Motto: Non oblitus (Not forgetful)

MacTavish is from the Gaelic ‘MacThamlais’: a form of ‘Macthamais’, son of Thomas, is the Lowland Scots form of Thomas.  The MacTavishes are fairly numerous in Argyllshire.  The Craignish Manuscripts say that the MacTavishes of Clan Tavish of Dunardrie descend from Tauis Coir, second illegitimate son of Gillespick, son of Callen moir math, ‘good bald Coline’.  There was a strong colony of MacTavishes in Strathglass. The MacTavishes of Strathherrick are considered to be a sept of the Frasers.  The main stem of the MacTavishes are considered as septs of the Campbells. 

The form of the name found in early records in Upper Deeside and Aberdeenshire was spelled Makcome.  Other forms of the name are; MacTause, MacTawse, MacAvish, MacCause, Tawse, Tawesson, Thompson, Thomson and MacCavishy.  Thomson means ‘son of Thom’.  This name is closely linked to family ownership of Duddingston in Edinburgh.  

Many individuals of this name in Perthshire and Argyllshire are really MacTavishes.  Another branch was anglicised as MacThomas and were a sept of Clan Chattan.  They were believed to be descended from William the seventh Chief of MacKintosh and were settled mainly in Glenshee and Glenisla.  They appear in the roll of clans in 1594.  Those Thomsons who appear to come from north Perthshire district are more likely to be connected to the MacThomas Clan who have their own tartan.