This is a Gaelic surname recorded in the spellings of MacLerenon, McLernon, McLernan, and McLorinan. It is mostly associated with the province of Ulster in Ireland, although with some branches in Scotland. It is a surname of 'religious' origins, the derivation being from the ancient 'Mac Giolla Earmain' translating as 'the son of the devotee of St Earman'. St Earman was one of the first saints of Ireland and the West Coast of Scotland in the pre 9th century a.d. What precisely was the role of a devotee in the early days of christianity is unclear, but the sept prospered particularly in County Down, through the centuries. Religiously the sept seems to have had followers in several religious camps, Paul and Hugh MacLorrion of Antrim being outlawed as Jacobites in 1699, under the agreement known as 'The articles of Galway and Limerick', whilst Daniel Maclorinon of Tullyboy, County Derry, in 1745 left money in his will to be divided equally between the local priest and the local protestant vicar! Other recordings include John McLorinon, Crumlin Presbyterian church, Antrim, on March 3rd 1848, and Bridget McLernon, the daughter of John and Rose McLernon, born at Draperstown, County Derry, on July 12th 1867. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh MacLerenon, which was dated 1616, in the land charters of the county of Derry, Ireland, during the reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1587 - 1625. 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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