What is the origin of the last name Mcclure?

The last name McClure is of Scottish origin, derived from the Gaelic surname "Mac Gille Uidhir," meaning "son of the pale-haired youth" or "son of the sallow-skinned lad." The name can be traced back to the ancient kingdom of Dalriada in western Scotland. Over time, it underwent various spellings such as MacIlure, MacClure, McCleure, and McClure during its migration to Ireland and North America. The McClure surname carries a rich history and is often associated with valor and strength.

Countries of origin for the last name Mcclure

The last name McClure is of Scottish origin. It is derived from the Old Norse personal name “Mackleod,” which means “son of Leod.” Leod was a given name that was common in the Viking era, and its meaning is uncertain.

The surname McClure is primarily found in Scotland and the United States. It is most common in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, where it originated. Northern Irish immigrants brought the surname to the United States, where it has since spread throughout the country.

The spelling of the surname has evolved over time. Variations include Maclea, Macleod, and Macleud. These different spellings often arose due to clerical errors or phonetic variations in different regions. The standardized spelling of McClure emerged in the 19th century.

The name McClure has various possible meanings and interpretations. One theory suggests that “son of Leod” may refer to a family’s descent from a legendary Celtic king named Leod, who was the father of Somerled, a prominent figure in Scottish history. Another theory suggests that Leod may have been a common given name in Viking society, and “son of Leod” simply denoted patrilineal descent.

Historical records show that the McClure family played significant roles in Scottish and American history. They were known for their involvement in the Scottish Wars of Independence, as well as their contributions to the fields of politics, education, and literature.

The prominence of the McClure surname can also be seen in the number of notable individuals who bear the name. For instance, there have been several prominent journalists and writers with the last name McClure, including McClure’s Magazine founder S.S. McClure and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frank McCourt.

Research into the etymology and meaning of the McClure surname is ongoing. Further investigation may provide additional insights into its origins and significance. As with many surnames, there are still aspects that remain uncertain or open to interpretation.

Interesting facts about the last name Mcclure

  • The surname McClure is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic name “Mac Gille Uidhir,” meaning “son of the sallow lad.”
  • The McClure clan originated in the ancient lands of Kintyre in Western Scotland.
  • Many McClures emigrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century.
  • The name McClure is prevalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and North America.
  • The McClure surname has various spelling variations, including MacClure, McCleure, McCloor, and MacGillivray.
  • Famous individuals with the surname McClure include journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett and actor Doug McClure.
  • The McClure DNA Project was established to help connect individuals with the McClure surname through genetic testing.
  • There are several towns and villages named McClure in the United States, including McClure, Pennsylvania, and McClure, Ohio.
  • The McClure family motto is “Per Vias Rectas,” which translates to “By straight ways” or “By right roads.”

Name Rank


There are around 47742 people with the last name Mcclure in the US

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