After his father’s death, Duncan himself took up the struggle. He visited Scotland, sought audience with the Lord Lyon, and appraised the procedures he would have to follow. He fully intended to succeed where his father had failed, but again, the intricacies of the genealogical tangle surrounding the descendants of “The Dashing Davidson”, Duncan IVth, the impediments of various kinds in accounting for all of these descending lines, and the complications of a counter claim for the Chiefship brought by one of the earlier lines of the Tulloch family kept him from succeeding.
Strengthened by support from the international Clan Davidson societies, principally in the persons of Major “Dave” Davidson in England, Dr. Frank Davidson in Australia, Mrs. Flora E. Davidson in Scotland and Dr. A.E. Tonson in New Zealand, the move to reestablish the Chiefship eventually succeeded. Duncan of Davidston’s main concern now was to ensure that the line of succession should be clearly defined and to this end he recognized as his successor his closest cousin, Alister Guthrie Davidson.
Duncan’s reign as Chief was brief; less than two years into his tenure, he passed away in February 1998.
Alister’s Chapter – Alister Guthrie Davidson, 2nd of Davidston (known familiarly from birth as “Jock”) has this to say about his honored predecessor:
“I cannot help but wonder what might have been, if the search for the Chief had been successful some thirty years earlier. Duncan would have made a wonderful leader. He had a good sense of humor, was kind, thoughtful, considerate to others and above all, had a wonderful personality. I am sure that his father, in particular, and mine also, would be delighted to know that after all this time, this branch of the family had finally been recognized as legitimate heirs to the Clan leadership.
A New Zealander by birth and upbringing, nevertheless Duncan was fully aware of the international ramifications of accepting the Davidson Chiefship. It was his wish that international relationships should have a high priority within the clan organization, a policy also articulated by Chief Alister, his successor.
Also important to both Duncan and Alister were the various Clan Societies, dating back to the formation of the Clan Dhai Association (now renewed as the Clan Davidson Association – UK), Clan Davidson Society (USA), Clan Davidson Society (Australia), and Clan Davidson Society (New Zealand). These bodies are the instruments through which the great Clan Davidson manifests its Global identity and reinforces its ancient heritage.