An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the MacLaren family. Their name comes from the personal name Laurence. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Labhruinn, which means son of Labhran or son of Laurence. The Clan is believed to be descended from Lorn, son of Erc, who landed in Argyll in 503 AD. Although the lineage before the 12th century is difficult to prove, it has been established that the clan held vast territories called the Braes of Balquhidder. They were recorded as being 'all grand, strong men' and, when the Old Kirk at Balquhidder was being repaired, clan members supervised the exhumation of some of the bodies of ancient members of the clan from the graveyard that was a traditional the burial place of the theirs. They found bones measuring 23 and a half inches long, which makes them big men even by today's standards.
The surname MacLaren was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where in the valley of Loch Voil between the head of Loch Lomond and Loch Earn they were so powerful that it was once said that no one could take his place in church until the MacLaren Clan were properly seated. They were kinsmen of the Celtic Earls of Strathearn and their branches were at Balquidder, Strathearn, Auchleskine, Stank, Druach and Lochearnside. They engaged neighboring Clans in lively feuds but always remained faithful in their allegiance to the Royal House of Stewart. They were hereditary Celtic Abbots of Achtow and derive their name from Abbot Lawrence. For almost a thousand years the gathering place of the Clan has been Creag an Tuirc, the 'Boars Rock' in Achtow, in Balquhidder. This has also been adopted as their slogan.
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, MacLaren has been spelled MacLaren, MacLaron, MacLaurin, MacLarty, MacClarence, MacPhater, MacFeeter and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacLaren research. Another 447 words (32 lines of text) covering the years 1344, 1698, and 1745 are included under the topic Early MacLaren History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early MacLaren Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the MacLaren family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 176 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first MacLarens to arrive on North American shores:
MacLaren Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
MacLaren Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
MacLaren Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
MacLaren Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
MacLaren Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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: Creag an tuirc
Motto Translation: The boar's rock.
A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...More
Septs of the Distinguished Name MacLaren
Clarence, Clarin, Clarty, Cleran, Clerand, Clerane, Clerant, Cleren, Clerend, Clerent, Clerind, Clerint, Cleryn, Clerynd, Cloran, Clorand, Clorane, Clorant, Cloren, Clorend, Clorent, Clorind, Clorint, Clory, Cloryn, Clorynd, Faed, Feeter, Feeters, Laran, Larand, Larane, Larant, Laren, Larend, Larent, Larin, Larind, Larint, Larnach, Laron, Larran, Larrance, Larrand, Larrane, Larrant, Larren, Larrend, Larrent, Larrind and more.
The MacLaren Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacLaren Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 6 May 2016 at 16:16.