The DaL Riada were originally a tribe of North Antrim in Ireland, but from as early as the third century, and especially during the late fifth century there had been a steady settlement of the adjacent coastal and island areas of Scotland by these Dal Riada Scots. This area, which became the Scottish part of the greater tribal kingdom of Dal Riada, was separated from the rest of Scotland by mountains.

The Scottish part of the tribal kingdom of Dal Riada was known as Argyll which means “coastland of the Gaels,” for by this time the population of Ireland had long been Gaelic-speaking, and the Dal Riada considered themselves to be Gaels in the general sense, though nonetheless Erainn in the context of ethno-dynastic politics. About A.D. 500 the kings of Dal Riada took up permanent residence in the Argyle, and with the coming of the Vikings in the ninth century, the tribe, by then centered in Argyle, was cut off from their Irish collateral kinsmen in Antrim, the O’Quins of Antrim, who declined in power after the Anglo-Norman invasion. The chief kindreds of the Dal Riada of Argyle, the Cineal Loairn and the Cineal nGabrain, soon spread into much of Scotland with the uniting of their kingdom and the Kingdom of the Picts (Chapter IV).

The Cineal Loairn derive their descent from Loam, son of Erc, a king of Dal Riada in the fifth century. They originally inhabited the present districts of Loin (named for them) and Mull, with the adjacent mainland and island territory to the north and west. This territory comprised the northern part of Scottish Dal Riada, and when the time came for expansion, the Cineal Loairn migrated up the Great Glen. The chief kindred branches of the Cineal Loaimn were the Clann Duibhne, or Cam pbells, the MacGillivrays and Maclnneses, the Cineal Baodan, or MacLeans, the MacNaughtens, the MacNabs, the Clan Chattan, and the Carnerons, MacGillonies, MacMartins and MacSorleys.


Dal Riada

Cineal Loairn:

  • Clann Duibhne / Caimbeul (Campbell)
  • Mac Giolla Bhratha (MacGillivray)
  • Mac Aonghuis (Maclnnes)

Cineal nGabrain:

  • Mac Fhearghuis (Ferguson)
  • Mac Fhearghuis (MacKersey)’

Siol Alpin

  • Mac Grioghair (MacGregor)
  • Mac Dhuibhshithe (MacFie, MacPhie)
  • Mac Fhionghuin (MacKinnons)
  • Mac Guadhre (MacQuarrie)

Cineal Baodan:

  • Mac Giolla Eoin (MacLean)
  • Mac Neachdainn (MacNaughten)
  • Mac an Aba (MacNab)
  • Clann Chatain (Clan Chattan)
    • Mac an Phearsoin (MacPherson)
    • Mac Dhaibhidh (Davidson)
    • MacBheathain (MacBean, MacBeth)
    • Cattanach
    • Mac an Toisich (MacKintosh)
  • Camshron (Cameron)
  • Mac Giolla Onfhaidh (MacGillonie)
  • Mac Mairtin (MacMartin)
  • Mac Somhairle (MacSorley)

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