Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is a famous Scottish clan name. It derives from the Gaelic Mac Labhruinn, meaning literally the son of Lawrence, with Labhruinn, being an early medieval form of Lawrence. This name, introduced into Europe and specifically in the this case Scotland, by returning Crusader knights of the 12th century, derives from the Latin name "Laurentius" meaning the city of laurels. The forename is first recorded as Laurentius in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, in England in 1141. Other recordings include Lorin Mac Gilserf who was the first recorded Scottish namebearer, being a witness in Inchaffray in the year 1258. The surname first appears in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). In the "modern" idiom, the surname has many spelling variations including MacLauren, MacClaren, MacLaren, MacLaran, MacLaurin, MacLawrin, MacAloren, and all the short forms commencing Mc as well as many without any prefix at all. Examples of the surname recording include John Mc Claren at Crichton, in Midlothian, in 1751, whilst the very first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes M'Lern. This was was dated 1466 in the register of the Great Seal of Scotland, during the reign of King James IIIrd of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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