MacFarlane Clan Origin: The MacFarlane’s come from the town of Arrochar near Loch Long. This clan traces its lineage back to Gilchrist son of Alwyn, Celtic Earl of Lennox. Gilchrist’s son Malduin fought with Robert the Bruce. It was Malduin’s son who was named Parlan which became MacPharlin and eventually MacFarlane.

The 6th clan chief, Duncan gained the Arrochar land in 1395 from Earl of Lennox. Duncan also acquired other land around the area through marriages. When King James I killed Earl of Lennox the land was passed down to the Earldom of Sir John Stewart of Darnley and not the MacFarlane’s. The MacFarlane’s became hostile with the Stewart’s, but in the 15th century the 10th chief of the MacFarlane’s was wed to the daughter of Lord Darnley; thus, rectifying the friendship. The MacFarlane’s can be traced back to the areas of Inveruglas, Inverbeg, and Tarbet-Arrochar.

Clan Location: Arrochar on Loch Long

MacFarlane Clan Motto: This I’ll defend.

Battles: In war times the MacFarlane’s supported Earl of Lennox and Duncan MacFarlane of Tarbet. This clan was present at the Battle of Pinkie where Duncan and his brother were killed. At the Battle of Langside in 1568 the MacFarlane’s opposed Mary Queen of Scots after her husband, Lord Darnley, was killed. It was here the clan earned respect by defending the crown of new born King James VI and capturing three standards of Queen Mary. The MacFarlane’s continued to stand by the Stewarts until the ruling of King James VII. They eventually showed loyalty to King Charles I. The MacFarlane’s were not present at the Jacobite rising. They did however share victory at Inverlochy. Their castle at Inveruglas was later burned by Oliver Cromwell.

The MacFarlane Family Crest

Clan MacFarlane Tartan

End of MacFarlane Chiefs: Walter MacFarlane was the 20th chief of the clan. Once he passes in 1767, the lands were sold in 1784 to pay off debts by Walter’s brother. By 1886, the direct male line of chiefs had ran it’s course. Consequently, the MacFarlane’s are not on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. The members of the clan began to emigrate from Scotland. Most went to Ireland and it has been said that the chief fled to America.

Are You a MacFarlane?

If your surname is listed below you can claim to be a MacFarlane.