Recorded in several spellings including MacClure, McLure, McCloor, and McLeur, this is a Gaelic surname of Scottish origins, also found in both Ireland and the Isle of Man. It derives from the pre 10th century M'Ill'uidhir, which literally translates as 'The son of Ordar's follower'. Just who this 'Ordar' was is unclear, but a reasonable explanation is that he was a Viking, and probably Norse, since the whole of South West Scotland, most of Eastern Ireland and the Isle of Man were one single Norse kingdaom in the 9th and 10th centuries. Today the surname is most popular in Galloway, and has been since at least the 15th century when Johh McLur and Robert McClure were both arrested for murder. They were followers of the earl of Cassillis, who rebelled against the monarchy of Scotland in 1526. In fact the history of the McClure's has been one consistent attack on authority. As late as 1684 Elizabeth M'Cloor was banished to 'The Plantations' which meant the colonies of the West Indies for giving support to the rebel Clan MacGregor. This clan was outlawed by King James V1 of Scotland in 1613, and not reinstated until 1780, and then by the orders of King George 111rd. In America the surname achived considerable fame through William MacClure (1763 - 1840). He is regarded as the father of American geology, and was largely responsible for some of the early finds of coal and iron ore, raw materials on which the country's future success was to be built.
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