By this I mean St Donan had nothing to do with Kildonan in Sutherland. One has to consider the traditional Gaelic name for Kildonan - and it has nothing to do with St Donan. If St Donan had impact on the Kildonan area then it is logical to assume the traditional name would show it. As well, the lives of the saints on the west coast are quite well documented, including St Donan, but there is no paperwork for him visiting what is now Sutherland. And we are talking the 600s here - moving from the west coast of Scotland to Sutherland would be like visiting Mars today. For more see http://clangunn.weebly.com/on-saint-donan--saint-donnan-and-on-kildonan-having-nothing-to-do-with-him.html
Which gets to the point of this entry. There are basically two Gunn histories now operating -
- An academically based Gunn history where primary sources are used and options evaluated. This has the Gunns as a non-kindred tribe of original settlers in the Northern Highlands. No historic chief, as they were never a clan. This non-kindred tribal group history remains valid up until a generation or two after the Clearances when the 'tribe' memories and behaviour would no longer hold due to increasing moderation by the new societies around the Gunns; Gunns are then increasingly best seen as part of other regional or other national histories. (The Gunn name may be shared but it is not based on major, shared genealogical links, nor any other uniquely 'Gunn' aspects, for an example see the last paragraph in Mark Rugg Gunn's text on page 31).
- 'Clan Gunn' Society pseudo-history where academic argument is ignored or viewed as inconvenient and grand, unquestioned 'truths' run. For example, there is no way Gunns have an Orkney descent see http://clangunn.weebly.com/clan-gunn-has-no-orkney-origin.html), there is no way a Gunn helped discover America (see http://clangunn.weebly.com/on-a-gunn-helping-discover-north-america---sir-james-gunn-of-clyth-crowner-of-caithness-and-the-westford-knight-myth.html and there is no way Gunns are a clan and so should not have a Chief (see http://clangunn.weebly.com/are-gunns-a-clan-2-chief-implications.html). This 'history' (part of the tartanisation of Scottish history see http://clangunn.weebly.com/on-scottish-clan-re-invention-in-the-18th-and-19th-centuries.html) appealed to tourists from the 1820s on to today because of its romance and easy wish fulfilment links to famous people.
I like real Gunn history and will continue my research...