Start your family tree now Is your surname Macleod?
There are already 233 users and 4,663 genealogy profiles with the Macleod surname on Geni. Explore Macleod genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Macleod Genealogy and Macleod Family History Information

‹ Back to Surnames Index

Create your Family Tree.
Discover your Family History.

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


view all


About the Macleod surname

The name Leod" is Norse, and derives from the word "sljoetr", meaning "ugly". I remember that my father took great pleasure in telling me that our name means "son of the ugly one"! The original Gaelic spelling of the name is "Mac Leoid", "mac" meaning son, and using the genitive form of the name, "Leoid, i.e. of Leod". The founding, if that is the word, of the Clan - clann Leoid, or children of Leod - probably took place in the 9th century, following the Norwegian seizure of the islands and some coastal areas of what is now Scotland. The Isle of Man was ruled by a Norwegian chief called Olaf the Black, and his 2 sons, Torcuill and Tormod, acquired lands in the Hebrides - Torcuill in Lewis, Raasay and Assynt. Tormod in Skye and Harris. The Siol Torcuill (or Torquil) died out in 1595, their lands passing to the MacKenzies, but the Chief of Siol Tormod, styling himself MacLeod of MacLeod, still resides in Dunvegan Castle in Skye, and owns about 35,000 acres on the island. The current chief's great-grandmother, Dame Flora MacLeod, was able very skilfully to ride the wave of interest in clan ancestry starting in the 1950s, and Dunvegan Castle now has a thriving visitor centre, and "Clan Parliaments" are held every 3 years, with MacLeod societies from all over the world sending delegates. In Skye, Harris and Lewis, the surname MacLeod is still very common.