Motto: In hope I bide (I wait in hope)

The MacIan name has several variations including MacCane, Macean, MacKain, MacKean, Cain, Kain etc.  The name derives from the Gaelic MacIan meaning ‘son of John’.  John has long been the most common forename in the highlands so it is clear that many sons of bearers of this name have existed.  In Gaelic it is also spelled as MacEoin, often corrupted into MacEwan.  There are well over 40 variations.  

The first record of the name was in 1329 when Johannes filius Gilbert filius Dovenaldi MacKane received a charter of the lands of Suthaych from Robert I.  In 1600 another Johne McKeane was a follower of Murdow M’Cloyd in the attack on the laird of Balcomies’ galley. 

The MacDonalds of Ardnamurchan claim descent from Iain Sprangach, 1st of Ardnamurchan, son of Angus Mor of the Isles.  These MacIains were driven out of their territories in the seventeenth century, when their Chief was last known of, and moved east to the coast around Elgin.  Others were integrated with the remainder of the Main clan.  

The MacIains of Glencoe claim descent from Iain nan Fraoch (John of the Heather), natural son of Angus Og, Lord of the Isles.  These were the MacDonalds of the massacre fame.  The direct line ended in an heiress in 1887 but tradition says that there is a male line in existence, descending from Donald, grandson of Alexander the 14th Chief.  This name is also claimed by the Gunns as a sept name.  

This tartan was one of those that appeared in the first illustrated work on tartans, the Vestiarium Scoticum; it is very similar to the MacQueen tartan, possibly due to common lineage.

Choose from one of the MacIan tartans listed below: