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Irish Pedigrees: or “The origin and Stem of the Irish Nation”


(Page 246 the origin of MacFadden/ MacPhaidin) (also page 388)



It is strange that some of our writers should, through malice

or want of information, make him (Sommerled)ignobly born, and yet call

him Thane of Argyle, which title was not given him by the

then present king, but they understood he had it by right from

his predecessors. Some of the Argathelians made resistance,

but were defeated. Macphadin, by joining with Sommerled,

was reconciled to him. In a short time he mastered Lorn,

Argyle, Kintyre, and Knapdale ; most of the inhabitants,

knowing these lands were his by right, as formerly belonging

to and possessed by his predecessors. After this, Olay, sur-

named the Red^ I^ii^g of Man, Isla, Mull, and Isles southward

of the point of Ardnamurchan, came with his fleet to Loch

Stornua in order to subdue all the Isles south and north, pre-

tending his right from the king of Denmark, to whom the ancient Danes north of Ardnamurchan refused allegiance…..


The above is an extract from a manuscript written in the time of King Charles I, detailing the history of Clan MacDonald. Somerled was the progenitor of Clan MacDougall and MacDonald. He sailed from Donegal with his father to reclaim their territorial rights to the highlands and Islands from the Danes. Somerled was the ancestor of the first Lord of the Isles. He arguably founded the Scottish territorial Clan system. As can be seen, Somerled’s successes took off after Chief Macphadin (McFadden) joined with him. He would have had MacPhadin’s with him from Donegal, and support from the O’Donnells (King of Donegal, later Earls). Most of the Argyll Clans have the O’Donnell/ Donegal coat of arms (arm holding out a crucifix) in the top right hand corner of their quartered arms. At least one King of Argyll called MacSomerled is recorded as dying in an Irish battle in the service of his High King O’Donnell.


Later in the same manuscript above, another MacPhadin Chief, three generations later, sides with the Comyns/ MacDougall’s against Wallace and Robert the Bruce (at this point, the MacDougall’s were Lords of the Isles and the Comyn’s had a rightful claim to the throne of Scotland ahead of de Bruce). MacPhadin is mentioned as sailing to Ireland and returning with 600 men at arms for the cause. Probably O’Donnell’s men. He appears to have been defeated at a battle of the Brander Pass, East of Oban.


The Third MacPhadin Chief was mentioned in possession of the Lands at Lochbuie on Mull. At some point after the battle of Bannockburn, The McDougall’s were dispossessed by the McDonalds as Lords of the Isles. The McDonalds gave Mull to the Mcleans.


The full text can be viewed here (bottom third of page):


And here (bottom quarter):





Somerled—Celtic Warrior recruits the MacPhadin Chief.  Circa 1130’s A.D.

The book of Irish Families Great and Small. Page 101. McFadden/ MacPhaidin


Note the Fagan Coat of Arms on the same page which has been misrepresented as the McFadden coat of Arms.