About the Association

Maclean of Duart Badge

A Family Association

Clan Maclean Association in the United States (CMAUS) is an independent, non-profit national organization open to all Macleans (regardless of spelling), and recognized related families. CMAUS is a member of Clan Maclean International along with Maclean associations in other countries. Our members are passionate about preserving and sharing the history of our ancient clan and its families. We work to preserve the genealogical records of our families, collect stories, music, and history for future generations. We host educational activities that preserve and continue the traditions of our ancestors, and a tent for the Clan Maclean at most of the Scottish games and gatherings in the U.S. and other events throughout the year.

Those in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska are encouraged to consider joining the Clan MacLean Association, Pacific Northwest, and resident of California, Nevada, and Hawaii, please consider the Clan MacLean Association – California.

The Association’s Mission

The Clan Maclean Association is a community that encourages the sharing of clan and family history, the preservation of genealogical records, the collection of clan traditions, music, stories, and the education of its members in all maters to our shared history and Scottish culture. The Association, through its volunteer members, represents the Clan Maclean at Scottish games and gatherings throughout the United States.

The Association’s History

Clan Maclean Association’s origins track directly to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Bt. of Duart and Morvern, our 26th Chief, was the honored guest at the Columbian Exposition. During Sir Fitzroy’s visit, The Macleans in North America was formed as an association for Macleans in Canada and the United States, and was originally headed by John Bayne Maclean, the founder of Maclean’s Magazine. By the Second World War, association activity had all but ceased.

Despite the shift in culture caused by the World Wars, interest in family, clan, history and heritage never wained, and in 1968 the Clan Maclean Society of the United States was formed, in 1970 held its first national meeting at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina. The association re-chartered itself as Clan Gillean USA in 1987 as a Florida-based 501(c)(3) organization. Clan Gillean USA was recognized as a branch of Clan Maclean International in 1993, a hundred years after organized Maclean activity began in North America. In 2016, the association again re-chartered itself as Clan Maclean Association in the United States.

The Name Maclean

Clan Maclean was named in honor of the thirteenth century warrior who became the first Maclean Chief, Gilleain na Tuaighe (or Gillean of the Battle Axe). The old Scots Gaelic name, Mac Ghill-Eathain, means son of (mac) the Servant of (ghill) [St.] John (eathain).

It was anglicized to MacGillean (pronounced mæc·gɪlːeɪn) during the Fourteenth Century, ultimately resulting in the name being shortened to simply Maclean. As Macleans emigrated around the globe, a wide variety of alternative spellings of the name were introduced. Clan Maclean literally means the children of Gillean.

The Clan’s Ancient Home

Duart Castle, located on the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland, is the ancestral home of the Macleans. The earliest part of the castle dates to ca. 1250, and was originally built for Macdougall of Lorn. It appears in written historical records as early as 1390 and was occupied by the MacLean Chiefs from ca. 1360 until it was confiscated in 1692. The castle was repurchased and restored during 1911-12, in part through world-wide subscription of funds from Clan people, by Sir Fitzroy Donald Maclean. Sir Lachlan Hector Maclean of Duart and Morvern, 28th Chief of Clan Maclean, who makes his home at Duart Castle, invites all his kinsmen and women to visit the castle whenever they are in Scotland.