Origin of Name
The tartan below is of the MacDonald Clan. The surname POTTS, in Scotland, is said to have developed from the surname Philpott. The Philpotts were from the Clan MacKillop and the MacKillops are a sept (a clan within a clan) of the MacDonalds. The MacKillops have their own tartan as do the MacDonalds of Glencoe and the MacDonalds. As a Potts it would not be inappropriate to use any of these tartans.
Whether the origin of the surname POTTS is English or Scottish, I'm not sure. It would appear to me that the name originated in Scotland with the first recordings of it found in England.
The name in Gaelic means 'son of Philip', and members of the clan are said to have been standard-bearers to a branch of the Campbells. Others became septs (a clan within a clan) of the MacDonalds of Glencoe and the MacDonells of Keppoch. The name was also well known in Arran.
The origin of the family name of Potts was Old English (ie. not Norman or Saxon), and as with all such names, it is not possible to even hazard an opinion as to the period of time during which the ancestors of the bearers of the name may have been in Britain. P.H. Reaney, considered the most authoritative writer on British surnames and their origins, in his, "A Dictionary of British Surnames", counters this question with another, "For what period of time would Britain have occupied her present position?" It will therefore be readily understood that the dates of recording of Old English names merely denote the first dates of recording of such names, more often the origins from which the names have developed or derived, in specific areas. They have no bearing whatsoever on the period of time during which the ancestors of the bearers of these names being in Britain, or for that matter in the counties in which they were first recorded.
It is also brought to attention that it is not possible to separate with complete accuracy names of Pictish, Celtic, Gaelic or Anglo-Saxon origin. In the strict sense of the Term Old English does denote (not Norman or Saxon), but whilst Norman origins can be determined, because the Anglo-Saxons were in Britain more than five centuries prior to the Norman invasion and conquest of Britain under William I (William the Conqueror) in 1066, it will be readily understood that at least some names of Anglo-Saxon origin would have been noted as Old English by Norman recorders only because they were known to have been in Britain prior to the Norman invasion five centuries later.
The origin of the name was first noted and recorded in Britain in the year 1115, being noted to the person of Godwin Richard Pot in the County of Hampshire, and the styling of 'Potts' did derive from this source. Styled exactly as 'Potts', the name was first recorded to the person of Roger Potts in the County of Yorkshire in the year 1352.
According to 'Scot’s Kith and Kin', the name was also early recorded in Scotland. In this country the name is frequently styled as 'Potts of that Ilk', and though not a ‘sept (a clan within a clan) ’ of any larger clan has strong connection, though marriage, with the MacDonalds of Glencoe. The following information regarding the Clan MacDonald is taken form "Scots Kith and Kin".
Greatest and most widespread of all, Clan Donald has its main roots in the old Gaelic and Pictish times, with additions from the Norsemen just when the curtain of history begins lifting on personalities. There is a legendary ancestor Conn of the Battles, but the first clear one is Somerled, the thane of Argyll to become wellnigh an independent king of the ‘South Isles’ (from Ardnamurchan round to Bute), swaying his naval alliance between the rival powers of Scotland and Norway. In 1135 he helped David I expel the Norse from Arran and Bute, and eventually fell at Renfrew in 1164 when himself invading against Malcolm IV. Of his three sons by a daughter of Olaf, Norse king of the Isle of Man, the eldest founded the MacDougall clan of Lorn, and the next son Reginald or Ranald was ancestor to all the clans that derive name from his eldest son Donald. The descendants of Donald’s eldest son Angus Mor MacDonald formed Clan Donald South centred on Islay. Those of the second son Roderick or Rorie were granted the
Isles North of Arnamuchan after Hakon’s defeat at Largs and the confinement after 1266 of the Norse to Orkney and Shetland.
MacDonald allegiance to the Scottish crown was now unquestionable - so far a it could be induced or enforced. Bruce at Bannockburn granted the clan their jealously upheld honour of position on right of the Scottish battle-array; and in the following reign Angus Mor’s grandson John of Islay reunited the North and South by marrying the MacRorie heiress, and first assumed the Lordship of the Isles.
The MACDONALDS of GLENCOE are descended from John Og, surnamed Fraoch, natural son of Angus Og of Isla, and brother of John,first lord of the Isles. He settled in Glencoe, which is a wild and gloomy vale in the district of Lorn, Argyleshire, as a vassal under his brother, and some of his descendants still possess land there. This branch of the Macdonalds was known as the clan Ian Abrach, it is supposed from one of the family being fostered in LOchaber. After the revolution, MacIan or Alexander Macdonald of Glencoe, was one of the chiefs who supported the cause of King James, having joined Dundee in Lochaber at the head of his clan, and a mournful interest attaches to the history of this tribe from the dreadful massacre, by which it was attepted to exterminate it in February 1692. The story has often been told, but as full details have been given in the former part of this work, it is unnecessary to repeat them here.
The Macdonalds of Glencoe joined Prince Charles on the breaking out of the rebellion in 1745, and General Stewart, in his Sketches of the Highlanders, relates that when the insurgent army lay at Kirkliston, near the seat of the Earl of Stair grandson of Secretary Dalrymple, the prince, anxious to save his Lordship's house and property, and to remove from his followers all excitement and revenge, proposed that the Glencoe-men should be march to a distance, lest the remembrance of the share his grandfather had in the order for the massacre of the clan should rouse them to retaliate on his descendant. Indignant at being supposed capable of wreaking their vengeance on an innocent man, they declared their resolution of returning home, and it was not without much explanation and great persuasion that they were prevented from marching away the following morning.