Recorded in many forms including MacAuslan, MacAuslene, MacAusland, MacAuselan, MacAuslane, MacAuslin, MacAsland, MacCasland, MacAslin, MacCasline, and the short forms commencing 'Mc', and possibly others, this is a Scottish surname of great antiquity. It is said that the original name holder was one Absalom, who held the tenancy of the island of Clarinch in Loch Lomond, from the earl of Lennax. This island was later the gathering place for th Clan Buchanan, and the original Absalom was known as Absalone de Buchanan, to add to the confusion. The first true hereditary surname holder was probably Malcolm MacAbsalon, a charter witness in the year 1308. The name adopted what we may call the 'modern' spelling in about 1420 or earlier when an Alexander MacAuslan, seemingly fighting for the French, is recorded as killing in battle the duke of Clarence, the brother of King Henry Vth of England, and taking his gold circlet. Whether this is so or not it seems that in its early days the clan was literally in the thick of fighting. In 1536, members were prosecuted for taking the side of the duke of Argyll against the throne of Scotland, whilst in 1613 other members were ouitlawed for taking the side of the exiled Clan MacGregor.
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