Cowell (No.2) family genealogy

Of Scotland

IN the "Cowell" (No. 1) pedigree we see that Fearach, a brother of Muirceartach (or Mortogh) Mór MacEarca, the 131st Monarch of Ireland, was the ancestor of MacCathmhaoill. Amongst Fearach's other brothers was Fergus Mór MacEarca, as we see in the following extract:

"In A.D. 498, Fergus Mór MacEarca (a brother of Muirceartach Mór MacEarca above mentioned), in the twentieth year of the reign of his father, Muredach, son of (Eugenius, or) Owen, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages . . . with a complete Army, went into Scotland to assist his grandfather Loarn, who was King of Dalriada, and who was much oppressed by his enemies the Picts, who were in several battles and engagements vanquished and overcome by Fergus and his party. Whereupon, on the king's death, which happened about the same time, the said Fergus was unanimously elected and chosen king, as being of the Blood Royal, by his mother; and the said Fergus was the first absolute king of Scotland, of the Milesian Race: so the succession continued in his blood and lineage ever since to this day.—Four Masters.

As the MacCathmhaioll family here mentioned is descended from Fearach, a brother of the said Fergus Mór MacEarca, it is, no doubt, the Cowel (or Campbel) family mentioned in Jacob's Peerage;[1] for, according to said Peerage, we find that by letters-patent, bearing date at Kensington, the 23rd June, 1701, Archibald, the 10th Earl of Argyle, was created "Duke of Argyle," and amongst other titles, that of "Earl of Cambel and Cowel." And (see No. 99 on the "Kiernan" pedigree) there was another MacCathmhaoill family located in Tirowen, Ireland.

In connexion with the Scotch "Cowell" family, it is a strange fact that the 74th Regiment, called when originally raised the "Argyll Highlanders," wear a dark tartan, relieved by streaks of white, known as the "Lamond." As Fearach was the ancestor of the family, and that the Lamonds were called the Clan ic Earachar, who were afterwards known as the "Maclamans of Lamonds," it is easy to understand that the Lamonds were the most ancient proprietors of Cowell. As the traveller passes through the Kyles of Bute he can look up Loch Striven at the rounded tops of the "Cowall" mountains; and, on his right, will see, at the entrance of the Loch, Port Lomond. It is therefore not wonderful, that a Regiment, called at its first raising the "Argyll Highlanders," should wear the colours of a Clan dwelling of old in Airer Gaedhil,[2] anglicised Argyll and Argyle.


[1] Peerage: "A complete English Peerage, containing a Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical Account of the Peers of this Realm; together with the different branches of each family; including a particular relation of the most remarkable transactions of those who have eminently distinguished themselves in the Service of their Country, both in the Field and in the Cabinet, from the Conquest down to the present time. To which is prefixed a succinct history of the Houses of Brunswic, Brandenburgh, Saxe-Gotha, and Mecklenburgh. By the Rev. Alexander Jacob, Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty, and Chaplain to His Grace the Duke of Chandos. London: 1767."

[2] Airer Gaedhil: According to Dr. Joyce, the most important colony from Ireland which settled in Scotland was that which in the fifth century was led by Fergus Mór MacEarca and his brothers, as above mentioned; and which was known by the name of Airer Gaedhil, meaning the territory of the Gael or Irish.