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Author Topic: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname  (Read 2283 times)

Offline MacLaine

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Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« on: Wednesday 18 April 12 19:04 BST (UK) »
I'd like to know the thoughts of some of the veteran genealogists in the lowlands on this theory...

I had always thought because of the surname, my Maclean/Maclaine ancestry originated in the highlands and they had probably been redshanks in Ulster but as some of my fellow researchers told me: "Don't assume anything!" After the past few months of researching my ancestors in Dumfriesshire (they left for Stewartstown, Co Tyrone abt 1620) , I'm a little stumped on their possible origins and it seems their name could be geographical as opposed to patronymic. Reading up on lowland surnames, it seems a greater proportion have arisen independently by tenants or lairds taking the names of their estates. Even though there was really no wrong way to spell your name back then, I've found something interesting about the actual pronunciation.

In Scotland and in Ulster pre-1660 all the records of them have their names pronounced "Mack-Leen" as opposed to the later "Mack-Lane". Their spelling wasn't really standardized until circa 1700 (Macklaine>McLaine>McLain by 1800) Parish and burgh records of Dumfries show them as Maclyne, Macleine, M'Lene, M'Cleene, M'Klein, M'Clene. Not only that but they were merchant burgesses of the town and my ancestor's 1624 testament reveals him as a man of property (inventory totaling 188 pounds, I believe that would be close to 50,000 pounds today). The earliest reference to them is a "John M'Clein" witnessing a land transaction in Dumfries in 1549. Since society was feudal and there was zero upward mobility, being a member of upper-middle class burghers must have been inherited (or so I believe from what I've read in Leyburn's book "The Scotch-Irish: A Social history").

I recently came across information about a rare surname: a variant spelling for the village of Mauchline in Ayrshire. It seems to be scattered across the lowlands and borders by the 16th century. A John Knoy de Maghlyn is present in the freeman rolls of York England in 1394 while a Scot named Richard Maghlyne is listed in 1408 as being given safe passage to England by Henry IV. A William Malynne is the abbott of Glenluce in 1512, and a Sir Patrick Machlyne sat on Scottish parliament in 1530 and resided in Edinburgh. This name would certainly explain the amount of macleen/maclane-sounding names across the lowlands in the early 1600s particularly the significant population of in Newcastle, Northumberland at that time as I've been told that highlanders didn't really "go down" nor did lowlanders "go up".

Aside from records of my ancestors in Dumfriesshire, of the pre-1650 parish registers that survive I find McClene, McKleine, Machline, McCleine, Mauchline, Machlen all in the vicinity of Edinburgh; McLeine, Machline, Makclene, Macleyne around Perth, Fife, Berwick, and a considerable number of of Mickline, Mackleane, Mackline on both sides of the border This pronunciation is much more prevalent than anything referencing Maclean or Maclaine.

Would my thinking that this origin is more likely be valid? And that my ancestors surnames only developed the patronymic "Mac" prefix because of it's pronunciation? I wonder how many other Macleans and Maclaines may falsely believe they are of highland stock.

Chris Beal


IRELAND...
MacLaine: Dublin City
McLain, Ellis, Graham: Clara, King's Co.
McKenna, McKerry: Portaferry, Co. Down
Cassidy, Reilly: Co Donegal
Carlin, McDonald: Co Derry==> Glasgow
Ryan: Doon, Co Limerick
Wallace, Noon: Co Roscommon
Keon, Kenny: Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
Gray, Cowie: Co. Limerick
Nolan, Rogers, Donohue: Longford, Co. Longford
Byrne, O'Neil: Co. Antrim

SCOTLAND...
McBride, McKenna: Johnstone
Cassidy, Carlin: Glasgow (from Ire.)
Watson

ENGLAND...
Brimlow, Weeks, Wood

Offline GR2

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Re: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 18 April 12 20:27 BST (UK) »
There were a good number of Mac names in the lowland areas in the sixteenth century. Mauchline is not very likely to give rise to MacLean. The ch of Mauchline is pronounced like the ch of loch. If anything, it is the c that would drop out of spelling.

In the course of the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries changes sometimes took place which turned Mac names into something slightly different, but it did not really happen the other way round.


Offline Piglet01

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Re: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 18 April 12 22:38 BST (UK) »
My sister is married to a chap with the surname MacLean.  Following the family back to the late 1800's  - they were originally Mauchlins....

Regards, Steve

Offline MacLaine

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Re: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 19 April 12 01:18 BST (UK) »
Thank you for the info Steve and GR2, I'm now more interested thinking this is more than likely. GR2, would the "ch" be almost silent in gaelic or "braid scots"?

On the issue of DNA I am M-222 but I'm not sure if it makes a difference since they can't tell Irish from Scots DNA-wise, but I do match a lot of lowland names. Supposedly highlanders are more of celtic DNA and not the M222 Irish haplotype present in SW Scotland. Also interestingly enough, an army of Irish "Cruithne" invaded Scotland in 681ad at Ayr and were repulsed at the village of Mauchline.
IRELAND...
MacLaine: Dublin City
McLain, Ellis, Graham: Clara, King's Co.
McKenna, McKerry: Portaferry, Co. Down
Cassidy, Reilly: Co Donegal
Carlin, McDonald: Co Derry==> Glasgow
Ryan: Doon, Co Limerick
Wallace, Noon: Co Roscommon
Keon, Kenny: Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
Gray, Cowie: Co. Limerick
Nolan, Rogers, Donohue: Longford, Co. Longford
Byrne, O'Neil: Co. Antrim

SCOTLAND...
McBride, McKenna: Johnstone
Cassidy, Carlin: Glasgow (from Ire.)
Watson

ENGLAND...
Brimlow, Weeks, Wood

Offline janglaschu

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Re: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 01 July 12 21:57 BST (UK) »
I'd think it odd if Mauchline were to become Maclean - the emphasis on Mauchline is on the first syllable, and those  who had the name would more than likely keep pronouncing it the same way. Also, as GR2 says, it's more likely that the 'c' would be dropped as it's not a 'hard' sound.

I looked in Black's "Surnames of Scotland"; the name Mauchline (i.e. the surname derived from the place-name) appears in early documents in the following spellings:
Maghlyn, Maughlyn, Maugelyn - AD1407-9
Mawchtlyne - AD1512
Machlyne - AD1530
Machline - AD1711
Mauchline (no date given)

Incidentally, Highland DNA is likely to contain a good mix of Norse, as is Irish.
Suffolk, England Benstead, Boldero, Boldy, Boyns, Boynes, Collins, Cooper, Elliott, Fletcher, Laflin, Laws, Lankester, Markham, Marshall, Orriss, Steward, Taylor, Thimblethorpe
Scotland Barclay, Campbell, Finlay, Freeland, Grove, Hay, Horn, Laird, McDonald, McKay, Milne, Mills, Peebles, Robertson, Shearer, Stewart, Strang, Thomson

Offline MacLaine

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Re: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 03 July 12 19:33 BST (UK) »
Thanks Janglaschu,

I found it odd myself which is why I took what I found with a grain of salt and thought it could be coincidental until recently. I think I may have been able to find the missing link to the actual "Mauchline" spelling. It actually took a few generations for the name to change, I first find it with my ancestor Gilbert McClene (1570-1624) who was a Merchant Burgess in Dumfries. His sons go to Ireland in the 1620s but I don't notice any different pronunciations until the 1650s/60s which may be attributable to their dialect of living in a different area. I find it as McLeene, McAline, McCalleene, McKillane, Machilane, McOlane and finally Macklane (this was over a period of 50yrs).

 I was recently able to obtain Gilbert's father's will and his name was John McClyne who died 1574. John referenced his brother "Sir Thomas McClyne", "Sir" being used in the context of a priest/chaplain and someone who obtained a B.A. It turns out "Sir Thomas Mauchlyne" is on a 1560 rent roll of Haddington, E. Lothian and is connected to a family of Mauchlynes (Sir Patrick, Sir James, Sir Thomas) who studied at St. Andrews and were priests at the collegiate churches of Crail and Haddington. The earliest of which was Sir Patrick signing the Crail documents of 1512.

DNA-wise I've been using phylogenic trees which tracks which markers change from the modal between me and 8 other people who have a common ancestor that lived c1550 (which is likely John McClyne). When I searched with this modal's markers (as opposed to my own which have changed) the close matches that came back were mostly names of Amuligane, Grierson, Hamilton, Stewart, McDowell, McHarg, Graham, Duncan, Dunbar, Alexander, all SW Scottish names.

  I put this question on another forum and actually got a response of a person who was researching his wife's Maclean line and found that they were Mauchlines in the early 1800s :)
IRELAND...
MacLaine: Dublin City
McLain, Ellis, Graham: Clara, King's Co.
McKenna, McKerry: Portaferry, Co. Down
Cassidy, Reilly: Co Donegal
Carlin, McDonald: Co Derry==> Glasgow
Ryan: Doon, Co Limerick
Wallace, Noon: Co Roscommon
Keon, Kenny: Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
Gray, Cowie: Co. Limerick
Nolan, Rogers, Donohue: Longford, Co. Longford
Byrne, O'Neil: Co. Antrim

SCOTLAND...
McBride, McKenna: Johnstone
Cassidy, Carlin: Glasgow (from Ire.)
Watson

ENGLAND...
Brimlow, Weeks, Wood

Offline mumum

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Re: Mauchline & the evolution of a lowland surname
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 02 October 13 17:38 BST (UK) »
This is probably very unlikely but I've been trying to trace my ancestry, starting with my great grandmother who was a Machlin. I did a random google search and came upon this parish in Scotland, which really surprised me because my family is from Latvia/ Lithuania/ Russia and I'm fairly certain there's no Scottish blood in my family. It's probably just a coincidence, but on the off chance maybe someone knows of a connection to Latvian/ Russian Machlins? (pronounced Ma-h-leen). It would be really cool if there really is some distant relation.

also should add that my Machlins are all jewish.