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MacCleyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dalriadan clans of ancient Scotland spawned the ancestors of the MacCleyn family. 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 MacCleyn family

The surname MacCleyn 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 MacCleyn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacCleyn research.
Another 277 words (20 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 MacCleyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacCleyn Spelling Variations

The medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English created many spelling variations of the same name. MacCleyn has been recorded as MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the MacCleyn 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...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacCleyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacCleyn family to Ireland

Some of the MacCleyn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 121 words (9 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 MacCleyn family to the New World and Oceana

Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name MacCleyn, or a variant listed above: 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.

The MacCleyn 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.

MacCleyn Family Crest Products

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