The name MacCallum means a
follower of St Columba whose name in Gaelic was Colm, distinguishing from others of the
same name by adding a suffix, Columchille. The chief of the clan is the 18th Laird of
Poltalloch, Robin Malcolm, who resides in the ancient castle of Duntrune, near
Lochgilphead, Argyllshire from which their 16th century charter derives.
MACCALLUM : MALCOLM: The Gaelic personal name 'Maol Chaluim' (Devotee of Columba) is often anglicised as Malcolm, but should be distinguished from the family name MacCallum now frequently contracted to Malcolm. While the Clan MacCallum does originate in the ancient kingdom of Dalriada, settled by the first Scots from Ireland, another origin is attributed to the name Callum: 'Mac Gille
Chaluim', the Gaelic designation borne by MacLeod chiefs of Raasay, indicates their descent from Malcolm Garve, son of Malcolm, 9th Baron of Lewis. The area most associated with the MacCallums and Malcolms is Argyll, and here the first mention of MacCallum occurs in the appointment of Ranald MacCallum of Corbarron as hereditary Constable of Craignish Castle in 1414 by the Chief of the Campbells. Donald MacGillespie Mhic O'Callum received a charter of Poltalloch from Campbell of Duntrune in 1562, and these Corbarron lands were inherited by the Poltalloch family in the 17th century. Although the district of Lorn is usually regarded as the country of the MacCallums, branches of the clan were established in Glen Etive and Kilmartin. A tradition relates how thirty of each of these families set out to visit the other, and meeting in a narrow glen, both groups being ignorant of the identity of the oncomers, became embroiled in a skirmish of which there were only two survivors. Through this mythical(?) event the MacCallums have sometimes been referred to as the "Race of the Sixty Fools". Dugald MacCallum, who succeeded to Poltalloch in 1779, is said to be the first chief to adopt the form Malcolm permanently, and in 1896 John Wingfield, 15th Laird, was made Lord Malcolm of Poltalloch. The name Malcolm itself is of great antiquity in Scotland, for four kings have borne the name between 943 and 1165. Malcolm III 'Ceanmore'(1031-93) overthrew Macbeth.
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