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MacLaine Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: VINCERE VEL MORI (To conquer or die)

Allow me to share the rich tapestry of your family’s history, the MacLaines of Lochbuie, a legacy intertwined with valor and honor, spanning centuries of triumphs and challenges. The roots of your family trace back to Gilleathan Na Tuaidh, renowned as ‘Gillean of the Battleaxe’, a formidable warrior of the 13th century who held dominion over lands in Mull and Morven. A saga unfolds as Gillean and his three sons, a united force, took arms in the Battle of Largs in 1263, battling against the Norse. Their prowess did not go unnoticed, and Alexander II rewarded them handsomely for their bravery.

The mantle of leadership was passed to Gille­ Iosa, whose lineage embraced the valiant Malcolm, an unsung hero of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The torch then passed to Iain Dhu, a name echoing through history, whose sons carved the legacy of your family – Eachainn Reaganach (Hector the Stern), founder of the Maclaines of Lochbuie, and Lachlan Lubanach, the cornerstone of the Macleans of Duart.

Hector’s destiny found expression as he received the gift of lands in Mull from the Lords of the Isles circa 1350. In the heart of this realm, he erected a castle at Loch Buie, a testament to his strength. Duror and Glencoe too held the promise of land, yet this promise remained unfulfilled. In the year 1542, the lands overseen by the sixth chief coalesced into the barony of Moy. John Mor, the seventh chief, etched his name into history as a masterful swordsman. His valor came to the forefront when he accepted the challenge of an Italian master-at-arms, emerging triumphant by ending the duel with his opponent’s demise. His legacy carried forth through time.

Hector, his descendant, initiated the spelling ‘Maclaine’, a symbol of identity solidified and embraced by future chiefs. The storied saga continued with Murdoch Mor, the tenth chief, who lent his allegiance to the royalist cause, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Marquess of Montrose in 1645. Yet, his loyalty led to forfeiture of his lands, only to be restored in 1661. In 1689, the twelfth chief, Hector, emerged victorious in the inaugural battle of the Jacobite campaign under James VII at Knockbreck in Badenoch.

Your ancestral home became a haven of knowledge and hospitality, welcoming the likes of Dr. Samuel Johnson and James Boswell on their renowned tour of the Hebrides in 1773. Of your family, Boswell remarked, ‘Lochbuie proved to be a bluff, comely, noisy old gentleman, proud of his hereditary consequence and a very hearty and hospitable landlord’. The annals of time saw the emergence of Murdoch, the twenty-third of Lochbuie, born in 1814. His endeavors bore the Argyllshire Gathering and Ball in 1871, a testament to his dedication to your shared heritage. His gallantry extended to the military, and his name became intertwined with the Franco-Prussian War, earning him the Iron Cross from the Kaiser.

As the journey continued, your family’s commitment and fortitude remained steadfast. Yet, as life’s tides surged and receded, challenges arose. Kenneth Maclaine, heir to the legacy, charted his own path on the stage as a singer, a tribute to his determination to safeguard your ancestral lands. The tempestuous winds of fate, however, led to the eventual loss of the estates, some 30,000 acres in all. And so, the chief’s mantle found a new abode in South Africa.

In the annals of history, your family’s name stands tall, a testament to valor, unity, and perseverance. Your journey is a narrative of strength and spirit, a legacy that resonates proudly through generations.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: VINCERE VEL MORI (To conquer or die)

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