The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records


The word slogan (from the Gaelic slughorn, or battle-cry) is used for any motto derived from a battle-cry. A Scottish lord or laird will frequently have two armorial mottos, one of which is usually a slogan.

There doesn't seem to be any consistency with clan mottos - some are Latin, some Gaelic and some French.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottos first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

There are four languages that mottos are normally written in. These are; Old or heraldic French. This is because heraldry started in France and therefore the language used to describe crests and Coat of Arms was French. All Coats of Arms are described in the French language. The second language is Latin. This was the language of the church and scholars. The third was English. The final language used for Scottish mottos was the Gaelic language, the language of the people but it is surprisingly rare to find Gaelic mottos. Since the Clan motto is the motto selected by the Clan Chief these can change at his/her discretion. Old mottos are not incorrect they are just a little out of date for the new Chief.

A list of Douglas mottos can be found here>>> (In English, Latin, French and Scots.

So, where did Jamais arrière come from?

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Try again, Russell.  It should be OK now. Thank you for notifying me.

Yes , it works now William ,Thanks.

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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