Macdonalds in Badenoch by R. M. Gorrie.

A useful survey of clanship changes in the 18th and 19th centuries contributed by Alan G. Macpherson and entitled “An old Highland Parish Register; Survivals of Clanship and Social Change in Laggan, Inverness-shire.” appeared in Scottish Studies, Vol. II of 1967.

This part of the shire was essentially Macpherson country as shown by graphs and survey totals, but with Macintyres, Macintoshes, MacGregors and MacDonalds all effective contributors.

In terms of clanship the MacDonalds, although in the parish for several centuries, owed allegiance to one or other of the clan Donald chiefs outside the Badenoch area and had come in mostly after marrying into Macpherson or Macintosh families, or in the case of an Ardnamurchan contingent, from having fought under Macpherson of Clunie in Montrose’s rising of 1644-45.

The largest contingent over the years was probably from Keppoch and the Clanranald men from Garmoran and the Outer Isles, some of who like the Siol Gille Mantach first settled in Glenroy under the protection of the early Keppoch chiefs. This protection failed in 1498 when the Keppoch chief Ian Alluinn handed over to Macintosh one Donald MacGille Mantach, who had led a creach in Macintosh country, and who was hanged by Macintosh at Clach na diolta, Torgulben, on Lagganside. This breach of faith may well have encouraged the Mantach adherents to move out of Lochaber, but the dates for the appearance of this group from clan Donald country in Badenoch, and the contraction of the name from Macgilvantich to Mann in several Glenspey farms, came much later.

During the 1780s four families of MacDonalds occupied Gallovie, and at that time also the clachans of Achdulhil, Baltuin, Balchladich, Drumnuird and Stronvattie in Strathmashie, were occupied almost exclusively by MacDonalds. A third area was Catlodge – and presumably the adjoining hamlet of Breackachie – and a fourth was Crathiemore. In many of these recorded families the husband was a MacDonald and the wife a Macintosh.

In the opposite direction the Sliochd Iain Macphersons of Garvamore held hereditary rights in the far distant Brae Lochaber farms of Inverroy and Bohaskie in what is even now an essentially Clan Donald of Keppoch area. – R.M.G. 10th October 1968.