Clan Mackenzie calls for members to join Highland Games

Aboyne Highland Games marks its 151st year today. PIC: www.geograph.co.uk
Aboyne Highland Games marks its 151st year today. PIC: www.geograph.co.uk
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A Scottish clan wants to draw large numbers of its members to a Highland Games today.

Clan Mackenzie will gather in its ancient Upper Deeside heartlands at Aboyne Highland Games today.

It is the first time the clan will be represented at the event, which is now in its 151st year.

Clan officials have called on all those with the surname Mackenzie or any of its septs, including Charleson, Kynoch, MacBeath, MacKenna and Murchison, to join them at the Deeside games.

READ MORE: A history of Scotland’s Highland Games

They hope the ‘Outlander effect’ created by the popular TV show will drive interest in the clan’s history among visitors.

The relationship between Clan Mackenzie and Clan Fraser underpins several characters and storylines in the show.

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The Mackenzie clan’s roots lie in Ross-shire and Kintail but it was almost one of the most important clans in Upper Deeside between the 15th and 18th Centuries, according to Graeme Mackenzie, a clan historian and chairman of the Association of Highland Clans & Societies

By 1911, the nominal census shows that the name Mackenzie was amongst the most common in Upper Deeside at the time.

The clan’s connection to the Deeside area is recognised through two north-east buildings.

In the 15th century, Kenneth Mackenzie the Younger built the first laird’s house at Dail Mhor, later referred to as Dalmore and now part of the Mar Lodge Estate, where the clan remained for almost 300 years.

While Charles Mackenzie Fraser inherited Castle Fraser from his aunt, Elyza Fraser, in the late 18th century. He was responsible for much of the building’s remodelling between 1820 and 1850.

Amongst the other clans joining Clan Mackenzie in the Clan Village at Aboyne Highland Games will be Clan Fraser.

Although there has been a close historical relationship between the Mackenzies and the Frasers, the Outlander series and the associations it portrays between the clans are fictional.

However, the show has sparked global interest in both the Mackenzie and Fraser clans.