THOM(P)SON IS NOT MacTavish
“Names ending in ‘-son’ or beginning with ‘Mac-‘ reflect an old practice whereby people were designated not by surnames, but by patronymics (personal name based on the father’s given name). Thus Robert’s son John was John Robertson, his son might be Andrew Johnson, his son Peter Anderson (for Andrew) and so on.” “To assume that there is ‘necessarily any kinship among ‘Robertsons’ is to be carried beyond rational thinking.” The same applies to the Thom(p)sons.
If you think your surname might be Scottish, I suggest you consult ‘The Surnames of Scotland by Dr. George F. Black’. This is one of the ‘bibles’ for the genealogist;”
* MACCOMBIE – Maccombe, Maccomie, Maccomie. G. MacComaidh, a contracted form of MacThomaidh, ‘son of Tommie or Tommy.’ In Perthshire frequently Englished Thomson. The ‘b’ was introduced into the name about the end of the eighteenth century. MacComy was a common surname in Breadalbane 250 or more years ago. In the “Roll of Clans,” 1587, the Maccomies appear as “Clan M’Thomas in Glensche.”
* MACLEHOSE – From G. Mac Gille Thamhas, ‘son of the gillie of Tammas,’ the Scots form of Thomas.
* MacTavish – From G. Mac Tamhis, a form of MacThamhais, ‘son of Tammas,’ the low-land Scots form of Thomas.
* MacThom – G. MacThom, ‘son of Tom,’ a diminutive of Thomas.
* MacThomas – G. Mac Tomais, ‘son of Thomas,’
* Tais – A surname rec in mar 1600. prob varient of Taws.
* Tamson – “Son of Tam,” Scots form of Thom-(as).
* Taweson – Tawesson. An Englishing of MacTavish.
* Taws, Tawse – A phonetic spelling of Gaelic Tamhas, ‘Thomas.’
* Thom – A diminutive of Thomas,
* Thomas – A common Anglo-Norman personal name. It is from the Syriac teoma, Heb. Todm, ‘Twin,’ rendered by Greek Didymus in St. John, XI:16. In Gaelic it assumes the forms Tomas, Tamhus, Maccombie, and Macomie, q.v. As surname in Scotland it is of late introduction from England.
* Thomason – Thomasson, ‘son of Thomas,’ q.v. Both forms are current in Shetland. Thomassone, Thomassoun, Tamesone, Thomessone.
* Thomling – From Thom, q.v. +diminutive suffix-ling.
* Thompson – ‘son of Thom.’ q.v., with intrusive p. This spelling is more commonly found in England.
* Thomson - ‘son of Thom.’ Q.v. A fairly numerous surname in Scotland.
Could/would some Thomsons have chosen to join Campbell or even MacTavish in Argyll? Yes, apparently some did. There is a graveyard in Kintyre with Thomsons and Thompsons. Most are from the 18th and 19th century and are buried on land near MacTavish’s holdings. But they were buried as THOMSON OR THOMPSON, just as MacTavish were buried as MacTavish. Thom(p)sons did not become MacTavish! Just as there is no evidence that MacTavish became Thomson.
* FACT – Clan MacThomas in Glenshe is listed as a Hielandis Clan and Thomesonis is one of 13 listed in the roll of the clannish that hes capitanes, cheiffs and chiftaneson of the bordouris, West Marche. Clan MacTavish is NOT listed on the roll of Clanns. They were not a clan recognized by the Scottish Parliament, so their claim to border Thoms is patently false.
* FACT – The 1861 census, ‘Surnames in Scotland’ illustrates the great importance of clans and families in Scotland since the chiefs of these names “represent” such numbers of people, who, if effectively organized (indeed are as at present loosely so), exert a strong influence on Scottish affairs. Thomson is listed 5th with 32,560 families. The small Clan MacTavish isn’t listed in the top 50.
* FACT – MacTavish is listed as a sept of Campbell as well as currently an independent clan.
Thomas is listed as a sept of MacThomas.
Thompson is listed as a sept of Campbell (via their inclusion of MacTavish ) as Thoms would have joined the strongest Argyll clan - that would have been one of the Campbell clans).
Thomson is listed as a sept of MacThomas (within the territorial boundaries MacThomas claims)
* FACT - At least 36 Thomson armigers have been recognized in the last 300 years. There have been only 4 MacTavish armigers: Lachlan, Simon, Dugald and Steven (NOT 27 chiefs as the MacTavish claim!)
* QUESTION –In Adam’s book, he quotes Henry White: “Many of the Argyllshire MacTavishes now make Thomsons of themselves...” ? That would make them a sept of themselves. His statement has no historical references and no numerous examples are offered as substantiation, as one should rightly expect. I could just as easily say “some MacTavishes now make Smiths of themselves” and have just as much validity.
* QUESTION – The same author says “...whilst THOMSON of that ILK on the Border is regarded as a remotely connected or indeterminate connection to the MacTavishes.” By remotely connected does he mean far apart as the remote jungles of Brazil or maybe slight or faint; unlikely, not the remotest chance? By ’Indeterminate connection to the MacTavishes’ does he mean ‘not determinate; not precisely fixed in extent, indefinite, uncertain, not clear, vague , or not established?
* To believe from the ‘evidence’ provided what is intended, would make those promoting it at best uninformed and at worst, intentionally fraudulent.
In summation: The use of meaningless terms is meant to confuse and muddle the issues. Patronymic surnames in the Highlands only became fixed in the last 200 years. Surname evolution was slow and began in the lowlands long before it was recognized in the highlands. Some names reflected places (towns, forest, or parks), others were crafts (weaver, smith, and tailor), still others were descriptors (large, tall, bald, crocked mouth,) etc. Thomas has been a popular name since biblical times. Thomas Campbell had a son named Thomason after HIS fathers’s first name. His son could then be named Alexander Thomason. It was only after the 16th century that things became more fixed in the lowlands – in the Highlands, the 18th century.
* In the Highlands, a person might leave his birthplace and move into the protection of a powerful leader - say Campbell. The new immigrant could take the name of the property owner... thus Andrew Moffatt, moving onto Campbell estates, could become Andrew Campbell. If some Thomsons moved onto the lands of Argylshire for protection, would they have picked a wee little weak chief or a powerful chief like Campbell? Think about it.
* It is quite proper for some Thomsons to be septs of Campbell and other powerful chiefs.
* It is also quite proper for Thom(p)sons to restore the clan family recognized by the
Scottish Parliament in 1587 and 1594.
‘Foreward’( to Searching Your Scottish Na)e, by Kathleen B. Cory 2nd ed), by Professor Emeritus Gordon Donaldson, CBE HM Historiographer in Scotland.
James VI Manuscript 1587 Parliamentary Regiser.
Clans, Septs, and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands, Frank Adam, p 586
Scottish Clan and Family Names by Roddy Martine ( Forward by Sir Malcolm Innes), p.212
Clans, Septs, and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands, by Frank Adam and Thomas Innnes. P. 570
Clans, Septs, and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands, Frank Adam, p 301
ibid, p 301
"remotely." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 08 Mar. 2008. Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remotely
"indeterminate." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 08 Mar. 2008. Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/indeterminate