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McPhater History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McPhater is 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.

Early Origins of the McPhater family


The surname McPhater was 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.

Early History of the McPhater family


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

McPhater Spelling Variations


The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years McPhater has appeared as MacLaren, MacLaron, MacLaurin, MacLarty, MacClarence, MacPhater, MacFeeter and many more.

Early Notables of the McPhater family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early McPhater Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McPhater family to Ireland


Some of the McPhater 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McPhater family to the New World and Oceana


Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The McPhater were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown: John and Patrick McLaren who settled in South Carolina in 1716; Archibald McLaren settled in Savannah in 1821; Daniel, David, James, John, Lawrence, and Peter McLaren all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.

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


McPhater Family Crest Products



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