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

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

The old Scottish-Dalriadan name Clarion is derived from the personal name Laurence. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Labhruinn, which means son of Labhran or son of Laurence. The Clan is believed to be descended from Lorn, son of Erc, who landed in Argyll in 503 AD. Although the lineage before the 12th century is difficult to prove, it has been established that the clan held vast territories called the Braes of Balquhidder. They were recorded as being 'all grand, strong men' and, when the Old Kirk at Balquhidder was being repaired, clan members supervised the exhumation of some of the bodies of ancient members of the clan from the graveyard that was a traditional the burial place of the theirs. They found bones measuring 23 and a half inches long, which makes them big men even by today's standards.

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Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of Clarion include MacLaren, MacLaron, MacLaurin, MacLarty, MacClarence, MacPhater, MacFeeter and many more.

First found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where in the valley of Loch Voil between the head of Loch Lomond and Loch Earn they were so powerful that it was once said that no one could take his place in church until the MacLaren Clan were properly seated. They were kinsmen of the Celtic Earls of Strathearn and their branches were at Balquidder, Strathearn, Auchleskine, Stank, Druach and Lochearnside. They engaged neighboring Clans in lively feuds but always remained faithful in their allegiance to the Royal House of Stewart. They were hereditary Celtic Abbots of Achtow and derive their name from Abbot Lawrence. For almost a thousand years the gathering place of the Clan has been Creag an Tuirc, the 'Boars Rock' in Achtow, in Balquhidder. This has also been adopted as their slogan.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clarion research. Another 447 words(32 lines of text) covering the years 1344, 1698, and 1745 are included under the topic Early Clarion History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Clarion Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Clarion family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 176 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Clarion were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Clarion Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Clarion, aged 28, landed in Missouri in 1841

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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: Creag an tuirc
Motto Translation: The boar's rock.

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  1. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  4. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. 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.
  9. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Clarion Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clarion 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 3 October 2011 at 15:16.

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