The surname of MACLIN was an Aberdeen contraction of Macklinnan, a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Finnan's servant'. One of the earliest names on record was Kessanus MACCLENANE, who was a witness to a charter of the lands of Cartonvenach, Scotland in 1250. After the Crusades in Europe, in the 11th 12th and 13th century people began, perhaps unconsciously, to feel the need of a family name, or at least a name in addition to the simple one that had been possessed from birth. The nobles and upper classes, especially those who went on the Crusades, observed the prestige and practical value of an added name, and were quick to take a surname. Other records of the name mention MACKLINNAN (without surname) who was documented in Scotland in 1300. Further instances include MACULIN Cosin, canon of the 'free chaple of Berkynge' was documented during the reign of Richard II (1377-1399). Gilmory M'LENANE, appears as a tenant in 1483. John M'Linein was a charter witness regarding the lands of Ayr in 1526. Adam M'Clenane held property in Culross in the year 1586. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. A later instance mentions John MACLIN and Elizabeth Bonn who married at St. George's Hanover Square in l797, and John MAKLIN married Mary Dunster at St. George's in l808. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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