The McLenan surname is an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gille Fhinneain, a patronymic
name created from a Gaelic personal name
"Fionnán," from the Gaelic "fionn," meaning "white."
Early Origins of the McLenan family
The surname McLenan was first found in Ayrshire
where their history vitally is enmeshed with that of the larger Logan Clan
. The McLenan spelling of this name was first found in Druimdeurfait, in Ross-shire
, where they were a branch of the Highland Logans, who lived along Loch Lochy. According to family lore, they descend from Gilliegorm, Chief of the northern Logans, who was killed battling the Clan
Fraser. His pregnant wife taken captive by Lord Lovat. Her son, born humped back, was called Crotair MacGilliegorm, the "crooked-back son of Gilliegorm." Fearing future revenge on the Frasers by the boy, he was sent to a monastery at Beauly, where he became a monk. He was said to be an ardent follower of the Irish Saint Fhinan, and one of his children took the name Mac Gillie Fhinan, which eventually became MacLennan.
Early History of the McLenan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLenan research.Another 493 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1204, 1296, 1329, 1555, 1606, 1609, 1746 and 1890 are included under the topic Early McLenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McLenan Spelling Variations
In various documents McLenan has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations
. MacLennan, MacLenan, McLennan, McLennen and many more.
Early Notables of the McLenan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McLenan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McLenan family to Ireland
Some of the McLenan family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 109 words (8 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 McLenan family to the New World and Oceana
Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence
, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan
societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McLenans to arrive in North America:
McLenan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- John McLenan, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1772
- John McLenan, who landed in South Carolina in 1772 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
- Ann McLenan, who settled in New Jersey in 1773
- Kenneth McLenan, who settled in New York State in 1774
McLenan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- John McLenan, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1868
The McLenan 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: Hoc majorum virtus
Motto Translation: This is the valour of my ancestors.