FAQ - Frequently asked Questions
Q: What is the meaning of the family motto “Alterius Non Sit Qui Suus Esse Potest”? A: Let Him Not Be Another’s Who Can Be His Own. This motto was introduced by Sir Thomas Burnett in the last century when he re-recorded the arms with the inclusion of the tartan on the highlander supporter.  Q: What is the meaning of the family motto or slogan "Virescit Vulner Virtus"? A: Valour increases with a wound. This is the principal motto or slogan and can be translated as “her virtue flourishes by her wound.” However, the more general and meaningful translation and that which I regard as “official” is “Virtue, when wounded, flourishes”. Q: Are the Burnetts a sept of Clan Campbell? A: The Lord Lyon, King of Arms wrote to James Burnett of Leys in 1985 stating “While it may be that certain individual Burnetts found themselves in a position of dependence vis-à-vis the Chief of Clan Campbell, there is no foundation or any idea that the Burnetts generally are a sept of Clan Campbell. They are an independent name and you are Chief of that name." Q: Is Bunett a Clan, Sept or House? A: The Burnetts were never a “clan” as the term is used in Scots custom and law. The clans in Scotland were patriarchal in scope and were essentially tribal societies whose members spoke Gaelic. The majority of Burnetts were not Gaelic speakers – most of them spoke Scots and, although many of them lived in or near the Highlands, they were not Highlanders. The correct terminology for the Burnett family is “House of Burnett” as is the case with a number of great Scottish families (Bruce, Gordon and Dunbar for example). Although the term “clan” has been used to describe some Lowland families, even in the Lyon Court records, there was never a “Clan Burnett”.
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