McClaren History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McClaren 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.
Early Origins of the McClaren family
The surname McClaren 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.
Early History of the McClaren family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McClaren research. Another 312 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1344, 1698, 1745 and are included under the topic Early McClaren History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McClaren Spelling Variations
Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McClaren has been written as MacLaren, MacLaron, MacLaurin, MacLarty, MacClarence, MacPhater, MacFeeter and many more.
Early Notables of the McClaren family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McClaren Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McClaren family to Ireland
Some of the McClaren family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name McClaren or a variant listed above:
McClaren Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
HMAS Sydney II
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.