By the 16th century there was a recognised Clan with it's own Chief. However, in around 1650 the Clan Forsyth entered historical darkness when the ships of Oliver Cromwell carrying the records of all the Clans as spoils of war, sank off Berwick upon Tweed. The then Chief failed to re-establish his claim to the name and his Armorial bearings when Charles II instituted a public register of the Clans in 1672. So for 300 years there was no Chief and the Clan was unrecognized.
Clan Forsyth Society
Interest in reviving the Clan began in the early years of the Twentieth Century with the formation of a Forsyth Family Association in Glasgow, Scotland.
The ultimate achievement came on St. Andrew's Day 1978 when the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, accepted the claim of Alistair C.W. Forsyth of that Ilk, Baron of Ethie, the rightful candidate, to be Chief of Clan Forsyth and once again recognized Clan Forsyth as one of the old, whole name Clans of Scotland. On that day, Alistair Forsyth, officially became our Chief.
Alistair received the nomination because his family can be traced back fifteen generations to a Fife laird, Andrew Forsyth, who lived near Falkland, where it is known that in the 16th century Forsyths were courtiers of the Scottish Kings at Falkland Palace. It is therefore appropriate that the formal inauguration of the new Chief should have taken place at a service held in Falkland Palace.
The present chief, Alistair Forsyth, restored Ethie castle situated near Arbroath, to be the clan seat making the family motto highly appropriate. Ethie Castle was then sold and now functions as a "Bed & Breakfast", but the Chief retains the right as Baron of Ethie and in the manner of things feudal superior of the castle and with over 100 hectares of land in the barony retains the rights and privileges that that position bestows. Alistair tells us that the slogan of “Ethie” is not inappropriate for when the Act abolishing feudal tenure in Scotland passed, his family retained the title of Baron of Ethie and this has become an hereditary title of the future Chiefs. Alistair and Ann have since retired. Initially emigrating to Western Australia, where their youngest son Robert runs a Highland Cattle Stud, they have now moved to a chateau in Comdom, France. Their oldest son, Charles, was next in-line to receive the title of Baron of Ethie, however, due to his untimely death this title will now pass to the next oldest son, Alistair James Menteith Forsyth.