The MacDougalls take their name from Dugall, eldest son of Somerled, from whom they descended. From Dougall, his son Duncan received the lands of Lorn. Duncan's son, Ewin Lord of Lorn, although he made allegiance to Norway, refused to join King Haco in his ill-fated expedition of 1263. Ewin's son, Alexander, married a daughter of the Red Comyn who was slain at Dumfries, and in consequence the MacDougalls became bitter enemies of Robert the Bruce. In one battle with the MacDougalls Bruce is alleged to have escaped only by discarding his cloak with his brooch, afterwards known as the Brooch of Lorn, and now a treasured possession of the chief of the clan. When Bruce secured his throne he retaliated on the MacDougalls for their opposition,...
[More] and after their defeat Alexander submitted to the King, but his son John fled to England, where he was appointed an Admiral in the English fleet. He was later captured in the Western Isles and imprisoned first in Dunbarton and afterwards in Lochleven. On the death of King Robert, John of Lorn was released and his lands restored to him. He married a granddaughter of Robert the Bruce, and his son, John, was the last MacDougall of Lorn. He died without male issue, and the lands passed, through his daughters, to the Stewarts, Lords of Lorn, in 1388.
In 1457, John Stewart, Lord of Lorn, granted to John MacAlan MacDougall the lands of Dunolly. The clan joined in the Rising of 1715, and under their chief, Iain Ciar, were present at Sheriffmuir. On the failure of the Rising the chief's lands were forfeited, but restored when the clan remained loyal to the Crown in 1745.
The eldest daughter of the chief bears the old title "Maid of Lorn."