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Early history of the
McLennan family (1 of 2)

Excerpted from a family history written by John M. Kenn.

The Clan MacLennan, or McLennan, had its origin far back in ancient times. According to the "History of the MacLennans" as compiled by Ronald George MacLennan (34th chief of the clan) and written in 1978. Records point to descendants of a prince from Spain who settled in Ireland and later became king. About 500 A.D. several sons of a king left Ireland and came to Scotland. There the lineage is more difficult to trace. According to one history the name Logan, or Lobban, came from this Irish background. The Logans in return settled in two areas, one in the lowlands and the other along Loch Lochy in the highlands. It is from the highland branch that our family emerges. One history holds that they lived in the Druimdeurfait section of Ross shire.

Artist's rendering of a Logan clansman.
The Logans fought constantly with various other clans and in the early 1400s, at the Battle of Kessock between the Logans and the Frasers, the Logan family went down to defeat. It was held that Chief Gilliegorm fought Lord Lovat, who was related to Gilliegorm's wife. Gilliegorm was killed and his pregnant wife taken captive by Lord Lovat. In due time a child was born. Deformed with a humped back, the child was named Crotair MacGilliegorm, or crooked-back son of Gilliegorm. Fear on the part of the Frasers that he might raise an army to avenge his father's death caused them to send him to a monastery at Beauly. In due time, Crotair became a priest himself.

Like many monks of that day he did not remain celebate. He marrried and had seven children according to one story. Living at the time near the Isle of Skye in the Kintail region, he helped establish churches at Kilmor and Glenelg. An ardent follower of the Irish Saint Fhinan, who was also a revered saint in Scotland, one child took the name Gillie Fhinan, or son of the servant of Fhinan. This son's children were known as Siol'inan or Gillie Fhinan, thus translateted to Mac Gillie Innain, and ultimately spelled MacLennan. The miracle attributed to St. Fhinnian is that he diverted an entire river to save a village and thus today is the Monastary at Drumderfit named in his honor.

A second version follows much the same format but states that MacLennan came from the word Ennan, or Adam's man. Thus MacLennan simply means son of Adam's man, or Little Adam. Maybe it means we are all something else due to Crotair.


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