What is the origin of the last name Mcmillan?

The last name McMillan has its origin in Scotland, specifically from Gaelic roots. It is derived from the Scottish Gaelic name "MacMhaolain," which means "son of the tonsured one." This surname suggests a connection to the early Scottish Christian church, where individuals who were respected or held positions of authority often had their heads shaved. Over time, the name McMillan spread beyond Scotland, becoming more widely known and adopted by descendants who migrated to other parts of the world.

Countries of origin for the last name Mcmillan

The last name Mcmillan is of Scottish origin and is classified as a habitational surname. It is derived from the Gaelic name MacMhaolain, meaning “son of Maoilin.” The name Maoilin is a diminutive of “maol,” which translates to “bald” or “tonsured” in English. This suggests that the original bearer of the surname may have been someone with a bald or shaved head.

As a habitational surname, Mcmillan indicates that the bearers of this name were originally associated with a specific place. It is believed to have originated from a location in the parish of Kilmallie, near Fort William in the western Scottish Highlands. The name has variations such as MacMillan, Macmillan, or MacMillian.

The earliest recorded instance of the Mcmillan surname can be traced back to the 14th century in the historical records of Scotland. Notable early bearers of the name include Duncan Macmoldelayn, who was recorded as a witness in 1327, and Donald M’Molan, who was documented in 1380.

The Mcmillan name has a rich history in Scotland, and several prominent individuals with this surname have made significant contributions in various fields. In the realm of politics, Sir Donald MacMillan served as the Secretary of State for the British Colonies from 1940 to 1944, and David McMillan was a Member of Parliament for the Scottish National Party.

The surname Mcmillan has also found its way to other parts of the world through migration. Many individuals with Scottish ancestry bearing this last name have settled in the United States, particularly in states like North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. These individuals have become part of the diverse fabric of American society and have contributed to the nation’s development in various fields.

In conclusion, the Mcmillan surname is of Scottish origin and has a history rooted in the Gaelic language. Its meaning can be traced back to the Gaelic word for “tonsured,” suggesting a connection to someone with a bald or shaved head. As a habitational surname, Mcmillan indicates a link to a specific place in the Scottish Highlands. Over time, individuals with this last name have made notable contributions in politics and other fields, both in Scotland and in countries where Scottish migration has occurred. The Mcmillan surname continues to be carried by individuals today, reflecting the enduring legacy of its origins and the potential for further exploration into its historical and genealogical significance.

Interesting facts about the last name Mcmillan

  • The surname Mcmillan is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic name “Mac Maoláin,” meaning “son of the tonsured one.”
  • The surname is commonly associated with the Clan MacMillan, a Scottish clan that originated in Argyll.
  • Many McMillans migrated to other countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • The name McMillan is relatively common in Scotland and can be found across the country.
  • Notable people with the surname McMillan include American basketball player Nate McMillan and British politician Rhona McMillan.
  • The MacMillan tartan, a plaid pattern associated with the clan, features shades of green and blue.
  • The Clan MacMillan has its own tartan, crest, and motto, which is “Miseris Succurrere Disco” meaning “I learn to succor the distressed.”
  • The MacMillan Clan’s traditional seat is Finlaystone House, located near Langbank in Renfrewshire, Scotland.
  • The Clan MacMillan has several branches, including the MacMillans of Dunmore, Shirgarton, Milltown, and Laggan.

Name Rank


There are around 40237 people with the last name Mcmillan in the US

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