The family of McKinnons are one of the branches of the Siol Alpine, and claim to be descended from Fingon, a great grandson of Kenneth MacAlpin. The MacKinnons held lands in Mull and Skye, and from the earliest times appear to have been vassals of the Lords of the Isles. In 1409 Lachlan MacKinnon witnessed a charter of the Lords of the Isles. Until the forteiture of the Lordship of the Isles, the history of the MacKinnons is bound up with that important family. The family were intimately connected with the ecclesiastical history of Iona, and the last Abbot of that holy island was John MacKinnon, who died in 1550. Interesting evidence of the connection between the branches of Siol Alpine, who although widely separated claimed a common ancestry, is to be found in a bond of friendship in 1606 between McKinnon of Strathardle and Finlay MacNab of Bowaine, and again a bond of manrent between MacKinnon of Strathardle and James MacGregor of MacGregor in 1671. Ewen, chief of the clan, received from James V a charter of the lands of Mishnish and Strathardle in 1542. The clan was at the Battle of Inverlochy under Montrose. In 1646 Lauchlan, chief, and the clan, supported Charles II at the Battle of Worcester. His second son, Donald, emigrated to Antigua, where he died in 1720. The MacKinnons were out in 1751 and again in 1745 in support of the Stuarts. After Culloden, the chief, although old and infirm, was imprisoned in London, but was allowed to return home in 1747. His son Charles had to part with the family estates after they had been in the clan possession for over four centuries. In 1808 the last chief of the main line died, and the chiefship passed to the family of Donald who emigrated to Antigua. A notable member of the name is Donald Mackenzie MacKinnon who was born in 1913. He was the Scottish philosopher of religion at Aberdeen and Cambridge. His lectures were published in 1965. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
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