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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
X. The Vikings and Normans


Wiland of the Aird (though ultimately through heiresses from the Bissets). The mother of Margaret was Maud, daughter and co-heiress of Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Caithness and Orkney, by his wife Marjory, daughter of the fifth Earl of Ross. The Chisholms may have acquired their possessions in Glen Affric from that side. The Chisholms were ardent Jacobites, were out under the Earl of Mar in 1715, and fought for Prince Charles in the 1745 rising.

The Gordons (Gordon) of the Highlands descend from a Lowland family, a cadet house of the Swintons of that Ilk, who were themselves the male-line representatives of the old Anglo-Saxon royal house of Beornicia, the old kingdom from the Tyne to the Forth along the eastern coast. These Lowland Gordons took their name from their lands: The lands of Gordon in Berwickshire. They also held the lands of Huntly nearby, and later cadet branches held other territories in the Lowlands. Adam of Gordon witnessed a charter about 1195.

A later Sir Adam of Gordon was a close supporter of the Red Cummin, the Lord of Badenoch murdered by Bruce in 1306. After mistreatment by the English allies of the Cummin-Balliol faction, this Adam joined the Bruce in time for the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, and became an important ally. He was awarded with huge tracts of Highland territory in what had been Clan MacDuff territory, especially the lordship of Strathbogie, the capital of which they renamed Huntly. Thus did the Gordons come to the Highlands. The family rose to great power in the northeast, becoming by the seventeenth century one of the three most powerful families in northern Scotland, together with the Murrays in Atholl and the Campbells in Argyle. The power of the Huntly Gordons was raised in stages, all the way to a dukedom by 1684.

Branches of the Gordons settled in Aberdeenshire, where they founded clans under Gordon Chieftains. In 1408 the heiress of the main Huntly (Aberdeenshire) line married Sir Alexander Seton, who assumed the name of Gordon, and spent much of his time increasing the clan following by encouraging his vassals to take the name of Gordon (notice the mixture of feudalism and clanship). Their son was created Earl of Huntly in 1449, and thus this family remained the senior line of the Gordons.

The Colquhouns (Colchun) descend from Humphrey of Kilpatrick, who was granted the lands of Colquhoun in Dunbartonshire by Malcolm, Earl of Lennox about 1241, from which lands his descendants took their name. About 1368 Sir Robert Colquhoun married the "Fair maid of Luss," heiress of an ancient, ecclesiastical family who were hereditary guardians of the Bachuil, or crozier, of St. Kessog, the martyr who is associated with the church of Luss (which saint the Luss family was probably related to). Their descendants, the Colquhouns of Luss, while still holding the old Colquhoun castle of Dunglass, became leaders of an important clan in the area of Loch Lomond. In 1457 the lands of Luss were erected into a free barony by King James II, after which the then chief built the now ruinous castle of Rossdhu on Loch Lomond.


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