McLaren Surname Genealogy
in that both are originally derived from the Latin word laurentius, meaning “city of
laurels.” MacLaren is in fact the anglicized form of the Gaelic MacLabrann, son of Labrann, the Gaelic version of
Lawrence. An alternative spelling today is McLaurin.
McLaren Resources on
- MacLaren. The MacLaren clan.
- Clan MacLaren Society. US
MacLaren clan website
- MacLarens of Greenwich, PEI.
MacLarens from 1770 onwards.
Scotland. The MacLarens are a Scottish clan that, it is believed,
takes their name from Labhran of Ardveche who
was the hereditary Abbot of Achtow in Balquhidder in
Trossachs (Perthshire) in the early
1200’s. This theory is supported
by the MacLaren rallying cry
in Gaelic of Creag an Tuirc,
meaning “Boars Rock.” The rock
in question is at
Balquhidder near Achtow. And Balquhidder
was subsequently where the MacLarens were based.
The MacLarens were a warlike
clan and had many feuds with neighboring clans.
But they did
manage to forge an enduring alliance with the Stuarts of Appin,
sealed by a marriage in the 15th century.
However, MacLaren clan
numbers were in decline in the following centuries. Some
MacLarens left Scotland and became mercenaries abroad, most notably in
Sweden (Carl G. Laurin, the name of a modern Swedish writer, is a
legacy of those times). The MacLaren
clan supported the Jacobite cause in 1715 and again in 1745. After
the defeat at Culloden clan chief Donald
MacLaren of Invernenty remained
until the amnesty of 1757.
The MacLaren story was
presented in Margaret MacLaren’s 1985 book
The MacLaren, A History of Clan Labhran.
McLaren was a self-made man who started his own business as
a draper in Edinburgh in the early 1800’s, joined the City Council and
saved it from bankruptcy, and became Edinburgh’s Lord Provost and later
MP. He was married three times and raised a number of achieving
children: John, an MP and judge; Charles an MP and baronet; Walter also
an MP; Helen an education and public health advocate; and Agnes a
Catholic missionary and public health promoter in India.
McLarens have moved south to Edinburgh or Glasgow or England and
have emigrated. But the largest numbers in Scotland are still to
found in Perthshire.
America. John and Patrick
McLaren, captured at Preston while
fighting for the Old Pretender, were transported on the Susannah
to South Carolina in 1715.
McLaurin from Appin in
Argyllshire fought and died under the McLaren standard for Bonnie
at Culloden in 1746. His son Duncan,
later nicknamed Old McJohn, was orphaned at the age of five. He came to North Carolina in the 1770’s and
fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War.
Sixteen McLaurin families from Appin emigrated to North Carolina
MacLaren was an early arrival to Prince Edward Island on the Falmouth in 1770. James
MacLaren of Invernenty made it there in
1803 and the 19th century saw a sizeable MacLaren
presence in PEI. A number of McLaren families also
settled near Lanark village in
MacLarens have been
resident in Buckingham, Quebec since 1840.
James MacLaren built a sawmill there in 1864 and that was the
the MacLaren dynasty in the region that has extended until the present
day. The last of their industrial assets,
was sold in 2000.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
Abbot Labhran who lived at Balquhidder
in the early 1200’s is considered the forebear of the MacLaren clan in
Donald MacLaren was a Canadian
World War I flying ace.
McLaren was a New Zealand
racing car driver and developer whose name lives on in the McLaren F1
Bill McLaren was a much-loved
TV rugby commentator from the Scottish borders.
Malcolm McLaren was an
English rock impresario, the promoter of punk music in the 1970’s and
the manager of the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls.
Select McLarens Today
- 11,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 2,000 in America (most numerous in California)
- 12,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
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