Motto: Fortis et fides (Brave and trusty)
MacLachlan as a name simply means the ‘son of Lachlan’, a favourite personal name amongst the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland. In Gaelic the name is found variously as Laclann and the earlier Lachlainn. The meaning was originally ‘the place of lakes or pools’, i.e. Scandinavia, and this is still the name in Gaelic for Scandinavia. The name denotes one from the lake-lands, a Norseman, and would have been common in the Western Isles and Ireland during the period of the great Viking invasions. The first record of MacLachlan is in Ireland.
A Gaelic manuscript c.1450 said to be written by a MacLachlan, claims common descent for the MacLachlans, MacNeills and McEwans. Tradition says that the MacLachlans are from one Lachlan Mor, and goes back to the O’Neill’ Kings of Ireland. The MacLachlans were connected to the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles and followed them until 1493.
The first recorded person with this name in Scotland is in 1292; Gileskel MacLachlan. He received a grant from the King of his lands in Lorn. Originally the seat of the MacLachlans was in Lochaber but this later shifted to Cowel, Argyllshire. As early as 1314m their stronghold there was referred to as Castellachlan. The Cowel family possessed broad lands between Lochs Long and Fyne, and after the fall of the Lordship of the Isles, came under the influence of the Campbells.
Lauchlan, the 5th Chief, was killed at Culloden. For their participation, the family’s lands were forfeited but restored in 1749. There are a number of variations on this name: MacLachlan, MacLauchline, M’Laughlane, MacClaughlane, MacLauchin, MacGlauchlin and MacGlochlan, amongst others. The most authentic of the MacLachlan setts appears to be one often referred to as Old MacLachlan.
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