Bibliography of Resources Used for this Web Site.

With a rating of how each work addresses the traditions of Clan Donald. 1-10, 1 being to ignore and 10 to include Clan Donald traditions as source material.

1467 Manuscripts wonderful web site of Ronnie and Máire Black that allow everyone to see tracings and the original Genealogies of the 1467 manuscript courtesy of the National Library of Scotland 10

A & A MACDONALD, The Clan Donald Three volume authoritative history of Clan Donald first published 1896-1904.  Currently out of print except for volume III that has been reprinted in Canada. The Clan Donald Vol. I, Vol. II , and  Vol. III are available online. Volume III is also available through 10

A & A MACDONALD, Macdonald Collection of Poetry The same two authors compiled the history of Clan Donald found in Gaelic poetry dating as far back as 1411 and continuing through the 15th & 16th centuries.   Each Gaelic poem has a summary in English.  These poems were a major source for their 3 volume history The Clan Donald.  The Macdonald collection of poetry was first published in 1911 and is available online through the Canadian Internet Archive 10

Adam, Frank The Clans, Septs, & Regiments of the Scottish Highlands, First edition 1908, eight edition 1970.  A classic work of Highland history based upon the recorded traditions of the Highland clans.  The recent editions have been updated to reflect current inturpretation without removing the original. 8

Adomnan, Life of Columba, Marjorie O. Anderson 1991 Great Britain. Amazing ancient account of St. Columba’s miraculous ministration to Celtic Christians in the 5th century. 10

Agnew, Sir Andrew  Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway Vol I, 1881, Sir. Agnew disputes the name Somerled is from the Gaelic Somhairle which he erroneously equates with Samuel, and endorses the Norse Sumer Lidi, meaning Summer warrior, as the derivation of Somerled. 2

Alexander, Fulton Clans and Families of Scotland, New Jersey, 1999 colorful reference book with brief histories of over 200 clans, shows tartans & crests. 6

The Annals of the Four Masters, 9th century history of Ireland 10

The Annals of Ulster, 14th century history of Northern Ireland 10

Bede’s “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” The Venerable Bede’s 7th century history of the English people. 9

Annals of Loch Ce,1871 Translated from original Gaelic manuscripts covering 1014 to 1500 Northern Ireland 10

Barbar, Elizabeth Wayland, The Mummies of Ürümchi, 1999 Wonderful account of the discovery of 6′ mummies in NW China with blond hair & beards.  Most interesting is that they are wearing tartan that dates back over 3,000 years. 9

Beare, Beryl Scotland Myths & Legends, Edinburgh, 1996 Large colorful photographs on every page accompany brief accounts of myths. 4

Buchanan, George Scoticarum Historia, London 1579  Latin history of Scotland by King James’ tutor who had definite influence on the publication of the King James Bible.  He wrote his history to shape the image of Scotland and the glory of her kings.  One entry for Sumerledus mentions only his final battle and defeat in 1164. 1

Byrne, Kevin Colkitto! A Celebration of Clan Donald of Colonsay (1570-1647) 1997.  Excellent presentation from a Clan Donald point of view of several issues other authors have been quite unfriendly to Clan Donald. 9

Cahill, Thomas How The Irish Saved Civilization Doubleday, New York An interesting view of Celtic civilization and it’s vital role through the Dark Ages 8

Chronicles of Loch Cé 13th century Latin history of Ireland containing references p 377 to Ruaidhri and Domhnaill mac Raghnaill mac Somhairle dying during battles in Ireland. 10

Chronicles of Man Kings of Man,  John K. Qualtrough History of Man’s rulers including the Chronicles of Man in Latin & English translation.  A great history of the Isle of Man except the author includes Prof. Sykes’ genetic history of Somerled. 8

Caesar, Julius The Gallic Wars

Clark, Wallace The Lord of the Isle Voyage, Kildare, Ireland 1993 (out of print) Excellent reading- account of the building & sailing of an authentic birlinn nyvaig (small ship) reproduction. 10

Collins Guide to Scots Kith & KinA guide to the Clans and surnames of Scotland.  8

Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia, Excellent overview of clans including colorful clan maps, photos, & tartans. 8

Day, David King Arthur Barnes & Noble 1999 Latest research into the historical King Arthur and the development of the legends over centuries.7

The Dean of Lismore’s Book, a selection of ancient Gaelic poetry from a manuscript collection made by Sir James M’Gregor, Dean of Lismore, in the beginning of the sixteenth century edited with translation and notes by Thomas M’Lauchlan and introduction by William F. Skene. 10

Dorward, David Scotlands Place-names, Edinburgh, 1998 
Easy reading reference book on place-names. Not as exhaustive as Nicolaisen�s earlier work. 9

Elder, Isabel Hill. Celt, Druid, and Culdee, London:Covenant Publishing Co., Ltd. 1986. 9

Gardner, Laurence Bloodline of the Holy Grail, 2001 Controversial work which puts into print what many British have believed for centuries concerning the genealogy of European royalty. Gardner includes Clan Donald and King Arthur as literal descendants of Jesus Christ .(pp 367-375). BUT he also denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and claims all that Christ did was politically motivated! Difficult to follow his atheistic logic, but interesting links to Clan Donald.2

Grant, I.F. The Clan Donald, Edinburgh, 1993, 32p.
From a series of pamphlets on various clans, shows tartans, crests- good, brief account. 8

Gregory, Donald History of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland, Glasgow 1881, An example of the 19th century attempts rewrite Scottish history after the repeal of the “Disarming Act”.  Highland legends & Gaelic writings are dismissed and the author substitutes his own theories that Somerled was of Norse ancestry on his male line because “his name is certainly a Norse one”. 2

Hansen, Vaughn E., PhD Whence Came They? A fascinating case is built that the ancient inhabitants of Britain migrated from the Middle East and are of the ancient race of Eber (Hebrews). Subsequent migrations such as the Celts are also linked to the “Lost Tribes of Israel” 9

Hill, Rev. George, MacDonnells of Antrim 1873 A unique 19th century view of the Antrim branch of Clan Donald.  Gives one of the original assumptions that Somerled is the Norse version of the Gaelic Somherle and defines Somerled as made up of two Norse words.  7

Hunter, James A Dance Called America, Edinburgh, 1994

Excellent history that reads like a novel about the clearances and emigration to America. 8

Hunter, James Glencoe and the Indians, Edinburgh, 1996
Another excellent history about Angus McDonald who established Ft. Connah in Montana for the Hudson Bay Fur Co. and the Nez Pierce Indian maiden he married. 9

Johnstone’s Antiquitates Celto-Scandicæ The 18th century British ambassador to Norway who researched Norse chronicles written in Latin to promote the theory the Highlanders were not Celtic, but of Norse ancestry. 7

Lebor Gabála or “Book of Invasions” provides the account of the original Gaelic migrations to Ireland and the wars that accompanied each “invasion”. 10

MacLennan, Malcolm Gaelic Dictionary/Faclair Gaidhlig Edinburgh, 2001
Excellent Gaelic/English and English/Gaelic Dictionary. 9

Malory, Sir Thomas Morte D’Arthur The most famous account of the Arthurian legend written by a knight imprisoned for his deeds. The work mourns the loss of the age of chivalry and at the same time gives the image of selfish knights and adultress maidens causing the downfall of Camelot. 7

Marsden, John Somerled, and the Emergence of Gaelic ScotlandEdinburgh, 2000 Disappointing because the author dismisses Clan Donald traditions about their ancestor.2

Marsden, John Galloglas. 2003 Again Marsden chooses to disregard Clan Donald tradition in favor of the conclusions drawn by others about Clan Donald in Ireland & Scotland. 4

Macdonald, Donald J. Clan Donald, Midlothian, Scotland, 1978 (recently back in print) The most exhaustive history of Clan Donald available.  excellent. 10

Macdonald, Donald J. Slaughter Under Trust, Edinburgh, 1965, 192p.
The account of Glencoe by the same author-excellent. 10

Macdonald, Fiona Step Into The Celtic World, London, 2000
Colorful activity book for children includes making Celtic art. 9

MacDonald, Hugh History of the MacDonalds, Highland Papers, Edinburgh 1914, Manuscripts discovered from Donald Gregory’s papers used to compile his history of the Highlands. 8

MacDonald, Mairi A Lorn Miscellany of History and Tradition, 1975
A description of Lorn with meanings of place-names. 6

MacDonald, Micheil Scots Kith & Kin, Edinburgh 1989
Very good reference book to establish clan ties. 8

MacEacharna, Domhnall The Lands of the Lordship, Argyll, 1976
Description of the islands and lands of the Lords of the Isles. 6

Mackenzie, Alexander FSA Scot The History of the MacDonalds and he Lords of the Isles 1881 The author referred to Hugh Macdonald’s 17th century history as prejudiced toward the MacDonalds quoting only enough to show its contradiction to the Latin Scottish histories. 8

MacKillop, James Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Oxford, 1998 
Excellent reference book on Celtic Mythology. 7

McDonald, R. Andrew The Kingdom of the Isles Tuckwell, Lothian, Scotland, 1997 The best recent history of Clan Donald I have read. The author theorizes that historians neglect writing about ancient kingdoms that did not survive as modern countries as if people are only interested in those countries that “succeeded”. Scotland, itself is an exception, but kingdoms absorbed by Scotland are addressed only as to their contribution to the surviving nation.9

MacMhuirich, Dubhghall Albanach 1467 MS 72.1.1 National Library of Scotland, One of the oldest Gaelic genealogies of Clan Donald shows the original way these ancient Gaelic names were written which helps us understand the varied renderings ofmhnail mhic ragnaill” and “Mac Ragnaill Mhic Sòmhairle10


MacPhee, K. M. Somerled: Hammer of the Norse Oct 2004 This is the best history of Somerled I have read! I have read seven others and this is the first author to examine all of the conflicting source materials and present them to the reader to draw their own conclusion.  The author listed several sources for “Somerled being a Norse name” which allowed my study of those sources and the conclusion they were wrong.  Although I didn’t agree with all of her conclusions, I really appreciated her Celtic perspective and detailed source materials. 9

MacPherson, James Works of Ossian, Edinburgh, 1765 The original compilation of Highland legends about Fingal.  Often condemned as a fraud because MacPherson equated Fingal with the Irish Finn Mac Cool, but may have been tactic to preserve Highland legends by concealing them as Irish legends. 10

McCallum, Hugh & John, Poems of Ossian 1816 another translation and explanation of the origin of Highland legends 10

National Library of Scotland Digital Achives The original documents and translations made available to the public on line.10

Nicolaisen, W.F.H. Scottish Place-Names Batsford 1979
Aberdeen University rates this as the most authoritative and complete work on place-names. 8

Paterson, Raymond Campbell The Lords of the IslesEdinburgh 2001 Easy reading history of The Lords of the Isles. Some obvious anti-Clan Donald slants- still probably one of the better recent histories of Clan Donald. (Paterson praises the Celtic system of government and at least acknowledges the existence of Clan Donald traditions! But like other modern historians he discounts their value.) 7

 Reliquiæ Celticæalthough this has a Latin title these 14th- 17th century Gaelic manuscripts were gathered and preserved by William F. Skene and presented to the Society of Scottish Antiquities. 10

Roberts, John L. Lost Kingdoms, Celtic Scotland and the Middle Ages Edinburgh, 1997 One of the better histories of Scotland- it recognizes Clan Donald’s role in Scottish history. 8

Rolleston, T.W. Celtic Myths and Legends New York, 1985 A good compilation, but difficult to comprehend at times because of unexplained terminology. 7

Skene, William F.   Dean of Lismore’s book Translation of 14th century Gaelic manuscripts.  One of the sources for Donald J. Macdonald’s history of Clan Donald. 10

Skene, William FThe Highlanders of Scotland in two volumes,their origins, history, and antiquities with a sketch of their manners and customs and an account of the clans into which they were divided and the state of society that existed among them. 8

Schlegal, Don The Ancestors of McDonalds of Somerset This researcher of his mother’s Irish McDonnells
has compiled an compelling argument for the Royal Celtic origins of Clan Donald. 10

Squire, Charles Celtic Myths and Legends, New Jersey, 1994
I found this easier reading than Rolleston’s book. Easier to understand because the author explains Celtic terminology. 8

Steinbeck, John The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights A masterful work making the chivalry and morality taught in La Morte D’Arthur available in plain English suitable for young readers.8

Thompson, Oliver The Great Feud, Campbells & Macdonalds, Sutton Publishing, Surrey, 2000 An example of a history extremely slanted by the author. Accurate, but with an obvious bias against Clan Donald. 2

Way, George and Squire, Romilly Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia Barnes & Noble, 1998 Colorful reference book with brief histories of over 300 clans, shows tartans, crests. 7

Williams, Ronald The Lords of the Isles, Lochar, 1984
Enjoyable reading- quotes often from ancient Clan Donald and Celtic sources. 9

A special thanks to Steve McDonald for allowing us to use music he wrote and sang as the background for the Armadale video and this web site. Steve has six CD’s out that can be purchased from Clan Donald USA’s Central Ordering Service or through Armadale’s gift shop. They are Sons of Somerled, Stone of Destiny, Highland Farewell, Scotland the Brave, his Christmas Album, Legends and his latest Ballads & Battles.  Steve’s music is unique in the way it conveys the history of Clan Donald through music that bridges the generation gap. 10