Malcolm Ii Ross Macheth O'Bealon

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Malcolm Ii Ross Macheth O'Bealon

Immediate Family:

Son of Malcolm MacEth, Earl of Ross and Unknown sister of Somerled
Husband of The mother of Fearchar, Earl of Ross
Father of Fearchar Mac an t-Sagairt, Earl of Ross
Brother of Gormflaeth (Hvafleva) MacEth; Hugh Magnus MacEth; Ferquhard MacEth, Earl of Ross and Donald MacEth (Mackay)

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Malcolm Ii Ross Macheth O'Bealon

The traditional story is that Fearchar was part of the ancient family Ó Beólláin (O'Beolain, Boland, Bolan) of the Gaelic Cenél Eoghain that were co-arbs (hereditary abbots) of St. Maelrubha at Applecross in Ross-shire. This idea goes back to the work of the great William F. Skene, and indeed, even before him, with William Reeves, whom Skene cited.[1]

The historian Alexander Grant has recently challenged this theory, arguing that the evidence for this origin is far too thin to contradict the intuitive and well attested idea that he came from Easter Ross. Grant takes up the idea instead that mac an t-Sacairt (= Son of the Priest') probably refers to a background as keeper of the shrine to St Duthac, at Tain, Scotland.[2]


Lord Lyon Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, the chief herald for Scotland, in 1970 endorsed the view that said this is "the other and more probable account, which the best authorities have adopted" - "The first of the O'Beolan Earls of Ross was Fearcher MacinTagart, grandson of Gillianrias, and son of the Sagart, or priest, who was the co-arb, or hereditary abbot of the old monastery founded by the Irish St. Maelrubha at Applecross in the seventh century."

See "The Clans, Septs & Regiments of the Scottish Highlands" By Frank Adam (page 285)

Justin Swanstrom continues:

"The case for this scenario is fleshed out by the Mackenzie history, which I also posted yesterday. The short version is that Fearchar was probably the son (or grandson) of Gilleanrias. The Ross Clan is called in Gaelic, Clan Anrias or Clan Gilleanrias (the descendants of Anrias or Gilleanrias). This was probably the Gilleanrias who was one of the earls who besieged Malcolm II in 1160. In a genealogy dated 1450 the chief of Clan Gilleanrias is Paul MacTire. This same Paul MacTire was called cousin in a charter from William, last O'Beolan Earl of Ross. The genealogy makes this Paul MacTire the 2nd great grandson of Gilleanrias, and takes the family further back to Gilleoin na h-Airde and beyond."

O'Beolan in The Celtic Magazine, Volume 3, edited by Alexander Mackenzie, Alexander Macgregor, Alexander Macbain

"The basic idea is that when the direct male line of the O'Beolan earls of Ross died out, the earldom passed to he Leslies, but the chiefship of the Ross clan passed to Paul MacTire, and since clan Ross was called Clan Gilleanrias, both the O'Beolan earls and Paul MacTire must be descendants of the same Gilleanrias."

  • Wikipedia
    • 1. Reeves, William, 'Saint Maelrubha: His History and Churches' (in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. III (1857–60), 258-96, at pp. 275-6); Skene Celtic Scotland, Vol. II, pp. 483-4 .
    • 2. Grant, "The Province of Ross", p. 121.

Genealogy Tools


Malcolm II (Malcolm, 1st Earl of Ross,) Macbeth formerly Ross MacHeth

Born 1158 in Moray, Scotlandmap

Son of Mael Coluim (Dunkeld) MacEth and Mariotte aka Margaret sister Somerled MacGillebride

Brother of Gormflaeth Macheth

Husband of Bethoc MacGilleBride — married [date unknown] [location unknown]

Husband of Intagart DeRoss — married [date unknown] [location unknown]

Father of Farquhar MacTaggart and Donald De Ross

Died [date unknown] in Cromarty, Ross & Cromarty, Scotlandmap

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