OT: 17 November 1934 – G.C.B. Poulter “The MacCrimmon Genealogy”

The Oban Times, 17 November, 1934

The MacCrimmon Genealogy

 Collingwood Place, Camberley, Surrey, 10 November, 1934

Sir,–It would be a matter of great interest to many students of Scottish family history if any of your readers could supply the Christian names or other means of identification of members of the ten generations of MacCrimmons who, according to an inscription on the Borreraig cairn, were hereditary pipers to MacLeod.

Although there are MacCrimmons alive to-day who trace back a traditional lineage of some fifteen generations in the direct male line, only about eight generations appear to have produced hereditary pipers. It seems that there has been some confusion between the lines of hereditary pipers and direct descendants (generations). The hereditary pipers were sometimes succeeded by brothers or cousins, as the title was conferred on the best piper, and he was not necessarily the eldest son.

A traditional line of descent begins with two questionable battalions, Giuseppe and Petrus Bruno, grandfather and father of “Fionnlagh na plaide báine.” Iain Odhar, Findlay’s successor, is supposed to have been born about 1500, and the line continues with Padruig Donn c. 1530, Donald Mór c. 1560, Pàdruig Mór c. 1585, Pàdruig Og c. 1630, Malcolm c. 1690, Iain Dubh 1731, and Donald Og c. 1780, from whom descend four generations in the direct male line.

After the death of Iain Dubh or his brother Donald Ruadh, it seems that descendants of their uncle Donald Donn were for a time employed as pipers at Dunvegan Castle, but they can hardly be included among the hereditary pipers.

I am, etc.,

G.C.B. Poulter