DNA-R1B1C7-L Archives

Archiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2010-07 > 1280494081

From: Bernard Morgan <>
Subject: Re: [R-M222] Off-modal matches - simulation
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 12:48:01 +0000
References: <8af22.2937be51.398339b8@aol.com>
In-Reply-To: <8af22.2937be51.398339b8@aol.com>

> I was just looking at a list of subsepts of the Clan McDonald of the Isles
> and these surnames are listed:
> O'Brolachain (Cenel Eoghain, Irish, from Inishowen)
> O'Cahan
> O'Kane
> O'Docharty
> McCluskey (McCloskey, a branch of O Cathain?)
> I don't think subsepts means much in Scotland but it was strange seeing
> these Donegal or Londonderry/tyrone surnames pop up in MacDonald territory.

This is a good description as to the confusion from the Victorian period. “The variety of surnames within a Scottish clan do not represent separate and definable sub-clans but instead reflect the vagaries of transition of the Gaels into the English naming system as well as marriages, migrations and occupations. The main family itself may have developed a variety of surnames. The preferred modern usage is to avoid the use of the term ‘sept’ and to simply describe these names as what they are - surnames of the family and of allied or dependent families. It is preferable to speak of ‘The names and families of Clan X’ rather to call a name ‘a sept of Clan X’. ‘Sept’ is actually a term borrowed from Irish culture in the nineteenth century to explain the use of a variety of surnames by members of a single clan. Where Scots would say ‘MacGregor and his clan’ and Irish historian might say ‘O'Neill and his sept’.”

(I beleive chief-tenants have been included in the subsept lists fo the chiefs. Such as MacDonalds of Kintyre appearing as a subsept of the Campbells.)

So I believe John you show something that hasn't been flagged before. The migration of Irish Gaelic kin groups to Scotland. There is plenty evidence of Scottish Gaelic kin groups settling under Irish Gaelic Lords in the medieval period.

This thread: