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Compiled Records by Judith McClung

The following records have been contributed by members of the McClung Association:

Contributed by Thomas McClung of Grove City, Ohio. 12/1999

Ref: SURNAMES OF SCOTLAND. by G.F. Black (NY, 1946)
MACCLUNG, Maclung. A rare Galloway surname still current in Ayrshire and Kircudbrightshire. G. Mac Luinge, "son of the ship." a seaman. Cf. the name of S. Columba's grandfather, in Latin Filius Nauvis, "Scotica vero lingua Mac Naue." The name seems wrongly equated with Maclurg, q.v., by the editor of the "Parish lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684 (Scot. Rec. Soc.). McClunge 1784.

Ref: Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684

Litel Larg.
Thom. McClung . . . . (McClurg?)
John McClung, cripple (McClurg?)

James McClung


McClung, Scots: Anglecized form of Gael: Mac Luinge, patr. from a personal name which is probably derived from LONG ship or the homonymous LONG tall. Vars: McCluny, McLung

Ref: Scottish Church Records. Compact Disk Edition. 1995.
Transcribed earliest references:

Mary C 1742 Ayr Gilbert
Jean (Jane) C 1744 Ayr Gilbert
Margarett C 1748 Ayr Gilbert
Eleanor (Helen) C 1752 Ayr Matthew
William C 1753 Ayr Andrew
Jean (Jane) C 1754 Ayr Gilbert
Mary C 1755 Ayr Andrew
John C 1757 Ayr Thomas
John C 1760 Ayr Andrew
Jean or Mary C 1765 Ayr Matthew
Janet C 1765 Ayr Andrew
James C 1767 Ayr Andrew
Anne C 1768 Ayr Matthew
Gilbert C 1772 Ayr Gilbert
Jannet (Janet) C 1776 Ayr Gilbert
Thomas C 1776 Ayr Robert
William C 1776 Ayr Gilbert
Eleanor (Helen) C 1777 Ayr William
Elizabeth C 1777 Ayr Gilbert
Martha C 1778 Ayr Robert
Margaret C 1779 Ayr Gilbert


Chapter I: From Scotland to South Carolina, Introduction

        The McClung name originated in the Grampian Mountains of Scotland. It first appears in print on a parish list of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff in 1684. It is a rare Galloway surname thought to have originated after 1610. Black's Surnames of Scotland lists the original spelling as MacLuinge, "son of ship," a seaman.

        The McClung name was adopted, it is believed, by a group or family of highlanders who were defeated in battle. In the early 1600s in Scotland it was common that the defeated be required to disband and select new identification.

        By the late 1600s, the McClung name had become established in the Protestant circles of the Grampian Mountains around Loch Lamond. Religious strife and tyranny had swept the land and it was in about 1690 that a band of McClungs moved with other Scots across the Atlantic narrows to Ireland from their homes in Wigtownshire and Greenock.

Note: The McClung Genealogy, 1904, says this migration took place about 1690. However, this book was not documented. (J Mc)


From the Editor:

        In 1974, the McClung Family Association employed Mr. Donald Whyte, a researcher who lived in Scotland, to look for records of the McClung name In Scottish and Ulster records.

        He found some of the above records and searched many others that turned up little result.

        The earliest record in Scotland was in 1634 where there is an account of Andrew McLunguah who brought complaint to the privy council of an attack by Patrick Agnew of Barmaill and others that nearly caused his death. Andrew was accompanied by Alexander McLean in Carisdouce. Recorded in Council Register, Volume V (1633-35, third series, p. 182)

        The next record was in 1644 in the Privy Council Register. It is a case of witchcraft brought against three women, one of which was the wife of Johne McLung in Knockibae (parish of Stanrawer). Her name was Africk Elam. It is interesting that one of the persons bearing depositions was no other than Patrick Agnew. (REGISTER, Vol. VIII, 1544-1660; third series, p. 133)

        Donald Whyte notes that Africk is a rare female Christian name of great antiquity. The name was given to the daughter of Donegal of Strathnith, who bequested his name of Edgar to his descendants, and this is one of our earliest surnames. Also, Knockibae is Knockbay, about 2 miles N.W. of Portpatrick, in Wigtownshire, part - with Stewartry of Kircudbright - of the district called Galloway. (Above McC J, Vol 7)

by Mr. P.H. MacKerlie. (McC J, Vol 25:20)

        ". . . many of the surnames in Galloway are peculiar to that district; some again, have an apparent Irish origin; while others are to be found in the Highlands. He gives a list of these names, so far as he has been able to collect them." Included in the list of approximately 100 names are: MacLung and MacClung.

Extractions published McC J, Vol. 10:17.

P. 3 John Walker born in Wigton, Scotland married Katherine Rutherford in 1702 (Would make his birth before 1685) in Scotland. Their ninth child, Joseph, married Nancy McClung 1749 (probably in Chester Co. PA). Joseph was born in 1722 near Londonderry, Ireland.

        This family was also intermarried with the Stuarts who came to Rockbridge Co., VA.

        In 1973, several members of the McClung Assn pooled their money and hired a member of The Ulster Scot Historical Society to search records in Ireland. The results for our time period were scant due to the Civil War in 1922 which destroyed much.

        In 1669 there was a Peter McClung on the County Antrim Hearthmoney Roll. Robert McClung, member in Scotland, sent us the Heath Rolls in Northern Ireland. These are the localities where McClungs are dwelling in 1669: Ahogbill, Ballycarry, Ballymena, Brushlee, Carnmoney, Carricksfergus, Galgorm, Newtown Crommelin, Portglenone, Randalstown, and Templepatrick. So we can see that there were numerous McClungs in Northern Ireland by that time. It should be possible to track down their names if the original of this record could be found.


15 Apr 1723 Agnes, dau of James McClung
26 Dec 1725 Margaret, dau of James McClung
20 Oct 1726 John, son of David McClung
7 Apr 1728 David, son of James McClung
(Many of this family remained in Armaugh and emigrated later)

        There are records of McClungs in Ireland in the mid 1700s. However, the records of our family place them in Pennsylvania and Virginia before this. (J Mc)


By Judith A. McClung

The history of Scotland goes back to the days of the Roman conquest of the islands. They were able to conquor much of present day Europe because the Celts and others were beginning to form city-states and had a beginning of centralization. When the Romans laid seige to their towns and conquored them, they had the rudiments of government organized to oversee their subjects. But when the Romans advanced as far as Caledonia, they found the people living the clan system and able to fight in the mountains and bogs. The Romans gave up conquoring them and built Hadrian's Wall to separate them from the Britons they had conquored. (1)

The clans trace their ancestry from the north isles and from Ireland. Somerled, king of Argyll descends from Norway and Sweden. His descendancy includes houses of Campbell, Stewarts, 3 houses of Macdonalds, Camerons, Mackintoshes, Macphersons, MacGillivrays, the Robert III and descendants of the present royal family (Prince Charles is Steward of Scotland & Lord of the Isles). The Kings of Dal Riada came from North Antrim in Ireland in the 5th century and settled in the Islands to the west of Scotland and extended their realm from there. The clans derived from these lines include the Lamonts. MacSorleys, McSweeney (from Suibhne), Livingstones, MacEwens, MacMillans, houses of MacNeill, MacDuff, Douglases, Lindsays, Frasers, through Malcolm III, the present royal family, Cummings, Robertsons, Moncreisses, Home, Grey, Washingtons, and more.(2)

With loyalties historically with the clans, Scots were rarely able to unite to ward off the incursions of the English and other invaders. William Wallace united some of the clans to make a stand after his wife was killed in 1297 by English soldiers. While there is no real historical documentation for his deeds, his martyrdom marked the myth that has survived him. Scots look to him as the hero for liberty. (3) Robert the Bruce took up the gauntlet laid down by Wallace and by skill was able to unite enough of the clans to have himself declared King of Scotland and defeat the English, keeping them at bay while he ran his kingdom.(4)

Eventually the English gained the ascendancy and subjugated Scotland. The Protestant Reformation put new stresses on the people as many were converted. The uprising led by Cromwell in 1649 led to the execution of King Charles I. Then Cromwell defeated the Scots in 1650 and began reforms of the government merging laws with those of England. When Cromwell died, the king's leadership brought oppression and tyranny for three decades. The Covenanters put up resistance but were all but exterminated. This was called "the killing time". Many were transported to America, many put to death and their lands confiscated. During 1689 King James abdicated and a fierce contest commenced between the legislative and executive branches. Sir John Graham gathered a Highland army at Dundee on July 27th and routed the enemy. But by Aug 21st at Dunkeled the Jacobites were routed. When Parliament convened in April, 1690, concessions were made to the Presbyterian ministers who had been ejected since 1661. At this time the Highlanders renewed the war but were soon scattered by the government. (5>

We point up these events because our tradition is that the McClung brothers fled Scotland in 1690 because of religious persecutions. We do not know that it was exactly in 1690 as events continued to transpire in the early years of the 1690s. It was in 1692 that Alexander McDonald, chief of Glencoe, was murdered with his clan for failing to meet a deadline of signing obedience and submission under a truce. This had a profound effect upon the Scots. Later in Virginia, an area reminiscent of Glencoe was given that name and figures into some of our history there.

Ireland had been having many of the same difficulties as Scotland as far as the English were concerned. However, in Ulster the Catholics had gained the ascendancy. Many of them were relieved of their lands. "London's policy in the settlement of loyal subjects of the Crown on escheated Irish lands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centery was to limit grants in freehold to Englishmen who could be counted upon to be faithful to the Established Church. But each freeholder was obligated to introduce a number of tenants according to the size of his grant, and few farmers were willing to migrate from England to work a family-sized farm on which he would have to pay rent. Scotland, however, where land was of poorer quality than in England, could provide as many applicaats as might be needed, and even though they were Presbyterians, it was decided they should be accepted. The result was a class division between Presbyterians and members of the Established Church in Ulster." (6) The resulting friction between these two groups led to many Presbyterians removing from Ulster to America.

These two groups polarized into an enmity which yet exists today. Even then, to marry an Irish Catholic meant to repudiate your religion and agree to rear your children in the Catholic faith. It was not likely that any Presbyterian would have done that in a time where they had given up so much to be stalwart in the faith. People married within their own social group. In fact, the clans often chose spouses within their own clan.

The two main factors which led to the emigration from Ulster were religion and high rents. The religious grievances were that the validity of Presbyterian marriages were denied; dissenters were barred from teaching in schools; they were not allowed to bury their dead without the funeral service of the Established Church; interference with the ministers and their worship practices. The rents were raised exhorbitantly after leases expired. Then during the years of the first McClung migrations there were very bad harvests that made the prices of food higher than anyone could remember and left no seed to sow the following years. (7)

At this point, it seemed that all of Ulster would be dumped on the shores of America. As with any new, large migration, there was fear and discrimination for the newcomers. "(Logan and) the Quakers really seem to have believed that the Ulstermen, if they continued to come, would devour the whole country. The Quaker policy, therefore, according to some Ulster-born cynics of later date, was to get the newcomers away to the Indian border as quickly as possible, where their love of fighting would make them useful!" (8)

Many of the Ulstermen came to America and settled in PA, New England, VA, NC, SC and GA just in time for the Revolutionary War. One historian writes that between 1730 and 1770, at least half a million people were transferred from Ulster to the colonies. The Scots-Irish had an emense impact on this developing nation. Nine of our presidents are descendants of this group. From the east, they moved down the Virginia valley, into the Carolinas and across the mountains into Kentucky and Tennessee where they opened new counties and formed states.

1. Orel, Harold, et al. The Scottish World. 1981. Harrison House, NY,NY.

2. Moncreiffe, Sir Iain. The Highland Clans. 1967. Bramhall House.

3. Morton, Graeme. William Wallace, Man and Myth. 2001. Sutton Publishing, UK.

4. Scott, Ronald McNair. Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. 1982. Carroll & Graf
        Publishers, Inc. New York, N.Y.

5. Orel, p.137-144.

6. MacEoin, Gary. Northern Ireland: Captive of History 1974. Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
       New York, Chicago, San Francisco.

7. Marshall, William F. Ulster Sails West. 1950. Belfast, Ireland. Reprinted.

8. Ibid.
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Page Begun Nov. 2001
Page Updated 18 Apr 2002
Updated by J. A. McClung