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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish McLain family come from? What is the Scottish McLain family crest and coat of arms? When did the McLain family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McLain family history?

On the Scottish west coast, the McLain family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. The surname is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Gille Eathain, a patronymic name meaning "son of the servant of Saint John." The Clan is descended from Eachan Reaganach, (brother of Lachlan the progenitor of the Macleans of Duart). These two brothers were both descended from Gilleathain na Tuaidh, known as 'Gillian of the Battleaxe', a famed warrior of the 5th century. Eachan, or Hector was given the lands of Lochbuie from John, the first Lord of the Isles, some time in the 14th century.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.

First found in the Western Isles where the Clan held extensive lands on almost every island in the Western Hebrides.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLain research. Another 277 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1500, 1745, 1560, 1630, 1582, 1658, 1604, 1666, 1620, 1651, 1649, 1651, 1645, 1674, 1651, 1674, 1650, 1687, 1670, 1716, 1674, 1716, 1745 and are included under the topic Early McLain History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 209 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McLain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McLain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 121 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McLain Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Hugh McLain, who landed in America in 1804
  • Daniel McLain, aged 35, arrived in North Carolina in 1812
  • Benjamin McLain, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831
  • William McLain, aged 33, arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1844
  • John McLain, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


McLain Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Lizzie McLain, aged 35, who settled in America from Cork, in 1904
  • James Mclain, aged 36, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Annie McLain, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Castleboyn, Isle of Man, England, in 1907
  • Frank McLain, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Annie Josephine McLain, aged 7, who settled in America from Balina, Ireland, in 1916


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  • Dennis Dale "Denny" McLain (b. 1944), former American professional baseball player
  • Ellen McLain, American opera singer and voice actress
  • John McLain, American singer
  • Erica McLain (b. 1986), American Olympic triple jumper
  • Kevin Wayne McLain (b. 1954), American former NFL football linebacker
  • Rodney "Rod" McLain (b. 1960), American Olympic sprint canoer
  • Lieutenant-General Raymond Stallings McLain (1890-1954), American Comptroller, Department of the Army (1949-1952)


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtue mine honour
Motto Translation: Virtue is my honour.

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The McLain Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McLain Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 August 2014 at 12:58.

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