mase, suffered a similar fate. They
were driven from that territory by adherents of the English family of Pigott in the reign
of Elizabeth I. The majority as a result of this were dispersed throughout Leinster, and
their remnant in Leix were transplanted, with their kinsmen the O’Mores, to Kerry in
The O’Dowlings (0 Dunlaing) were formerly chiefs of Fearann Ua
nDunlaing on the west bank of the River Barrow in Leix.
The North Albans
The Picts of historical times were divided into
great northern and southern tribal kingdoms. The more ancient Pictish tribal partition
described in the second century by Ptolemy is thirteen-fold, and includes the Caledonians
themselves as the chief tribe of the North, their territory being roughly equivalent to
north-central Scotland above Dunkeld (the fort of the Caledonians) in Perthshire. More
recently, in the Middle Ages, there emerged the families of Brodie, MacRae, MacMillan,
Buchan, Erskine, Rattray, Forbes, Urquart, MacKenzie, Matheson, and Nicholson.
The Brodies (Brothaigh) take their name from the place called Brodie in
Morayshire. They are recorded as being in possession of that place and other lands in
Morayshire as early as twelfth century. They received a charter from Robert the Bruce not
long before the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, and are described therein as thanes (lords)
of the barony of Brodie. They have always been important players in Scottish and
The MacRaes (MacRath) originally came from the province of Moray, as
their arms denote. Their arms include the three Moray stars and the colors of blue and
silver which are significant to that district (see Chapter II). They were originally an
ecclesiastical family closely connected with Beauly Priory under the Bissets in the Lovat
district of central Moray. About the time Lovat passed to the Frasers (ca. 1350) through a
succession of heiresses, a branch of the MacRaes settled in Kintail on the west coast, and
became bodyguards of the MacKenzie chiefs and hereditary constables of the powerful Eilean
Donan Castle on Loch Duich. They proved to be powerful and influential allies to the
MacKenzies, and became an important factor in their rise to power. The MacRaes of Clunes
in Lovat remained close to the Fraser lords there.
The MacMillans (Mac Giolla Mhaolain) originated as an ecclesiastical
family, and inhabited the area of Loch Arkaig on the north side of the Great Glen in
Lochaber. They later settled in Knapdale in Argyle, which they acquired by marriage with a
McNeill heiress, and this became the chief seat of the clan. They were also in
Glenmoriston (on the north side of the Great Glen in Moray north of Lochaber) where a
branch followed the Grants, while those that remained in Lochaber followed the Camerons.
Their arms contain a black lion with three Moray stars in chief (see Chapter II).