Motto: Touch not the cat bot a glove

MacPherson is one of several Highland names that have ecclesiastical origins, literally it means ‘son of the parson’.  The Gaelic word ‘pearsan’ was borrowed, via the French ‘parsone’, from the Latin word ‘persona’, i.e. someone of rank.  An occupational name such as parson, smith etc. was common throughout the Highlands, and these MacPhersons, MacGowans etc. were widely distributed.  There were families of these names living under the protection of clans other than those of their own name, for example, a small sept of Campbells in Glassary, Argyllshire bore the name MacPherson.  

This 14th/15th century family was the first of the name on record; Donaldus M’Inpersuyn gave evidence in 1355 concerning lands of Glassre.  Clan MacPherson had their home in Badenoch and were part of the Clan Chattan confederacy.  The clan take their name from Duncan, Parson of Kingussie (1438), the great-grandson of Muriach, Chief of Clan Chattan in 1173.  

A number of Badenoch MacPhersons settled in the Hebrides and are thought to have been the ancestors of many MacPhersons throughout the Western Isles.  Members of the clan were staunch supporters of the Stuart cause and although involved in the last Jacobite Rising, they arrived too late at the field to take part in the major action at Culloden.  

Some MacPhersons were to be found on the Hanoverian side at that battle.  As a result of a legal battle at the close of the 17th century the chiefship of the Clan Chattan was given to the MacIntoshes over the MacPhersons.  The seat of the Clan MacPherson was Cluny Castle near Kingussie, Invernesshire.