Clan MacMillan International

Above, MacMillan Ancient Old tartan. See more about Clan MacMillan tartan.

Motto:

To serve Christ and our neighbours.

To learn to help the distressed.

To support our Chief and our clan.

To encourage pride in our heritage.

All members of Clan MacMillan and its septs are eligible to become Companions Regular. A lifetime membership is $500, payment of which may be spaced over five years. With a reduced $250 fee and with our Chief's approval, members' spouses and children are eligible for membership also. Download a Companion application form as a PDF. Contact the CTS Abbot, Blanche McMillan by email with any questions.

CTS Investiture to take place at the Loch Norman Games.

A CTS Investiture will take place at the Loch Norman Games near Charlotte NC. Please contact Blanche McMillan by email if you are interested in joining or have questions.

Clan MacMillan International | Guide to Genealogy of Clan MacMIllan.

Community of the Tonsured Servant (CTS) is a fellowship of MacMillans from around the world supporting our Chief, our Clan, and the Clan MacMillan International Centre at Finlaystone in Scotland. Read more about CTS and its origins below. See a page listing officers, chapter members and companions.

All Companions and their families may share in CTS activities and meetings. Twice yearly communications from the community, plus regional and international gatherings of the companions cultivate lasting friendships. Companions offer their talents for carrying out worthwhile projects which benefit the Clan and the Clan MacMillan International Centre. Induction services for new members are held in various sites around the world by our Chief and Abbot or a deputy as needed. Companions are invested with the community's official regalia and receive beautiful Letters Patent from the Chief and Abbot at their induction.

Who was the Tonsured Servant?

Based on a text by the founding Abbot of CTS Rev. Canon A. Malcolm MacMillan.

The Community of Honour of Clan MacMillan was named for Gilchrist, a married Celtic monk who was probably abbot of a Culdee monastery at Old Spynie near Elgin, Moray, Scotland. His Gaelic name is translated into English as Servant of Christ, but he was also known by a nickname, Gillemaol, Gaelic for The Tonsured Servant. This nickname was given to him because he persisted in wearing the Celtic form of the tonsure, that of St. John, at a time when David king of Scots, was striving to replace the Celtic Church in Scotland with the Roman Church, and the Celtic tonsure with the Benedictine tonsure of St. Peter.

Gilchrist was the progenitor or founder of Clan MacMillan and his nickname is preserved in our surname. Gillamaol became Molini in Latin, and then Millan in English. Gilchrist's son, Malcolm, was first to bear the surname MacMillan, Mac being Gaelic for "son", and thus Son of the Tonsured Servant. The MacMillans are said to be descended from Macbeth, King of Scots, through Airbertach and his son Cormac, last Celtic Abbot and the first Catholic Bishop of Dunkeld. Cormac, Gilchrist's father, converted to Rome but Gilchrist evidently refused to follow his father's example, and so was banished to Lochaber by King David.

Cormac and Gilchrist are mentioned in the 12th Scots Gaelic land transaction notes found in the margins of a ninth century Latin text of a unique illuminated manuscript, The Book of Deer, now in the Library of Cambridge University in England. The Community of the Tonsured Servant seeks to honour the heritage bequeathed us by Gilchrist.

The History of the Community.

Father MacThe CTS, a community of honour within Clan MacMillan, was founded at Chautauqua, NY, USA, in 1995 at a clan gathering hosted by the Rev. Canon A. Malcolm MacMillan - an Episcopal priest known to all as "Father Mac".  In September 1994 Father Mac, his wife Sally and their three children visited Scotland ending with a visit to the recently opened Clan MacMillan International Centre at Finlaystone. While there, Father Mac was impressed with the amount of work - both physical and genealogical - that had been done at the Clan Centre, but he was also concerned about the amount of work that remained and the pressing lack of funds. Father Mac's arrival at the chief's home followed shortly after the first Clan MacMillan Conclave, which had been wrestling with the problem of how to fund Clan Centre activities - such as the creation of a website, compilation of Project MAOL, and publication of an International Newsletter/Magazine - all designed to bring together the branches of the clan around the world.

When he returned home, Father Mac thought that one way to raise money, and also educate MacMillans about their history and to make them aware of the Clan MacMillan International Centre, was to create the "Community of the Tonsured Servant". CTS is patterned after a Celtic religious community because the Clan’s progenitor Gilchrist was a Celtic priest. Father Mac saw it as a partial answer to the practical problem of supporting the Clan Centre, as well as an expression of the religious and charitable principles with which Clan MacMillan has always been associated. The honour of belonging to this exclusive community brings with it the benefit of lectures and seminars about the clan and its history at regular gatherings in Scotland, Canada, or the United States, at which enduring international friendships are celebrated in relaxed and convivial circumstances. As such, it helps foster Clan sentiment and raises money to assist the Clan MacMillan Centre.

In 1997, Father Mac retired for health reasons. Chief George MacMillan chose Blanche McMillan (Mrs. John B.) of Burlington, ON, Canada to succeed him as Abbot. The changeover took place at the Clan MacMillan Gathering of North America  (CMSNA) in Ottawa, Canada, that year. Father Mac was made Abbot Emeritus at the CMSNA Gathering in Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Banner Elk, N.C. USA in 1998 and received honoris causa at the Gathering in Scotland in 2000 at St. Ninian’s Priory, Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland. The moving and colourful investiture ceremonies devised by Father Mac have been held over the years in several historic buildings in Scotland - Dunkeld Cathedral, Finlaystone House, St. Ninian's Priory, and Iona Abbey - and also in North American Presbyterian kirks, Episcopal churches, Methodist chapels, Catholic churches and University Chapels, featuring MacMillan clergy from various denominations, and Companions from many continents. 

Father Mac continued to play an active part in CTS until his death in 2008. We owe him a huge debt for his initiative in creating CTS. With its international fellowship and charitable works, the Community aspires to be the living embodiment of the Clan MacMillan motto, Miseris succurrere disco - "I learn to help the distressed".