Clan MacLaren

Honored Clan for the 2022 Games

The Clan MacLaren is one of the most ancient Scottish Clans, with a history dating back a thousand years. Members across the world can trace their origins back to the traditional lands which reach from the Braes of Balquhidder to Loch Earn, in the heart of Scotland.

Clan Chiefs were cadets of the Celtic dynastic house of the Earls of Strathearn. In the early 1200s, Abbot Labhran (Laurence) of Achtow lent the Clan MacLaren its name. The Clan was influential until the 16th following a campaign of pressure from the Campbells, the Clan MacGregor carried out a raid of eighteen homes which ended in the deaths of Clan families and the Chief.

This left the MacGregors in a position to take possession, and without a Chief or lands, the Clan MacLaren was unable to produce a legal title to their ancestral homelands. The Clan MacLaren was now formally ‘chiefless and landless’. From the Battle of Bannockburn onwards, the Clan fought for the Scottish crown and supported the Jacobites until the devastating Battle of Culloden. The Clan’s fortunes remained mixed until the 20th when its status was firmly re-established.

In 1957, the Clan’s label ‘chiefless and landless’ was removed when Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine successfully matriculated his Arms at the Lyon Court, and purchased land in Balquhidder. Creag an Tuirc or ‘The Boar’s Rock’, the traditional MacLaren rallying point, was part of that land and remains an important landmark today. A few years later, the Society was established to support the Clan’s interests and help bring together members from across the world.

Following his death in 1966, Donald MacLaren was succeeded by his son, Donald MacLaren. As a member of the Diplomatic Service, the present Clan Chief has served in Berlin, Moscow, Havana and Caracas, and from 2004-2007 was the British Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia. Now retired from the Diplomatic Service the Chief lives in Balquhidder with his wife, Maida, and their children, Donald Og, Florian, Louis, Iona and Marina.

The Clan MacLaren Society of North America (CMSNA) was chartered in Georgia in 1981.


Attending Clans

Clan Anderson Society

Clan Armstrong

Clan Buchanan Society International

Clan Campbell

Clan Chisholm

Clan Colquhoun International Society

Clan Davidson Society, NA

Clan Donald

Clan Donnachaidh of the Carolinas

Clan Douglas Society of North America

Clan Faulkner/Gosnell

Clan Fraser Society of North America

Clan Hamilton

Clan Henderson Society

Clan Hunter

Clan Lindsay USA

Clan MacFarlane Society

Clan MacKenzie

Clan Mackintosh of NA

Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie

Clan MacLaren of North America

Clan MacLean

Clan MacLeod

Clan MacNeil

Clan MacRae

Clan Moffat Society

Clan Munro

Clan Nesbitt / Nisbet Society of North America

Clan Outlander Society of South Carolina

Clan Ramsey International

Clan Ross America

Clan Scott

Clan Stewart Society

Clan Stewart Society in America

Clan Strachan Society

Clan Sutherland Society of North America

Clan Thompson

Clanranald Trust of Scotland

Elliot Clan Society

First Scots Presbyterian Church

House of Boyd

House of Burnett

House of Gordon

Kennedy Society of North America

Murray Clan of North America

Saint Andrew’s Society of Lowcountry South Carolina

The Oliphant Clan and Family Association of North America

Clan Arrival Information

  • Arrive on Friday Nov. 4th. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to  arrive during the day to set up clan tents. We have shuttles taking clan items to the clan tents on Friday Nov. 4th. starting at 12pm.
  • Saturday Nov. 5th 5am-7:30am limited shuttle service to clan tents! No cars allowed near the games after 7:30 am- on Games day. It is a .5 mile walk from parking to the clan tents – 
  • You are recommended to park in Parking lot A on the day of the games.

Which Clan Do You Hail From?

The Scottish people are known for their fierce loyalty to kinship and the clan system is proof of this. Discover your heritage and learn more of the clans that define Scotland at the Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering!

During the Games, you can find clan tents lining the grounds. Many clans will be represented, from Armstrongs, MacDougalls, and Wallaces. By visiting these tents, you can learn more of the history of these clans, including their signature tartans, and maybe even learn more about yourself. With a genealogy tent on the grounds, you have a chance to discover more of your history and lineage and may find that you are part Scottish as well!

The Gaelic definition of the word Clan is children. A clan is a social group that share a common ancestor. A clan also includes a number of dependent and associated families who have either sought the protection of the clan or have been tenants or vassals of its chief. All members of the clan owe allegiance to the chief. This tradition of adopting strangers into the clan and creating traditions and bonds with clansmen is a defining trait of the Scottish people.

The Scottish people have made a large impact on South Carolina, helping it to become the state it is today. From music and food, to political and scientific contributions, Scottish heritage is something to be celebrated and promoted in modern life. The Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering is on a mission to do just that. With an annual event bringing in over 8,000 visitors, the Games showcases Scottish traditions, culture, and history in a fun and interactive way for people all over the world.

Please register your Clan below. We look forward to seeing you at the 51st Annual Scottish Games and Highland Gathering.

Questions About Clans?

Qualified Clans and Scottish Associations interested in participating in our events are invited to apply by contacting our Director of Clan Activities by e-mail at Clan Info and Registration. Clan Sponsorship is separate from Individual Sponsorship but includes Sponsor credentials for two (2) clan representatives.