Raasay: The Island and Its People

By Norma Macleod | Go to book overview

11
Genealogy of the MacLeods of Gairloch

Alexander Mackenzie,1 writing in 1889, gave some details of the MacLeods of Gairloch at the beginning of his chapter on the MacLeods of Raasay. He wrote, 'It is thought that the same branch of the Clan, descended from the House of Lewis, inherited both Gairloch and Raasay long before Malcolm Garbh MacGillechallum received the latter as his patrimony from his father, Malcolm Macleod of Lewis, early in the sixteenth century.' There is some doubt concerning the descent of the MacLeods of Raasay from Malcolm MacLeod of Lewis. This has been considered.

Alick Morrison, writing in 1974,2 discounted Alexander MacKenzie's version, claiming that the MacLeods of Gairloch were about 200 years older than the MacLeods of Raasay. He described this branch as being descended from a Malcolm MacLeod, chief of Lewis about the middle of the fourteenth century. However, that chief named Malcolm does not appear in William Matheson's revised genealogy of the MacLeods of Lewis.3 There are also other doubts regarding Morrison's account of the early history of the Gairloch MacLeods.


Early Generations of the MacLeods of Gairloch

The first two chiefs are described as follows:

In 1430 it is recorded that King James I of Scotland granted to 'Nele Nelesoun'
for his homage and service in the
capture of his deceased brother,
Thomas Nelesoun a rebel, the
lands of Gerloch and others in
the Earldoms of Ross and Suther-
land …

Figure C1. MacLeods of Gairloch as given by
Alick Morrison.

The name Thomas is not found as a MacLeod name in any history of the clan. There is an account,4 however, which may serve to shed some light on this story.

Thomas Macneill, son of Neill
Mackay, who was engaged in the
battle of Tuttum Turwigh, pos-
sessed the lands of Creigh,
Spaniziedaill, and Palrossie, in
Sutherland. Having conceived

-220-

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