Clan Maclea or Livingstone

The Livingstones of Bachuil are recognised as the Chiefs of MacLea.

The name Maclea evolved from Maconlea who is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic spelling Mac Dhunnshleibhe.

The Ulaid were once the most powerful tribal group in the north of Ireland and it is from them the province of Ulster derives its name. From 1137 the Ulaid rigdamnai (persons eligible to be king) alone used the name Mac Duinnshleibhe.

The family of Mac Duinnshleibhe remained 'kings of the Irish of Ulidia' until the 13th century when defeat by the Normans drove them to the Isle of Lismore where they reunited with their kinsmen the Coarbs of St Moluag. From that time the Coarbs of St Moluag used the name Mac Duinnsleibhe.

After the massacre of Dunaverty in 1647 our family adopted the name Livingstone from the reference in First Epistle of St Peter in Chapter 2.

Livingstones/MacLeas are the oldest clan in Argyll, the birthplace of Scotland as we now know it. A writer in 1743 remarked that : “As to the antiquity of the name of McLea, it is generally thought that they are amongst the eldest of the Macks … and they are at this time so old that they are almost worn out.”

The main strength of Clan MacLea centred on the old abbey lands of Lismore and Appin. There was a large grouping around Loch Etive: MacLea of Achnacree, MacLea of Lochnell and MacLea of Achnacloich.

There is no real distinction between Highland and Lowland Livingstones. In 1645 Alexander Livingston, second Earl of Linlithgow, believed that his family were descended of the McLea's in the Highlands.

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