concluded the history of the Highland clans according to the system
established in the former part of the Work, it may be proper here to
state in a few words the simple but highly important conclusion to
which these researches have brought us.
Gaelic race at present occupying the Highlands have existed as a
distinct and peculiar people, inhabiting the same districts which they
now occupy, from the earliest period to which the records of history
Previous to the thirteenth century, that Gaelic nation was divided
into a few great tribes, which exactly correspond with the ancient
earldoms of that part of Scotland. the hereditary chiefs of these
tribes were termed Maormors a title which the influence of Saxon
manners changed to that of earl.
From these few tribes all the Highlanders are descended, and to one or
other of them each of the Highland clans can be traced.
system, therefore, has every part of the present Work been brought to
bear. Each of the clans has been viewed rather as forming a part of
one great whole than as a separate family detached from all others,
and it has throughout been deemed of more importance to establish with
precision the place of each clan in this great system, than to enter
into any detail of their history. Of the importance of the result to
which all these researches have led, it is impossible for a moment to
doubt; and while a view has been given of the history of each detached
portion, everything has been brought to contribute, in some degree, to
the establishment of a great truth as new as it is important.
portion would have extended to far greater length, and more minute
detail of family history, had the Author not felt the necessity of
compressing his plan within the narrow limits of an essay, which he
was desirous should exhibit, in a distinct and complete form, the
theory of Scottish history, which his researches have led him to
adopt, and which he now submits with deference to the judgment of the
of the system will be found, at one view, in the following table of
the descent of the Highland clans.