Most people prefer a family tartan for reasons of tradition. But if you can't find one you like, there are many alternatives. To find your family tartans, just key your surname into one of the following sites:http://www.tartans.scotland.nethttp://www.tartansauthority.com/web/site/home/home.asp
Unless your name is fairly common, and spelled in the most orthodox way, the chances are that you may not find a tartan under the exact same name. Don't worry! The spelling of names was only recently formalized, and names mutated as members migrated. So many spelling variations exist for the same family name. It's still the same family by blood, so please don't get hung up on spelling.
Also, Scottish clans have a tradition of ' Septs'which are other families by descent or alliance to which a Clan gave protection. If your family name appears as a Sept of one of the official clans, it conventionally entitles you to wear their tartan.
Our tartan finder is designed to help you identify such associations, but it might do no harm to try keying in alternative spellings of your family names.
It is also common to choose a tartan derived not with your 'current' surname, but perhaps with your mother's maiden name, or that of another forebear such as a grandparent. Or you might choose to select the tartan from a member of your partner's lineage instead. We would encourage you to look widely, and choose a pattern that is not just historically 'correct' but also pleasing to you!