Wednesday, 15 August 2012

MacFarlane in Ulster

Members of the MacFarlane Highland Scottish clan settled in Ulster in the sixteenth century, as did many other families from the Scottish Gaeltacht.  The MacFarlane, or more properly, Mac Pharláinn, families were native to the lands west of Loch Lomond.  Many of the Mac Pharláinn families that settled in Ulster were in the Redshank colony in the old Portlough precinct in east Donegal. The Redshanks in the Portlough precinct were part of an elaborate plan initiated by the fifth Earl of Argyll, Giolla Easpuig Donn Caimbeul.  His niece was the famous Iníon Dubh, mother of Aodh Rua Ó Dónaill, and it was on her lands that many Caimbeul sponsored Highland Gaels settled. 

The ruins of Iníon Dubh's castle near Porthall; photo copyright  Jim McKane 2012

In the sixteenth century  Clann Chaimbeul spread from their homelands in mid Argyll extending their bases and influence in both the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland.  Clann Chaimbeul was the most successful kinship group in early modern Scotland.  Their great advantage was they were Gaels, but could operate not only in their traditional Gaelic society, but also in the emerging British world, including the Scottish Lowlands. The earls' (of Argyll, head of Clann Chaimbeul) main base was Inveraray on Loch Fyne, and there they had access to the Firth of Clyde and the western seas including the North Channel passage to Ireland.  The Mac Pharláinns of Arrochar were drawn into Lord Argyll's elaborate network of allies and they were one of the many Redshank families that settled in east Donegal.

For more information of Mac Pharláinn families in Ulster follow the link below.


Link:  Mac Pharláinn in Ulster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish to leave a comment here concerning the Highland Scots who settled in Ulster. I am Charles Edward Miller, Jr. My wife and I live in Chesapeake, Virginia. My ancestor, Jonathan Miller/Millar, Sr. settled in Bertie County, North Carolina in 1734 when he purchased a thousand acres of land that became the farm upon which my father was born in 1928. My grandparents were Duncan Miller and Essie Cowan. The farm was near Colerain, North Carolina, which was named after Coleraine, Ulster. The Millers were descendants of the Celtic Earls of Lennox and members of the MacFarlane Clan. Through Grandmother Essie, I am a second cousin to Scots-Irish American artist Ralph W. Cowan, who is my second cousin once removed. My Miller ancestors settled in Northern Ireland before coming to America. As an Ulster Scot, I am proud of my heritage. I hope that Ulster will remain part of the United Kingdom.

Charles E. Miller, Jr., BA,MA