Mac MaolŠin

Alumnus of Columcille (Gille Collum):

 (under construction)

 

In diverse Irish annals and charters to to the "Book of Kells", (illustrated above is the Chi/Rho page) we learn our ancestors were in addition to being warrior Chieftains of the Luighne and Gaileanga territories, also were active members of a monastic order referred to as  "Alumnus of Columcille" which in the era of our surname research (9th to 12th century), had attained status of "Primacy of the Columban league of churches" based on a decision to transfer that order by the Bishop Cellach (anlicized Kellogg) from Iona in Scotland to Kells Co. Meath, along with the relics of "Columcille" as a result of constant Viking attacks and their presence in Iona (U=Annals of Ulster)

U807.4 Building of the new monastery of Colum Cille at Cenannas.

U814.9 Cellach, abbot of Í, when the building of the church of Cenannas was finished, resigned the office of superior, and Diarmait, fosterling of Daigre, was appointed in his place.

Evidence of our surname involvement in this monastic order, begins with Lynan Mac Maolain recorded in the famous Book of Kells (UCC CORK EXTRACTS):

 

 

While difficult to read as a result of the script style and fading after a thousand years, the actual location of this relevant text is highlighted by the word O'Laecaib which translates to Laity in Irish. an examples of the use of Irish in documents pre norman.

  

Tribal links of the Gaileanga Mora to monastic sites such as Clonmacnoise and Bealach Duin (Keim monastic site Castlekeeran) were recorded earlier and specific entries connecting family Maelan/Mac Maelan to the monastic site of Kells can be found in the annals:

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U1050.3 Maelán, lector of Cenannas, and the most learned of all the Irish, a distinguished sage, died.

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U1051.4 Laidcnén son of Maelán, king of Gailenga, went with his queen, i.e. the daughter of the Got, to Rome on his pilgrimage and died.

U1051.4 Laidhgnen m. Maelain, ri Gaileng, cum sua regina, .i. ingen In Guit, do dul dia ailithri do Roim & a ec.

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T1065.5 Leochan son of Mac Maoláin, king of the Gailenga, was slain by Conchobhar Ó Maolseachlainn. 

U1076.3 Murchadh son of Flann ua Mael Sechlainn, king of Temair for three nights, was killed in the bell-tower of Cenannas by the grandson of Maelán, king of Gailenga.

 

 

 

 

 


This monastic site of Kells remained the primacy, of the alumnus from the time of Cellach in 807, until the 1158 synod of Brí meic Thaidc (in Co. Meath), which then established the authority of the abbot of Derry, Flaithbertach Ua Brolcháin over the Columban federation. The columban monastic sites of Kells and Durrow in Leinster were then declared free of taxation. 

Monastics from Kells Meath to Scotland (known then as Alba): 

The Mac Mhaolain of Scotland  give as their progenitor, a Ghille Mhaol or Ghillacrist, based on entries found written in the “Book of Deer”, an ancient document said to have moved with Celi Di monastics from Iona to Dunkeld during the same periodthat  Viking raids brought Cellach to Kells. His sucessor Diarmait appears to have made several efforts to resurrect the Alba links

M816.7 Diarmait, Abbot of Ia Coluim Cille, went to Alba

U829.3 Diarmait, abbot of Í, went to Scotland with the halidoms of Colum Cille.

U831.1 Diarmait came back to Ireland with the halidoms of Colum Cille. 

U849.7 Indrechtach, abbot of Í, came to Ireland with the halidoms of Colum Cille.

Extract "history of Dunkeld"

Kenneth I of Scotland (Cináed mac Ailpín) (843–58) is reputed to have brought relics of St Columba from Iona in 849, in order to preserve them from Viking raids, building a new church to replace the existing structures,[13] which may have been constructed as a simple group of wattle huts. The relics were divided in Kenneth's time between Dunkeld and the Columban monastery at Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland, to preserve them from Viking raids.

This “Book of Deer”, which contains details of land transfers and gifts to the church recorded for a period spanning over 150 years (1000-1150AD), also has two specific entries in latin, sited as evidence for the "MacMillan" surname origin:

1st Gillachrist son of Cormac, recorded as a witness; and

2nd, Malcoluim (Malcolm) mac Molina thought also to be a son of Cormac.

Extracts Book of Deer

III

Gartnait mac Cannech & Ete ingen Gille-Míchél do-ratsat Pet Mec-Cobrig ri coscerad eclasi Críst & Petir abstoil, & do Colum Cille & do Drostán, sér ó na h-ulib dolodib, co n-a nascad do Cormac escob Dúni Callenn, in n-ocmad bliadin rígi Dauíd. Testibus istis:—Nectan escob Abberdeon, & Léot ab Brecini, & Mael-Domnig mac Mec-Bead, & Algune mac Arcill, & Ruadrí mormar Marr, & Matadín brithem, & Gille-Críst mac Cormaic, & Mal-Petir mac Domnaill, & Domongart fer léginn Turbruad, & Gille-Colaim mac Muredig, & Dubni mac Mal-Colaim.

V

Donnchad mac Mec-Bead mec Hidid do-rat Acchad Madchor do Críst acus do Drostán & do Choluim Cille in sore go brád. Mal-Féchín & Comgell & Gille-Críst mac Finguni i nn-a fienasi in testus, & Mal-Coluim mac Molíni. Cormac mac Cennédig do-rat gonige Scáli Merlec. Comgell mac Caennaig, taesec Clande Canan, do-rat do Críst & do Drostán & do Choluim Cille gonige in gorthe mór i gginn in fris is nesu d'Aldín Alenn, ó Dubuci go Lurchari, etar sliab & achad, i ssaeri ó théssach cu bráth; & a bennacht ar cach hén chomallfas ar és cu bráth, & a mallact ar cach én ticfa ris.

No specific dates are attached to individual enties, but Scot antiquarians  estimated the entries as circa 1131-1132:   

The Rev'd McMillan in his research stated these individuals were born and educated in Ireland. An additional migration mentioned in this earlier research named a Dubgaill Dall mhic gillacoluim mhic gillacrist…Gillamaol, which translates as: Dougal blind son of gillacoluim son of gillacrist…tonsured. said in Clan Chattan tradition to have come from Ireland circa 1215AD, taking possession of lands in Glen Loy and Loch Arkaig.

Dubgaill Dall is speculated to have been the grandson of a Gillachrist mac Cormac and progenitor of Clan McCallum (son of Coluim).

The current head of clan MacMillan has a heriditary eye disease. Genetic testing identifies his branching point (last shared SNP with the Morgallion McMullen family in a range at 95% confidence), as between 893-1243AD, with the most likely (mean) as 1083, which makes the estimate suggested here, appear very accurate assuming a person promoted to a higher ecclesiatic position would likely be in his late 30's or 40's. 

Those families who remained in Kells Columcille Meath up to the time of the Norman invasion, are identified in the "Breifny Antiquarian Society research records", citing the O’Reilly notice of Conchubar Mac Maoilin 1162 AD as the Abbot of Kells, included as part of their pedigree surrender and regrant submission.

Driven out by the invading Normans under De Lacy,  who at first demolished, then rebuilt Ceannanus, Mac Maolain eclessiastical families aligned with O'Reilly, 1st migrated to an area under control of the Ui Diarmada (Loch Ce). One of his grandsons Clarus Mac Maolain became Archdeacon of Elphin, Roscommon, and later returned with a group of monastics to the area of Loch Oughter in Co Cavan, occupying an island townland named Trinity, given to him by the O’Reilly chieftain of east Briefne

 

 The O'Reilly and families including Mac Maolain's, would return to the Kells area several generations later, as recorded in the Chancery letters of the occupying English: