Online Digitized Chiefs of Colquhoun and Their Country


We are excited to begin distributing installments of The Chiefs of Colquhoun and Their Lands to members of Clan Colquhoun International Society. Anyone with an interest in our rich family history will enjoy reading the invaluable information found in the pages of this extraordinary book.



SirJames SirWilliam


Sir James Colquhoun, 26th of Colquhoun & 28th of Luss (1836-1873) commissioned Sir William Fraser of Edinburgh in the 1860s to write a family history. Sir James was John Colquhoun’s brother, and John is the 2nd great grandfather of our present Clan Chieftain, Sir Malcolm Colquhoun.

The limited edition book is quite rare as only 150 numbered copies of the two-volume set were printed in 1869 and distributed as gifts to Sir James’ family and friends. We know of only four sets still in existence today. Sir Malcolm has a copy, the National Library of Scotland has a copy and the other two sets are in private hands.


Sir William Fraser spent years conducting research from documents that were still in family hands in order to write the story. On Page xi in the book’s Preface, Sir Fraser states, “The materials for these volumes have been derived mainly from family muniments at Rossdhu. The information thus acquired is of undoubted authenticity, and becomes especially valuable when it delineates and records transactions of remote times.” Muniment is an archaic word that includes letters, manuscripts, and documents used to defend the title to an estate or a claim to rights and privileges from the crown. Sir Fraser used this first-hand source material to masterfully shape an incredible story that covers more than 700 years of Colquhoun history (1150-1869).


Volume I contains the personal history of the Chiefs of Colquhoun from Maldouen of Luss in the year 1150, to his descendant, Sir James Colquhoun. The volume is filled with personal stories, anecdotes, and events spanning twenty-one generations.


Volume II contains a detailed description of the lands of Clan Colquhoun, which describes a large portion of the County of Dumbarton and the estates of Auchentorlie, Dumbuck, Barnhill, Overtown, and others. Volume II also examines the Castle of Dunglas and other castles associated with the family. There is even a letter from Lady Helen Colquhoun on the measures connected with the Rebellion of 1745. Both volumes are fascinating reading and accurate accounts of events long ago.


Sir William Fraser, KCB (1816-1898) was a solicitor in Edinburgh and notable expert in ancient Scottish history, palaeography, and genealogy. He developed a remarkable knowledge of antiquarian matters, and in particular, genealogical research, which led to his writing a great series of histories for between twenty and thirty of the leading noble and landed families of Scotland. An article in the Dundee Advertiser on 1 June 1896, stated: “There is no Scotsman living who has so much experience in deciphering ancient documents, nor one who can so skillfully extract information from faded and time-worn parchments as Sir William Fraser. “


We are fortunate to be able to share these serialized chapters in the coming months with CCIS members from The Chiefs of Colquhoun and Their Lands. Anyone interested in our family history will enjoy learning about our Colquhoun ancestors and the stories gleaned from this remarkable book will be passed down to future generations. ~ Patrick Calhoun, President CCIS    Click HERE to view the first installment.



The monthly serialization of the book is now available for current members of the CCIS. Log into the members area of the web site to view.


Not a member? 


Become a member of the Clan Colquhoun and get get access to this article join here