Clan CrestThe Clan McLea/Livingstone Forum

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Title: Married clergy prior to 1200 AD on the Isle of Lismore?
Posted by: Donald Livingstone Clink
Date: 30 May 2005


I must of missed this one important detail. Perhaps your all a step ahead of me on this one as many of you are Scottish and more familiar than I with the history of the church. For my part I was surprised to learn that there were married clergy in Celtic Scottish Catholic church prior to the year 1200 AD and before the Church in Rome established themselves in Argyll. Assuming that some of the families in Argyll are descended from these married Clergymen, then some of these first names of religious origin such as Maelmoire (Myles)(servant of Mary) and Gillemichael could have had been the names of some ancient men of the church who served  sometime after St. Columba and St. Molaug. Perhaps some with these names served in an important capacity on the Isle of Lismore during the period between 600 AD and 1200 AD.

Was the Baron's ancestor a married clergyman on the Isle of Lismore during this time frame? Possibly. If so then possibly he went by a first name with some religious significance such as Maelmoire or Gilchrist or some such name beginning with Gil for example. The Baron's ancestors, by the time the Church of Rome established itself in Argyllshire in the 1200's were already long in the possession of St. Molaug's staff and the church of Rome acknowledged the Baron's ancestor's connection to the tradition of St. Molaug.
Long after St. Columba and St. Molaug died the religious community in Argyll was kept alive by clergy some of whom seem to have been married. This appears much to my surprise also in Wales and in Ireland in the Celtic church. There appears to be some speculation that St. Patrick and St. Columba were opposed to celibacy in the church, but I don't know how much proof anyone has to back up that statement. Anyways this information was a surprise to me.

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