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Macfarlane Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: THIS I’LL DEFEND

Let me take you on a journey through the tapestry of your family’s history, the Macfarlanes. Your family’s roots trace back to Alwyn, the Celtic Earl of Lennox, whose younger son, Gilchrist, was bestowed with lands at Arrochar nestled on the serene shores of Loch Long during the close of the 12th century. Your ancestor, Gilchrist’s grandson Malduin, extended the family’s honor by offering refuge to Robert the Bruce during his escape, a chapter that echoes your family’s loyalty and courage.

In the annals of Scotland’s grand moments, the Macfarlanes stood firm at Bannockburn in 1314, their valor etched in the records of that historic battle. The legacy of Parlan, Malduin’s son, lives on through the chief’s patronymic, while Iain Macpharlain secured a charter of confirmation for the ancestral lands of Arrochar in 1420.

As history wove its intricate patterns, Duncan, the final Celtic Earl of Lennox, met an unfortunate fate at the hands of James I. Despite the Macfarlanes’ rightful claim to the earldom, the title was bestowed upon John Stewart, Lord Darnley. Though the Macfarlanes initially sought to resist the Stewarts’ ascendancy, their strength proved too mighty. An alliance formed as Andrew Macfarlane, the 10th chief, wedded a younger daughter of Lord Darnley.

The 11th chief and his fellow clansmen left their mark at Flodden in 1513, their valor remembered through the ages. Subsequently, their allegiance to the Earl of Lennox led them to Bute and Arran under Henry VII’s banner. Yet, their indomitable spirit met its match at Dumbarton’s royal castle.

As times of upheaval ensued, your family’s unwavering loyalty to the Stuarts manifested in support for the Marquess of Montrose during Charles I’s reign. Their valor resounded at Inverlochy in 1645. In the face of complex choices, your ancestors’ allegiance shifted to Queen Mary and William of Orange in 1688, a testament to their principled convictions.

The ebb and flow of history saw your family play their part on various stages, yet the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 passed with a relatively muted Macfarlane presence, possibly due to the pursuits of the 20th chief, Walter Macfarlane. An esteemed scholar and antiquary, Walter’s legacy extended beyond the battlefield, contributing to a legacy of knowledge.

In the chapters that followed, the clan lands at Arrochar underwent transformation, aligning with the shifts of time. While the direct male line of chiefs reached its conclusion in 1886, the vibrant tapestry of the Macfarlanes endures. This is a story of courage, resilience, and the enduring spirit of a family that has left its mark on Scotland’s history.

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Family Crest Motto: THIS I’LL DEFEND

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