Clelland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Clelland as a surname were the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name someone who lived in Clelland, near Motherwell, Lanarkshire.

Early Origins of the Clelland family

The surname Clelland was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Clelland family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clelland research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1661, 1689, 1674, 1741, 1723, 1741, 1709, 1789 and are included under the topic Early Clelland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clelland Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Clelland has been spelled Clelland, Cleland, Cleeland and others.

Early Notables of the Clelland family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Thomas Cleland, gamekeeper to the Marquess of Douglas; and his son, William Cleland (ca.1661-1689), a Scottish poet and soldier. William Cleland (1674?-1741), was a "friend of Pope, of Scotch birth. He studied at Utrecht, served in Spain under...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clelland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clelland family to Ireland

Some of the Clelland family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Clelland migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Clelland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Clelland, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]
  • S Clelland, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • William Clelland, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866 [1]

Canada Clelland migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clelland Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Clelland, aged 25, a weaver, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Joseph Clelland, aged 20, a weaver, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Samuel Clelland, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland

New Zealand Clelland migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Clelland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William John Clelland, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Clelland (post 1700) +

  • James Clelland (b. 1839), Scottish-born merchant and political figure in Canada
  • Miss Sandra Clelland M.B.E., British Estates Security Staff Member for Hugh Baird College, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to the community and to charitable services in Liverpool [2]
  • Brigadier Sir Donald Mackinnon Clelland (1901-1975), Australian soldier and administrator
  • William Marshall Clelland (b. 1912), Canadian equestrian champion
  • David Gordon Clelland (b. 1943), British politician
  • James Clelland Richardson (1895-1916), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross during the First World War [3]

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Ellen  Clelland (1829-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [4]


The Clelland 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: Non sibi
Motto Translation: Not for himself.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  3. ^ The Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM). (Retrieved 2010, September 27) James Richardson. Retrieved from http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/Detail&casualty=183893
  4. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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