MacLain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the MacLain family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. 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 MacLain family

The surname MacLain 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 MacLain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacLain 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 MacLain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacLain Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the MacLain 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 MacLain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacLain family to Ireland

Some of the MacLain 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.


United States MacLain migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacLain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John MacLain, who settled in New England in 1721
  • John Maclain, who arrived in New England in 1721 [1]
  • Malcolm MacLain, who arrived in Maryland in 1747
MacLain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John MacLain, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]


The MacLain 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.


  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)


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