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McClearn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McClearn 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 McClearn family


The surname McClearn 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 McClearn family


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

McClearn Spelling Variations


Historical recordings of the name McClearn include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.

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

Migration of the McClearn family to Ireland


Some of the McClearn 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 McClearn family to the New World and Oceana


Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name McClearn, 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.

Contemporary Notables of the name McClearn (post 1700)


  • Matthew McClearn (1802-1865), Canadian merchant, ship owner and politician who represented Liverpool township in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1855 to 1859
  • Jimmy McClearn, Irish politician, Galway County Councillor and Mayor of County Galway (2010-2011)

The McClearn 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.


McClearn Family Crest Products



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