Olith Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda

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Olith Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda

Also Known As: "Olith ingen Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda", "Anleta", "Thora Donada", "Anleta "Thora Donada" /Mackenneth/", "Anleta /MacKenneth/", "Princess of Scotland"
Birthplace: Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: Norse Orkney, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: Norse Orkney
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Máel Coluim Mac Cináeda, Rí na h'Alba and NN
Wife of Sigurd "Digri/the Stout" Hlodvesson, Orkneyjarl
Mother of Thorfinn 'The Black' Sigurdsson, II Jarl of Orkney
Sister of Bethóc ingen Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda and Donada ingen Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda, Princess of Scots

Occupation: Daughter of Malcolm 2nd
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Olith Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda

NN ingen Maíl Coluim mac Cináeda was the youngest daughter of Malcolm II. Her name is uncertain (Olith, Anleta, Thora, was she actually Donada?).

  • Parents Malcolm II and his NN wife
  • Spouse: Sigurd II Digri Orkneyjarl
  • Child: Thorfinn Sigurdsson Orkneyjarl


  • It is highly unlikely that she is the same daughter who married Finley - see below. [Anne Berge]
  • It is perfectly possible that Sigurd took Donada from Findlaech in proximal territorial raids that were happening at the time, long before Findlaech died – Sharon Doubell]

Sources and Resources




c) EINAR "Turf-Einar” .
m ---. The name of Einar´s wife is not known.
Einar [& his wife] had [three] children:

1. ARNKEL (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954).
2. ERLEND (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954).
3. THORFINN "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" ([910/20]-[soon after 977], bur Hoxa, North Ronaldsway).
m ([941]%29 GRELAD of Caithness, daughter of DUNGAD [Duncan] Mormaer of Caithness & his wife Groa.
Thorfinn & [his wife] had [seven] children:

a) daughter . If the reports of the plots involving her son are correct, she was probably older than her brothers. m ---. One child:]

i) EINAR "Klining/Buttered-Bread" (-murdered). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter” plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread[825].]

b) daughter. If the reports of the plots involving her son are correct, she was probably older than her brothers. m ---. One child:]

i) EINAR "Hardchaft/Hard-Jaw" (-murdered).

c) ARNFINN Torfinnsson (-murdered Murkle, Caithness ----).
m ([954/55]%29 as her first husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Queen Gunhild Gormsdatter.
d) HAVARD Torfinnsson "Season-prosperous" (-murdered, bur Stennis, Hrossey).
m as her second husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Gunhild Gormsdatter.
e) LJOT Torfinnsson (-killed in battle).
m as her third husband, RAGNHILD
f) HLODVIR Torfinnsson ([945/50]-[988], bur Hofn, Caithness). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[844]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[845]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[846]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “after Ljot´s death, Hlodvir took charge of the earldom”, presumably indicating Ljot´s brother but this is not explicitly stated in the text, recording that “he died in his bed” and was buried “in a burial mound at Ham in Caithness”[847].

m EITHNE, daughter of KIARVAL King of Ireland & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Hlodvir” married “Eithne, the daughter of King Kjarval of Ireland”, adding in a later passage that “Sigurd´s mother was a sorceress”[848]. Hlodve´s supposed father-in-law has not been identified among known Irish kings.

Hlodve & his wife had [three] children: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) SIGURD "Digri/the Stout", son of [HLODVIR Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney & his wife Eithne of Ireland] ([965/70]-killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014). Orkneyinga Saga names “Sigurd the Stout” as the son of Hlodvir and his wife, adding that he “took over the earldom” after his father died[856]. Snorre names "Sigurd the Thick" as the son of Hlodver[857]. His birth date is estimated from the fact that his older sons were already sufficiently mature in 1014 to be placed in charge of Orkney by their father when he left for war in Ireland. He succeeded his father in [988] as Jarl of Orkney and Caithness. He defeated Findlaech Mormaer of Moray before 995 at the second battle of Skidmoor in Caithness, consolidating his power on the Scottish mainland. Orkneyinga Saga records Sigurd´s battle against “a Scottish earl called Finnleik”[858]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Olaf Tryggvason” pressured Sigurd to accept baptism and returned to Norway with Sigurd´s son as a hostage[859]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd went to Ireland “five years after the Battle of Svoldur” to support “King Sigtrygg Silk-Beard” against “King Brian of Ireland”, and left “his elder sons in charge of the earldom”, but was killed in the battle in which King Brian was killed[860]. Snorre records that "Sigurd the Thick" went to Ireland and fell "in Brian's battle"[861]. (Cawley's Medlands)
m firstly ---. The name of Sigurd´s first wife is not known. Sigurd & his [first wife] had four children:

1. SOMERLED (-[1015/20]).
2. BRUSI (-[1030/35]). . m ---. The name of Brusi´s wife is not known. Brusi & his wife had one child:

a) RAGNVALD Brusason ([1010/15]-Dec 1046, bur Papa Westray).

3. EINA "Rangmund/Wrymouth" (-murdered Sandwick [1023/25]).
4. HUNDI [Hlodvir] ([990]-[996/1000]).

m ([1005 or after]) --- of Scotland, daughter of MALCOLM II King of Scotland & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Sigurd” married “the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots” (whose succession is recorded in 1005)[862]. Snorre records the marriage of "Sigurd the Thick" and "a daughter of the Scottish king Malcolm"[863]. It appears unlikely that Sigurd´s wife could have been King Malcolm´s daughter Donada (as shown in many secondary sources, including the Complete Peerage[864]%29 if it is correct that Donada´s recorded husband Findlaech was killed in 1020 and that their son was born in [1005][865]. [Note – It is perfectly possible that Sigurd took Donada from Findlaech, long before Findlaech died – Sharon] (Cawley's Medlands)
Sigurd & his second wife had one child:

5. THORFINN "the Black" ([1009]-[1060/65], bur Birsay, Christchurch). Orkneyinga Saga names “Earl Thorfinn” as the son of Sigurd and his wife “the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots”, adding that his father sent him to Scotland “to be fostered by the King, the boy´s maternal grandfather” when he left for Ireland, and that he was five years old when his father was killed[886]. Snorre names Thorfin as son of "Sigurd the Thick" & his wife, recording that he was five years old when his father was killed[887]. He succeeded [1030] as sole Jarl of Orkney. (Cawley's Medlands)

ii) SVANLAUG or Nereid.
m (Orkney 990) GILLI Jarl of the Hebrides 988-1014.]
iii) daughter.
m HAVARD (-winter 988/89). Steward of Caithness for Jarl Sigurd. Killed by Jarls Melsnati and Hundi, who were defeated when Jarl Sigurd attacked them in revenge.]

g) SKULI Torfinnsson (-killed in battle). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[851].

Einar had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:
4. THOR-DIS. Are´s Landnama-book records that "Earl Turf-Einar begat a daughter in his youth…Thor-dis" who married "Thor-gar Cloven-foot, their son was Einar [who] went to the Orkneys to see his kinsmen, but they would not receive him as their kinsman…he sailed to Iceland…", and names their descendants[855].
m Thor-gar THORGAR, son of ---. (Cawley's Medlands)



Her older sister Bethoc married Crínán of Dunkeld, and her other sister Donada married Findláich, Mormaer of Moray.

Sigurd married one of King Malcolm's daughters. Bethoc was her sister, but her name is not known from the sagas.

The saga says:

Sigurd married a daughter of the Scottish king Malcolm, and their son was called Thorfin. Earl Sigurd had, besides, older sons; namely, Sumarlide, Bruse, and Einar Rangmund. Their mother was an anonymous "frille", a mistress.

In Gaelic, Olith would be "Olith ingen Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda", Olith daughter of Malcolm McKenneth.

Some claim her name was Donada. This source states that Malcolm's daughter Olith married Sigurd, while Donada married Finlay. http://macdonnellofleinster.org/page_7y__the_birth_of_scotland.htm

Since Malcolm II, King of Scots, had no son of his own, he undertook to negotiate a series of dynastic marriages of his three daughters to men who might otherwise be his rivals, while securing the loyalty of the principal chiefs, their relatives. First he married his daughter Bethoc to Crinan, Thane of The Isles, head of the house of Atholl and secular Abbot of Dunkeld; then his youngest daughter, Olith, to Sigurd, Earl of Orkney. His middle daughter, Donada, was married to Findláich, Mormaer of Moray, Thane of Ross and Cromarty and a descendant of Loarn of Dalriada. This was risky business under the rules of succession of the Gael, but he thereby secured his rear and, taking advantage of the renewal of Viking attacks on England, marched south to fight the Sasunnaich. He defeated the Angles at Carham in 1018 and installed his grandson, Duncan, son of the Abbot of Dunkeld and his choice as Tanist, in Carlisle as King of Cumbria that same year.


"The Saga of St Olav" by Snorri Sturlusson

After his death Earl Sigurd showed no obedience or fealty to King Olaf. He married a daughter of the Scottish king Malcolm, and their son was called Thorfin. Earl Sigurd had, besides, older sons; namely, Sumarlide, Bruse, and Einar Rangmund.

Four or five years after Olaf Tryggvason's fall Earl Sigurd went to Ireland, leaving his eldest sons to rule the country, and sending Thorfin to his mother's father, the Scottish king. On this expedition Earl Sigurd fell in Brian's battle. When the news was received in Orkney, the brothers Sumarlide, Bruse, and Einar were chosen earls, and the country was divided into three parts among them. Thorfin Sigurdson was five years old when Earl Sigurd fell. When the Scottish king heard of the earl's death he gave his relation Thorfin Caithness and Sutherland, with the title of earl, and appointed good men to rule the land for him. Earl Thorfin was ripe in all ways as soon as he was grown up: he was stout and strong, but ugly; and as soon as he was a grown man it was easy to see that he was a severe and cruel but a very clever man."





Donda . Married Sigurd , died 23 APR 1014. Died 25 NOV

        1034.  !GENEALOGY: Royal Ancestors of Magna Charta Barons; Page;

226; G929.72; C6943ra; Denver Public Library; Genealogy
Children of Donda and Sigurd :
24 i Brusse , d. 1031


GENEALOGY: Royal Ancestors of Magna Charta Barons; Page 228; G929.72;

C6943ra; Denver Public Library; Genealogy

[With regard to the question of whether Donada was married first to Findlaech and then to Sigurd: Med Lands' explanation for the need for Donada to have had a sister as (another) 'daughter of Malcolm' who married Sigurd, for the reason that Donada was not likely to have been being taken from her first husband, Findlaech before his death in 1020 - is not, in my opionion, a strong argument - Given that Findlaech and Sigurd were old adversaries, and in1005 Malcolm became king, perhaps making his daughter a greater prize than the beaten enemy of Sigurd warranted. Secondary sources put Thorfinn's parents as Donada & Sigurd, and the dates of the births to Donada of Macbeth c 1005 (Findlaech's son), and then Thorfinn c 1009 (Sigurd's son) fit with this scenario too - Sharon]

Donada's father, Malcolm did not have any sons, so he tried to get his grandsons installed as Kings of Scotland. Donada's sister, Bethoc had a son, Duncan, who bacme a King of Scotland. Donada was married to Sigurd Digre, Earl of Orkney and a descendant of the Norse Vikings.

Lineage verified at GenealogieOnline. Coret Genealogie. http://www.genealogieonline.nl/en/: accessed 31 August 2015.

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Olith Maíl Coluim meic Cináeda's Timeline

Orkney, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Norse Orkney, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Norse Orkney