Clan CrestThe Clan McLea/Livingstone Forum

Code of
Title: McLea of Achnacree
Posted by: Kyle MacLea
Date: 01 February 2006

Dear Forum,

We had some discussion of this on the DNA project list, so I thought I'd post what we have so folks can give input!

Andrew said that the Australian (not the Scottish) Niall
Livingstone and another project participant, Bill McLean, appear to be of one family based on DNA. He believed based on knowledge from an earlier message on this forum that that family is possibly the Achnacree branch which were the
principle "cadets" of the Lismore clan. And they have the Colla/Dalriata/Scots R1b type.

I asked:
The Lismore Livingstones have a well-documented name change (McLea --> Livingstone) in their family.  The last I had heard about the McLeas of Achnacree, I didn't know that they also had a documented change to Livingstone.  I wonder if there is any documentary evidence of this as well?  Did they change at the same time?  Or, alternatively, was the name change BEFORE the split of these families?  Since I don't know the history of the two branches, it's hard for me to say.  I suspect, though, that these families were both called McLea and both changed to Livingstone around the same time, for the same reasons and perhaps by agreement, but that they were already split into the two branches at that point.  Occam's Razor would disagree with that guess, but it had been my impression that the McLeas of
Achnacree had split off a lot earlier than the name change...
Maybe we should also discuss why we think Niall L might be an Achnacree!  Kyle=

To which Rob gave this insightful comment:
The following passages are from Ian Carmichael's 1937 book, "Lismore in Alba".

"The story of how the family changed their name is connected with the loss and recovery of their office of almoners (assessors and collectors of tithes for the See of Lismore).  In the confusion which inevitably followed the Reformation, the Lismore almoner lost his status, and it may be that some of the more enthusiastic supporters of the new order had little use for an office created by the Roman Catholic Church.  If they did not actually abolish it, they certainly would not give it their support.  In any event, whatever the reason, "an deor" (the almoner) lost his office and the income derived from it.  As has been already mentioned elsewhere in these pages, Sir James Livingstone, Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland, received from Charles I. "a fifty-seven years' lease of the temporalities of Argyll and the Isles and of the tiends of Killlespeckerril in Muckairn."  For a time he took up residence in Achnadun Castle, the former palace of the bishops of Lismore.  When the !
Baron of Bachull understood who Sir James was, he took an early opportunity of putting his case before him, with the result that the family of mcMolmore Vic Kevir were recognized once more as official almoners.  Out of gratitude to the man who did them such a good service, they paid him the compliment of changing their name to Livingstone.  If this story is history, then the Barons of Bachull have borne their present name for about 300 years only."

   Carmichael continues,

"There were other families of Livingstone living in the neighborhood of Lismore - the Livingstones of Achnacree and the Livingstones of Ballachulish.  The first mentioned are said to have been hereditary keepers of the Royal Forest of Dalness, but there was no relationship between them and the custodians of Moluag's staff.  Those at Ballachulish, however, are said to have been related; and the story of how they settled at Ballachuish is interesting, although it contains some obvious anachronisms."

That story is lengthy and involves "An Beathach Mollach" (the hairy beast), so I will not attempt to repeat it here.  I think it would be worthwhile to repeat this discussion on the Clan Forum for others to see and possibly contribute their own ideas.  Personally, I would think it odd for two families of Livingstons, living within five miles of each other, to not be related - if only anciently.  As far as the timing of the name change to Livingston, there is no solid documention to support the idea that a change occured anytime before the Battle of Culloden in 1745.


And Andrew pointed out the link to the Achnacree for that family:

concerning the question of why it is thought that Niall of Australia might be from the Achnacree branch, this comes from a message posted on the Clan Forum, and which I have linked both from the yahoo group, and from the results webpage...

The message is from Niall of Australia's sister and describes the
contents of very old correspondence.



So, just thought I'd post that to generate further discussion.  I think the quotation from Rob on the origin of the Livingstone name is new to me, and very interesting.  Any opinions on whether the conjecture is true?

Thanks everybody for discussing it.


** This Thread has ended - Please do NOT attempt to resurrect it! **


Title:Date:Posted By:
McLea of Achnacree01 February 2006Kyle MacLea
   McLea of Achnacree01 February 2006Young Bachuil
   McLea of Achnacree04 February 2006Jane Livingstone
      McLea of Achnacree04 February 2006Young Bachuil
      McLea of Achnacree04 February 2006Andrew Lancaster
         McLea of Achnacree05 February 2006Jane Livingstone
            McLea of Achnacree05 February 2006Andrew Lancaster

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