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Clan MacFarlane History according to The Stoddard Family

As printed in "The Stoddard Family being an account of some of the descendants of John Stodder of Hingham Massachusetts Colony" ... 1912

The name Mackfarlin is also spelled as MacFarlin, Macvarlo and MacFarlane. Not a clan in Scotland has a more interesting history than that of the Clan MacFarlane. Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long, in the highlands of Scotland, was the hereditary possession for 600 years of the chiefs of the clan. The descent of the clan from the ancient district in which their possessions were situated, is the only one, with the exception of the Clan Donnachie, which is fortified by a charter still extant.

Scotch antiquarians derive the origin of this ancient family from Aluin, a younger son of Kenneth III, King of Scotland, who died in 994. His descendant Aluin, 2nd Earl of Lennox, left issue, besides others, two sons, who were Malduin his successor and a younger son Gilchrist. The latter, having received from his father a grant of lands in the Northern part of Lennox, became the progenitor of the MacFarlanes.

The clan on June 23, 1314, helped to gain, under Robert Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn, the glorious victory over Edward I of England that forever freed Scotland from the English yoke. When the seventh Earl of Lennox was beheaded in 1424, the MacFarlanes claimed the earldom as heirs male, and offered strenuous opposition to the pretensions of the feudal heirs. Their resistance proved alike unsuccessful and disastrous. The family of their chief perished in the defence of what they considered their just rights; the clan suffered severely, and, of those who survived the struggle, the greater part took refuge in remote parts of the country. The destruction of the MacFarlanes would now have been inevitable, but for the opportune support given by an Andrew MacFarlane, who, having married the daughter of Lord Darnley, the successful holder of the earldom of Lennox, saved the rest of the clan and recovered the greater part of their hereditary possessions. His descendants in the 3rd generation assumed the title of Lairds of MacFarlane.

When on May 10, 1568, Mary Queen of Scots had escaped from Lochleven castle, and her archers were defeating Regent Murray and his pursuing troops, a later Andrew MacFarlane appeared upon the scene, and, with 500 of his own name and dependents, put the archers to flight. The clan boasts of having taken at this battle three of Queen Mary's standards, which were long preserved in the family. On the evening of that eventful day, Regent Murray bestowed upon Andrew MacFarlane the crest of the family, which is a " demi-savage proper, holding in his dexter hand a sheaf of arrows, and pointing with his sinister to an imperial crown or, with the motto, ' This I'll defend.' "

The name of MacFarlane is very numerous, both in the north and west Highlands. In 1594 the MacFarlanes were denounced as robbers and oppressors. They were then among the most savage of the Highland clans and rivalled the MacGregors in their raids on the Lowlands. In 1604 an old feud culminated in the slaughter of the Laird of a rival clan. In 1608 they were declared rebels by law, but this did not prevent their following Montrose in 1644-5, when their wild pibroch " Hoggil-nam-bo" was heard in many of his battles. In 1624 many of the clan were driven out of Arrochar and from that time on many began to emigrate elsewhere. Some took advantage of the tempting offers to immigrants in north Ireland, while others undoubtedly came directly to the colonies. ... In 1745 the Clan MacFarlane fought its last great fight. It fought gallantly for " Bonnie Prince Charley."

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Clan Events Calendar


Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games
Sat Feb 26 through Sat Feb 26


Dunedin Highland Games and Festival
Sat Apr 2 through Sat Apr 2


Georgetown Highland Games
Sat Jun 11 through Sat Jun 11


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Orillia Scottish Festival
Sat Jul 16 through Sat Jul 16


Cambridge Scottish Festival
Sat Jul 16 through Sat Jul 16