Like most people with Scottish ancestry, I quickly discovered that surname research wasn’t going to expose my lineage. Many people took on the name of their affiliated clan leaving little to no trace of their birth surnames. Of course that surname may or may not have lasting validity due to the same practice that could have occurred earlier in their lineage.
Fortunately, most of my Scottish ancestry has traced to royal or at least titled families where the families retained the same surname through the generations or at least left a written trail that documents the adoption of a new surname through marriage or title.
My ancestor, Harry Gordon married a young Grant lass by the name of Janet, the daughter of Donald Grant. Unfortunately, Donald died fairly early in his life leaving his wife and children prey to his despicable cousin, who promptly took her lands and turned them out with no possessions.
“Donald on returning home from conveying his father-in-law through Glenlivet was drowned in the water of Lochy, about a mile below his own house; and his body not having been found for some time. It was generally believed that he had been drowned in the Awin or Livet, and hence the saying of Maggy Mulloch (an idiot all covered over with hair, and on that account believed to be a witch), "Wet and weary, seeking Donald between Dalrady and the Lettach."
“Donald had a feu or wadset of Dalrady, Glenlochy, and Glenbruin, originally from the Earl of Moray as proprietor of the lands of Abernethy; but his cousin, who lived at Inverlochy, turned his widow out under pretense of being heir male to it, and some time afterwards disposed of his interest in it to Freuchy, the laird of Grant. Donald’s widow with her daughter and only child came to the neighborhood of her cousin Achlochrach, and dwelt in Belandie, until his son and her daughter were married to each other.”
One of the books I’ve used in my Grant quest is titled “The Chiefs of Grant” by William Fraser. Perhaps it will help in your own Grant family research. Thanks to Google Books, we can read it online at any time of the day.