Clan MacLaren History
The name of the clan MacLaren is known in Gaelic as “Clann mhic Labhrainn”. The origins of the clan are shadowy and remain speculative, although one traditional account claims descent from Lorn, son of Erc, who landed in Argyll in A.D. 503.
However, there is no concrete evidence of Lorn being the progenitor of the family. Another, more likely origin of the MacLaren clan is that it springs from a branch of a Celtic dynasty, taking their name from a thirteenth century abbot, Laurence of Achtow.
This theory is supported by the rallying cry of the clan, which is “Creag an Tuirc” which means “Boars Rock”. The rock in question stands near Achtow in Balquhidder.
The MacLarens were a warlike clan and had their share of feuds with neighbouring families but they forged a strong alliance with the powerful Stewart clan, when a daughter of the MacLaren family married a Stewart Lord of Lorne in the fifteenth century. The first son of this union, Dougal, went on to become the progenitor of the famous Stewarts of Appin.
By the end of the fifteenth century many MacLaren clansmen had emigrated to serve with the military in France and Italy, and by the mid sixteenth century they were described as a “broken clan”.
A branch of the family distinguished itself in Sweden by the time of the Thirty Years War, and the modern Swedish writer Carl G. Laurin is one of many who carry the clan name in Scandinavia.
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