McClelan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name McClelan was first used by the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Strathclyde Britons. It is derived from the son of the servant of Fillan. Fillan is derived from the word fail which means wolf. In Gaelic, the name was spelled Mac Gill Fhaolain

Early Origins of the McClelan family

The surname McClelan was first found in the former counties of Kirkcudbrightshire and Galloway where Chief Duncan MacLellan appears in a charter of Alexander II in 1217. Other early records of the surname include Gilbert M'Lolane, who lived around the year 1270. Gilbert's son Patrick, along with several others, took the castle of Dumfries from the supporters of Robert the Bruce in around 1305. Gilelbertus MacLelan was elected Bishop of Man and the Sudreys in 1325 and held the position for almost 3 years.

Early History of the McClelan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McClelan research. Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1347, 1466, 1457, 1450, 1547, 1633, 1647, 1513, 1597, 1641 and are included under the topic Early McClelan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McClelan Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. McClelan has been spelled MacClelland, McClellan, MacLellan, McLellan, MacLelland, McLelland, MacClelland, McClelland, Clelland and many more.

Early Notables of the McClelan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst bearers of this family name during their early history was Sir William Maclellan of Bombie, knighted by King James IV of Scotland, who fought for the king in the losing Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. According to folklore, McLellan threw his gauntlet at the king's feet, shook his fist and...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McClelan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McClelan family to Ireland

Some of the McClelan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McClelan migration to the United States +

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

McClelan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick McClelan, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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