Parlane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the Parlane family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the personal name Parlan, which is the Gaelic equivalent of Bartholomew. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Pharlain.

Early Origins of the Parlane family

The surname Parlane was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they were descended from the ancient Chief Allan, son of Farlane and settled in Strathdonn in Aberdeenshire about the 9th century.

This Clan were originally known as the Clan Allan. Official documentation is derived from Gilchrist MacFarlane who was brother of Maldowen, third of the ancient Earls of Lennox in the 13th century. Grandson of Gilchrist was Parlan, the first of the Clan so named. Duncan, sixth Chief of the Clan obtained the lands of Arrochar in 1395. They supported the Earls of Lennox at the Battle of Pinkie, and they also distinguished themselves at the Battle of Langside, fighting against Queen Mary and capturing three of the Queen's standards. [1]

The MacFarlane Clan acquired the lands of Arrochar from the Earl of Lennox in the late 14th century. The chief, Duncan, gained many of the surrounding lands through marriage in 1395 and claimed the title of Earl of Lennox upon the death of the old Earl, who had left no male heir. In fact, the MacFarlanes had a reasonable claim to the Earldom of Lennox, for which they fought so strenuously, for their eponymous ancestor was Parlan, the great-grandson of Gilchrist. His brother had been Maldowen, the third of the ancient earls of Lennox during the 13th century.

When the title of Earl was conferred upon Sir John Stewart, a bitter feud ensued between the MacFarlanes and the Stewarts, which lasted until the 15th century. Interestingly, in the next century, the warlike MacFarlanes became supporters of their erstwhile foes and distinguished themselves in many battles. However, by the 17th century, the Clan was outlawed and became scattered, with some members immigrating to Ireland and later to America.

Early History of the Parlane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parlane research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1705, 1771, 1857, 1771, 1791, 1792, 1768, 1832, 1758, 1832, 1734, 1804, 1734, 1804 and are included under the topic Early Parlane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parlane 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. Parlane has appeared as MacFarlane, MacFarlain, MacFarlan, MacFarland, MacParlan, MacParland, MacPartland, MacPartlin, MacPharlane, MacPharlin, MacPharlan and many more.

Early Notables of the Parlane family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Walter MacFarlan (d. 1767), antiquary, second son of John Macfarlan of Arrochar and Helen, daughter of Robert, second viscount Arbuthnot, succeeded his father in 1705. From his early years Macfarlan devoted himself to antiquarian research connected with the history of Scotland. Ecclesiastical records specially attracted him, and he employed a clerk named Tait to make copies of most of the cartularies accessible to him; the copies are notable for their accuracy and neatness. Macfarlan appears to have held strict views on etiquette. [2] Duncan MacFarlane (1771-1857), principal of Glasgow University, son of Duncan Macfarlane...
Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Parlane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Parlane family to Ireland

Some of the Parlane family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Parlane migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Parlane Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Agnes Parlane, (b. 1830), aged 32, English settler, from Yorkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [3]
  • Mr. John Parlane, (b. 1830), aged 32, English ploughman, from Yorkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [3]
  • Mr. James Parlane, (b. 1856), aged 6, English settler, from Yorkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [3]
  • Mr. John Parlane, Jr., (b. 1858), aged 4, English settler, from Yorkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [3]
  • Mr. David Parlane, (b. 1860), aged 2, English settler, from Yorkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [3]


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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