Show ContentsMcLain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the McLain family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. 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 McLain family

The surname McLain 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 McLain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLain research. Another 139 words (10 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 McLain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McLain Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacLean, MacLaine, MacLane, MacLeane, MacClean, MacClain, MacClaine, MacGhille Eoin (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the McLain 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 Clan Maclean from 1649 to 1651...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McLain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McLain Ranking

In the United States, the name McLain is the 1,966th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the McLain family to Ireland

Some of the McLain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McLain migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McLain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh McLain, who landed in America in 1804 [2]
  • Daniel McLain, aged 35, who arrived in North Carolina in 1812 [2]
  • Benjamin McLain, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831 [2]
  • William McLain, aged 33, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1844 [2]
  • John McLain, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McLain Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Lizzie McLain, aged 35, who settled in America from Cork, in 1904
  • James Mclain, aged 36, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Annie McLain, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Castleboyn, Isle of Man, England, in 1907
  • Frank McLain, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Annie Josephine McLain, aged 7, who settled in America from Balina, Ireland, in 1916
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McLain (post 1700) +

  • Tommy McLain (b. 1940), American swamp pop musician, inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
  • Jeremiah McLain Rusk (1830-1893), American politician, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin (1873-1877) the 15th Governor of the Wisconsin (1882-1889) and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1889-1893)
  • Dennis Dale "Denny" McLain (b. 1944), American former Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1963 to 1972, the last pitcher in Major League Baseball to win 30 or more games during a season
  • Lieutenant-General Raymond Stallings McLain (1890-1954), American Comptroller, Department of the Army (1949-1952) [3]
  • Rodney "Rod" McLain (b. 1960), American Olympic sprint canoer
  • Kevin Wayne McLain (b. 1954), American former NFL football linebacker
  • Erica McLain (b. 1986), American Olympic triple jumper
  • Ellen McLain, American opera singer and voice actress
  • John McLain, American singer
  • Jeremiah McLain Rusk (1830-1893), Wisconsin politician and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1889-1893)

The McLain 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.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, May 9) Raymond McLain. Retrieved from on Facebook