The MacAskill Sept Society


Decendents of Asketil

A History of the MacAskill Sept Society

A History of the MacAskill Sept Society

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The Origin of MacAskills and Their Name

Originally submitted by Olive McCaskill Bell to Electric Scotland This very old Sept of MacLeod of Harris was once of considerable importance to the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan, due to their superior height and strength, and their expert swordsmanship. According to very old documents, the progenitor was Asketil, son of Torquil. Asketil was the last Viking King of Dublin, Ireland. He died circa 1171-2, resisting the English invaders of Ireland under King Henry II. He had placed his family under the protection of the Norse King of Man, and his grandson, Gilbert MacAsgaill, led a party sent by the King of Man to occupy and hold Dunscaith Castle, on the Sleat Peninsula, Isle of Skye. These are the first members of the name we can find in Scotland. According to Nicholson’s History of Skye, they held that castle, “first for the Norse Kings of Man and later for the MacLeods”, until it was ceded to the MacDonalds in settlement of a land dispute. The MacAskills were then given the tack of Rudha na Dunain, where there were MacAskills well into the 1880’s. In the 1700s, the McCaskills had seven farms - all called by different names, but totaling 27,000 acres, including the Isle of Soay. One of these farms was Bolinture, the ancestral home of some of the McCaskills who started immigrating to North Carolina in 1771. One branch of the family built Talisker House and founded the distillery of that name, still the only licensed malt whisky on the island. In the aftermath of Culloden, great numbers of MacAskills left Scotland to seek better living conditions in the United States, Canada, and other pats of the world. During the infamous Highland Clearances the entire population of the Island of Bernarey, between Harris and North Uist, was arbitrarily shipped to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. This apparently was the source of Frank Adams’ mistaken idea that MacAskills were from Lewis; and belonged to the MacLeods of Lewis (not the only error he made in assigning septs to other clans). Victorians on the mainland were unaware that Lewis and Harris were different islands, and, since Bernarey was part of the Harris estate, he just assumed that it was a part of Lewis, and that all MacAskills therefore belonged to Clan MacLeod of Lewis. Subsequent authors of Clan and Tartan books have done their ’research’ in Adams’ book and so the error has been perpetuated, misleading many who are first beginning to seek their roots. Among the families sent from Bernerey to Cape Breton was six-year-old Angus MacAskill, his parents and siblings. Angus grew up to be the famous Cape Breton Giant. His grand-nephews and grand-nieces have built a small but interesting museum on the site of his home in Englishtown, Nova Scotia. In recent years an annual Gathering of MacAskills, all spellings, has been held there, and a MacAskill Sept Society formed. For information on the Sept Society, please refer to contact information on our Sept website . In 1951, a MacAskill tartan was designed and registered, based on the MacLeod of Harris sett, but with a slight difference to show allegiance to Clan MacLeod.

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Join the Society Today!

We look forward to welcoming you in the society of many MacAskills.

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MacAskill Tartan is available for $40 per square yard includes shipping in the US only...

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Interesting Links

Interesting Links

Get connected with all things MacAskill!

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Lloyd MacAskill


Dan McCaskill

Vice - President, USA

Earl McCaskill

Vice - President, Canada

Don MacAskill


Rachel McCaskill Miles


Betty Joe McCaskill


Anthony "Miles" Scott

Communications Officer

Join us for the

2021 Annual Gathering

in Sumter, South Carolina

  •  10/8/2021 05:00 PM - 10/10/2021 12:00 PM
  •   18 North Main Street, Sumter, SC, USA

The MacAskill Sept Society Annual Gathering will be held in Sumter, SC this year. Agenda and Registration form is below.

  •  9/7/2018 06:00 PM - 9/9/2018 01:00 PM
  •   5220 Westview Dr, Frederick, MD 21703, USA

This weekend will be a great time to get away and enjoy a weekend in historic Frederick. Only 45 minutes from Washington, DC and close to many attractions, you are sure to have a great time! We can't wait to see you there.

Airports Nearby image
CAE - Columbia, SC - 1 hour away

CLT - Charlotte, NC - 2 hours away
Hyatt Place Downtown Sumter

Hyatt Place Downtown Sumter
$142 Nightly includes Breakfast
Must Reserve by September 8th

Click here to reserve your room!​​​

Friday October 8th, 2021

  • Check in hotel anytime after 3pm

  • Welcome Reception at Oak Hall (Home of Mary Anne and Tony Scott)
  • Wine, Beer, and Heavy Hors D'oeuvres - 5 - 7pm

Saturday October 9th, 202

  • Breakfast on your own at Hyatt Place Sumter

  • Genealogy and Family History Interest Group - 8am 

  • Sept Society Business Meeting - 10:30am
  • Box Lunch to follow Business Meeting
  • Explore Swan Lake Iris Gardens 

  • Explore Sumter County
    • Sumter County Museum
    • Swan Lake Iris Gardens
    • Milford Plantation Historic Site
    • Old McCaskill Farm
    • Temple Sinai - Sumter Jewish History Center
    • Historic Churches - Church of the Holy Cross and Salem Black River Church

  • Dinner, Entertainment, and Silent Auction
    • Location to be determined (7pm)

Sunday October 10th, 2021

  • Breakfast on your own at Hyatt Place Sumter
  • Kirkin O’ the Tartan

$75 per person for the entire weekend

  • 8 Huckleberry Lane, Hampton, NH 03842, USA
  • The MacAskill Sept Society