"The McLaurins and McLarens" a History Pub. 2018

The McLaurins and McLarens

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.

Endorsements:
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


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction   
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   
MacArthur’s   
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   
Reformation   
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   
1715   
McLaurins and Stewarts in the 1715 Rebellion   
1716   
1719   
1721   
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   
1788   
Colin MacLaurin   
John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn, Clan Chief, Humanitarian, 1734 - 1796   
Joseph Knight slave case heard in 1778                             
1781 Chief of the McLaurins   
Heraldry   
Testaments   
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   
DNA   
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   

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