Laing is an ancient descriptive name, being a reference to ‘long or tall’. The names Layng, Laying, Laing, and Lang have been interchangeable through much of Scottish history. The family seems to have originated in the northern reaches and islands some time towards the end of the eighth century as Norse and Picts intermixed.
THE MacDonalds are of very ancient origin. The clan founder was the heroic Somerled, who freed his countrymen from the Norse yoke, and rose to power that no subject has equalled. He died in 1164, leaving three sons. The second, Reginald, died in 1207, leaving, with other issue, an eldest son, Donald, from whom the clan takes its name. As Lords of the Isles and Earls of Ross, the Clan Donald were the greatest of the Highland clans, their chief until 1493 ranking as an Island Sovereign. After the fall of the Lords of the Isles, first Glengarry, and then the Lords of Sleat held the chiefship. The Chief of the Glencoe MacDonalds, Mac-Vic-Ian-Mac-Ian, was of Royal descent, and was, with nearly all his clan, massacred by Campbell of Glenlyon in 1692. He had remained constant in his adherence to King James, and loyally took the oath to serve William of Orange, but was rewarded with as foul an act of treachery as was ever perpetrated. Glencoe is the traditional home of the poet Ossian.
THE Gordons had their origin in the Lowlands. The Scottish Gordons are descended from Sir Adam Gordon, the friend of Wallace, and to whom Bruce granted the lands of Huntly or Strathbogie. He fell at Halidon Hill in 1333. Alexander, 3rd Earl of Huntly, fought at Flodden. George, 6th Earl, was created a Marquis in 1599. George, 4th Marquis, was made Duke of Gordon in 1684. The Dukedom lapsed in 1836, and the Marquisate went to the Earl of Aboyne. The Earls of Aberdeen are descended from Patrick Gordon of Methlic, who fell in battle at Arbroath in 1445. Ten Baronetcies pertain to this clan: Gordonstoun, Cluny, Lismore, Lochinvar, Park, Dalpholly, Earlstoun, Embo, Halkin, Niton. Two regiments have been raised from it. The 92nd, or Gordon Highlanders, raised in 1794, and the old 75th and 92nd linked together, are now the Gordon Highlanders. The Marquis of Huntly is chief of the Gordon clan.