This surname of MacKELLAR was in Gaelic MAC EALAIR, the son of EALAIR, the Gaelic form of the Latin HILARIUS. The Latin name was chosen by many early Christians to express their joy and hope of salvation, and was borne by several saints, including a 4th century bishop of Poitiers, noted for his vigorous resistance to the Arian heresy, and a 5th century bishop of Arles. Largely due to veneration of the first of these, the name became popular in France in the forms Hilari and Hilaire, and was brought to England by the Norman conquerors. The name has a second origin, from the Latin Eulalia, meaning eloquent and well-speaking, chosen by early Christians as a reference to the gift of tongues, likewise introduced into England by the Normans. A Saint Eulalia was crucified at Barcelona in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian, and became the patron of that city. The name is also spelt MACKELLAR, MACKELLER, MACELLAR, MACELLER, McALAR, McALLAR and McKELLAYR. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Patrick McKELLAR, who was a charter witness at Carnasserie in 1436, and in 1476 James III granted to Gilchrist MAKALERE, the lands of Ardare and Cragmurgile in the barony of Glastray. Archibald MAKELAR of Argile, a Scotsman, was granted a safe conduct to travel into England. From 1759 to 1776 there was a constant flow of emigrants from the Highlands to North America. Between 1763 and 1775 alone, it is estimated that about 20,000 Highlanders left Scotland for the New World. Among the emigrants was Flora McDonald, the heroine of 1746, with her husband. At the close of the American War of Independence, Flora and her husband returned to Scotland. Highland emigrants in their new American homes freely wore the highland dress, and were not forbidden the music of the 'piob-mhor' which was at that period prohibited in the Highlands by Government as a 'weapon of war'. On the outbreak of the American War in 1775, not only were the Highlanders in America loyal to their mother-country, but they raised a regiment in her support (the 84th Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment). At the conclusion of the war, the Highlanders, resisting all offers made to them by the new nation, crossed the border and settled in Canada. A notable member of the name was Archibald McKELLAR (1844-1901), born in Paisley, who won national fame as a sculptor in the United States.
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