Clan MacKinnon Society

We are excited to announce that the Society is rapidly growing and currently has many new members through two very active international branches in France and Germany. Frank Thyssen MacKinnon (pictured left) is our Germany Commissioner, and Robert Amyot (pictured right) is our Commissioner for Continental Europe based in France. Please visit their websites and learn about the great work they are doing overseas on behalf of Clan MacKinnon Society.

Our History

​​On December 22, 1891, at a meeting held in the Waterloo Rooms in Glasgow, Clan MacKinnon Society was born. Twenty-five clansmen were present at that first meeting. During subsequent early Society meetings the matter of who held the Chiefship of Clan MacKinnon was raised. In response to these concerns, Mr. Duncan MacKinnon, then Chairmen of the Society, advertised for claimants to the Chiefship twice in the Oban Times. No one came forward, so William Alexander MacKinnon of Kent, whose father had been recognized Chief of Clan MacKinnon by the Lord Lyon in 1811, was declared by the Society to be the recognized Chief of the Clan. 

​The Society grew rapidly during the years around the turn of the century. At its founding the purpose of Clan MacKinnon Society was understood to be: the fostering of Clan sentiment, cultivation of social intercourse among members, assistance to members, encouragement of education, the collection and preservation of Clan records and traditions, and promoting support of Celtic literature and Highland arts and industries.  

Sadly, during the 1960s, Society enrollment markedly declined as the membership aged. In 1975, Clan MacKinnon Society in the United Kingdom closed its books. Around this time, however, Mrs. Joanne MacKinnon Osbourne in the United States began investigating the possible establishment of a Clan MacKinnon Society in the Americas. Joanne and her brother, Clinton MacKinnon, contacted Neil MacKinnon of MacKinnon, then Chief of the Clan, for permission to found a society. The Chief graciously gave their endeavor his blessing and requested that Clinton act as his Representative. By 1980, Clan MacKinnon Society of North America was constituted; two years later it boasted some 57 members.  

During a meeting, attended by the Representative of the Chief and some 20 clansmen in Pleasanton, California in 2005, the spirit of Clan MacKinnon Society of North America was affirmed and the heritage of Clan MacKinnon Society of the United Kingdom acknowledged. At that meeting it was decided that a new constitution was required, a new board of directors was elected, and the Society’s goals expanded.

Clan MacKinnon Society is now striving to unite MacKinnons around the world in their ancient fellowship, to promote the spirit of Clanship, and grow an understanding and appreciation for the culture and history of the Scottish Gael. Clan MacKinnon Society is now once again firmly established and eager to face the future. Join us!

A Growing Overseas Presence

The Society

​​Clan MacKinnon Society is headquartered in the United States with members in 30 states, but we also have international members in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Our mission is to engage and support our members through the promotion of the history, culture, and legacy of Clan MacKinnon. We show fealty to our chief in Great Britain, Madam Anne Gunhild MacKinnon of MacKinnon, who recently named Stephen MacKinnon (of Massachusetts) her representative. Explore our historyand learn more about Clan MacKinnon. 

Clan MacKinnon Society is led by a Board of Directors who meet via conference call on a monthly basis and in person every two years at our general meeting (the next will take place in Nova Scotia in summer 2018) to discuss the direction and future of the Society. The Board is guided by a set of bylaws voted upon by our membership (download a copy below). To help advance our charitable and educational goals, Clan MacKinnon Society was recently granted 501(c)3 nonprofit status in the US. Learn more about the leadership of Clan MacKinnon Society.​​