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Len History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Len family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name Len is derived from a devotion to St. John. 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.

Early Origins of the Len family

The surname Len was first found in the Western Isles where the Clan held extensive lands on almost every island in the Western Hebrides.

Early History of the Len family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Len research.
Another 139 words (10 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 Len History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Len Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Len has been spelled MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the Len family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Hector MacLean, Lord of Dowart (c.1560-c.1630), Scottish Lord of the Clan MacLean; Francis Cleyn (Clein, Franz Klein) (c. 1582-1658), a painter and tapestry designer; Sir John Maclean, 1st Baronet, (1604-1666); Sir Hector Maclean, 2nd Baronet of Morvern (c.1620-1651), the 18th Clan Chief of Clan Maclean from 1649 to 1651...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Len Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Len family to Ireland

Some of the Len family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Len family to the New World and Oceana

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Len were among those contributors: James Elizabeth, Anne, Daniel, James, Lettice, McLean who were all on record in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767; Duncan McLean, who settled in Boston in 1766.

Contemporary Notables of the name Len (post 1700)

  • John Len Chatman (1915-1998), also known as Peter Chatman, American blues pianist, singer, and composer, better known as Memphis Slim
  • Len Pidduck (b. 1926), British wrestler who competed in the men's Greco-Roman heavyweight at the 1948 Summer Olympics
  • Len MacKeigan, Canadian producer and writer, known for The Ha!ifax Comedy Fest (2014) and Trailer Park Boys (2001)
  • Len Sparrowhawk (b. 1979), American actor, known for Zulu Dawn, Lethal Woman (1988) and Never Say Die (1994)
  • Len Wein (1948-2017), American comic book writer and editor best known for co-creating DC Comics' Swamp Thing and Marvel Comics' Wolverine, inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Len Steckler (1930-2016), American photographer, painter, film director, cinematographer and producer, known for his work on Pepsi Cola’s “Refreshes Without Filling” campaigns in the 1950s and Noxzema’s “Take it off-- Take it all off” TV commercials in the 1970s
  • Len Attewell (1895-1983), Welsh international rugby union player
  • Len Kasper (b. 1971), American play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs (2005-)
  • Len Munsil, American politician and academic, founding President for the Center for Arizona Policy (1996-2005), President of Arizona Christian University
  • Len "Apples" Pye (b. 1911), Australian rules footballer

The Len Motto

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.

Len Family Crest Products

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