Clan MacInnes

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Scotland Project > Scottish Clans > Clan MacInnes


Welcome to Clan MacInnes

Clan MacInnes Team
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Clan Team

Team Goals

The focus of this team's work is to identify, improve and maintain profiles associated with the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan MacInnes together with members bearing the name MacInnes, the related families and those recognised as septs of Clan MacInnes.

Team To Do List

This list will be developed by the Team. If you are working on a specific task, please list it here:

  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name MacInnes on Wikitree.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan MacInnes.


Clan History

Clan Branches

Other Names Associated with the Clan

Allied Clans

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Clan Research and Free Space Pages

Source Material

Image Credits and Acknowledgements

Information below this line should be summarized and incorporated into this Team page. Detailed information should be moved to additional Clan pages.

Clan MacInnes

Crest: The oldest crest of the MacInneses is a bee on a thistle but this is no longer recognized. Since the 1960s the recognized crest is of a Right Arm in Proper Tartan Holding a Bow.
Motto: “Irid Ghipt Dhe Agus an Righ” (English: By the grace of God and King)
Slogan: “MacAonghais a-rithist” (English: Again MacInnes)
Region: Highland
Plant badge: Cuilean Holly
Pipe music:
Gaelic name: MacAonghais (Sons of Angus).

Septs: The following are the septs of Clan MacInnes along with the spelling variations of each; Angus, Canch, Cansh, Caunce, Hance, MacAngus, MacAinish, MacAinsh, MacAneiss, MacAninch, MacAninsh, MacAnsh, MacAonghais, MacAonghuis, MacCainsh, MacCance

Names associated with the clan: There are many Anglicized spellings of the name: MacInnis, Macinnis, McInnis, Macinnes, McInnes, McGinnis (not to be confused with McGuinnes), McKinnis, MacAngus, McAninch, McIninch, McKynes, M'Aneiss, McCanse, McNiesh, McAinsh and many more, since Mac and Mc are interchangeable. Masters, MacMaster and variants are of the Clan. To this day there are 157 variants of the spelling of the name 'MacInnes' including spellings with Mc, Mac, and the occasional G. The name “Innes” is often linked to MacInnes. Innes originally has a later origin in Moray, but a number of people with the surname "MacInnes" dropped the "Mac", in common with holders of other Mac- names, during times when it was unfavourable to be identified as a Gaelic speaker. See Also:

Clan MacInnes ancestors were among the early inhabitants of Islay, Jura and the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland, generally part of the region known as Argyll. These Scotti, a Celtic, Gaelic-speaking people, first appear there as settlers from Ireland in c. 500 when Fergus Mór, king of the north Irish kingdom of Dál Riata, and his two brothers, Loarn and Óengus, expanded their lands into southwestern Alba.

Óengus had already established a colony on Islay and/or Jura and was the master of ships for the new Kingdom. Óengus (Angus) is considered to be the first of the MacInnes Clan and is thought to be buried on Iona. Dalriada quickly grew in influence and strength, and eventually overran the indigenous Pictish peoples and their culture. The area then became known as Scotland after these Scotti immigrants.

Expansion and decline It is believed that MacInneses lived on Iona with Columba. Oengus and his descendants would have exploited their seagoing skills and ventured to Iona at an early time. Iona is the final resting-place of many MacInneses and lore says that Columba selected the site whereupon the Kiel Church now stands in Lochaline near Kinlochaline Castle, the castle built by the MacInneses.

During the 9th century the clan moved out of the western isles and into Argyll (Morvern and Ardgour). This was most likely as a result of constant Viking raids in the islands.

By the early 12th century MacInnes people were well established in all of Morvern (the peninsula bounded by Loch Sunart and Loch Linnhe and adjacent to the Isle of Mull). The traditional seat of the Chiefs of Clan MacInnes was established there in Kinlochaline Castle. As the Viking raids continued to terrorize their lands the MacInneses became members of an alliance known as Siol Gillebride (Seed of the Servant of St. Bride) along with MacGillivrays, MacMasters and MacEacharns somewhat in the manner of Clan Chattan, under the leadership of the Celtic-Norse warrior Somerled (killed in 1164, often referred to as Somerled MacGillebride, and his father was believed to be a MacAonghais Chief). Somerled’s grandson was the first of Clan Donald (McDougall and McDonald clans).

"Chief of MacInnes sought Somerled to seek his aid. A skilled warrior, Somerled agreed to help them if they would follow his directions completely. He told them to kill and skin a herd of longhaired highland cattle, and to then march their normally kilt-clad fighters in plain sight of the invading Vikings. Next they were to dress in the cowhides with the long hair turned outwards and march again before their enemies; then a third time they were to march in front of the Vikings, but this time wearing the hides turned skin side out. The MacInnes men followed his advice. The Vikings were fooled into thinking the MacInneses had three times their actual fighting strength. They turned and fled the “overwhelming numbers” and many were slain. In thanks to Somerled, the MacInnes’ vowed to become his vassals."

In the mid 14th century, the last chief of Clan MacInnes was killed, along with his sons, by order of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. Chief MacInnes had advised John to divorce his wife, Amy MacRuari, and marry the daughter of future king Robert II of Scotland. Amy got revenge by telling John that MacInnes had complained that, while being lodged at John's residence, his quarters stank because they were used as a dog's kennel. Enraged, John ordered Donald, son of Lachlan MacLean, to kill MacInnes. These murders were carried out in Castle Ardtornish on the Sound of Mull, and as a reward Clan MacLean were deeded the lands and castle of Ardgour. Clan MacInnes remains without a Chief, and many of the clan scattered to Appin, Craignish, Lochaber and Skye, but some of the clan continued to occupy the castle.[[1]] or here [2]

Images: 1
MacInnes tartan
MacInnes tartan



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