Trump ignores his immigrant past as scandal brought his mother to US

Trump ignores his immigrant past as scandal brought his mother to US


Remote Gaelic-speaking Scottish island was home to Trump’s maternal clan and the birthplace of his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod.

Crazy as it may seem, Donald Trump could well be the first ever presidential candidate to be able to speak some words of Gaelic due to his Scottish mother. Not that you are likely to hear him utter any.


Trump focuses only on his father’s upbringing, rarely mentioning he is the son of an immigrant himself, from the tiny village of Tong on the island of Lewis, which is located in the Outer Hebrides 40 miles off the Scottish mainland as Politico magazine this week showed.

By making immigrants a focal point and building a wall to stop them a key part of his negative message, Trump is clearly ignoring his own roots deep in Scottish soil.


Indeed, he would never have been born but for a family scandal that eventually brought his mother to America.

It is forty miles and a two hour boat ride to the Scottish mainland and Lewis is where Mary Anne MacLeod, Trump’s mother, grew up. She spoke only Scots Gaelic for much of her early life.

Local historians say Trump has land agitators in his past, relatives driven off their land in Tong by absentee landlords who wanted the land for grazing sheep.

A view into Tong (pronounced "tongue") on the Isle of Lewis, birthplace of Donald Trump's mother.

A view into Tong (pronounced “tongue”) on the Isle of Lewis, birthplace of Donald Trump’s mother.

The agitators fought back, seeking access to their land. Some referred to them as Bolsheviks – hardly a title Donald Trump would want to own up to.

It was bloody and unforgiving and mirrored the land wars in Ireland. The situation “beggars all description,” a land manager from the mainland wrote upon visiting Tong in 1828, according to the Scottish historian James Hunter. “It is worse than anything I ever saw in Donegal [in Ireland] where I always considered human wretchedness to have reached its very acme.”

Trump – before his yellow paint hair makeover – was sandy red in his youth, no doubt a trait he got from Alasdair MacLeod a fisherman born around 1810 and known to everyone by the Gaelic name Ruadh.

Mary Anne was born in the Tong in 1912 and moved to America where she met and married Fred Trump, Donald’s father after meeting him at a reception.

She had gone to America to be with her sister Catherine, banished from Tong because she had a baby outside wedlock. She brought Donald back to Scotland when he was very young. He has since visited with his sister Maryanne Trump, who is now a federal judge.

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