(Excerpted from a recent email from David N. Ewing, past Chancellor of EFA.)
There is ongoing confusion about the distinction between the Ewing Family Association (EFA) and Clan Ewing. Stated succinctly, the EFA is an organization for people interested in the history and genealogy of the surname Ewing and related surnames and Clan Ewing is an ancient group of people who consider themselves to be a part of one extended family. Many members of the EFA (including me) are also members of Clan Ewing. Some members of Clan Ewing (including me) are also members of the EFA.
Clan Ewing has existed for something like a thousand years, but it has not had an officially recognized chief for over 500 years and it has never been officially recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland as a clan. Many of us in the EFA thought that this should be corrected. Clan Ewing exists and should be officially recognized. We went to work on this and in cooperation with the Clan Ewen Society in Scotland we petitioned the court for official recognition. Now, it appears that we have achieved this and Clan Ewing will for the first time have official recognition as a Scottish clan by the only judicial body authorized to make these judgments. I think that every member of Clan Ewing should be celebrating this achievement, which many thought at the outset of our effort to be impossible.
In my view, it would be simply preposterous for the EFA to pretend to be Clan Ewing. The EFA has existed for less than 30 years. Clan Ewing has existed for 1000 years. When it was still called Clan Ewing in America, the EFA was a provincial organization of Americans with no standing in Scotland or the rest of the world. Now, through our efforts the clan has official recognition and for the first time in 500 years, a commander who is resolved to organize and promote the clan around the world. I have pledged my support and will work to further this project in any way I can. I hold no office in Clan Ewing. The only "officer" is Thor Ewing, who has been recognized as Commander by the Lord Lyon. If he can rally members of Clan Ewing over the next several years and demonstrate that he has general support within the clan, he will become Chief.
Meanwhile, the EFA has many members who do not consider themselves members of Clan Ewing, and others who have no interest in Scottish clans. We should not and will not turn our backs on them. But those of us who are interested can work together to help Clan Ewing to get on its feet. As most of you know, I am personally very interested in and have worked hard on Y-DNA studies (and I think the Y-DNA evidence we have collected contributed to making our case before the Lord Lyon persuasive). But my interest is shared by only a fraction of our members. If someone started arguing that we should change the name of the EFA to "the Ewing Y-DNA Project", I would raise Holy hell. Similarly, I am very interested in Clan Ewing and very proud to be a member of it. But it would be wrong to think that is all the EFA is about.