A Munro, IMC Macintyre
Journal Issue: 
Volume 43: Issue 3: 2013



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. In the absence of old parish records as aids to tracing genealogy, other available evidence has confirmed that  Bethune was indeed in the direct line of descent from the Bethunes or Beatons of Husabost, in Skye, one of the largest branches of this medical kindred, who were physicians to the MacLeods of Dunvegan.

Keywords Ancestors, Beaton/Bethune medical kindred genealogy, Norman Bethune