The McLennay 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 McLennay family
The surname McLennay was first found in Ayrshire
where their history vitally is enmeshed with that of the larger Logan Clan
. The McLennay 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 McLennay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLennay 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 McLennay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McLennay Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. McLennay has appeared as MacLennan, MacLenan, McLennan, McLennen and many more.
Early Notables of the McLennay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McLennay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McLennay family to Ireland
Some of the McLennay 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 McLennay family to the New World and Oceana
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 McLennay or a variant listed above: William MacLenan, who arrived in Pictou, N.S. in 1773 aboard the "Hector"; Angus
, Donald, Duncan, Farquhar, John, Roderick, and Rory Maclennan, who were all sent to Barbados in 1745.
The McLennay 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.