The Kithcart/Cathcart Clan Website

This site has been up for several years, but now most of my work on the family tree is at Thanks so much to everyone who is working on this project. We now have three more generations before John on I hope we can have a family reunion soon.

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This is a work in progress that I've been working on for ten years for all Kithcarts/Cathcarts to share.  If you have additions or corrections please send me the information and I'll add it.

According to the information that I have gathered so far the Kithcarts are likely descended from the Cathcarts in Scotland, which originated in the 1100's, and were probably Norsemen (Vikings) or French before that.  Families changed their names often, and moved to Ireland, England, France, Germany, the United States, Australia, South Africa, and other countries.  Some of the name variations include: 

Cathcart, Cithcart, Kithcart, Kathcart, Kethkert, Kithert, and others. 
I am working on the connections and if you have any information about the name I would greatly appreciate hearing from you! 

 I received information from the DAR about John Kithcart from his Revolutionary War records and his name is listed as CATHCART.   

We have built a 300-person family tree database at  besides the tree on this site under "Family Tree" above.  Look for Vernon Boyd Kithcart, my father, and you can trace the family tree back from there.  The Family tree on this website (see button above) starts with John Kithcart/Cathcart in 1737 in County Antrim, Ireland, then follows through to today's Kansas City and Rich Hill Kithcarts. 

The Cathcart Badge

The Cathcart Coat of Arms








The Cathcart Arms

bulletBadge: A dexter hand couped above the wrist and erect proper, grasping a crescent as in the arms.
bulletArms: Azure, three cross crosslet fitchee issuing out of as many crescents argent.
bulletMotto: I hope to speed.
Heraldry is the designing, use, regulation, and recording of coats of arms and related emblems. Coats of arms were granted to individuals, not families or surnames. Coats of arms were originally granted to identify individuals in battle. Eventually, the crown began to grant coats of arms to people who performed heroic deeds, made notable achievements, or held prominent positions. The right to use a coat of arms could be inherited only by legitimate male descendants of the person to whom the coat was granted. 

"There is some speculation as to the origin of the name Cathcart. Some believe it is ancient Celtic meaning, "Fort on the River Cart", as that river flows right past the ancient castle. Others believe it means, "The straight or confined part of the Cart River". Be that as it may, the name is ancient, but originally spelled KERKERT or KETHKERT, probably because of pronunciation.

The Peerage refers to the Cathcart Clan. The first known mention of the Kethcarts, is a man named Rainaldus de Kethcart, who witnessed a charter by Walter Fitzalan to the Church of Kethcart for the monastery of Paisley in 1178. The peerage follows the line of Cathcarts all the way to the late 1700's. Notable Cathcarts include Sir Alan Cathcart, who was a companion of King Robert I when he mounted the throne in 1307, and was engaged on his side at the Battle of Loudoun-hill that same year, when the Scots defeated the British. The next year, he was made one of Edward Bruce's party of 50 horsemen who attacked and dispersed 1500 calvary under John de St. John in Galloway. The peerage quotes on old poem about Sir Alan's bravery and good humor. Another notable was the first Lord Cathcart, dignified with the honour in 1447 by King James II."

Why do the Cathcarts wear the royal Steward Plaid Tartan?
The Cathcarts were close allies with the Fitz-Alans and the Fitz-Walters who where the first Stewarts of Scotland.
In fact, the Cathcarts are called an "Unbroken Stewart line" in an article published in Vanity Fair in 1888.

Why are the Cathcarts buried in the Paisley Abbey in Scotland?
In 1178, Rainaldus de Kethcart was witness to the charter of the king's steward to Paisley Abbey. Also in 1234, Alan de Kethcart gave the lands at Culbeth to the Abbot of Paisley, and in 1262 his daughter, Cecilia, made over her lands in the village of Rutherglen to the Abbey.

Whys is there a crown and two parrots on the Cathcart Crest?
The crown was added to the tenth Lord Cathcart's (William), coat of arms in recognition of his advancement to the titles of "Viscount Cathcart of Cathcart" and "Baron Greenock". The supporters and the parrots were also added at this time. These changes in William's arms came about after he and Admiral Gambier besieged Copenhagen in 1807, and captured the Danish fleet of over sixty vessels together with naval supplies and munitions meant for Napoleon's troops. The parrot is considered a mariner's symbol.


The Cathcart Ship

Cathcart Castles

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