The Clenan surname is an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gille Fhinneain, a patronymic
name created from a Gaelic personal name
"Fionnán," from the Gaelic "fionn," meaning "white."
Early Origins of the Clenan family
The surname Clenan was first found in Ayrshire
where their history vitally is enmeshed with that of the larger Logan Clan
. The Clenan spelling of this name was first found in Druimdeurfait, in Ross-shire
, where they were a branch of the Highland Logans, who lived along Loch Lochy. According to family lore, they descend from Gilliegorm, Chief of the northern Logans, who was killed battling the Clan
Fraser. His pregnant wife taken captive by Lord Lovat. Her son, born humped back, was called Crotair MacGilliegorm, the "crooked-back son of Gilliegorm." Fearing future revenge on the Frasers by the boy, he was sent to a monastery at Beauly, where he became a monk. He was said to be an ardent follower of the Irish Saint Fhinan, and one of his children took the name Mac Gillie Fhinan, which eventually became MacLennan.
Early History of the Clenan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clenan research.Another 493 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1204, 1296, 1329, 1555, 1606, 1609, 1746 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Clenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Clenan Spelling Variations
were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Clenan has appeared in various documents spelled MacLennan, MacLenan, McLennan, McLennen and many more.
Early Notables of the Clenan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Clenan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Clenan family to Ireland
Some of the Clenan family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 109 words (8 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 Clenan family to the New World and Oceana
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence
as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan
societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Clenan or a variant listed above: William MacLenan, who arrived in Pictou, N.S. in 1773 aboard the "Hector"; Angus
, Donald, Duncan, Farquhar, John, Roderick, and Rory Maclennan, who were all sent to Barbados in 1745.
The Clenan 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: Hoc majorum virtus
Motto Translation: This is the valour of my ancestors.