MacLaws History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the western coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands the MacLaws family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the Gaelic word Mac-Giolla-Uidhir, which literally means son of the pale youth or son of Odhar's servant. [1]

Early Origins of the MacLaws family

The surname MacLaws was first found in Ayrshire and Galloway, where John McLur and Robert McLure were first listed as followers of the Earl of Casilis in 1526. A few years later in 1532, Tomas Maklure was sergeant of Assize in Carrick. Interestingly, the earliest evidence of a Clan piper was Robert MacLure who was piper to the chief of the Buchanans in 1600. [1]

Early History of the MacLaws family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacLaws research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1720, 1723, 1729, 1660, 1807, 1873 and 1857 are included under the topic Early MacLaws History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacLaws Spelling Variations

In various documents MacLaws has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacClure, MacLure, MacCloor, McLeur, McCloor and others.

Early Notables of the MacLaws family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was J. Cluer, an engraver and publisher of music, who carried on business in Bow Churchyard, London, in the middle of the first...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacLaws Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacLaws family to Ireland

Some of the MacLaws family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 139 words (10 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 MacLaws family

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name MacLaws or a variant listed above: Agnes, Alexander, Andrew, George, James, Jane, John, Richard, Robert, Samuel and William MacClure, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.



The MacLaws 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: Spectemur agendo
Motto Translation: Let us be judged by our actions.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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