The fascinating origins of the clan can be traced to Leod, who was born about 1200, the son of Olaf the Black, King of Man and the Isles. Leod married the daughter and heiress of MacRaild about the year 1220. Through his son, Tormod, came the MacLeods of Harris, Dunvegan and Glenelg, and through his second son, Torquil, came the MacLeods of Lewis.
Throughout the centuries MacLeods have been known for their devotion to their chief, the tenacity with which they have maintained the ancient Dunvegan castle, their appreciation of music and Gaelic lore, their outstanding record in the professions, and their loyalty to one another.
A Clan is not just one family, but a collection of families known as "Septs." See the page on septs for family names associated with Clan MacLeod.