John D. McLaughlin (Lochlan@aol.com)
A new transcription of the MS. 1467 is online:
|According to traditional Irish and
Scottish pedigrees, several Scottish families share a
common descent with the O'Neills of Ulster: The families
in question are the MacSweeneys of Donegal in Ireland and
in Scotland, the Maclachlans, Lamonts, MacSorleys,
MacEwens of Otter, and included by some authorities, the
MacNeills of Barra. These families have come to be called
the Anradan kindred, because their pedigrees are deduced
from a common ancestor named Anradan, said to be the son
of Aedh Athlaman, the King of Aileach in northern
Ireland, who died in 1033 A.D.
The earliest recorded pedigrees mentioning this descent appear in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan, both dated to about. 1390 A.D.
Pedigree of the MacSweeneys (Book of
The Book of Lecan ca. 1400 AD
The pedigrees are identical in both manuscripts. We might note as well that there is no Duinnsleibhe in the pedigrees, a name which surfaces in later versions. In both manuscripts the MacSweeney pedigree follows that of the O'Neills of Ulster, to which it is linked in the person of Aedh Athlaman. The pedigree of the O'Neills also makes its first appearance in these two manuscripts.
Prior to the Books of Lecan and Ballymote, no pedigrees of Scottish clans except the line of the King of Scotland appear in Irish manuscripts. After the disastrous battle of Druim-derg (Downpatrick) in 1260, in which the native irish forces were overwhelmed by the superior weaponry and armor of the Normans, the Irish chieftains across Ireland began importing gallowglasses (merceneries) from Scotland. Among these were the MacSweeneys and Lamonts (as Meg Buirrce) from Scotland, who first came to the attention of the Irish annalists a few years after this battle.
1267 Annals of Ulster
Murchadh Mac Suibhne was taken prisoner by
Domnall Mac Maghnusa and
1305 A.D. Annals of Ulster
A defeat was inflicted by Aedh, son of Cathal Ua
Concobuir and by the Clann
1351 Annals of Ulster
Eoghan Mac Suibhne was killed by Maghnus Ua
The ODonnells of Donegal had known connections to the western isles of Scotland during this period. . Donal oge ODonnell (c. 1258 ) was married first to the daughter of a MacSweeney and secondly to a daughter of MacDonald of Scotland.An annal entry in 1258 mentions his return from Scotland after the death of Gofraidh ODonnell. He may have been fostered there although the entry does not state this explicitly. A later entry in 1291 states that his son Torlogh (whose mother was a MacDonald) was assisted by the power of the tribe of his mother and many other gallowglasses in a battle of dynstic succession with his brother Aedh..
Sometime after 1300 the MacSweeneys were awarded for their service to the O Donnells with the territory of Fanad in Donegal and afterwards held other territories in the same county. Other branches of the family served as gallowglasses in the south and west of ireland. The Lamonts (Mag Buirrce) also appear as gallowglasses to ORourke in Connacht in a later entry.
1346 A.D. Annals of Ulster
Great war arose between Ualgharc O'Ruairc and
Ruaidhri, son of Cathal Ua Conchobhair. And
There is little doubt the MacSweeneys were a Scottish clan. They appear in Scottish records in a series of charters involving churchlands in Kintire.and the The strongholds of the family of Swene were Castle Sween in Knapdale and Castle Skipness in Kintrye.
Memorials of Argylshire
"In the year 1247, Pope Innocent IV. confirmed to
the rector of the Church
A history of the Campbells states that Iver, ancestor of the MacIver Campbells, was 'begotten on the daughter of a great man called Swineruo [Suibhne roe] he was the owner of Castle Sween in Knapdale and was Thane of Knapdaill and Glassrie' And the MacSweeneys are said to have possessed the upper half of Kintrye and all Knapdale, embracing the parishes of Kileal- monel, Skipness, South and North Knapdale, extending on the south across from Rudhnahaorain, on the west to Cour on the east, and on the north from Crinan on the west to Lochgilp on the east
Most Irish historians believe the MacSweeney pedigree was faked after their settlement in Donegal to provide them with a pedigree linkied to the northern Ui Neill amongst whom they settled.
A New History of Ireland
The following pedigrees are found in Skene's MS. 1467.
MacEwen of Otter
Genelach ic Eogan na hoitreac anso.- Baltuir ic Eoin
ic Eogain ic Gillaesp ........
Maclachlan of Scotland
Do Genelach ic Lachlan oig.- Cained ic Eoin mc
Lachlain mc Gillapadruic mc Lachlan moir
Genelach clann Somarle.- Donall ic Gilleeasp mc Angusa
ic Donmaill mc Somarle ic Fearchar
Skenes mistake in translation, alluded to above, occured in the following line taken from the pedigree of the Maclachlans.
Lachlan moir mc Gillapadruic mc Gillacrist mc
Dedaalain renabarta buirrce mc
Skene renders the end of this line as "Henry [Anradan] from whom are descended also the clan Niell, whereas it should read "Anradan, where the line converges with clann Nial naoigiallaigh, or Nial 'of the Nine Hostages.' Skene interpreted "clanna Neill" to refer to the Clann Neill or MacNeills of Scotland. It does not. The line properly refers to the descendants of Nial 'of the Nine Hostages' in Ireland, the Ui Neill, from whom descend the line of the Kings of Aileach in Ulster (O Neills and MacLochlainns) as well as the Cinel Conaill (ODonnells) in Donegal.
This mistake by Skene and repeated in his "Highlanders of Scotland" (vol. 2, Highland Clans) has led many Scottish writers over the centuries to mistakenly include the MacNeills of Barra and Gigha in the Anradan kindred. Skene corrected this error in his later version of the pedigrees in "Celtic Scotland," but no one seems to have noticed.
All of the above pedigrees end in either Anradan (MacEwen, Maclachlan) or Buircce (MacSorley). Based on these alone we do not know exactly how the line continued, except we may infer they somehow connected to the line of Nial 'of the Nine Hostges' (Maclachlan pedigree). And this (in the case of the Maclachlans) would appear to be a definite link to the earlier Irish pedigress for MacSweeney in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan..
Skene made another mistake in the ms. 1467, identifying a pedigree of the MacLennons for that of the Lamonts (Genelach ic Gillalament). He seems to have realised this mistak fairly quickly; but he never did find a pedigree for the Lamonts in his ms. 1467 and doesn't mention them in connection with the Anradan kindred in his "Highlanders of Scotland."
In the original issue of Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, Skene omitted an entire column of pedigrees, which he said could not be read.. He later subjected the manuscript to some form of chemical treatment, which brought out the script enough for him to read the missing pedigrees. These pedigrees he included in a later issue of the same journal. Included among them is a pedigree for the Lamonts, which Skene did not recognise at the time, translating the title as "Clan Ladus." But a comparison of this Clan Ladus pedigree with existing pedigrees of Lamont in Irish manuscripts proves that it is a Lamont pedigree.
Genelach Clann Ladus .....Robert ic ...... ic
Eoin ic Gillacolm ic ...... mc Gilleasp ic Ferchair
Skene did not realise this was a pedigree of the Lamonts until much later. In his Highlanders of Scotland, he refers to a mysterious Clan Maclaisrichs as part of the Anradan kindred, possibly deduced from this pedigree.
In this pedigree we find the same Anradan, Buirc, Dunsleibhe and Ferchair that we have already seen in the MacSweeney pedigree and in the previously published pedigrees for the Anradan kindred in Skenes ms. 1467. But here Anradan is said to be a son of . Gilleabeirt, King of the Western isles. The pedigree terminates in a Nialgusa of Lochaber, most likely the same Nialgusa of the MacDonald pedigree in the same manuscript..
Here we find a major contradiction. The MacDonald pedigree goes back to Colla Uais, King of the Airgiallaigh in Ireland, not to Nial 'of the Nine Hostages. Yet the same string of names appears in both. One of them must be wrong.
By the time he published "The Highlanders of
Scotland" in 1837 Skene fixed many of these early
mistakes. His table of the clans of Scotland now links
the Anradan kindred to the Nialgusa of Aberice in the
pedigree of the Lamonts and the line of the McDonalds of
Robert son of Roibert mac
Our next source in the series of Anradan legends may be found in an Irish manuscript called "Leabhar Chlainne Suibhne" or the "Book of Clan Sweeny," written in the early 16th century in Ireland by two Irish scribes at slightly different periods (Ciothruadh Mac Fhionnghail, 1513-14; and Tadhg Mac Fithil, 1532-44) for Mary MacSweeney of Fanad. An old translation probably by ODonovan is inserted in the manuscript MS. 24 P 25, Royal Irish Academy (Clann Aodh Buidhe) between folio 66 and 67 (recto):
Here begins a small portion of the land conquests and victories of the Clann Suibhne, and of thir genealogical ramifications also. Aedh Athlaman son of Flatihbertach an Trostan [O'Neill, d. 1036], son of Muirchertach Midheach son of Domhnall of Ard Macha, had two sons, i.e., Domhnall, who was called the Ogdamh, and Anradhan, and Domhnall was older than Anrathan but the strength of power of Anradhan acceeded Domhnall's, and when their father, Aedh Athlamhan died, all the territories came to Anradan and they desired to make him lord in the place of his father, and Domhhnall came to them, and said this is setting aside the senior to appoint Anrdhan said he. It is verily said Anradhan's people for he is the most noble, and the most illustrious, and the man of most strength and power. "My curse be upon you after this." said Domhnall, "since I have no other power over you." We will not accept of this from you said Anradhan, for we will give you the lordship, and we ourselves shall not remain in Ireland, as long as you shall enjoy the lordship.And Domhnall I prefer ceding you the lordship in preference to your leaving Erin. Anradhan did not accept of this; but he styled Domhnall lord, and indeed all the territories to be obedient to him; and he proceeded himself, with spirit and highmindedness to the harbour where his ships and barks were, and we shall not give a long account of his passage over the seas here, but shall pursue a brief narrative. But however they made no delay until they reached the beautfful fair coasts of Alban, and they took the half of Alban, and one ballyl besides, by force, so that their might and power extended far and wide. And after they had been for some time in the east they acquired great wealth and much influence; and extended their sway over all the territories, and they made peace and formed an alliance with the King of Scotland, i.e, Anradhan married the daughter of the King of Scotland and she brought forth children, for him of whose race are all the Clann Suibne from that time to the present. And this was the fist invasion of Alban ever made by Clann Suibhne. And now son to this Anradhan was Aedh the Comely mac Anradhan, and son to Aedh the comely was Dunnsleibhe, and son of Dunnsleibhe was Suibne from whom the Clann Suine are called, and he was the noblest and the most illustrious of twelve sons whom this Dunnsleibhe had, and it was by him Caislen [castle] Suibhne was built in Alban. And son to this SUibhne was Maelmuire of the Purse and this Maelmuire is the stipres of the three Clann Suibhne. And this Maelmuire had a fairy leman, and it was she that gave him the famous purse which we have mentioned before. And these were the virtues of this purse viz. a small pinginn and a shilling said to be found in it every time it wsa opened. And Maelmuire spent a long time in this manner [with his leman] but his people thought it time to give him a wife, and the wife they contemplated for him ws the daughter of O'Conchobar aine Benmidhe daughter of Toirdelbhach after and they proceeded with a large fleet to Erin and makde no delay till they reached Sligech [Sligo] and they were two nights in the town. and took the woman with them.
One night afterwards as Maelmuire was at Caislen
Suibhne, the Benshee whom we have mentioned, prompted to
come to him with her child, and she had told him to be
awake on her arrival, but she arrival there was no one
awake in the house except the daughter of O'Concohbair,
and she sat at the fire of the house , and asked if Mac
Suibne was awake, and the daughter of O'Conchobair
answered the he was not, and the daughter of O'Concobhair
offered her clothes for the child, but she did not accept
of them and she said that that sleep would do great
injury to Mac Suibhne and his descedants and she went
away angrily and was not seen from that time forth; and
that son of hers was Ferfedha, is never seen except when
he comes to relieve the Clann Suibne in time of battle or
Flaithbertach an trostain died after his son in 1036. It is here that we should find some mention of Domhnall the young oxe and his brother Anradan in the annals; but neither man is named nor is any other ONeill in the line that would later become Lords of Ulster. Instead the annals mention another son of Flaithbertach an trostain named Muirdach who was killed in 1039 and in 1044 a Nial son of Maelsechlainn is named the King of Aileach. This Nial was in the line of Domhnall, brother of Nial glundubh, called Clan Domhnall in the pedigrees. In 1045 a Muirchertach Ua Neill appears, but he is also not in the line of the oater ONeills of Ulster. He may be another son of Flaithbertach an trostain, or perhaps in the line of Aedh of Craeb Tulcha, slain in 1004.
In 1051 Ardgar MacLochlainn is named as King of Telach oge, a minor sub-kingdom of the overkingdom of Aileach, an area later strongly associated with the ONeills. In 1064 Ardgar MacLochlainn, the King of Aileach died and a Muirchertach Ua Neill is named King of Telach oge. This Muirchertach cannot be associated with the line of the later O'Neills of Ulster either.
The annals normally are full of references to various claimants to the throne after the death of a King of Aileach, and indeed they are well represented in these years, except for the line of Aedh Athlaman and the later ONeill kings of Ulster. This is a strange situation in that both Aedh Ahlaman and his father were Kings of Aileach; yet no identifiable son of Aedh Athlaman appears as a claimant to the throne after his death. And history certainly does not agree with the statement of the Clan Suibhne that Domhnall became "Lord" of the territories after the death of his father.
We must therefore conclude that the history of Domhnall 'the young oxe" and his brother Anradan, as presented by the Leabhar Chlainne Suibhne, is a fabrication, based soley on the earlier pedigrees. Far from attaining the Lordship after the death of his father, Domhnall 'the young oxe" appears to have been King of nothing in these years, not even the minor sub-kingdom of Telach-oge. So there was no kingdom and no territories for Domhnall and his brother Anradan to quarrel over in the first place.
O Ceallaigh "Gleanings from Ulster history") throws further doubt on the dubious story of Domhnall and his brother Anradan. He mentions a curious line in the Leabhar Eoghanach concerning Aedh Athlaman. For six generations in sequence the family depends upon a single individual to maintain the succession; no brothers or uncles are mentioned, and L.E. expressly states that Aodh was the last of his race.
It is not clear why this statement appears in the Lebor Eoghanach since both Domhnall the young oxe Ua Neill and Anradan are supposed to be sons of Aedh Athlaman. But O Ceallaigh is a careful writer and there is no reason to doubt his word. A pedigree in Rawlinson B.502 written c. 1120 would seem to agree that Aedh Athlaman had no sons.
Under Clann Neill (para. 1014) we find a pedigree for the MacLochlainns, followed by a pedigree for Clan Domhnall. Then in paragraph 1016 under the heading item we find:
¶1016] Item: Áed m. Néill m. Flaithbertaich m.
Murchertaich m. Domnail
This pedigree lists only Neill as a son of Flaithbertach an trostain; and a grandson named Aedh. It does not mention Aedh Athlaman at all; and no sons of Aedh Athlaman. Well return a little later to the pedigree of the ONeills but suffice it to say for now that something is seriously wrong with both the pedigrees of the ONeills and the Anradan kindred.
Buchanan of Auchmar 1723
William Buchanan of Auchmar, in his An
Historical and Genealogical Essay upon the Family and
Surname of Buchanan also included sections on the
Maclachlans, MacNeills and Lamonts (among others) at the
end of his history. He was one of the earliest Scottish
writers to attempt a comprehensive history of the
Highland Clans. His version of Anradan kindred clan
histories is interesting in that clearly none of the clan
heads consulted have every heard of Anradan and already
had clan histories in place prior to the time of Skene's
discovery of the MS. 1467.
Comments in italics
"The surname of McLauchlan hath been of a long time reputed one of our ancient clans, being originally descended of the surname of the O Lauchlans of Ireland, the principal person of whom, according to Mr. Walsh, and other Irish historians, was in the second century of the Christian epoch, provincial King of the province of Meath, which dignity his successors enjoyed for many descents, till some little time before the English conquest, the family of O'Rourke obtained that principality. This surname is asserted to be of the Milesian stem, or that of the ancient kings of Ireland, and the progenitor thereof to have come to Scotland with the first who from Ireland planted Argyle-shire.
Buchanan here is referring to the McLaughlins of Donegal, kinsmen to the ONeills of Ulster. In early annal entries they are referred to as both Ua Lochlain (OLoughlin) and MacLochlainn (McLaughlin).. Buchanann, relying here on the authority of Irish historians, states the Maclachlans of Scotland were descended from the McLaughlins of Ulster. This of course disagrees with every pedigree weve examined so far and is complete nonsense. The principal person referred to may be Nial of the Nine Hostages who would have held the kingship of Meath along with the kingship of Ireland; but the second century of the Christian epoch would seem to preclude this identification. It may be a reference to an earlier ancestor of Nial, perhaps Tuathal Teachtmar, who is said to have gone to Scotland.
MacNeill of Barra
Connents in italics
"This surname of M'Neil being one of the most ancient of our Scottish Clans, is originally descended rom that once potent and flourishing Surname of the Oneils of Ireland. These Oneils were divided into Two great Tribes, the One termed the North4ern and the other the Southern Oneils. The first of these for a great many Ages, untill the English Conquest, were Provincial Kings of North Ulster."
Buchanan is making a serious error in this passage; he is clearly confounding the tribe name Ui Neill with the surname ONeill, two different things entirely. Ui Neill refers to the descendants of Nial of the Nine Hostages; the surname ONeill refers only to those descendants of Nial glundubh (d. 191) who took that specific surname in his honor. That he is confusing the two can be seen in the second sentence, when he states the Oniels were divided into two great tribes, northern and southern. He should be using the term Ui Neill here (the tribe name) and not the surname.
"The McNeils of Scotland, a branch of those of Ireland, are reported to have come here with the first Scots, who from Ireland planted Argyle-Shire, and the Western Isles, being for some Ages bypast divided into to considerable Families, these of Barra and Taynish...."
Here hes saying that the MacNeills (a branch of the Ui Neill of Ireland) came to Scotland with the first Scots who came from Ireland to Scotland. Its unclear exactly what he means by the first Scots to come to Argyleshire and the western isles but he is probably referring to the migration of the sons of Erc, king of the Irish Dal Riate in NW Ireland, who are said to have come to Scotland in 403 A.D.
"Mr. Martine Composer of the History of the Western Isles, asserts, that McNeil of Barra can produce Evidents for Thirty Six Descents, of his Familie's Possession of that Isle, bsides a great many old charters, most of which are not legible."
Next he mentions that there have been 36
generations between the first of the MacNeills to come to
Scotland to the present day (1723). This old family
history is not talking about the ONeills of Ulster.
He reckons the ancestor of the MacNeills among the early
Scots (Dal Riata) who first came to Scotland in 403 A.D.
The surname of Lamond is asserted to be descended of Lamond Oneill, a Son of the Great Oneil, provincial King of North Ulster.
IIn all likelihood we have in this passage the same mistake we find elsewhere in Buchanan; confusing the tribe name Ui Neill with the surname O'Neill. It too is probably based on the same passage in the history of the MacNeills that refers to the sons of Muirchertach MacEarca, King of Ireland, going to Scotland. This odd passage in Keating's History is probably the source for the persistent claims of a descent from Nial 'of the Nine Hostages' from the Highland clans of Scotland.
W.D.H. Sellars wrote a long article on the Anradan kindred trying to prove that the Irish pedigrees linking them to Aedh Athlaman and the Irish ONeills could be true. If he was aware of the older work of Skene and the pedigrees in the ms. 1467 linking the family instead to the line of the MacDonalds, he never mentioned it in his article. He is also quite unaware of the fact that every clan history written in the 19th century mentioned this descent from the MacDonalds thanks to the influence of William Skene. He also did not appear to have been familiar with O Ceallaigh's work which casts considerable doubt on the pedigree of the O'Neills themselves, and in particular, on the question of whether Aedh Athlaman had any descendants.
He was able to demonstrate a number of objections previously raised to the Anradan pedigree did not hold water; but in the end he offered no new compelling evidence that they wer true. One can only wonder what different conclusions he might have reached had he been aware of the two conflicting peidgrees in Skenes ms. 1467, or consulted Skenes earlier work (The Highlanders of Scotland) rather than his latest opus, heavily dependant as it was on Irish pedigree sources.
Sellars states that the genealogy of the Kings of Aileach is well-known and well authenticated. For the most part that is perfectly true; but the genealogy falls apart after the name of Aedh Athlaman in the line of the O Neills. As O Ceallaligh and other writers have noticed, not a single son of his can be identified in the annals. Even worse is thr fact that not one of the next five consecutive generations of ONeill ancestors can be identified in the annals or any other historic source except for the pedigrees in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan. O Ceallaigh referred to this problem in the ONeill pedigree in his Gleanings from Ulster history
"Though the problem is hardly contemporaneous
with the matter under
The fact that the ONeill pedigree is two generations too long can best be illustrated by a direct comparison with the MacLochlainn pedigree.
Aedh an Macaoamh Toinleasc Ua Neill (the lazy youth) was the competitor of Nial MacLochlainn. The kingdom of Aileach was partioned between them in 1167. Yet in tierms of generations he appears two generations later in the pedigrees.
Brian Catha Duinn was the competitor of Domnall MacLochlainn at the Battle of Caim Eirge in 1241. Yet in the pedigrees he appears three generations later.
The problems noted by O Ceallaigh begin to manifest after Aedh Athlaman; prior to that the pedigrees are more or less in synch, with Ardgar MacLochlainn dying in 1064 and Aedh Athlaman in 1033, three years before his father, Flaithbertach an Trostain. And of course this is exactly the point in the ONeill pedigree to which the Anradan line is connected. It is perhaps no coincidence that both suddenly appear in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan ca. 1400.
There is a pedigree for the O'Neills which appears in
the G2 manuscript (National Library), fol. 9v, c. 1350,
which contradicts the traditional pedigree of the
O'Neills as it appears in the Books of Ballymote, Lecan
and later genealogical collections.
G2 MS (National Library)
There are some early poems written to commemorate two O'Neills that give some support to the possibility that the true ancestor of the O'Neills was Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha' and not Aedh Athlaman.
Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe, the bard of first the MacLochlainns and later the O'Neills after 1241, wrote a poem commemorating the death of Brian Catha Duinn Ua Neill, beheaded in the Battle of Downpatrick in 1160. He was a contemporary witness to the events of 1160 and his account predates the Books of Lecan and Ballymote by 140 years. One stanza of the poem appears below:
78. Beloved was both trunk and branch: great O Neill
This stanza can only refer to Domnall 'of Armagh' and his son, Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha.' It describes Aedh as a branch of the Ua Neills in descent from Domnall 'of Armagh' (the trunk.) Can we take this trunk and branch statement from this poem as a possible indication of Brian O'Neill's descent? If not why would the poet have bothered to include it in his poem in praise of Brian Ua Neill?
Another poem written in 1425 by Tuahal O hUiginn in praise of Enri O Neill (d. 1484) contains a similar phrase.
34. Fruit-branch of royal flesh and blood,
Despite singing the praises of the "Nials and the Aodhs" in this poem, it does not mention Aodh Athlaman at all, nor his father, Flaithbertach an Trostain. Instead it concentrates on Aedh of Craebh Tulcha, warning Enri O Neill to avoid the mistakes he made centuries earlier. Excerpts from the poem follow.
23. Brian of bright cups, ever to the front in fight
with Goill - 'twas
Lastly, there is an odd statement in Keating's Pedigrees that may have soem bearing on the subject.
107 Flaithbheartach an trostain, son of
According to Keating, the Clann Aodha Buidhe descended from an Aedh, brother of Domnall 'of Armagh.' This can only be the Clanna Aodha Buidhe or 'Clannaboy', a branch of the O'Neills. But according to genealogical manuscripts, Muirchertach 'of the Leather Cloaks' did not have son named Aodh.
Cethri Maic Murchertaig mic Neill Glunduib .i. Domnall
Or - Muirchertach 'of the Leather cloaks, son of Neill Glundubh, had four sons, Domnall 'of Armagh', King of Ireland, Flaithbertach, King of Aileach, Murchadh and Flann. The four sons of Domhnall 'of Armagh' were two Aedhs and Muiredach. A similar passage in the Book of Ballymote adds the name Muirchertach to the sons of Domnall 'of Armagh.'
The Aodh intended in this passage in Keating can be none other than one of the two sons of Domnall 'of Armagh' named Aodh - and probably Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha,' given the references to him in the poems above quoted.
It would be foolhardy at this stage to attempt a re-construction of the pedigree of the O'Neills based on a descent from Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha,' given the obvious corruption of the pedigree in the G2 manuscript. But we might note that removing both Flaithbertach an trostain and his son Aedh Athlaman from the pedigree (where they do not belong) would result in a pedigree two generations shorter, silencing the objections raised to it by O Ceallaigh. The later pedigrees of the Books of Ballymote and Lecan appear to have resolved this problem by simply omitting the refences to Aedh 'Craebh Tulcha' and attaching the line instead to the known pedigree of Flaithbertach an trostain (Rawlinson B.502; Book of Leinster).
And here we have the nexus of the problem with the Scottish Anradan kindred. The pedigree writers at the same time took the opportunity to fabricate a pedigree for the MacSweeneys of Ireland, connecting them to Aedh Athlaman in their new and improved pedigree of the O'Neills.
Prior to Skene's discovery of the MS. 1467 in about 1837 in Scotland the clans now known as the Anradan kindred knew nothing of this supposed ancestor; several of them, including the MacNeills and Lamonts claimed a vague descent from Nial 'of the Nine Hostages', High King of Ireland, who died in 405 A.D., probably based on Keating's History, which contains an invasion of Scotland by sons of Muirchertach Mac Earca, the great-grandson of Nial. The Maclachlans thought their surname came from the O Loughlins of Ireland; or so they were informed by Irish historians.
In Ireland the MacSweeneys had long ago formulated an artificial history of Anradan and his brother Domhnall, sons of Aedh Athlaman (Leabhar Chlainne Suibhne). Later genealogical collections in Ireland also contained pedigrees for the Lamonts and Maclachlans (O Clery, MacFirbis) but these were apparently unknown outside of Ireland.
After Skene published his pedigrees and the "Highlanders of Scotland" the clans of the Anradan kindred happily ditched their earlier versions of their own ancestry in favor of a descent from Anradan. But the original descent he proposed for Anradan was from the stock of the MacDonalds, not from the O'Neills of Ireland. One finds this descent in every clan history written in the years following Skene's first publications. But at some point, Skene began corresponding with Irish scholars, or at least consulted the Irish manuscripts himself, and revised his earlier opinions drastically. With the publication of Celtic Scotland in 1881 a new version of the Anradan descent was born in Scotland, this time from the O'Neills. And this is the version all of the affected clans follow to this day.
One effect of Skene's Celtic Scotland is that the MacNeills were dropped from the Anradan kindred, to which they never truly belonged in the first place, except for an unfortunately error in translation by Skene.
What we find today is an unfortunate combination of Skene's earlier work still being quoted alongside his later revised opinions. We still read of the "Siol Gillevray" in clan histories; although the "Siol Gillevray" were a branch of the MacDonalds and not the O'Neills. The same clan histories then breathlessly relate the story of Anradan and his brother Domhnall, of how Anradan came to Scotland and married a daughter of the King of Scotland; all in ignorance of the original stories told by their clan chieftains prior to the emergence of William Skene and his famous manuscript.
It appears that the pedigree of the O'Neills was fabricated at the same time as the Anradan descent for the MacSweeneys. Both suddenly appear in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan after being largely ignored in earlier manuscripts. The one pedigree for the O'Neills we do have in Rawlinson B.502 (1120 A.D.) doesn't even mention the line of Aedh Athlaman O'Neill who died some 87 years before. The book of Leinster (1170 A.D.) is silent on the issue. For the Irish scribes, the person of Aedh Athlaman in the Irish annals probably just gave them a convenient dumping point to fabricate the MacSweeney and O'Neill pedigrees. .