Clan Matheson DNA Project

The name Matheson comes from the Gaelic MacMathan (Mathgamna), meaning "son of the bear." The MacMathans established their stronghold in Lochalsh, Wester Ross, in the Scottish Highlands in the 13th century. By the 15th Century, the Mathesons constituted a major Clan and the Chief could raise 2,000 fighting men. The present Chief is Major Sir Fergus Matheson of Matheson, the 7th Baronet.
The purpose of the Matheson DNA project is to create links from Mathesons around the world and our original ancestors in Scotland. It will assist Mathesons and other historically related groups to find cousins, determine family location and movement, and determine clan branch or cadet line. We are also interested in sharing with other project managers concerned with Scottish Highland genealogy. If you have questions, e-mail: alicefairhurst AT
We have already determined that the Matheson clan is composed of both Celtic and Norwegian Viking stock. Many different progenitors joined together to take on the Matheson name and support the clan. We have found no connection between the DNA signatures of Clan MacKenzie and Clan Matheson, thus making it less likely that they were both descended from sons of Coinneach MacMhathain who is mentioned in the Norse saga of the expedition of the King of Norway against Scotland in 1263 as Kjarnak, son of Makamal.
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See current Project Results.