Recorded in various spelling forms including MacClellan, MacLeland, McClelland and McLelland, this is a Scottish surname. It derives from the ancient pre 10th century Gaelic "Mac gill Haolain" a compound consisting of the elements "Mac" - meaning son of, "gill", a servant and the personal name Faolan, meaning "wolf". The sept gave its name to the village of Balmaclellan in the county of Galloway, in South West Scotland. Alternate spellings of the name have included M'Lolane in 1306, McGillolane in 1359, McCleilane in 1522, and M'Cleanllane in 1605. Both M' and Mc are recognised foreshortenings of the prefix Mac. Curiously in Ireland the surname survives in County Leitrim as Gilfillan. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Patrick M'Lolane. This was dated 1306, when he took the Castle of Dumfries from the followers of King Robert, known as "The Bruce", 1306 - 1329. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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