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MacLaurin Original Gaelic

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"The McLaurins"

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Introduction excerpt:

So why yet another Clan McLaren history? Well..... because I longed for more history than what was offered in the clan history books that are available. I have read them all, including “The MacLarens” by Margaret MacLaren, James Logan’s “The Scottish Gael” and “McIan’s Costumes of the Clans of Scotland”, Frank Adam’s “The Clans, Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands“, George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire’s “Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia”, Sir Thomas Innes of Learney “The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland”. I even managed to acquire a photocopy of Daniel MacLaurin’s “History in Memoriam of the Clan Laurin” that he self published in 1865.

Each of these books have in common a McLaren clan history with hardly any variation from one another and certainly no new research on the authors part. They all seemed to be repeating the first author James Logan’s “McIan’s Costumes of the Clans of Scotland” from 1845. Over the years new ‘facts’ did appear but there were no sources cited which created skepticism. As a result I started my own research which the rapidly expanding internet made posssible even from Lubbock, Texas. Along the way I made contact with Ronald Black whose comment below confirmed what I was beginning to suspect. Other Scottish scholars were generous with their time and I began to realize that there are two clan histories in Scotland the ‘real history’ which some academia is aware of and the ‘completely fictional history’ contained in the above list of books, which continues to flourish to promote Scotland’s tartan and tourist industries.

“With the outstanding exceptions of David Sellar and Alastair Campbell of Airds, Lyons and their courtiers tend to make things up, and to be associated with popular glossy books on the clans, not with serious history.” Ronnie Black, https://www.birlinn.co.uk/Ronald-Black/ , https://www.amazon.co.uk/Books-Ronald-Black

These clan histories are based on passages from the novels of Sir Walter Scott and R. L. Stevenson, outright fabrications and lazy errors and they should be ignored entirely. So be suspicous if the authority on McLaren clan history repeats the sentence quoted below it is a complete fabrication, with absolutely no basis in fact.

“Balquhidder and Strathearn has ever been known as the country''of the Clan Laurin” James Logan 1845

What you will discover from the following pages, is that there were three separate geo-political kin-groups that were identified with the name “son of Laurence”. The smallest of the three, being the Balquhidder/Strathearn group. From this knowledge we now know that most McLarens did not come from Balquhidder or Strathearn, most immigrated from where the largest number lof McLaresn ived in Breadalbane on the River Tay, or from Lorn in Argyll on the west coast, which includes the parishes of Appin, Ardchattan and Kilmartin primarily.

The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs in Scotland freely admits on their website that the modern clan culture is based on novels. James Logan actually cites Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly novels as the source for the well know Balquhidder McLaren - Stewart of Appin alliance, another myth that still flourishes unchecked which recently resulted in a dishonorable McLaren narrative at the Culloden Battlefield.

"The clan system as we know it today was created over the course of a few years in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. At its heart were the novels of Walter Scott who triggered an extraordinary revival of interest in the Highlands and Highland history." https://www.clanchiefs.org.uk/the-modern-clan-system/

The most important fact that I have come to realize, is that the McLaurins originated in Lorn which most academic historians agree on. However, the legend that they left during the time of Kenneth MacAlpine in the ninth century for lands given to them by Kenneth MacAlpine in Strathearn is incorrect, there no records that support that claim. Also, concerning the two earliest known individuals in Perthshire, Abbott Labhran of Achtow who is the eponym of the Balquhidder MacLarens and Laurin of Ardveich, the former never existed and the latter was not a McLaurin at all.

The fact is the first McLaren in Balquhidder did not arrive until 1512, much later than claimed. This knowledge requires us to reexaminationexamine MacLaren history, because now that we know the facts, the rest that followed makes even less sense than previously and does not withstand basic scutiny.

This volume is mostly a collection of historical document transciptions or images of the documents, the result of a fifty years of research resulting in what I believe to be an accurate record of the McLaurin family. Many of them are legal documents that would withstand judicial review. Every day more historic documents are being released and available online. So if you want to check on something simply do a “search” online and you will probably see my source. They are usually well past the Ads, so scroll down a page or two. 

My journey started in 1967 with a letter from Banks McLaurin Jr., who along with James Hudson McLaurin formed the Clan MacLaren Society U.S.A to publish their and other contributors research into a cohesive family history. Over the next decade they published the “Quarterly” forty-four of them, typically of about 30 pages in length. It was not too many years into the project that they realized that the name “MacLaren” had been a poor choice for the Society as they found that the American McLaurins from Lorn had nothing to do historically with the Perthshire McLarens. This work is my first attempt at publication and it is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, I had to draw the line at some point. There is a lot more history out there, like the prosecution of James of the Glens, the truth said to lie in Stewartsville Cemetery in Laurinburg, North Carolina. The massive amount of Campbell records at Inverary Castle need close examination. There is much yet to be learned.

A HUGE thank you for the wonderful McLaurin book, Vol.1. A great job and certain to be on interest to many! Salute to you for your excellent, tireless, and often thankless task! Bill Caudill, Professor of Music, Director of the Scottish Heritage Center at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, NC

Thank you all for your encouragement and the prodding to make my McLaurin and McLaren research available after all of these years! Hilton McLaurin



Origin of the Family 

A Challenge 

Cenél Loairn 

Laurence de Ergadia, Bishop of Argyll at Lismore 

Bishop Laurence and Robert the Bruce 

In Ancient Days 

Vicar Labhruinn, Kilmartin, Glassary 1355 

Vicar Labhruinn, Kilbodan (Ardchattan), Lorn 1420 

Vicar Dubhgall mac Ghille-Chríost Mhic Labhruinn, 1436 

Donald Dominici Maclaurante, Kilkerran, Kintyre, 1456 

Vicar Johannes M’Lern, 1466 

The Campbells "Conquest or keip thingis conquest." 

The Dugald McLaurin of Ardveich, Strathearn legend 

Account of the murder of John Stewart, Lord Lorne 

Appin Land Transfers 

Islemen invade Duror and Appin 

Tiree McLaurins 

V’Prior or McVicars son of the clergy 


16th century Campbell of Glenorchy’s Clanlaurane or ‘Ganglaurane’ 

M’Olchallum (Slaves of Jesus) V’Laurene first arrive in Balquhidder 

Patersons or V’Tatricks 

Vicar Johannis McLauren of Balquhidder murdered 

Balquhidder McLaurins massacred, maybe? 

8 November 1559 Clanlaurane homage transferred from Earl of Argyll

21 November 1559 Alexander McLaurane and others Bond 

A different calendar year before 1600 

Balquhidder MacGregors bind themselves to Campbell Glenurchy 

Balquhidder V’Laurane men give Bond to Campbell of Glenurchy 

1561 Clan Lawren in its entirety accept Campbell of Glenurchy 

McLaurin sept Clann MacGille-Cheallaich MacGregor 

1563 Kill all MacGregors 

Clan MacIntyre Transfers Homage to Campbell of Glenurchy 

John Stewart 5th of Appin signs Bond of Manrent with Campbell of Glenurchy 

One hundred thirteen men of ClanLawren endorse Campbell of Glenurchy 

“The Roll of the Clannis” 

Campbell Servitors 

Johne M'Olcallum murdered by the Stewarts of Glenbuckie 

1594 Bond by Loch Tay, Patrick Mcconill Wiklawrent to Campbell 

In 1606 the M’Olcallum V’Laurane sign their last Bond to Campbell 

Clan Laurin Servitors in Campbell of Glenurchy Records 

The Fairies 

Duke of Atholl’s Feudal system gradually replaces Campbell Clan Syatem 

Archibald M'Ilvoyll M'Lowrin from Glencoe caught with MacGregors in 1611 

Theft - Slaughter - Fire=raising - Oppression, & c. 1613 

The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland... 

1638 Lairds of Glenurchy Rollis of Able Men with their Armis 

The Civil Wars 

A Decree against Clan Gregor men dated 1649 includes McLarens 


17th century Atholl Vassals 

John McLaren killed 

The Battle of Killiekrankie or Roinn Rhuari 

1699 Appin McLaurins 

18th century Atholl Vassals 

1713 McLaren piper to the Duke of Atholl 


McLaurins and Stewarts in the 1715 Rebellion 




Rob Roy MacGregor 

Traditions of the Stewarts of Appin 

A second account from the Dewar Manuscripts 

Charles Stewart of Ardshiel 

Donald MacLaren of MacLaren attempts to exhume ‘Rob Roy’ 

Fergusons of Auchleskine, Balquhidder 

McLaurins in the 1745/46 Jacobite Rebellion 

Balquhidder MacLaren Rebels 

The Kirkton Meeting 

The Kirkton Muster 

Donald McLaren of East Invernenty correspondence 

Post Culloden Balquhidder 

Fourteen reasons 

Balquhidder McLarens in the Jacobite Army 

Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment Order Book 

Mr. McLaurin’s Journal 

Appin McLaurin Rebels, who survived and where they came from 

Post Culloden Invernayhle’s List of Casualties 

Post Culloden, Appin’s List 

Campbell of Stonefield, The Appin Regiment List 

Appin Culloden Survivors 

Morag McLaurin Kidnapped and Sold 

1753 Mayhem 

Leckine Burial Ground, The actual McLaren Cemetery 

December 17 1774, Neil McLaren from Ballmachelican murdered 


Colin MacLaurin 

John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn, Clan Chief, Humanitarian, 1734 - 1796 

Joseph Knight slave case heard in 1778        

1781 Chief of the McLaurins 



Moir NcGunan, 1685 

Donald McLaurin, 1686 

John Dow McClaurine, 1693 

John McClaurin, 1694 

John McLaurin in Corriblickag in Glencrenn, 1725 

Rev. John McLaurin, Kilmodan 1698 

Niccoll McLaren, 1685 

Janet NcLauchlan late spouse of Donald McLaren, 1686 

John McLaren, 1688 

Patrick McLaren, 1688 

Rob Roy MacGregor alias Campbell, 1735 

Argyll Parish Records 


Abbot Labhran of Achtow 

Ragman Roll 1296 

MacLaren history 

The Stewarts of Appin add to the McLaren alliance myth 

James Logan’s MacLaurin heraldry mistake 

The MacLaren motto Creag an Tuirc comes from another error 

Finlay McNeil/Neilsoun - Loch Tay 

Because of these numerous mistakes 

MacLaren Er MacLaverty Genealogy 

Medieval McLaurin Genealogy based on the MS:1467 

Traditional Scottish Naming Patterns 

Coire Bliochdaig, Glen Creran to North Carolina McLaurins Genealogy 

Vol II will be about the McLaurin emigrants to North America 

Large groups and single families emigrate from Scotland to North America 

List of Resources