The ancestors of Norman Bethune (1890–1939) traced back to the Bethunes of Skye, leading members of the MacBeth/Beaton medical dynasty

Norman Bethune became famous through his work in the Spanish Civil War, his advocacy of socialised medicine in North America and his association with Mao Zedong’s revolutionary movement in China. It has been suggested that he may have been descended from the Bethune or Beaton medical dynasty, who for generations served as physicians to kings of Scotland, the Lords of the Isles and to some of the larger Scottish clans. This paper traces his lineage back to the Isle of Skye.