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CASSOC Symposium for Growth and Success: Heritage and Genealogy

The Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC) 2023 Symposium for Growth and Success includes online sessions for Member Connections, (October 28, 2023), Volunteers and Events (November 19, 2023), Heritage (December 16, 2023), and Sustainability (January 20, 2024.)

Pre-registration is required. The full fee of $50 is required for non-CASSOC members. Attendance is free for all who are in member organizations of Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada. Attendance for member organizations of Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA) is available for $20 per organization. There is no restriction for how many individuals from an eligible organization can register. One fee is required for each organization and each individual needs to register separately and do not share join links. Membership in CASSOC is only available to groups and organizations including clans, families, societies, highland games, festivals and businesses. Membership is NOT restricted to Canadian organizations. Sorry, individual memberships are not available at this time.

This is a summary of the third session, Heritage and Genealogy


The meeting centered on the significance of heritage and history within clans, with an emphasis on preserving and promoting history through merchandise.

Clan Johnston/e's Genealogy Focus and Merchandising Partnership

Paul Johnston, President and Chief Commissioner, Clan Johnston/e in America

Paul shared how his personal interest in history was sparked by Clan Johnston/e's genealogy, and the strategies the clan uses to engage with heritage. Paul discussed Clan Johnston/e's shift from operating a manual and online store to a partnership with the House of Tartan in Scotland.

Clan Research and Discovery

Bill Lennox, Director and Treasurer, Clan McFarlane Worldwide

Bill shared their enthusiasm for genealogy research and how the clan uses DNA testing to help members discover more about their family history. Bill discussed how their online store, Kilton Lantern, funds various research projects and initiatives, including archaeological research and scholarships.

DNA Testing, Genealogy and finding one's ancestral roots

Lucas McCaw, Heritage Secretary & DNA Coordinator, Clan MacAulay Association

Lucas shared his passion for genealogy and his work on DNA testing to help people uncover their ancestral roots. Lucas also mentioned that Clan MacAulay provides funds for DNA projects through donations from members. Lucas discussed the importance of DNA testing for genealogy research.

Modernizing Traditional Organizations: Balancing Heritage and Accessibility

Matt Buchanan, Vice President - Clan Buchanan International

Matt stressed the importance of sharing and modernizing the history of traditional organizations, including incorporating women's stories and contemporary events. They also discussed the importance of making heritage and history more engaging and accessible to the younger generation through interactive tools. Matt emphasized the value of collaboration among clans and the need for genealogists to establish a network to prevent misinformation in family trees.

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