1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis
KILDONAN, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 9 miles (N. \V. by VV.) from Helmsdale; containing 256 inhabitants. This parish takes its name from Kit, a " cell or chapel", and Ihman, the name of the saint who promulgated Christianity in this part, and whose memory has been handed down by tradition with great veneration. It is chiefly remarkable as having been, for several ages, the residence of the celebrated clan Gun. They are supposed to have descended from the Norwegian kings of Man; and Lochlin, the Gaelic name for ancient Scandinavia, or at least for Denmark, is still spoken of by the Highlanders as the native country of the Guns, the Macleods, and the Gillanders. The immediate ancestor of the Guns is said to have been the son of Olave, fifth Norwegian king of Man, who had three sons by his third wife, Christina, daughter of Farquhar, Earl of Ross. These were, Gun or Guin, the founder of the clan Gun; Leoid, Loyd, or Leod, from whom sprang the Macleods; and Leaundris, the first of the clan Landers, or Gillanders, of Ross-shire, many of whom afterwards assumed the name of Ross. It appears that these several heads of clans were dependent on their grandfather the Earl of Ross, who possessed great power and influence in different parts of the country, and especially in Caithness. In that county. Gun was originally settled; and his first stronghold was the castle of Halbury, at Easter Clythe, usually called Crowner Gun's Castle, and which was situated on a precipitous rock nearly surrounded by, and overhanging, the sea. The clan of Gun continued to extend their possessions in Caithness till about the middle of the fifteenth century, when, in consequence of their rancorous feuds with the Keiths and others, they thought it expedient to establish their chief, and a strong detachment of the clan, in the adjoining county of Sutherland, where, by the protection of the Earls of Sutherland, they obtained, among other places, lands in the parish of Kildonan, which they held for a considerable period. The PARISH is twenty-eight miles in extreme length, and varies in breadth from five to seventeen miles. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Reay and Farr, on the south by Clyue and Loth, on the east by the county of Caithness, and on the west by Farr and Clyne. This is altogether an inland parish.