This name was of the baptismal group of surnames and the earliest of the name on record appears to be Absalon, son of Macbed, a churchman, to whom a charter of the island called Clarines (later the gathering place of Clan Buchanan) was granted by Maldoun, third earl of Lennox in 1225. As Absalon he witnessed a gift by Alewin, second earl of Lennox of the church of Kamsi (Campsie) to God and Saint Kentigern. Malcolm Macabsolon witnessed a confirmation charter by Robert 1. in 1308. It may have been a Macauslan who killed the duke of Clarence, brother of Henry V. of England at the battle of Beauge in 1421, as the duke's circlet of gold was brought into camp by Alexander Macausland. Patrick McCaslane of Caldanacht, and Donald McCaslane his brother, were followers of the earl of Argyll in 1536, and the death of Katherine N'Chastyllan at Slattych in Glenyon is recorded in 1542. John McAslen in Auchingyle and Patrik More McCaslen in Auchingech were fined for aiding outlawed Clan Gregor in 1613.
The MacCauslands of Drenagh, County Londonderry, are descended from the Macauslans of Dumbartonshire. 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 is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. 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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