MacDonald of Keppoch

Clan MacDonald of Keppoch, also known as Clan Ranald of Lochaber, is a Scottish Clan.




The MacDonalds of Keppoch are descended from Alistair Carrach Macdonald who was a younger son of Good John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald and his second wife Margaret Stewart, daughter of King Robert II of Scotland.

For his involvement in the 1431 inserrection of Donald Balloch, Alistair Carrach had a large portion of his lands removed and transferd to the Chief of the Clan MacKintosh.

In 1497 some of the Clan MacLaren stole cattle from the Braes of Lochaber from the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch. The MacDonalds followed them and overtook them at a place called Glenurchy where a battle took place. The MacDonalds won and recovered their cattle. However the MacLarens then looked for assistance from Dugel Stuart of Appin. Another battle then took place where the MacLarens were now joined by the Stuarts against the MacDonalds. During the battle Dugel, the chief of Clan Stuart and the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch chief were both killed.

The 12th Chief of the Clan Macdonald of Keppoch called Alexander along with his brother was slain in 1663 in what is remembered as in gaelic as Tobair-nan-ceann meaning the Well of Heads, not far from Invergarry. This is where the heads of seven murderers were washed before presentation to the Lord MacDonnell of Invergarry.

In 1668 the MacDonalds of Keppoch fought at the Battle of Mulroy.

Noted in the Black-book of Taymouth that in 1681 a bond of manrent was given by Gilleasba, chief of Keppoch, to John Glas, first Earl of Breadalbane; “such as Ceppoch’s predecessors gave to the Earl’s predecessors.” binding Keppoch “to restrain all the inhabitants of Brae-Lochaber, and all of the name of Macdonell, from committing robberies within the Earl’s bounds.”

During the Jacobite Uprisings the son of the 15th Chief of Clan MacDonald of Keppoch was among the men who attacked British government soldiers who were preparing a surprise assault on the Glenfinnan gathering at what is now known as the Highbridge Skirmish. This was the first strike on the government during the 1745 to 1746 uprising. The MacDonalds of Keppoch were also involved in the Siege of Fort William in March 1746. This son of the chief later died at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

The MacDonalds of Keppoch were without a chief for over 150 years until the 13th September 2006 when Ranald Alasdair MacDonald was acknowledged as the lawful chief by the Lyon Court, following a 30 year fight for the right to use the ancient title of Mac Mhic Raonuill.

The original seat of the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch was at Tom ‘a Charraigh at Torlundy et al.



Septs of Clan MacDonald of Keppoch

Septs of Clan MacDonald of Keppoch include the following. Other branches of the Clan MacDonald have different septs.

Alexander, Sanderson, MacGillivantic, MacGilp, Macglasrich, MacKillop, MacPhilip, Philipson, Ronald, Ronaldson.

The family of MacRanald, now mainly spelled McReynolds, was also a branch of the Keppoch’s. A very ancient and rare name in Scotland.

Category posts

Search the Information Centre.

Need help? See our Search Tips