Rcorded in a wide variety of spellings including Macausland, Mcausland, Macauslan, Mcauselan, Maccaslane, Maccasland, Macaslan, and no doubt others as well, this is a Scottish clan surname, of personal name origins. It derives from the name 'Absolon', one of that name being granted the charter of the island of Clarinch in Loch Lomond, in the 13th century. This island it is said, was later the gathering ground of the Clan Buchanan, although this has little or nothing to do with the origin of Macauslan. What we have is a spelling transposition created mainly by dialect. 'Absolon' was one of a group of names introduced by the returning Crusaders of the 12th century, and was usually given to the son of a knight, in remembrance of the fathers visit and possible prowess, when on the crusade to the Holy Land. The surname was prominent enough by the 15th century for the claim to be made that Alexander Macausland killed the Duke of Clarence in battle in 1421. If so he was apparently fighting for the French in opposition to King Henry V of England. Other recordings include Patrick MacCaslane, a knight of the Duke of Argyll in 1536, and John McAslen, who was fined in 1613 for aiding the outlawed Clan MacGregor. The name is also popular in Northern Ireland, the nameholders being descendants of the Macauslans of Dumbartonshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Malcolm Macabsolon, which was dated 1308, the land charters of Sir John Colquhoun, during the reign of King Robert 1st of Scotland, known as 'The Bruce', 1306 - 1329. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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