Skip to main content

A sennachie, was a Scottish-Gaelic or Gaelic storyteller whose role was to remember, retell, and (in modern times) write history and stories regarding families, clans, and legends. This included an extensive knowledge of heraldry as part of the family history. The sennachies were similar to English bards from ancient history, often recording and reciting history of the land, its families, and royalty through poetry and story, rather than through straight facts and recordings.

Historically, sennachies served kings and lords of Ireland and Scotland. After the 1600s, many sennachies became traveling storytellers or members of communities, where they recorded stories about the surrounding communities. Sennachies of this type were well known for their legends, myths, and romance poems.

As technology developed, the need for storytellers to preserve and share national and family history started to dwindle. Today there are far fewer sennachies, who are active within cultural groups and circles and perform at festivals.

SHENACHIE, n. Also sean(n)achie, seanachaidh, sen(n)achi(e), sennachai, -chy; sheanachie, shan(n)achie, -y. Also attrib. Orig. a professional recorder and reciter of family history, genealogy, traditions, etc., attached to the household of a clan chieftain or person of high rank, now a teller of traditional stories from the Celtic heroic legends.

​ ​ Sennachie, Word of the Day 2022-04-13







Additional information:

Dictionaries of the Scots Language (DSL) - Dictionars o the Scots Leid (Audio on how to pronounce "Sennachie") "SIN-uh-key"

The story of the Scots storytellers – the Shennachies

Heraldry in Scotland, part 1

What was (or is ) a Scottish Clan Seannachaidh?  YouTube runtime 02:57.



Join Us!

Clan Campbell Society (N.A.)

Membership benefits include:

– A subscription to our award winning 60 page quarterly magazine, "The Journal"

– Research access to our 250,000 member genealogical database via our Genealogist

– You will receive a vote in the annual elections for members of the Clan Campbell Society (NA) Executive Council

– Special Member pricing on Clan Campbell merchandise

– News of Scottish events and Scottish Highland Games Calendar

– Periodic opportunities for Group Travel to Scotland

A subscription to a monthly eNewsletter with color pictures and events information

– Free entry to Cawdor Castle, ancestral home of the Earl Cawdor, during regular open times (with valid membership card)

– Free entry to Inveraray Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll Chief of Clan Campbell, during regular open times (with valid membership card)

Membership is open to all Campbells, Campbell septs, those married to a Campbell or Campbell Sept, those descended from Clan Campbell, and to those interested in learning about the Clan Campbell, Scottish history and culture, and who acknowledge Mac Cailein Mòr as their Clan Chief, as he is the Chief of Clan Campbell, the greatest family in all of Scotland! (We're a "wee bit" biased.)

Remember, those who get the most out of being a member of the Clan Campbell Society... are those who participate. We welcome you as our kinsmen to join us in our many activities.

To become a member, simply complete the online Membership Application.