Just Kilt Me! What tartan can I wear?

Welcome to Just Kilt Me where you will find custom made Killer Kilts and branded custom apparel.  People often ask what Tartan can I wear?  Am I culturally appropriating if I wear a Kilt and I am not Scottish or Irish.. The answer to both … you can wear whatever tartan you like and no. Sure there are some sticklers out there who say only wear X kilt but be told if you look back into ancestry it really doesn’t matter.  At a minimum you have over 4000 10th great grandparents, lines crossover all the time and you will find if you go back even several generations your parents are distantly related cousins. With most of your friends you will find out that you are related to each other somewhere in the last 300 years.  If you go back about 100 years and you have at least one European Ancestor you are descended from 80% of everyone who was alive in Europe at the time and that accounts for the 20% who left no descendants. The video link easily describes this, it is called the Identical Ancestor Point, “A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are related to the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. And you wouldn’t have to go back much further to find that everyone in the world is related to each otherhttps://youtu.be/15Uce4fG4R0

Another factor is the Veneti Tribe that came from Brittiany and settled across the British Isles then some of them went back to Brittiany 500 years later. You can read about them and the genetic study in the Tribe Within over at https://www.smashwords.com/ You get a Ebook copy for free with any kilt order

So somewhere in your wibbly wobbly twisty branches of your family tree and your DNA even how diluted is a Scot, Welshmen, Irishmen or another Celt and someone from the Kerrs, Campbells, Stewarts, Balfours, Camerons, etc etc. Either by direct descent, from a marriage of a distant aunt or uncle or some rather distant kin one way or another.  Clans married into other clans all the time, even ones that were mortal enemies of one another, add in the fact that so many numerous clans were founded by sons and sometimes daughters of one man. 

So if you want to get technical you’re entitled to wear any tartan you like because either directly or roundabout you are related to that clan. But where what appeals to you, what you feel drawn to, what you like. Remember Just Kilt It!

In Kilt!

Al Lord Otter

Some thoughts on the Wallace Tartan…

So Wallace translates as Weslhmen or foreign  Briton aka Stratgclyde Briton While possible that the Wallaces were originally Britons from Wales, who came north with David I of Scotland in the eleventh century, another theory is that they were Britons who had settled in Strathclyde in the tenth century. OR possibly both let me explain how:  The Wallace family came to Scotland with several “founding” clans from the Shropshire, Powis, Montgomeryshire area  amongst them were Walter FitzAlan who founded the Stewart Clan and Montogmery and a few others that I will get into later or another time.  Doing a little research and putting connections together which I am rather good at as a amature historian. it is possible that the Wallace Clan was not all one family but a group of Welsh aka Strathclyde Britons who came together up with FitzAlan and collectively founded the Wallace Clan, with some ending up in Ireland or already connected  Then again all the families I am mentioning below could be distant kin to one another if you factor in the Veneti aka The Tribe Within factor.

To begin ~

The name Wallace may come from the Old French word ‘waleis’ meaning a ‘welshman’; Richard Walensis was from the Welsh border area. But the Scottish form of the name may refer to a Strathclyde Briton – early records show the name was common in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire.

Then the Surname Walsh meaning “Briton” or “foreigner”, literally “Welshman” or “Wales”, taken to Ireland by British (Welsh, Cornish and Cumbrian aka Strathclyde Britons) soldiers during and after the Norman invasion of Ireland. They were probably members of Wallace clan 

The surname Breathnach is also associated and means the same as above, one connection may be the FitzGerlads who descend from Nest ferch Rhys ap Tewdwr was the daughter of the last king of South Wales by his wife, Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn of Powys. Both of those line tie back to Cunedda which lead back to The Strathclyde Britons of the Yr Hen Ogledd

The Edwards surname has its founding in Wales but is also in Scotland around the Strathclyde area

The surname Reid  is a nickname meaning ‘red haired one’ from a person with reddish hair. Variants include Read, Reade, Reed, Red and Readman. Many of the Britons in that area were known for red hair

The Burnett family comes from the reference to dark brown hair, again a trait of the Britons,Another proposed origin of the name is from brunette, a high quality wool cloth originally dyed too dark brown colour  They came to the area of the Wallace’s and FitzAlan around the same time. Interesting one of their tartans is similar to Wallace

The Mathesons name comes from the gaelic ‘Mic Mathghamhain’ meaning ‘son of the bear’  The Bear is attributed to Cunedda himself and the legendary King Arthur who many attribute to Owain Danwyn, grandson of Cunedda  whose honorific title was The Bear “yr arth aka ArthUr”  Cunedda of course  leads back to The Strathclyde Britons of the Yr Hen Ogledd

The Scrymgeours were standard bearers from their early Celtic origins, as it was customary for Celtic armies to be accompanied by sacred holy relics that were borne by a hereditary keepers.

The Galbraith family The name is derived from the elements gall (“stranger”) + Breathnach (“Briton”), meaning “British foreigner”. The elements used in the surname would denote the differences between the Gaels—who have been generally thought to have begun migration to Scotland in about the 5th century—and the native Welsh speaking Britons, particularly those of the Kingdom of Strathclyde In Scottish Gaelic the Galbraiths are called Breatanuich or Clann-a-Bhreatannuich, meaning “Britons” and “Children of the Britons”  Similar to that of the others 

The surname Corbett is attributed to the Dark Raven or Cough which is a symbol of King Arthur and that of Cornwall. Cornwall is also known as West Wales and was settled by the Celtic Britons

Lastly the surname Ward aka Mac an Bhaird MacAward and , McWard, MacEward, comes from son of the Bard of which the Bards recorded history of the Celtic Britons and where a branch of the Druids 

So the Kindred that made up Clan Wallace at its founding  were of course: Walies/Welsh, Walsh, FitzGerald/Maurice, Edwards, Reid, Burnett, Matheson, Galbraith, Scrymgeours, Corbett and Ward. 

I do like putting connections together and it does make sense to make those connections between those surnames and clans that some if not all of them made up the Clan Wallace and are entitled to wear the Tartan  as well as their own. There are too the Breton Veneti connection but that’s way detailed in DNA and I would rather leave that to the book The Tribe Within.

Clans were all about marriages, distant kinships and smaller clans/families seeking the protections of larger clans such as the MacDonald who have over 100 associates or septs.  It may be a stretch what I propose but the connections are there it is a possibility. It always boils down to wear what tartan you like chances are that particular clan is in your family tree one way or another either by direct lines or one of the many wibbly wobbly branches, or by distant marriage. One always has to keep in mind the IAP  Identical Ancestor Point where aboutg 700 odd years or so if you have at least ONE European ancestor in your tree you are descended from 80 percent of the population. Here is the link to the video explaining that https://youtu.be/15Uce4fG4R0

The Otter Tartan

JustKiltme.com is pleased to announce  the exclusive Otter Tartan! The official name in Gaelic Breacan Dobhran was designed by the proprietor who has claim to the title Baron Of Otter;  a kilt/ tartan expert and historian whose clan bears the Otter on their Arms, Clan Balfour. The Otter Tartan is in deference to clan Balfour and it’s branches Arms along with clans and families that bear the Otter in Heraldry from Lutrell, Fullerton, MacBeath;  along with numerous others who have the Otter in their Heraldry and Clan mythology. The Tartan also pays deference to the Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Breton and Norse heraldry, mythology and Legends that include Otters, the Lochs, Streams and Sea where the Dyfrgi (Water dogs)  live and play in lore.   

The colours Black, Brown, White and Blue pay homage to the wee creatures that delight us so; and the legend of brenin dyfrgwn saith dyfrgi du. Otter king seven black otters. Found in Irish, Welsh and   Scottish legend and tales of ‘Otter Kings’ who were accompanied by seven black otters. When captured, these beasts would grant any wish in exchange for their freedom. But their skins were also prized for their ability to render a warrior invincible, and were thought to provide protection against drowning. Luckily, the Otter Kings were hard to kill, their only vulnerable point being a small point below their chin. The tartan also pays homage the whole kinship of the clans, septs, surnames associated with Otters, the love of Otters, a true Dobhran Coibhneil (Gaelic) Carennydd y Dyfrgi (Welsh)  Kindred of Otters.

A special Heraldic Arms have been created for the Tartan and the Kindred designed by Chris Onyeaghor, with the motto of  “vivet vita ad plenissimam” “Live Life To The Fullest” which Otters do.

This Exclusive Tartan was masterly woven by the Master Weaver at our Just Kilt Me “Partners In Tartan” WoodTex International.

Monies raised from the sale of the Kilt will help benefit Otter Conservation Efforts of The International Otter Survival Fund  https://www.otter.org/Public/ along with The River Otter Ecology Project riverotterecology.org     and for the Otter Habitat at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium  https://www.columbuszoo.org/

The Kilt retail sfor $175.00 USD available on www.justkiltme.com 

With purchase you will become aelod o ddyfrgi caredig.. Member of Kindred Otter, an official membership certificate that you helped Otters and signifying you are a member of the kindred with the right to bear the Kindred Arms signed by Baron Otter 

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Check out the NEW blog  https://kiltsheritageculture.wordpress.com/

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Clans… Tartans and Their Connections

Clans and their connections   for various reasons clans are connected with other ones , sometime smaller clans seek the protection of larger like MacDonald which is the largest and have most septs aka subbranches.  Alliance and marriage along with similar origin explain why clans often share tartans not only as septs “entitled to wear” or by similar origin are 99 percent identical (most tartans there are less than 10 percent different). One has to factor in that when most of these tartans were designed the available colours were limited too.

The following have either similar to identical origins  or branched off from in the case of one son started clan X  and and another started clan Y ; married into one way or another  or have a Kindred Connection which I will go into later as that is complicated.

Also one has to consider the Identical Ancestor Point which is basically everyone that was alive in Europe in the 9th century who left descendants, which accounts for about 80 percent of the population is the ancestor of every single person alive today who has at least one European ancestor in their tree.  You can read more on this and watch a video too at.  

So in a nutshell you can really wear whatever Tartan you like because thanks to the IAP you are their descendants  or related somehow if that particular clan started later think of it as your X number great uncle or aunt in some cases started a clan or married into. 

Check out Clan Fletcher 

The name Fletcher is derived from the French word flechier from where they origin , which means arrow maker. The name was a very common trade name, so much so that it became used in the Scottish Gaelic language as fleisdear.  Their skill as arrow makers were rather sought after, they married into and Served such clans as MacGregor, Stewart and the Campbells along with the Arhurs . They wear mainly the Tartans of the MacGregors and Campbells. 

Campbell Tartan

Clan Arthur

Clan Arthur aka MacArhur/McArthur have the same Origin as the Campbells in a willy wobbly way.

In a nutshell Clan Arthurs are descent from a son of Arthur thus the Mac or Mc meaning son of…. since Arthur was an honourific known as The Bear would it be Clan MacBear?

The legends of King Arthur are well known and historically contradictory. From the Welsh-speaking areas of Strathclyde (in which Glasgow now lies), Rheged and Gododdin (in which Edinburgh now lies), the earliest surviving Scottish poem tells of the resistance leader Arthur fighting against the English of Northumbria when they defeated Gododdin. When Scotland’s Welsh-speaking Kingdoms were wiped out the language returned to Wales and Cornwall This all makes since Cunedda came from Manaw Gododdin to Wales in order to fight the Irish invaders, he established the Gwynedd Kingdom and progenitor to the various Welsh kingdoms, one way or another they were Cadet BranchesHis Grandson  Owain Danwyn (Old Welsh Danguin, also spelled Ddanwyn, Ddantgwyn, etc., meaning “White Tooth”), is known from several medieval genealogies of the kings of Rhos. Which is located in the North of Wales not far from Northumbria.  Numerous historians and scholars say that Owain Danwyn was the Historical King Arthur (which gives him the Scottish connection through his lineage). The theory is based on British power structure in the 5th century, and interpretations of names and epithets associated with Owain’s family., “Arthur” was Owain’s honorific title, meaning “Bear”, and his capital was Viroconium in Shropshire, England **  The forename Arthur may owe its origins to the Greek word “arktouros” meaning keeper of the bears and in the Celtic world it came to mean “strong as a bear”

One son was  Cynlas Goch, another returned to Strathclyd and founded Clan MacArthur (son of Arthur or Son of Bear) and resettled in Argyll ;  in the 1200’s MacArthur married the heiress of Duncan mac Duibhne. Later the Clanh Ua Duibhne carried the nickname Cam beul. So through the MacArthurs came the Campbells.   A Branch of the Arthurs became the hereditary Pipers and married into Clan Donald aka MacDonald 

The MacArthurs have their own Tartan which is practically identical to one of the Campbells, so MacArthur’s/Arthurs wear Campbell of Argyll (the identical one) and that of McDonalds (who have the most septs/subbranches of any Clan) 

**the Roman city of Viroconium (corresponding with Wroxeter) was fortified in about the same time as the foregoing. An inscription bearing the name of a former king – Cunorix – indicates that the city was occupied by the Cunedda family of the Votadini. The ‘CUN’ prefix indicates this as indeed the ‘RIX’ suffix is a variant of -‘REX’ (King). The inscription – Cunorix macus Maquicoline (King Cuno, son of Maquicoline[?] -this last name is damaged) The stone has been dated to circa AD 480, indicating that Viroconium was flourishing in the time of Arthur. Other evidence dates the abandonment of Viroconium to circa AD 520 – an entirely plausible date for the battle of Camlann(n).

Since it seems the Clan Campbell owes its start to The MacArthurs it is only fitting that these tartans are associaed

BlackWatch by Campbell Chief’s rule the only official Campbell but it disputed by many

Campbell of Argyll also worn by Clan MacArthur

Check out Clan Kelly… Kelloe, a barony in the lands of Home in Berwickshire,Kelly, near Arbroath; and Kellie, in Fife. and Northumbria   They married into branch of MacDonald and wear their tartan

My journey to kilts

The Journey To Kilts….. How Just Kilt Me came about..

By professioin I am a publicist, something I have been doing since 1992, in the mid 80’s I was in 2 different New Wave Bands, in 1990 on a trip to the UK I sat next to who turned out to be a publicist named Shirley McLean.   She is the one who got me started on the PR journey after a conversation via telephone when I was in the UK.. She had given me her number on the pklane and told me to call. She asked what did I do and told her I worked for Wendys.. She asked if I would like to Scout talent for EMI UK she could set me up,. Once I got back to Toledo OH we chatted again (early in the am when it was cheap for a internatonal call) and set me up with EMI  UK. I went around Toledo, Chicago and Detroit listenig to bands, submitting reports to EMI UK, all while living in OHIO before the age of the internet and did all right at it, After about 2 years of doing it I was tired of it and asked her how do I become a publicist, she immmediately took me under her wing and I workd with her on a variety of international projects, a few movies as her assistant never really do anything on my own; she also introduced to me PR legend Lynn Franks via the phone, Lynn was great and she asssinged me to work wiht a lady name Tilly.  Once again from Toledo OH before the age of the interent I workd on projects with Tilly and still Shirley, early long distance phone calls, ticking away on the typwriter, going to the post office, libary to look things up, fax machines etc. all while still working at Wendys and later down the road other jobs.

I finally went on my own in 1995  doing PR and varous part time jobs  it wasn’t unitl 2001 I went full time in PR. Any one who tells you being self employed is easy is lying to you . It has been a good journey that I still love and continue to do.

When it comes to kilts and my love for them that is all tied in with my family histroy   I alway knew one famly branch came from Wales and I loved everything British, the Royals, British things like food and tv, phrases and writing.  I always thought kitls were cool and loved the bagpipes. After years and years of family research, filling in the tree and getting my DNA done did things really get intereting,. While my “British” percent wasn’t as big as I thought my overall NW European and French/German side was a lot more (keep in mind the Current Royal family is basically German)  For quick reference Broadly NW European streachs from Ireland, Icleand, The British Isles, France, Breton, Germany, and the Norse Countries, it just means your dna is too interetwined to pin down. Doing my tree I discoved that the majoriity of my ancestors in the UK and that stems from Wales, Scotland and England, were of: Norman, French, Flemish, Danish, Saxon and Norse origin. During a long period of Brisith history both Willam I of England and David I of Scotland were offering lands to those who would help protect the land,  a huge number of Scottish clans are of those origin and of course they all married into various local populations. My Welsh and Irish side are scattred with those gentic infulencs too but have deep historical roots of the Brythonic inhabitants too. See DNA is good to do but one has to do the trees also as it explains in better detail how ancestry comes about. Then you have to keep in mind the whole Identical Ancestor Point which is basically if you have ONE European Ancestor if you go back 800 years you are descendant from 80 percent of the population; the further you go back the more people you are related to but the less people there are in the world; Lines cross over and cousins marry cousins have been the norm  on your tree you will proably discover your 2 or 3 times great grandparents were 3 or 4th cousins and maybe did not know it. In a nutshell there is a connection between everyone which leads in to wear what ever tartan you like because chances are one way or another you are releated to that particualr clan.

I may have gone to far on how I got into kilts but to know the background and the ancestal ties is important to know as it fuels my love and passion for them

Kilts are great there is a connection to history, to ancestors and heritage, it is something tangible 

So you know I am a publicist and have numerous clients including fashion,, ah ha the kilt thing comes into play,   I starrted with one kilt the Royal Stewart a few years later I got another then another then went on a kilt craze  and got 5 which seems lke a lot unitl you realise how many I have at the moment. Since I had kilts and knew of family connections I wanted to promote a kilt maker  after numerous attempts to be a brand amabssodar for a kilt company to reaching out to various kilt makers about team ups and promotions that were not successful the idea started to flurish I should just do this myself.  

So I did…  i started to formulate my passion first thing I had to do was to find a supplier that would work with me and I wouldn’t have to go broke doing this.,  After lots of research and digging into suppliers and kilt makers I was fortunate to find a actual Tartan Weaving Mill that were also kilt makers with master tailors as a added bonus they have been in the Tartan buisness for about 60 years, the owners father started the buisness and he was trained in Scotland at one of the oldest Tartan Weaving MIlls in the country,

The next step was coming up wth a name .. there was only just one Just Kilt Me!  It’s a fantastic play on words that brings my passion right to the point. Finding a very talented web designer that wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg one local lad who I had chatted to occassionaly at the local Kroger by the name of Lem, was doing samples for Quorn  (a great Vegetarian product btw). Long story short I was telling him what I was doing, he said he did websites and would love to and not charge me a lot… So there ya go. I enlisted my graphic designer who I have been working with for over a decade to get a logo.. He also created a number of promo designs to put on social media.  Then a few months later I launched it all!

It’s a slow but steady build, as we Brit’s say “slow and steady wins the race!”  Kilts are a cerain Niche’ but I intend to change that to be every day wear for guys and gals!  All of our kilts are custome made to order (unlike so many of them out there) they are durable and will last decades so it is sustainable not throw away fashion.  They look good on everyone, and comfortable to wear along with being good for all types of weather. Most importanly they are affordable made of an excellent Poly Viscoe blend  (all natural and sustainable).

In this day when people leave house wearing sweat pants aka joggers, pj bottoms, bedroom slippers to go to class, work, the store (now mind you there is always an exception to the rule like you’re sick, going to hospial etc) genarally looking like a bunch of slobs it is time we start to look our best again.   Growing up Mum wouldn’t let me leave the hosue looking sloppy, that is something everyone should keep in mind everything they step out that door. Are you pants droopy? Really Sweat Pants? Slippers? NO.. it is time to Simply Look Better, it is time to Kilt UP!

Justkiltme.com carries over 70 tartan choices, many are rare and hard to find that others simply do not carry, that is one advantage to being partners with a Tartan Weavinng Mill.  Kilts, Utility Kilts, Tartan Trousers, Billie Kilts aka the Mini Skirt, Vests, Argyll and the more formal Prince Charlie Jackets that are available in Tweed or Barathea Wool Blend which are all Custom Made To Measurements.  Additionally cusstom made Tartan bow ties and traditional ties, and pocket squares are avaialbe as add on’s . Any Taratan can be put on a Sporran too as an add on to orders as well.  

One special Taran that is being woven now is the exclusive to Justkiltme.com and designed by the proprietor  The Otter Tartan known in Gaelic as Breacan Dobhran. Designed in defference to Otters in Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Norse and Celitc mytholgy and clan/family heraldry and traditions. In particualr the Legend of the Ottter King and the 7 Black Otters.  Along with of course in love of the playful, cleaver Otters theirselves. The Colours of Black, Brown, White and Blues represent the affetionatly known Dyfrgi (Water Dogs) along with the Seas, Rivers and Lochs where they live and play. A Portion of the proceeds from this Exclusive Tartan will go to beneifit Otter Conservation Chairites. 

Hopefull this gives you some insight to the journey of the kilt, why and how I got involved in this

Kilt UP!

Allen, Baron of Otter.. Lord Gwyddelwern