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.
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
|Jean or Mary||C||1765||Ayr||Matthew|
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
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)
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)
". . . 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.
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|
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)
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
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.
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
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.