The MacGillivrays were a principal clan even before King Somerled drove the Norsemen from the western Isles. The Clann Mhic Gillebràth were dispersed after Alexander II subdued Argyll in 1222.
The clan’s progenitor, Gillivray placed himself under the protection of the MacKintosh chiefs and also joined the clan Chattan conference. As Episcopalians they were persecuted by Calvinist and Presbyterian neighbours yet fought both in the ’15 and ’45.
In 1745 the MacKintosh chief remained loyal to the Hanoverian commission but his wife ‘Colonel Anne’ raised the clan for the Jacobite cause. Alexander MacGillivary led the clan Chattan but fell at Culloden, where the wall still bears his name.
After that the clan emigrations began across the Atlantic.
The estates of Dunmaglas were sold in 1890 and the last chief believed to have died in Canada.
MacGillivray Clan History