The history of Clan Young is somewhat brief and its corresponding society has a humble and modern origin. Depending upon one’s source or reference, Young is historically and currently the 13th to 20th most common surname in Scotland. It is actually more prevalent in Scotland than in England. It is found primarily south of an imaginary line drawn between the Firths of Forth and Clyde plus along the northeastern coast (from Dundee and Perth to Aberdeen). Although being so prevalent in population, Young was never historically a recognized clan in Scotland. It was one of many primarily Lowland Scottish families with many unconnected branches and few to no leading noblemen or historic figures. Available published references from the late 19th and 20th centuries listed Young as a dormant clan.
Clan Young was founded in 1988-89 by the late Edward Anderson Young III, together with four other men from the USA and Scotland. Edward Young had previously contacted the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, Scotland and procured permission to re-convene the clan. Research of Scottish history coupled with details provided by the Lord Lyon himself revealed that there was one prominent family in Scottish history with this surname. The leading figure of this family was Sir Peter Young of Auldbar. His father John Young, born in 1497, was a leading merchant and burgess in Edinburgh and the borough of Dundee. His second son, Peter (1567-1628), was well educated in Switzerland and subsequently appointed as one of the tutors for King James VI of Scotland (who subsequently became James I of England). When this James ascended the throne, he reportedly considered Peter to have been his favorite tutor. He accordingly knighted Peter and awarded him the estate of Auldbar in Perthshire.
Official approval was given by the Lord Lyon to our convener Edward Young and his fellow founders to use Peter Young’s crest and motto for the newly founded Clan Young. Since then, we consider him to be the progenitor of our clan. In 1992, the Scottish Tartan Society in Comrie, Scotland granted a Certificate of Accreditation for the Young tartan. Illustrations of our modern and weathered tartans are provided with this article. The narrow multicolored over-stripe is based upon a tartan designed by a descendent of Sir Peter Young in 1726. It is the Christina Young tartan and is featured on a woman’s shawl. The original garment is currently housed and on display at the Tartan Museum in Comrie, Scotland. This third Young tartan is also shown. Since the date of our inception, Clan Young has grown significantly and we now have members in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as in the USA.
At present, Clan Young does not have a chief. Several years ago, we had a candidate, Stuart Young of the UK, step forward and begin the application process. He was reportedly a descendant of Sir Peter Young. Stuart went out one morning for his daily run and tragically suffered a fatal heart attack. Since then we have been seeking another suitable candidate. It should also be mentioned that the earliest historic reference to the surname Young in Scotland has been found to occur in the eastern portion of Roxburghshire in the Borders during the 13th century. Many of the Young’s from this area of Scotland were admittedly participants who engaged in reiving activities for several centuries before the ascension of the aforementioned King James VI (James I) to the thrones of both England and Scotland. The present Lord Lyon has indicated to us that a descendant of the historic families from the Scottish Borders could be a legitimate candidate to become our clan chief. At the present, we are looking into this possibility.
The origin of the Clan Young tartan can be traced back to the Christina Young Arasaid Plaid from pre-Culloden days. As an arasaid, it was primarily used for household linens and not suitable for use as men’s clothing. The historic piece of this tartan with Christina’s initials (CY) and the date 1726 now resides with the Scottish Tartan Society. It is the largest piece of tartan to survive the banning of tartans in Scotland.
In 1992 Clan Young was granted a Certificate of Accreditation for the new Young tartan based on the Christina Young.
The modern version uses a blue and green background and the same multi-colored strip from the Christina Young tartan.
The weathered version is different only in the shade of thread used. Ancient colors are an attempt to approximate the vegetable dyes originally used in making tartan cloth. The weathered colors go a step further by attempting to produce the colors of vegetable dyes after they had naturally faded.