McLaurin / McLaren history and genealogy, focusing on the Argyll clan whose last chief was John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn, Edinburgh 1781.
Clan McLaurin predates by one hundred-seventy-six years the modern Clan MacLaren in Balquhidder that was petitioned in 1957 by London MacLarens.
"In 1855 before the counties along the NC/SC State line were successful in getting a charter for an east-west railroad. The Wilmington, Charlotte, and Rutherfordton Railroad would connect Wilmington and Charlotte via Lumberton, Laurinburg, Rockingham, Wadesboro and Monroe. ....The first train left Wilmington on July 5, 1860, and went fifty miles to Bladenboro in Bladen County. Lauchlin A. McLaurin of Scotland County was the first conductor on the eastern end of the road....." G-cdb -Lauchlin A. McLaurin of Robeson Co., NC was later a captain in the CSA.
Commissioners for creating stock for the railroad company were appointed:
F-ad -Duncan McLaurin - 1787-1869, NC Legislator, Head of the School Board the Laurinburg School District which was named after him.
B-big -John Laurin Fairly 1805-1862 - married G-dg -Margaret McLaurin 1827-1911, see below:
Dr. John Malloy - In the early 1850's, Dr. Malloy, Dr. Robert D. Dickson and others purchased lands for the Laurinburg High School. Dr. Dickson was married to B-cad-c -Mary McLaurin 1825-1879,
John Fairley - married Nancy McNair 1813-1860 the widow of B-cbf -Lauchlin McLaurin 17__ - 1842/50,
John Gilchrist, Jr. - I think he later went to Mississippi,
Daniel C. McIntyre - Nephew of B-aaa -Hurricane Daniel McLaurin 1774-1838 and Catherine McIntyre daughter of Donald/Daniel McIntyre,
Daniel McKinnon - His father Daniel McKinnon who died in 1825, Donald/Daniel Sr. appears in the 1790 Richmond Co. census with a wife 1 son and 3 daughters. In the census Daniel is just above John McLerran and below F-a -John McLaurence on page 178. He also appears in 1779 and 1792/93 Richmond Co. tax records..
Matthew W. McNair - The son of "Major" Daniel McNair and B-bic -Margaret Fairly daughter of Alexander Fairly and B-bi -Effie McLaurin 1765-1831,
and Rev. Thomas Gibson -
More About John Laurin Fairly:
Burial: Jim Walter McLaurin Farm between Hasty and Johns, NC
Children of B-big -John Laurin Fairly 1805-1862 and G-dg -Margaret McLaurin 1820-1869 are:
i.B-big-a -Eliza Jane Fairly, b. Abt. 1838.
ii.B-big-bi -Ann Fairly, b. Abt. 1840.
iii.B-big-c -Alexander Archibald Fairly, b. Abt. 1842.
iv.B-big-d -Catherine 'Kate' Fairly, b. Abt. 1844; d. February 20, 1881, probably Lampasas County,Texas.
v.B-big-e -Mary James Fairly, b. Abt. 1849; d. Bef. January 1890; m. Milton McIntyre
vi.B-big-f -Angus McLaurin Fairly, b. Abt. 1853.
vii.B-big-g -Frances Letitia Fairly, b. September 23, 1855; d. Bef. December 1878.
viii.B-big-h -Margaret Fairly, b. Abt. 1856; d. Bef. December 1878.
ix.B-big-i -Eugenie Fairly, b. Abt. 1857; d. July 30, 1878.
In 1869 following the Civil War a re-organization of the Rail Road Company was necessary, stockholder meetings where held in Charlotte and Wilmington, NC. By this date there were no McLaurin Directors, they were still stockholders though. From the report the Post Office and War Department appear to be significant customers.
In the balance sheet report from 1869:
B-cb?-? -L. A. McLaurin owed $4,007.26, likely son or nephew of B-cbe -James Cameron McLaurin
B-cb?-? -D. M. McLaurin owed $8,639.98, likely son or nephew of B-cbe -James Cameron McLaurin
Michael S. Cronly credit $1,800.00, the husband of B-cad-d -Margaret McLaurin sister of B-cad-c -Mary McLaurin above
B-cbe -James Cameron McLaurin owed $198.68, b. 1803 d.1888
NOTES by Rex McLaurin
Dr. Robert Dickson was a son of James Dickson, a native of Ireland and Anna McCall of Scotland. The celebrated Dr. James Dickson of Wilmington was a brother; and Joseph Medill, who founded the Chicago Interocean and became such a power in Republican politics was his first cousin.
Michael Cronly was the only child of James and Sallie Taylor Cronly of New York city. His parents dying, he was brought up by his uncle, Mr. John A. Taylor of Wilmington. The children are Jane Murphy, Sallie, Taylor, Joseph Murphy, William, (the last four now living) Michael, Douglas, Robert, Dickson, Margaret and Mary Dickson.
Margaret McLaurin was born on 27 Sep 1827 in Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC. She died on 02 Jan 1911 in Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC. She married Michael S. Cronly, son of James Cronly and Sallie Taylor, on 13 Jun 1848 in Michael S. Cronly, son of James Cronly and Sallie Taylor, on 13 Jun 1848 in Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC. He was born on 24 Apr 1826 in NY. He died on 06 Feb 1898 in Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC. "Descendants of Duncan McLaurin Born in 1740 in Scotland, Died in 1828 in Lauren Hill, Richmond Co., NC" by Rex McLaurin
'Scotland County Emerging' - Joyce M. Gibson
Family identifiers and information Banks McLaurin Jr.
The McLaurins and McLarens from the Isle of Tiree, Appin and Ardchattan parishes in Argyll are not Balquhidder or Strathearn MacLarens according to the Lyon Court, YDNA and the historical record. The Argyll McLaurins did not come from Balquhidder as supporters of Dougal McLaurin of Ardveich, Strathearn in the mid 1400s, who later became Dougal Stewart of Appin I. A story that is found in many Scottish history books, it is the other way around. Dougal McLaurin was actually raised on the shores of Loch Etive, Argyll just a few miles east of Dunstaffange Castle the residence of his father Sir John Stewart of Lorn, where his ancestors had lived for hundreds of years, since the time of the Dalriadic Cénel Loairn. Loch Etive is also from where in the 1790s several McLaurins left for North Carolina on the ship Mary Ann.
Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland
John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn, undifferenced chiefly arms 1781
BEARS Argent a Sheepherds Crook Sable. St. Columba's staff, now in the possessesion of Livingstone of Bachuill. CREST a Lady from the middle upwards issuing out of the Wreath in her arms a Child both proper and habited Vert MOTTO Bi'se mac ant' Slaurie (son of the hearth hook) SUPPORTERS two Britons proper Matriculated 6th of October 1781."
"In granting him [Major Donald MacLaren] the appropriate arms, with supporters, the Lord Lyon makes a distinction between the MacLarens of Balquhidder and Strathearn, and the MacLarens [MacLaurins] of Tiree, whose arms and descent are, his Lordship holds, those of a different race" Sir Thomas Innes of Learney 1957
Sir Thomas Innes of Learney is the Lord Lyon who awarded Major Donald Maclaren the Chiefship of the Balquhidder and Strathearn MacLarens in 1958. This means the current Chief Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Auchleskine has over reached his authority by claiming that Argyll McLaurins and McLarens are members his clan, which we are not. According to legal documents that would withstand judicial review the Carolina McLaurins are the same as the Tiree MacLarens described above by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney.
And more recently
"As you descend from the Tiree Maclaurins I can see no reason why you should not use a crest badge taken from the crest and motto of that Maclaurin recording but, of course, no-one has made up title to these arms last recorded in 1781 and thus this branch has had no recognised chief for nearly 250 years.
Mrs. Christopher Roads, LVO, FSA., Snawdoun Herald, Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records, Court of the Lord Lyon, HM New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT
By definition of the Court of the Lord Lyon Clan McLaurin is an armigerous clan. An armigerous clan is a Scottish clan, family or name which is registered with the Court of the Lord Lyon and once had a chief who bore undifferenced arms, but does not have a chief currently recognized as such by Lyon Court.
The chart below is taken from the Scottish DNA Project https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/scottishdna/dnaresults
webpage, which shows that there are many, many men with a wide variety of surnames that are closely related according to their STR Markers. Since the percentage of illegitimate children in Scotland of centuries past was so high, some scholars estimate as high as 40% were ‘natural’ and not ‘germain’ children. The result is that there are a lot of closely related men with different surnames.
The majority of Argyll McLaurins have a DYS-576 Marker value of 17, the last column on the far right. The majority of Balquhidder and Loch Tay McLarens have a DYS-576 marker value of 18, and a few 19's.
The Historical Record
Three branches using a form of 'son of Laurance' by the mid 1500's
In 1470 the Lordship of Lorne, where the soon to be called 'McLaurin or son of Laurence' ecclesiastical families had lived for centuries was divided by Colin M’Gilleasbaig M’Conochy Campbell, first Earl of Argyll between Dougal M’Iain M’ Robert Stewart of Appin I and Colin M’Conochy Campbell of Glenorchy I, this declaration, divided the family Labhruinn's territory and eliminated many of the MacDougal holdings in Appin and parts of Ardchattan.
In the early and mid 1500's many Argyll McLaurin families were induced to move into Perthshire, with most living on the Tay River from Strathfillan then northeast to Atholl. A few families were placed as tenants in Balquhidder by their Campbell chief the Earl of Argyll.
It was Grey Colin Campbell of Glenurchy who first assigned the Makolcallums’ as part of the kin-group he described as V’Lauranes in a 1559 Bond of Manrent. Because of Glenorchy, we have a fairly complete four generation genealogy of McLaurin men contained in three Clanlawren Bonds of Manrent. The 1559 bond contains the descendants of the first McLaurins to arrive in Balquhidder in 1512 and others that followed all probably closely related.
The first McLaren arrives in Balquhidder in 1512. Malcolm M’Olcallum V’Laurane settled at Invernenty, Balquhidder in 1512 along with four MacIntires who are also from Lorn. It appears that Malcolm Maklawryn and Gilbert Makyntyr are paying a reduced rate for the woodlands which other tenants have the right to use without destruction. A forest conservation program in place by the Campbells. The Clann Dubhghaill Cheire MacGregour’s also lived at Invernenty and nearby Drumlich, the two families would intermarry frequently, but there were problems, the MacGregors attempted to displace Invernenty MacLaurins with violence and perhaps were successful in the 1550s. Resulting in the Coule Keir MacGregors required to sign a Bond of Calpes to Campbell of Glenurchy in 1559 as punishment.
At Stirling, on the first of June in the 512th year [ie 1512]. Innernenty; £6 13s 4d, with the consent of William Stewart who had the same in fee-farm, is now assessed to the underwritten tenants just as is particularized above, that is to say,
To Donald Makyntyr, £5 for two marklands and a half, to be paid in respect thereof annually, with part of the marts, To John Makyntyr, £5 for two marklands and a half, to be paid in respect thereof annually, with part of the marts, To Gilbert Makyntyr, £5 for two marklands and a half, to be paid in respect thereof annually, with part of the marts, To Duncan Makyntyr, 1s for one markland and a 40 shillings land, to be paid in respect thereof annually, with part of the marts, And to Malcolm Maklawryn, 1s for one markland and a 40 shillings land, With this condition, that the rest of the tenants of the Lord of Buchquhiddir shall have licence to take timber for their necessities, without destruction [of the woodland], And for entry of a new infeudation £40, out of which sum £13 6s 8d is to be paid by the said tenants, and £26 13s 4d by the said William Stewart. (transcribed from Rotuli scaccarii Regum Scotorum Vol. VIII, Pg. 638)
It appears that Malcolm Maklawryn and Gilbert Makyntyr are paying a reduced rate for the woodlands which other tenants have the right to use without destruction. A forest conservation program in place by the Campbells.
Malcolm’s son Malcolm M’Olcallum elder and grandsons (with the same names of course) are in the 1559 bond, with their great grandsons in a 1606 bond to Campbell of Glenurchy, which gives us where they lived. In the 1559 Bond, there are six other family groups of V’Laurane the MacPatricks, the MacAllens, the MacDougalls, the MacEwens, the MacDuncans and the MacJohns, with John the servant of Cristine the last of name are all the clan MacLaurin. You can track the names, in the three bonds, most names contain three generations such as Nicoll M'Ane VTatrick Moir (Nicol son of John son of big Patrick) in the 1573 ClanLawren Bond to Glenurchy. The Balquhidder MacLaurin history is for another time.
8 November 1559 Clanlaurane homage transferred. This very important legal document pertaining to Clanlaurane and the only one written in the royal burgh of Sterling, on 8 Nov 1559 confirms that several McLaurane families from Kilmartin Parish south of Loch Etive in Argyll, had moved into Perthshire. Two weeks later on 21 November 1559 at Balloch on Loch Tay in Perthshire, Alexander McLaurane and his followers from Kilmartin parish gave their Bond to Colyne Campbell of Glenurchy. This document is one of two, that directly contradicts the legend that McLarens had been in Perthshire since the time of Kenneth McAlpine, it also eliminates any notion of a Strathearn origin for Clanlaurane before the early 1500’s.
“WE Archibald Erie of Ergyle . . . grantis ws to haif gevin ... To our traist cousyng Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay and his allis male the manrent homage and sendee quhilk our predecessouris andwe had and hes of the haill kyn and surname of the Clanlaurane and their posterite togidder with the uptaking of thair calpis . . . Prowyding the said Colyne obtene . . . thair consent . . . thairunto . . .
In witnes of the quhilk thyng to thir presentis subscriuit with our hand our propir seill is affixt at the burgh of Sterueling the aucht day of Nouember the yeir of God M v and fifty nyn yeiris befoir thir witnes Johne Campbell off Inuerlevir Johne Corswell persone of Kilmartyne and Andro Quhit. And this we gif for the gud and faythfull sendee that the said Colyne hes done to ws. ARD. ERGYLL.” Black Book of Taymouth
In the 18th century many of the indigenous Appin McLaurins that had remained in the original homeland, along with related Livingstones, MacKenzies, MacDougalls, MacColls and Stewarts, including a handful of "Culloden Veterans" emigrated to Richmond County, North Carolina in 1790 where they flourished. North and South Carolina where there are more Scots living today than in Scotland itself.
McLaurin, MacLaurin, McLaren, McLerran, McLarran, McLarine, McClaren and more are all found in historical and genealogical records for the same persons surname, especially in the United States. This makes research more difficult, compared to researching names Campbell, McDonald, Stewart, McColl or McCall for example. And like Sherry says, "they are all named Hugh".
John McLaurin’s tombstone in Stewartsville Cemetery, Laurinburg, NC. In Memory of John Son of Hugh & Catharine McLaurin Born Sept. 1789. Died March. 22. 1864. (The name S. Buie appears at the bottom and may refer to the monument maker.)
"Bi' se mac an t' Slaurie" pre standardized gaelic meaning “Take control of the chain”, referring to the hearth chain that held the cooking pot. The deeper meaning is open to ones interpretation. Perhaps a quote from Ossian? It is not found in the Bible.
Clan Chief's Crest matriculated by John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn in 1781 the son of Colin MacLaurin the noted mathematician, educator and historian who collected the genealogies of Western Argyll found in Manuscript:1467. "Crest a Lady from the middle upwards ifouing out of the Wreath
in her arms a Child both proper and habited Vert" In use long before the modern Clan MacLaren was created in 1958 with it's motto "Creag an Tuirc".
Limited edition run from Baker Art Foundry.
Raised crest bonnet badge or plaid brooch.
Solid polished pewter with pin back app. 2" diameter.
In 1781 John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn of Edinburgh, matriculated chiefly arms with this description. “BEARS Argent a Sheepherds Crook Sable, CREST a Lady from the middle upwards ifouing out of the Wreath in her arms a Child both proper and habited Vert, MOTTO Bi'se mac ant' Slaurie, SUPPORTERS two Britons proper Matriculated. Rc Boswell Lyon Dep"
The lady with child in a green habit is the ‘Mother Church and children’
John McLaurin’s "Sheepherds Crook Sable" is a reference St Moluag’s Crozier” on the Isle of Lismore. Heraldsnet.org more accurate description "a bishop's crook in pale sable--M'LAURIN, Dreghorn", eludes to his ancestor Laurence de Ergadia on Lismore circa 1300, as the Keeper of St. Moluag’s Crook.
John MacLaurin was well versed in family history, his father Colin MacLaurin, had hand delivered to the Advocate Library in Edinburgh, what is known today as MS:1467, which he had collected that contained his ancestors genealogy “Clann an Aba Uaine”, ‘the Children of the Green Abbot’.
"Mr. MacLaurin presented to the Society from the Reverend Mr. Malcolme an old Irish Manuscript ", "This is a clear description of the 1467 ms," Ronald Black, 2011
John’s direct lineage contained a long line of Protestant Reverands from the University of Glasgow. My ancestors were the Episcopalian cattle droving Jacobite sympathetic Appin and Ardchattan McLaurin cousins.
Seventeenth century testaments in the National Records of Scotland and other legal documents including John’s matriculation, link these contradictory McLaurin families who fought against each other during the siege of Edinburgh in 1745. Colin MacLaurin a volunteer cannoneer aiming at the invading twenty-seven Appin McLearans in the Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment.
"When the line of Lord Dreghorn [John MacLaurin] came to an end the clan remained without a chief until, only a few years ago, the representative of the Auchleskine branch was recognized as MacLaren of MacLaren. These circumstances do not inspire confidence that much is known for certain about the identity of the MacLaren chiefs during the period when their office played a meaningful part in Highland life". Ian Grimble Ph.D., F.R. Hist.S. 1973.
Back in the 1970's, Grimble's public comment perked my interest, a respected Scottish scholar whose notoriety far surpassed other 20th century Clan MacLaren writers. Grimble was questioning a decision by The Court of the Lord Lyon of Scotland, so I set out to find out what he was referring to and also double check the sources cited in "The MacLarens, A History of Clan Labhran" since it is the official Clan MacLaren history. What I found, was a VERY DIFFERENT family history.
My interest began 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, readily available to all family history. Over the next decade they published forty-four “Quarterly's", typically of about 30 pages in length. It was not long into the project that they realized that the name “MacLaren” had been a poor choice for the Society as they found that the primarily Virginia and Carolina McLaurins from the west coast of Scotland, had little if anything to do historically with the McLarens in Balquhidder.
ancient days the Bishops of Argyle made Lismore their fertile and
peaceful abode, and there the forefathers of Duncan McLaren lived for
generations." Duncan McLaren, MP, 1800 -1886.
McLaurin’s clergy ancestors lived at Balimackillichan, just to the
northeast of St. Moluag’s Cathedral property on the Isle of Lismore.
Laurence the Bishop of Argyle was an abbot from the indigenous tribe of
Lismore and the adjoining abbey lands called Appin, this tribe described
as the “slaves of Christ”, MacVicars, M’Olchallums, then later also
MacLay and McLaurin lives as far as the parishes of Ardchattan
Kilmichael and Kilmartin to the north shore of Loch Awe.
clergy tribe of Loarn, is now thought to be the heirs of Saint Moluag
the patron saint of Cenél Loairn. Nearby are the ‘Laity’ readers, known
as the Mhic Laeich who descend from ‘Fin’ the ‘lay son of Fearchar’ who
probably lived at Bachuil, where Niall Livingstone of Bachuill lives,
“Keeper of St. Moluag’s Crozier” and Chief of the McLeas’ and
Livingstones’. Niall Livingstone of Bachuill, the only Saint Columba
heir, out of thousands from the district of Loairn, to be recognized as a
Clan Chief within the Cenél Loairn. Quite an honor.
bishops such as ‘Laurentius Dei gratia epifcopus Ergadie’ and Andrew
were, like Màrtainn of Argyll, probably local men who were unlikely to
have regarded the western seaboard of Scotland as ‘missionary’
territory.” MacDonald, Iain. The Northern World : Clerics and Clansmen :
The Diocese of Argyll between the Twelfth and Sixteenth Centuries (1).
Leiden, NL: Brill, 2013.
Laurentius Dei gratia epifcopus Ergadie’s descendants and followers in Argyll and Kintyre included:
Vicar Laurancii at Kilmartin, 1355
Vicar Laurancii at Ardchattan, 1420
Vicar Dugal Cristini Laurencii at Kilmichael, Glassary, 1436
Vicar Donald Dominici Maclaurante at Kilkerran, Kintyre, 1456