The ancient Scottish Clan MacLeod is descended from Leod, son of Olaf the Black, King of Man and the Northern Isles. Olaf was from a dynasty of Norse Kings, who, for centuries held the Isles. They were in turn descended from King Halfdan the Stingy, a King who was reputed to be descended from the god Frey. Leod held then island of Lewis, the mainland Glenelg and part of Skye in about 1195 AD. It was his two sons who founded the two great branches of the Siol Tormod and Siol Torquil.
The Siol Tormod held the territories of Harris, Glenelg and Dunvegan Castle in Skye; the Siol Torquil held Assynt and Cadoll, and the island of Raasay. Siol Tormod (MacLeods of Harris) fared better than Siol Torquil (MacLeods of Lewis). In the Sixteenth Century, the main line of MacLeod of Lewis failed to produce an heir. Leadership was then conveyed to the cadet branch -- MacLeod of Raasay. The late chief Torquil Roderick MacLeod traced his lineage and has resurrected the MacLeod of Lewis title. Siol Torquil's history is one of greatness and strength associated with treachery and intrigue. Little remains to document its history. Much of Siol Tormod history revolves around its impressionable chiefs: Malcolm, third chief, fortified Dunvegan Castle with a massive Keep. Legends associate him with the motto "Hold Fast!" and Rory Mor's drinking horn.
The MacLeods supported King Robert the Bruce against England in 1314 but still did not receive a charter for their territories. King David II finally conceded that Glenelg rightfully belonged to the MacLeods, but in the meantime the MacDonalds, a great power in the Western Isles, were claiming the MacLeods as their vassals. With accession of the Stewarts to the Scottish throne each succeeding King asked the Clans to show title to their lands but, of course, the MacLeods were unable to do so. The 6th Chief of the MacLeods, Alexander, finally won concession and secured a charter for the lands.
Alsdair Croatach, 8th Chief, built the Fairy Tower at Dunvegan; St. Clement's Church at Rodel in Harris and settled the MacCrimmons (Piper for the MacLeods) at Borraraig. He was a great patron of the arts. Rory Mor, 15th Chief, was perhaps one of the ablest, raising himself from the position of forfeited outlaw to honored servant of the King. Iain Breac, 18th Chief, restored the family fortunes and name. Norman, 22nd Chief, was called the "Red Man". Norman, 25th Chief, endeared himself to his people supporting them through the potato famine. Dame Flora, 28th Chief, strove to rekindle the MacLeod heritage throughout the World. The current Chief (30th) is Hugh MacLeod of MacLeod. Throughout the centuries MacLeods and their allied families (called Septs), have been known for their devotion to their chief, their appreciation of music and Gaelic lore, their outstanding record in the professions, and their loyalty to one another.
Members who have Clan MacLeod Heritage:
Iona Baldwin, Ian Good, Bill Nichol, Dr. Steve Nichols