Through the centuries the MCCLURE family was affiliated with many different clans through marriage. The clan MACLEOD claims the MCCLURE family as a sept or directly affiliated family, entitled to clan rights including the use of the clan tartan, yellow background with bold black stripes and narrow red stripe. The clan MacLeod is one of the most considerable clans of the Western Isles (The Hebrides), and is divided into two branches independent of each other, the MacLeods of Harris (our branch), and the MacLeods of Lewis. Documentation for the McClure Coat of Arms can be found in "Burke's General Armory".
In "The McClures: the Kennedys, the Tennants, the Gays" these theories are advanced:
1) That it is a derivation of the Gaelic MacLeabhair, pronounced McLour, and means "Son of the Boo," e.g. they were teachers in the Clan MacLeod, just as the McMcRimmions were the Clan Pipers. Several Gaelic scholars deny this derivation of the name, though they admit the ancient tradition of the McClure tutorship.
2) That the name is identical with MacLir or McLur, the Sea God of Ireland or the Isle of Man.
3) That the McClure's were originally a Manx Family, the first legendary king being a Manannan McClure. This tradition is adhered to by the McClure's of Manchester, England, to which family belong the late Sir John w. McClure, M.P., and the Very Rev. Edward C. McClure, D.D., Dean of Manchester. It is also held by Sir Edward Stanley McClure.
4) That the name originated in the ancient sport of falconry, in which LURE was used to recall the falcon. A soldier from the ancient town of LURE in Normandy crossed the Channel with William the Conqueror. He was rewarded for his services by a grand of land in the Island of SKYE and was known as DeLure, Mac being later substituted for DE to harmonize with the Gaelic customer.
5) The theory of Rev. J. Campbell McClure, minister of Maykirk, Kincardinshsire, Scotland, is that the McClure's are a sept of the Clan McLeod; he states that the family tradition handed down to him through a long line of ancestors is: "In early times, a Sept of the MacLeod's left the Island of Skye for Ulster where the north Irish slurred the McLuide as it was then pronounced into "r" hence, McLure. Later many of the name passed over from the Northeast of Ireland to Galloway, thus to Wigonshire and so on to Ayrshire. These districts today contain many McClure's.
It is certain that McClure's are in some way connected with the Clan McLeod, evidenced by the fact that the oldest traditions of the family in Scotland take them back to the Island Skye; the traditions of Skye link together the McClure's and the McLeod's. McClure's have always had the same motto, (Hold Fast), the same crest and tartan as the McLeod's, and their right to have them has never been questioned. McClure history then properly begins with the McLeod's.
Some authorities aver that they are of Irish descent; that they held mainland estates under the crown as early as 1340 and the island estates at the same time under the Lords of the Isles. When the final forfeiture of the Lords of the Isles took place at the end of the 15th century, the MacLeod's got charters of their island estates from the Crown.
THE McCLURE'S IN HISTORY; The McClure name is conspicuous in Scottish history. They occupied a post of honor at the battle of Harlow, 1411; they were at the battle of Bloody Bay, 1485; they took part in the negotiations to transfer the allegiance of the Highland Chiefs from the Scottish to the English Kin and signed the commission under which these negotiations were carried on. They took part in the battle of Worcester, 1661, led by Sir Norman McLeod of Bernera, where they lost 700 men. Treated by Charles II with the grossest ingratitude they took no part in the subsequent Stuart upright though there is a letter extant from Jane II, dated Dublin, 1690, imploring McLeod to join Dundee.
It is said that the name MAKLURE occurs in Scotland as early as the 12th century. It is claimed by some that the original home of the McClure's in Scotland was in the southwest probably in Galloway. Ayrshire was also full of McClure's.
In Munsey's Magazine, February 1911, in an article on Robert Burns, illustrated with a photograph of an old Allowar Kirk yard, the name of George McClure appears on one of the stone. Many of the family are buried there.
The MCCLURE family first appears in the records of Ayrshire where they were recorded as an ancient Ayrshire family before the year 1100. The notable MCCLURE family is shown in the ancient manuscripts and cartularies as tracing their ancestry to Dalriadian origin. The most ancient MCCLURE family Coat of Arms was recorded between the 12th and 15th centuries.
We have the date of John's marriage to Margaret Martin, on March 6, 1723. We know John's son was Martin, and that Martin McClure was in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. Kirkcudbright is in the Galloway and Dumfries area of Southern Scotland, on the coast of Solway Firth. Note: In Burke's Peerage, our John William McClure, Baronet (England) and all the subsequent Baronet's McClure, list John McClure and Margaret Martin as their ancestors.
John McClure, was born in Balmaghie, Scotland. He married Margaret Martin on 6 Mar 1723 in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. Martin McClure was their son.
Martin McClure, son of John, was born ca 1724 Kirkcudbright, Scotland. "In a Genealogy of the McClure Family", there is a record of MARTIN McClure, who lived in Balmaghil in Kirkcudbirghtshire abt 1750; he is buried there. He had 5 sons: 1. Wm. 2. John 3. David 4. Robert 5. Andrew: "all of whom came south." While the fact has not been definitely established, this Martin McClure is in all probability the father of our John McClure. The names of his brothers are the same names given to his sons.”
These are the first couple of generations, as I know them. I know nothing else about David, Robert, and Andrew other than the names of their children, which are given here. I want to thank Bob McClure for providing them! The following pages will deal primarily with John McClure, son of Martin.
1. MARTIN MCCLURE (b.Abt 1724-Kirkcudbright,Scotland bu.Balmaghil,Kirkcudbright,Scotland)
|-2. William MCCLURE of Lancaster, England (b.Abt 1745 d.Abt 1796)
| sp: Alice (Irian?) of Middle Hulton Co., Lancaster, England
| |-3. John MCCLURE (b.1771 d.1840)
| | sp: UNKNOWN
| |-3. William (II) (had 14 children) MCCLURE (b.16 Oct 1773 d.1847)
| | sp: Hannah GRUNDY
| |-3. Robert MCCLURE (b.1775 d.1815)
| |-3. Thomas MCCLURE (b.1776 d.1814)
| +-3. Mary MCCLURE (b.1776 d.1818)
|-2. John MCCLURE * (b.Abt 1747-Scotland d.18 Feb 1808-Hawke Co.,TN - will recorded in Washington Co,TN)
| sp: Rebecca EWING * (b.Ireland d.Greeneville,TN)
| |-3. William E. MCCLURE * (b.1785-near Ballymena,Antrim Co.,Ireland d.1854-Tennessee)
| | sp: Eleanor Ewing PURDOM * (b.17 Nov 1793-Tennessee m.11 Nov 1813 d.29 Jul 1872-Cornersville,Marshall Co.,Tennessee)
| |-3. Ewing MCCLURE (b.Abt 1786 d.Dec 1865)
| | sp: Rachel Antoinette SLEMMONS (b.Abt 1799)
| |-3. Robert Ewing MCCLURE (b.4 Feb 1787-Ireland d.18 Apr 1852)
| | sp: Elizabeth JOHNSTON (m.10 Sep 1800)
| |-3. James MCCLURE (b.Abt 1788-Ireland)
| | sp: UNKNOWN
| |-3. Mary "Polly" MCCLURE (b.Abt 1789 d.4 Jan 1849)
| |-3. John Ewing MCCLURE (b.1790-Baltimore,MD d.1835-Louisburg,Arkansas)
| | sp: Margaret Ann KENNEDY (b.1793 m.21 Nov 1811 d.1864)
| +-3. Nancy America MCCLURE (b.1792-Lynchburg,VA d.Madison County,Ark.)
| sp: Robert MCCRACKEN (b.29 Aug 1783 m.8 May 1810 d.14 Dec 1855)
|-2. David MCCLURE (b.Abt 1749 d.1838)
| sp: UNKNOWN
| |-3. Martha MCCLURE (d.1818)
| |-3. William MCCLURE (b.1793 d.1840)
| |-3. John MCCLURE (b.1808 d.1842)
| |-3. Sarah MCCLURE (b.1803 d.1869)
| |-3. James MCCLURE (b.1808 d.1868)
| +-3. Robert MCCLURE (b.1805 d.1875)
|-2. Robert MCCLURE (b.Abt 1751 d.Abt 1838)
| sp: UNKNOWN
| |-3. John MCCLURE (b.1782 d.1842)
| |-3. Sarah MCCLURE (died a child) (b.1784 d.1794)
| |-3. Martin MCCLURE (b.1785 d.1873)
| |-3. William MCCLURE (b.1786 d.1833)
| |-3. Jane MCCLURE (b.1788 d.1864)
| |-3. Thomas MCCLURE (b.1789 d.1849)
| |-3. Ann MCCLURE (b.1790 d.1845)
| |-3. Robert (Jr.) MCCLURE (b.1792 d.1813)
| |-3. David MCCLURE (b.1794 d.1872)
| |-3. Sarah MCCLURE (died a baby) (b.1796 d.1796)
| +-3. James MCCLURE (b.1798 d.1850)
+-2. Andrew MCCLURE (b.Abt 1753)
+-3. John MCCLURE