Enligt en Y-kromosonundersökning vid Oxfords Universitet av geneticist Bryan Sykes har Somerled, grundaren av clanen MacDonald sannolikt sina rötter i Norge. Somerled anses vara en av Skottlands största krigare. Artikeln är publicerad 2003, se denna länk. (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/norse.htm).
Somerled var den förste icke norske kungen eller lorden över the Isles, som hade styrts av norska hövdingar mellan 875 och 1140. The Isles omfattar Hebriderna och västra kusten av Skottland. Det antas att Harald Svartes son Gudröd Crovan äktade Ragnhild, dotter till Harald Hårdråde. Detta bekräftas vid att ett av Gudröd Crovans barnbarn (dotter av Olof Bitling) blev kallad Ragnhild; hon blev gift med Somerled av Argyll. (Fra Skanke-slektens historie, sid 10, G.V.C. Young, 1986)
Somerled Mac Gillabride, född före 1140. Grundare av dynastin Lords of the Isles. Han var son till Gillibride (Gilbert) och sonson till Gillaegammon, som grundade kungariket Argathelia (Argyll). Död i slaget vid Renfrew år 1164. Sumerled, Lord of Argyll; and this was the cause of the ruin of the whole kingdom of the Isles, for he had issue by her four sons, Dugald, Reginald, Angus and Olave. (The family records of the Bruces and the Cumyns' tryckt Kinnard, Falkirk, januari 1870)
Efter ett sjöslag år 1156 delades Söderöarna i två delar och Hebriderna bildade ett eget rike med Islay som centrum. (Nordisk Vikingaguide, sid 189, Lars G. Holmblad)
The grounds for this annulment were that Olaf had previously kept a first cousin of his wife as a concubine and was therefore, technically, committing incest. This seems an extremely nice distinction for mediaval Gaeldom, and the requel to this story probably explains the real motive. On being released from his first marriage to Lauon, a daughter of a nobleman in Kintyre, Olaf married Christina the daughter of Ferchar earl of Ross. Lauon's father is nowhere named in our sources, but it is likely that he was Ruaídrí son of Rognvald son of Somerled who ruled Kintyre in the early thirteenth century. Ruaídrí appears to have lost his lands, and perhaps his life, in the course of the Scottish king Alexander II's expedition(s) to the west in 1221 and/or 1222. Following its account of Olaf's marriage to Christina, the Chronicle tells us that Laon's sister, queen to king Rognvald, provoked Rognvald's son Godred into attacking his uncle Olaf. Despite initial discomfiture, Olaf, with the helf of earl Ferchar, overcame his nephew. This incident is dated to the year 1223. The dating would suggest that it was the collapse of Ruaídrí's position in Kintyre that led Olaf, now based in the North, to seek a more appropriate ally in Ferchar. If this interpretation of events is correct then we should see bishop Rognvald as the tool of Olaf's policy rather than as an officious reformer. It would be interesting to know whether the Mac Ruaídrís owed their later position of strength in Garmoran and the Long Island to Olaf's patronage." Her får vi interessante antydninger om slektstilhørighet for Lauon og hennes søster som føres tilbake til Somerled. Han var gift med Ragnhild datter av Olav Gudrødson og Ingebjørg. Ingebjørg var igjen datter of Håkon, jarl på Orknøyene. (May Teistevoll, Norge)
In the year 1156, a naval battle was fought between Godred and Somerled, during the night of the Epiphany of our Lord, with great slaughter on both sides. But when day light came they made peace, and shared between them the kingdom of the Isles, and from that day to this the kingdom has remained divided. Thus was the kingdom of the Isles ruined from the time the sons of Somerled got possession of it.
In the year 1158, Somerled came to Man with fifty-three ships, gave battle to Godred, put him to flight, plundered the whole island, and retired. But Godred crossed over to Norway, for the purpose of asking assistance against Somerled.
In the year 1192, there was a contest between the sons of Somerled, Reginald, and Angus, in which many were wounded and fell, but Angus gained the victory. In the same year, the abbey of St. Many of Rushen was removed to Pouglas. After remaining there four years the monks returned to Rushen.
In the year 1210, Angus, son of Somerled, was killed, with his three sons. In the same year, John, King of England, with a fleet of 50 ships, went to Ireland and subdued it. He sent a part of the army, with an earl of the name of Fulke, to Man. This force in fifteen days devastated nearly the whole island, and receiving hostages returned home. King Reginald, however, and his nobles were absent from Man at the time. (Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys). Bild: Karta över Skottland