b: ABT 1210
From Clan Gillean, 1954:

The historic original of the tribe lived in Argyll, probably about 1210. The seannachies gave him a long ghostly line of names for ancestry, but he needed no such backing. He was fit to be "his own ancestor!" He was known as "Gillean of the Battle-axe," that useful implement being his constant companion. Legend tells how, lost in a fog in the hills, he lay down under a bush, having first fixed his well-known weapon upright in the heart of it. This led to his discovery; and it gave the clan its heraldic badge, though Dowart later wore the embattled tower.

From Warriors and Priests, 1995:

The Macleans claim a pedigree back to the tribe of Lorn (which covered the Isles of Mull, Tiree and Coll)(p.2) in the 7thC and before that to Somerled, King of Innse Gall and regulus of Argyll, and before that to Colla Uais, legendary High King of Ireland and one of the three traditional founders of the Irish Kingdom of Oriel in the 4thC. But no pedigree exists and there is a 400 year gap between the tribe of Lorn and Old Dubhgall, below.

1 Old Dubhgall of Scone: Lived around 1100, perhaps earlier. The names below (2-8) were found in several early pedigrees including MS 1467, which is now in the National Library of Scotland. The others, which traced the ancestry of Lachlan Lubanach Maclean (12), were lost in or after the 18thC. He is thought to have been a Judex, a mediaeval official who was part of the administration of law and justice. Scone is a parish on the banks of the Tay in south-east Perthshire, and the keeping place of the Stone of Scone, the Stone of Destiny, which is now in Westminster Abbey beneath the Coronation chair. There was also an abbey there.

2 Raingce: Nothing known except that he was the eponym of the Rankins of Mull, later Pipers to the Macleans.

3 Ceallach: His name was omitted from MS 1467 but was included in other sources now lost. He may have been abott of Lismore or a former abott of Iona. Ceallach was a popular name in Ireland, particularly amongst clerics (p.3). Lismore in County Waterford and Lismore in Lorn were both sites of abbeys in the Celtic Church.

4 Cu duiligh: "Stubborn or steadfast hound" "Cu" is from Ireland's pre-Christian past. His was the epynom of the Clan Conduiligh. MacFirbis wrote "From the Clan Conduiligh came the Clan Mhic Gille eoin (=Maclean) in Mull and its surrounding islands.

5 Neill

6 Maol suthan: The prefixes 'Maol' and 'Gille' means servant or devotee of a saint or other figure of religious significance (p.4). 'Maol' specifically means crop-headed slave - close-shawn hair style adopted by priests and monks to signify that they were the slaves of God. 'Maol suthan' means Servant of the Eternal.

7 MacRath: An ancient Gaelic personal name meaning the son of prosperity.

8 Gille eoin (of the battle axe): The epynom of the clan (p.7). His name means literally Servant of St John. He took part in a stag hunt on Beinn an t-Seilg (which was probably not on Mull) and lost his way in the mist. On the fourth day, very weak, he drove the shaft of his battle axe into the ground and his friends saw it. His story impressed his descendants who called themsleves 'MacGille eoin' after him.

'Gille eoin took part in a stag hunt on Beinn an t-Seilg, 'the hunting hill'. During the hunt Gille eoin wandered away from the rest of his companions when a heavy mist descended and he lost his way. For three days he wandered about in the mist unable to find his friends. On the fourth day he took shelter in a clump of blaeberry, and before he fell into an exhausted sleep, had the presence of mind to drive the shaft of his battle-axe into the ground. That same evening his friends noticed the head of the battle-axe above the bush. Its owner was unconscious with his hand firmly round the shaft'. This story of Gille eoin's adventure was remembered and his descendants were identified after a time as a distinct kin-group within the wider Clan Conduiligh.

To summarise from the book above, Old Dubhgall of Scone or Old Dougall, ancestor of Gille eoin in 1100 or earlier, may have been Dufgal son of Mocche, who took part in a trial c. 1128 and who was a Judex, a medieval official concerned with the administration of law and justice. Scone is a parish on the banks of the Tay in south-east Pertshire, and the place of keeping of the Stone of Destiny, believed to have been used by Jacob as a pillow at Bethel which then passed into the possession of Scota, daughter of Pharoah, carried by her to Spain, then to Ireland and then Scotland - now in Westminster Abbey beneath the Coronation chair. Dr Hector Maclean states that about the only thing known about the ancestors of the Macleans is that they were Irishmen. The descendants of Old Dubhgall segmented into three kinship groups, one of which was Cu Duiligh or Clan Conduiligh. Members of this group kept their Gaelic personal names: Gille eoin is 'the servant of Saint John.' The use of Gaelic personal names, the priestly connection (there was an abbey at Scone), the possible presence of a Judex, all suggest that in looking at the descendants of Old Dubhghall of Scone, we are examining one of the hereditary learned families of the Gaeltachd. There is no reason why a learned man should not also wield a battle-axe!

Linda Bennion in the US wrote:

To really make things interesting (and perhaps more confusing) let me give you the genealogical account from the Seneachie (by the way, do you have his work?):

"House of Duart; or The Race of Chiefs
The principal family seats of the chiefs of Maclean were Duart and Aros Castles in Mull, Castle-Gillean in Kerrara on the coast of Lorn, and Ardtornish Castle in Morvern. There is no authentic record of the race's settlement in Mull beyond Rath the father of Gillean, but it is probable they held possessions there from a very remote period. The race undoubtedly had its origin from the ancient Celtic sovereigns of Ireland; at least it is so testified by the most approved authorities I have met with. Those authorities trace the descent thus:

Aonaghus-Thurmhi-Teamhrach, one of the ancient sovereigns of Ireland, had a son named Fiachri.
Fiachri was father of Ollion-Erin.
Ollion-Erin was the father of Ferghis.
Ferghis the father of Ferghie.
Ferghie the father of Manna-Mor
Manna-Mor was father of Earngheal.
Earngheal the father of Roihtren.
Roihtren was father of Treun.
Treun was father of Shion.
Shion the father of Diadhie.
Diadhie was father of Ollial.
Ollial was the father of Eri.
Eri the father of Eoghuin.
Eoghuin was father of Eddir-Sceoil.
Eddir-Sceoil the father of Connair-Mor.
Connair-Mor that of Cairbre-Fionn-Mhor.
Cairbre-Fionn-Mhor was father of Dari-Dorn-Mhor.
Dair-Dorn-Mhor father of Cairbre-Cromcheann.
Cairbre-Cromcheann was father of Alloid.
Alloid was the father of Connair.
Connair was father of Fioun-Dounn.
Fioun-Dounn was the father of Guarri.
Guarri was father of Feleim-Lambh-Doihd.
Feleim-Lambh-Doihd the father of Eachie-Tuamail.
Eachie-Tuamail was father of Ferghis.
Ferhis the father of Aonaghus-Molleach.
Aonaghus-Molleach the father of Munrambhair.
Munrambhair the father of Ere.
Ere was the father of FERGUS I. Righ Alabinn (King of Scotland)
FERGUS 1 had a son (his younger but one) named Lachani-Mor
Lachani-Mor was father of Murruchui
Murruchui was the father of Eachuinn.
Eachuinn was the father of Neachdin.
Neachdin the father of Fergus.
Fergus was the father of Iere.
Iere was father of Saund-huil Scannie.
Saund-huil Scannie the father of Cruinne.
Cruinne was father of Ceallie.
Ceallie the father of Counhdulli.
Counhdulli father of Niall.
Niall the father of Rath (Rath is the first whose marriage I find noticed. He was married to Maririotte or Margaret, daughter of Gillibrehde of Lorn and Morvern, and sister of Sommerled, or Somhairle, than of Argyle, by whom he had Gillean).
GILLEAN, progenitor of the Clan-Gillean or Macleans, and
COLIN, father of Kenneth of Kintail, progenitor of the Clan-Kenneth or Mackenzies.
(There is undoubted evidence that Gillean, as well as his father Rath, held large possessions in Upper-Mull, and along the whole of the northern coast of that island; and it also appears that the island of Kerrara was part of their property at this time. Who was the wife of Gillean is not mentioned; it is merely noticed that he had a son called Gillise).
GILLISE MAC-GILLEAN or MACLEAN, who succeeded him, and who is said to have died some time in the reign of Robert Bruce. To whom Gillise was married is not noticed either, but it is recorded that he left a son called Gillicallum or Malcolm MacLean, by whom he was succeeded.
GILLICALLUM or Malcolm MacLean - The seneachie is also silent as to who was the wife of Gillicallum. No further record is given of him than that he fought at Bannockburn under King Robert Bruce, and at his death left a son named IAN or JOHN DUBH MACLEAN, who succeeded him.
IAN or JOHN DUBH MACLEAN was married to a daughter of the lord of the braes of Lochaber, by whom he had Lachlan Lubaneach Maclean, his successor, and Hector Reganeach, predecessor of the Macleans of Lochbuy.
LACHLAN LUBANEACH MACLEAN of Duart was married to the Lady Elizabeth, daughter of John Lord of the Isles, and grand-daughter of Robert II, King of Scotland, by whom he had Eachuinn Ruadh.
EACHUINN RUADH, or HECTOR RUFUS BELLICOSUS, who was killed at Harlaw. Hector Rufus MacLean was married to a daughter of the Earl of Dougals, by whom he had two sons - Lachlan Bronneach, who succeeded him, and John Dubh, of whose descendants, if he had any, no notice is taken.
LACHLAN BRONNEACH MACLEAN was twice married: First, to Lady Margaret, daughter of Alexander Earl of Mar, by whom he had Lachlan Oig, who succeeded him; SECONDLY, to Finovola, daughter of MacLeod of Harris, by whom he had Neil of Lehire, predecessor of the Macleans of Lehire and Ross; and John Garve, progenitor of the Macleans of Coll. Donald, another son of Lachlan Bronneach, was predecessor of the highly respected house of Ardgour."
{NOTE: That the Seneachie does not say who the mother of Donald, predecessor of the house of Ardgour is.}

As above, is the genealogical account of the House of Duart up to the point where the House of Ardgour begins - as presented by the Seneachie in his work of 1838.

  • ABT 1210 - Birth -
  • ABT 1100 - Fact -
  • ABT 1210 - Fact -
Family Group Sheet - Child
BirthABT 1210
Marriageto ?
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Gilleathain-na-Tuaigh
BirthABT 1210
Marriageto ?
MGilliosa MacGillean
BirthABT 1240
Marriageto ?
[S22776] 'Warriors and Priests: History of the Clan Maclean 1300-1570' by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol, 1995
[S23599] 'Clan Gillean' by James Noel Maclean, 1954
Descendancy Chart