The first recorded of this name appears to be Lorin Mak Gilserf, a witness in 1258, who appears again in 1266 as Lorne Mach gilherve. Lorn de Ardebethy of Perthshire rendered homage in 1296, and Johannes M'Lern witnessed a charter of the lands of Balmaclelane in 1466. Donald Maklaurene in Dalbeyich and Finlay Macneill VcLaurent were witnesses in 1586, and several individuals of the name are recorded in a bond to Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhay in 1601. Laran McLaren was charged with robbery and violence in the lands of Drumquhassil in 1592. Robert McClawrane in Balquhidder and his son were charged with wearing hagbuts and killing deer in the royal forest of Glenfinlas in 1612. A decreet against Archibald M'kleren in Achagyll for rents was summoned against him in 1672, and Daniel M'Cleron is in record in Sound of Yell in 1742. Thirteen Maclarens in Stewart of Appin's regiment in the 1745 war were killed and fourteen were wounded. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'.
The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Dreghorn, County Edinburgh in 1781. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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