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MacEwen Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: REVIRESCO (I grow strong again)

Allow me to share with you the intriguing tapestry of your family, the MacEwens, a name that has taken on numerous spellings over time, including the Gaelic rendering ‘Maceoghainn’. The roots of the MacEwen identity are often traced back to the proud lineage of Clan Macewan of Otter, who once held sway over the barony of the same name along the serene shores of Loch Fyne. Evidently, your family’s story unfolds with Eoghan (Ewan), a descendant of the esteemed Celtic noble Donnsleibhe, serving as the progenitor according to an incomplete fifteenth-century pedigree.

With Kilfinnan as their stronghold, the MacEwan chiefs were situated in Macewan Castle. Yet, historical winds shifted their fortunes, and during the fifteenth century, royal authority necessitated their departure from their ancestral lands. A charter from James I sealed the barony of Otter’s fate, vesting it in Sween Macewen with a stipulated inheritance for the heirs of Duncan Campbell of Loch Awe.

Sween Macewen, the last known chief of the line, passed away in 1493, marking a significant transition for the clan. Subsequently, their presence is noted as aligned with the Campbells or as individuals without a clan, dependent upon others. The Act of Parliament in 1602 listed them as subjects of the Earl of Argyll, making him accountable for their conduct.

Following their relinquishment of the barony of Otter, a group of Macewans migrated to Lennox and embraced the name Ewing. Notably, around 1598, a contingent of armed Macewans was described as Highland men living off plunder. Another branch of Macewans embraced the role of hereditary bards for the Campbells and Macdougalls. Neil Macewen’s poetic tribute to Campbell of Glenorchy in 1630 showcases their artistic talents. Moreover, certain Macewans of Galloway may have descended from the Norman Bisset family, adopting their name from the thirteenth-century chief, Eoin Bisset.

Your family’s history is further enriched by the Camerons of Erracht, evolving into Clan Ewen. From this lineage emerged the Macewans of Glenboig, who registered their arms. Noteworthy is Macewan of Muckley, descending from MacDougall’s chiefly line and bearing arms. This Perthshire group was even recognized as a sept of the MacDougalls.

In the modern era, your clan’s legacy found cohesion through the formation of the Clan Macewan Society in 1977. Recent endeavors aimed to unify the clan and establish a chief have yielded fruitful results. In 2014, the Lord Lyon granted a warrant for the appointment of Sir John McEwan, the fifth baronet of Marchmont and Bardrochat, as the Commander of Clan McEwan. This appointment, along with Thor Ewing’s designation as Commander of Clan Ewing, underscores the independence of both Ewings and McEwans as distinct clans, both destined to have their own chiefs, marking a promising future for your family’s heritage.

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Family Crest Motto: REVIRESCO (I grow strong again)

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