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Surname MacLennan - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

MacLennan: What does the surname MacLennan mean?

The last name MacLennan is of Scottish origin and stems from the Gaelic name "Mac Gille Fhinnein," which means "son of the follower of St. Finnan." The surname is mostly associated with the Scottish Highlands and is common in Ross-shire and Inverness-shire. Families with this name have a rich history dating back to ancient Scotland. The MacLennan clan motto is "Dum spiro spero," which translates to "While I breathe, I hope." Traditionally, the name has been associated with service, loyalty, and a strong sense of community.

MacLennan: Where does the name MacLennan come from?

The surname MacLennan is of Scottish origin. It derives from the Gaelic "Mac Gille Fhinnein," meaning "son of the follower of St. Finnan". MacLennan is associated with the highlands of Scotland, specifically the regions around Ross and Moray.

The MacLennans were originally a part of the ancient Clan Logan, but after the 14th-century death of their chief in battle, they took up a new name, said to be after a Logan who was crippled (in Gaelic, "Logan" translates to "little hollow," and "crooked or bent" could be a metaphor for "crippled").

Today, the MacLennan surname is common in countries that saw significant Scottish emigration. Though it can be found all over the world, it is particularly common in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and, of course, Scotland. In particular, Nova Scotia in Canada, known for its rich Scottish heritage, is home to many MacLennans. However, just as with Scotland itself, the distribution is quite widespread.

Variations of the surname MacLennan

The surname MacLennan is a Scottish surname originating from the Gaelic "Mac Gille Finnan" which means "son of the servant of St. Finnan". This surname has several variations and derivative surnames due to its Gaelic origin, geographical distributions, and phonetic renderings.

Variations of the surname MacLennan can include McLennan, McLennen, McLennan, MacLennon, MacLenan, MacLennon, MacLennin, and M'Lennan. Other less common spellings can be McKlennan, MacGillennon, Lennon, Lennan, and Lenon.

The surnames may have also been anglicized or regionalized over centuries, leading to similar surnames like Lennen, Lennan, Lennon, and even Glennan in some cases.

The variations and spellings can also depend on how the name was translated or transcribed - the 'Mac' prefix (meaning 'son of') can also be translated as 'Mc', or simplified to just 'M' or missed out entirely. Some variations also misspell or alter the 'Lennan' suffix.

It's worth noting that different people with this surname may not be related, as surnames can originate from multiple independent sources. However, many of the above variants are likely to have developed from the original Gaelic Mac Gille Finnan.

Famous people with the name MacLennan

  • Canada-born pole-vaulter and Olympic champion, Shawn MacLennan
  • Scotland-born painter and printmaker, Alexander MacLennan
  • American amateur wrestler and Olympic silver medalist, J.D. MacLennan
  • Canadian college and university professor, Kenneth MacLennan
  • Scottish rugby union player, Alex MacLennan
  • The MacLennan Clan, founded by Gilleaspic MacLennan in 12th century Scotland
  • Canadian business leader, Alex MacLennan
  • Scottish author, George MacLennan
  • British actor, Brodie MacLennan
  • Canadian businesswoman and entrepreneur, Marcia MacLennan

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