Leen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Clan from whom the Leen family descends began among the ancient Dalriadan kingdom of the west coast of Scotland. Their name comes 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 Leen family
The surname Leen 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 Leen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leen 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 Leen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leen Spelling Variations
Historical recordings of the name Leen include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the Leen 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 Leen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leen family to Ireland
Some of the Leen 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.
Leen migration to the United States +
Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:
Leen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Symon Leen who settled in New York in 1655
- Symon Leen, aged 34, who landed in New York in 1655 
Leen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William Leen, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1862 
Leen 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:
Leen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Thomas Leen, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waimea" in 1876
Contemporary Notables of the name Leen (post 1700) +
- Bill Leen, American bass player from Tempe, Arizona
Related Stories +
The Leen 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.
- ^ 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)