Clan MacLeod Society of Australia (South Australia) Inc.


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© 2008 - 2016    F A Qs

F A Qs


Who is a MacLeod?

Any descendant of a MacLeod is MacLeod.  Some may also bear the name by marriage.  Some in the past may have adopted the name.  Other family names associated with MacLeod are referred to as ‘Septs’ or ‘Adherents of the Clan’.  These, in several examples, had important roles in the function of the Clan MacLeod as a large community of families.  McAskill were men at arms for the Clan, Bethunes practised medicine, MacCrimmon were pipers and so on.  While having their own proud family and clan identities, they and many others, are MacLeod.

Can I be sure I’m a MacLeod?

Male MacLeods may carry genes with signature characteristics.  A University College London gene survey study was conducted in 2003 through volunteers from the Clan MacLeod Society.  It indicated strong evidence of Clan origins in Scotland or Isle of Man, (similar to other Viking settled communities like the Shetland Islands) that are consistent with the historical records of the Clan.  The study revealed a very high grouping of males (32%) with characteristics suggesting a common male MacLeod Foundation Lineage to approx 1000 yrs, ie. an original progenitor whose genes had been inherited by a large proportion of  future generations.  This is also consistent with Clan MacLeod history.  However, a USA study revealed that as well as this large group, there are many blood lines, and variations such as reproductivity in lines, can influence the results.  We are a ‘mosaic’ clan, and much more testing will be required to interpret the patterns.

If you are interested in the Clan MacLeod Surname Project contact My Family Tree DNA.

     My Family Tree DNA

and search for the MacLeod Surname in the lists.  Sept families may also participate.  Fees for testing apply.

Why are there different spellings of the name?

There are some wonderful variations of the name MacLeod.  They look like McLeod, M’Leod, Maclot, Machlejd, McCloude and many more.  They are mostly poor phonetic interpretations of strange pronunciations.  Some are recorded by frugal shipping and migration clerks saving ink and time, possibly Englishmen or colonials who had never heard the gaelic tongue of Highland Scots.  It might be seen that migrant MacLeods from the same ship, or arrivals at the same port over time, will be recorded with similar spelling.  It doesn’t make anyone less a clansman.

Can I wear a Clan Tartan and which one?

You can wear any clan tartan you like as long as you respect what or whom it represents and refrain from bringing it into disrepute.  Some clansmen can trace their lineage or affiliation with some certainty to MacLeod families with registered tartans and may follow that preference.  Others may choose to wear a tartan according to individual taste.  Notable examples are that of Chief John 29th MacLeod of MacLeod who opted for the Californian MacLeod tartan; and Dame Flora 28th Chief of MacLeod who’s portrait displays the Lewis Tartan.  It is recommended that you seek out a local Kiltmaker for best fit and available cloth.

Why join the Clan MacLeod Society?

There’s a different answer for every member.

Many members are regionally located.  Many are correspondence members for whom it is the only connection to their heritage.  Some pursue genealogy.

In general, membership may do four things.