The west coast of Scotland
and the rocky Hebrides
islands are the ancient home of the MacLeon family. The root of their name is 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 MacLeon family
The surname MacLeon 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 MacLeon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacLeon 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 MacLeon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacLeon Spelling Variations
were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. MacLeon has appeared in various documents spelled MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the MacLeon 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 MacLeon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacLeon family to Ireland
Some of the MacLeon 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 MacLeon family to the New World and Oceana
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence
as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan
societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name MacLeon 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 MacLeon 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.