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Quest for a New Commander

We Watsons are what is known as an armigerous family or clan; that is to say, we once had a chief of our name but that is no longer that case. Indeed, the last registered chief of the name, James Watson of Saughton, died in 1823, none of his heirs rematriculated his arms, and his sole surviving heir - his daughter, Helen - became a Douglas when she married Lord Aberdour. It has now been six generations since a descendant of this line carried the last name of Watson.

Through our research, we have confirmed who is the most senior eligible heir to the title of Chief of the Name of Watson, and he has indicated that he is not intending to petition the Lord Lyon for the title. In 2021, the Lord Lyon updated his guidance on the process for appointing a chief of the name in the event that no eligible heir is available to petition for the title. In this case, it is necessary to petition the Lord Lyon to recognise a commander of the name, whose role is two-fold: Firstly, to rebuild the clan or family, and secondly, to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the search for an eligible heir to the chiefship.

We take on board the findings of COSCA, which determined that the presence or not of a chief of the name has no influence on the success of clan societies such as ours; however, we also take on the feedback that some of our members would like to see a chief reinstated. Before we even think about engaging with the Court of the Lord Lyon with regards to appointing a commander as an intermediate step, it is essential that we establish whether there is sufficient support for such an appointment. We will have to demonstrate to the Lord Lyon that there is support from a considerable number of Watsons across the globe. We are well on the way to building a suitable member base in terms of numbers, and our next step is to establish whether enough of those members support the appointment of a commander. Finding and agreeing on a suitable candidate and proposing them to the Lord Lyon are way, way down the line!

This is where you come in!

We need as many Watsons and name variants as possible to give us their views by filling in the survey below. If both a sizeable percentage of our membership and significant number of people vote for the appointment of a commander of the name, we will initiate discussions with the Lord Lyon. If not, we will drop the idea. In either outcome, our primary focus will be on rebuilding our family and this society and on conducting our research; rest assured that these things will not change regardless of which way the vote goes.

Whatever you view, to make your feelings on this matter heard, please fill in the form below.

Information submitted here will be held in a dedicated database. Email addresses will not be added to our mailing list - you will need to sign up separately. Approximate locations of voters (but not their names) will be added to a dedicated Google map. Should a sufficient number of votes be cast in favour of appointing a commander of the name, the map will be shared with an Officer of the Lord Lyon as will the list of voters should it be requested. The database will not be shared with anyone else nor used for any purpose other than that stated here. If you wish to amend or remove your responses after submitting them, please contact us.

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* Note that virtual access will be arranged for any meetings

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