The Clan History
THOMSON: This name means literally 'son of Thom or Thomas,' and it should be noted that its prevalence throughout the British Isles clearly shows that Thomas had been a popular forename from the Middle Ages. Consequently, many families of differing origins now bear this name. Thom(p)son tends to be an English form, and Thomas is usually Welsh. The most eminent families, were found about Edinburgh where those of Duddingston held their lands until about 1688, and those of Corstorphine had long association with the Forrester lairds of that place. Thomson is also an anglicized form of MacTavish, MacThomas and MacComie. The MacTavishes of Argyll are said to derive from 'Taus Coir' an illegitimate son of a Lord of Lochow who lived about the beginning of the 13th century, but many of these have now changed their name to Thomson or Taweson. The Clan MacThomas of Glenshee (Perthshire), were originally MacComies who took their name from Thomas, a son of the 6th Chief of Mackintosh who settled there in the 15th century and from where many of his descendants became established in Angus and the surrounding counties. Although MacThomas remains the official name of that clan, having appeared as such in the Rolls of Clans compiled in 1587 and 1594, it is remarkable that few of its members have ever borne the name. Clan associations may therefore lie with the MacTavishes or MacThomases, and it is possible that some Thomasons are linked with Clan MacFarlane, for some are said to descend from Thomas, a son of a MacFarlane chief, who lived about 1390-1406. The name Maclehose is reputed to be of similar origin and is found in Argyll and areas adjacent to lands occupied by MacThomases and MacFarlanes. In 19th century Scotland Thomsons advanced the cause of Arts, Science and Invention beyond the 'per capita' endeavours of any other name - one patented a pneumatic tyre as early as 1845 and later, William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, gave his name to the scale of degrees Kelvin. In the absence of genealogical or geographical evidence of clan association, suitable tartans would be the Dress and Hunting Thomson patterns, both recorded at Lyon Court for Lord Thomson of Fleet, but now in general use.
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