94. t Register of 'Moray, p. 211.

garrison were attacked by some five hundred Highlanders, by whom they would have been compelled to surrender had not Livingston promptly marched from Inverness and relieved them by a successful attack on the besieging Highlanders. Alexander married the eldest daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, I. of Applecross, with issue

1. John, his heir and successor.

2. Theodore Chisholm of Struy, of whose cadet family in their order.

Chisholm of Struy Family is the Senior Cadet Branch of the Clan Chisholm

THEODORE CHISHOLM of Struy was the second son of Alexander Chisholm, XIX. of Chisholm, by his wife, the eldest daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, I. of Applecross. He lived and died at Balmore, Invercannich. He married Margaret, daughter of Fraser of Culbokie, with issue –

JOHN CHISHOLM, who lived and died at Wester Knockfin. He married, Isabella, daughter of John, II. of Knockfin, with issue -

THEODORE CHISHOLM, who lived and died at Comar. He married Mary, daughter of Alexander, second son of Archibald Chisholm, Fasnakyle, with issue –

JOHN CHISHOLM, who resided most of his life at Comar, and died at Struy, married Margaret, daughter of Kenneth, eldest son of Archibald Chisholm of Fasnakyle with issue -

THEODORE CHISHOLM, residing at Struy. Since the death of Roderick Donald Matheson Chisholm, XXVIII. of Chisholm, in 1887, Theodore, possessing not an inch of land, and without any visible means of subsistence, is heir male and chief of the ancient house of Chisholm. He is now about eighty-one years of age and unmarried. He died unmarried -

ELIZA CHISHOLM, who married Alexander Macdonell, farmer, Invercannich, with issue –

ISABELL CHISHOLM MACDONELL, who married Colin Chisholm, Clachan, Strathglass, with issue – Duncan who married Margaret daughter of Frazer and Mary, who married John Bisset, Fanellan, with issue, among others, the Rev. Alexander Bisset, a priest, now at Stratherrick.

DUNCAN CHISHOLM, b. October 22, 1804 who emigrated to lochaber Antigonish in 1828 married in 1832 Margaret Chisholm b. abt. 1806, with issue –

COLIN ALEXANDER CHISHOLM b.1844 and d. 1914 in Lochaber Antigonish, married Victoria Fougere of Cape Breton, Canada d.1925 in Peabody, Mass, with issue – Colin Alexander Thomas Chisholm, b 1887 Peabody, Mass.

COLIN ALEXANDER THOMAS CHISHOLM who married Eva Margaret Johnston of Saint John, New Brunswick abt 1915 St. Dominic's Church Portland, Maine with issue –

COLIN ALEXANDER WILLIAM CHISHOLM 2ND, b September 17, 1922 Falmouth Forseide Maine, married the Honorable Mary Elizabeth Brennan b. September 9, 1927 married on January 20, 1951 in Peabody, Mass with issue -

COLIN ALEXANDER JOSEPH CHISHOLM 3RD,K.M. b. November 23, 1951 Salem, Mass. married Lady Andrea Lynne Brix, November 3, 2001 Greenwich, CT. b March 11, 1960, with issue –

COLIN ALEXANDER WILLIAM CHISHOLM 4TH b. February 1, 2007 Palm Beach, Florida.

External links


  1. ^ "The History of the Chisholms" by Alexander Mackenzie. Page 13.
  2. ^ "The History of the Chisholms" by Alexander Mackenzie. Page14.
  3. ^ "The History of the Chisholms" by Alexander Mackenzie. Pages 15 - 18.
  4. ^ "The History of the Chisholms" by Alexander Mackenzie. Pages 43 - 44.
  5. ^ Chisholm's court martial in 1655 and his 7 weeks imprisonment during Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth. Information provided by the Clan Chisholm Society.
  6. ^ "The History of the Chisholms" by Alexander Mackenzie. Page 65.
  7. ^ "The History of the Chisholm's" by Alexander Mackenzie.

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