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MacCallum Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: IN ARDUA TENDIT (He has attempted difficult things)

Let me share with you the intriguing history of your family, the MacCallums. There’s a bit of confusion surrounding the name of your Clan due to a change made in 1799 by the Chief, Dugald MacCallum of Poltalloch. He decided to alter the name from MacCallum to Malcolm, citing ‘aesthetic reasons’ for the change.

The name Malcolm holds a significant place in Scottish history, as it was the name of four Scottish kings. The roots of ‘Malcolumb’ can be traced back to a Charter dating back to 1094. However, the name MacCallum itself finds its origins in Gaelic, signifying ‘Son of the Ghillie (or servant) of Callum,’ where Callum refers to St. Columba. Interestingly, throughout your family’s history, the names MacCallum and Malcolm have sometimes been used interchangeably.

An illustrious lineage emerges from your family, with figures making their mark in various domains. During the reign of Charles I, John Malcolm of Balbedie, Lochore, and Innerneil, assumed the role of Chamberlain of Fife. His son, John, was honored with a Nova Scotia Baronetcy in 1665. The Malcolm name continued to shine, with Alexander becoming a respected judge known as Lord Lochore, and James valiantly fighting alongside Viscount Dundee at the Battle of Killiekrankie in 1680.

The MacCallum/Malcolm line that holds seniority traces its origins to the Lorn district in Argyll. Lands such as Craignish and those along the banks of Loch Avich were granted to Reginald MacCallum of Corbarron in 1414. This grant came from Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow, along with the hereditary roles of Captain of Craignish and Lochaffy Castles. The legacy of Corbarron continued through the centuries, passing on to Zachary MacCallum of Poltalloch in the 17th century.

The lineage of Poltalloch is equally captivating. The 1st Laird of Poltalloch received his Charter in 1562, and though the family lived at Kilmartin House, they embarked on the construction of Old Poltalloch House in the late 18th century, a project that was never finalized. Neil Malcolm, the 13th Laird, contributed to the family history by erecting Poltalloch House around 1850, a structure sadly demolished in 1959.

Your family’s story is not only confined to Scotland’s shores but extends to the realm of politics, society, and even the arts. John Wingfield Malcolm was honored with a peerage in 1896, becoming Baron Malcolm of Poltalloch for his parliamentary service. Sir Ian Zachary Malcolm, KCMG, carried on the family’s esteemed legacy as a distinguished Member of Parliament and married the daughter of the renowned actress Lily Langtry.

The MacCallum surname continues to thrive in certain areas of Scotland, most prominently in the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Glasgow City, and Stirlingshire. Your family’s journey has been one of distinction, marked by individuals who have left their indelible mark on various facets of history.

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Family Crest Motto: IN ARDUA TENDIT (He has attempted difficult things)

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