Even though the surname Jam?son is patronymic, meaning the "son of James," and was created spontaneously, worldwide - its spelling is in English. Therefore, not surprisingly almost all people using the surname "Jam?son" in any of its various spelling permutations, can be found with their oldest roots in the British Islands. Mentions of use of the name go way back, throughout the entire area, particularly in Scotland where there are references to the name MacKames or Machamish, in Gaelic, before it was anglicized into English.

Because the name is so old and has so much of its roots in Scotland it can be assumed that those using the surname would have had some relationship with the clan structure and culture so prevalent and important in especially the highlands of old Scotland. In early times, clans were an essential way of life and sometimes the only form of rule. There is however no record or tradition of there ever having been a "Clan Jam?son." There were several well known Jam?son families who in some cases acted like clans, particularly in the 'Border" areas, but none that ever achieved the status and importance of what we know of as a "clan."

Jam?son families were however part of many better known clans, and important enough in at least two clans, Gunn and Stewart (Stuart of Bute, as well) to be considered a "sept" of those clans. The Gunns were a true highland clan from the far north east around Sunderland and the Stewarts and Stuarts more in the Edinburgh and Glasgow areas as well as the western Islands, especially Bute. The Stewarts were the royal clan, and the Jam?sons associated with them are often thought to have been part of that group. This is especially relevant considering that the ruling Stewarts were often named James. All those King Jameses, both Scottish and English were "Stewarts." Say nothing of the persistent stories of perhaps some illegitimate children of any of these "James" monarchs, ending up as Jamesons. Indeed, there are several known early Jam?son families who spelled their name oddly as "Jamesone." Perhaps modern DNA testing will tell.

It is important to know however, that not all Jam?sons living today can be certain that their Jam?son family is descended from a Scottish Clan, or from any possibility of royalty. In fact, it is not always certain that anyone with the surname "Jam?son" is even descended from a Scottish family. Good genealogy research and DNA records are the only way that will ever be proven.


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