Branches of the Clan Maclean

The Scottish clan is a construct held over from antiquity that merges kinship based allegiance with European feudal organization. Though no longer functional feudal1 communities, Scottish law still considers clans noble communities as their hereditary chief continues to bear the undifferentiated arms granted or otherwise recognized by the Lord Lyon as an officer of the Crown, thus conferring royal recognition to the entire clan.2

Chiefly Line

The House of Duart is chiefly line the Clan Maclean and was established when Lachlan Lùbanach wed the daughter of John, 1st Lord of the Isles, in 13503; Duart Castle was included in the dowry, and Lachlan was made Lieutenant-General of the Isles.4 Since 1630 the Houses of Duart and Morvern have been coheritable; following the death of Sir Lachlan, the younger son of Sir Hector Óg, 15th of Duart, who was created 1st Baronet of Morvern and became chief after the death of his elder brother, Sir Hector Mor, 16th of Duart.5 The house of Brolas merged into House of Duart in 1750 when Sir Hector, 20th of Duart, died in Rome without issue; the titles descended to Allan of Brolas who became the 6th Baronet and 21st Chief.

Cadet Branches

The cadet branches of the clan are the distinct hereditary houses that trace their genealogy to the primary branch of the clan. They were usually established non-inheriting male descendants who acquired their own estates; they could also have been established by the chief parceling out territory to create new estates.

The Lord Lyon recognizes cadet branches that existed prior to the general consolidation of the clan structures in the late 1700’s;6 modern branches such as Dunconnel are heritable though do not have the same standing as the historical cadet branches. Senior cadet branches are all descended from Iain Dubh (4th Chief) and thus back to Gilleain na Tuaighe, 1st Chief; junior cadet branches can trace their lineage back to a senior cadet branch.6

Branch Clans

Branch clans meet the criteria for cadetcy, yet are feudally independent of the Chiefly Line. Their independence stems from the house’s chief holding charters directly from the sovereign, bypassing the clan Chief. The head of branch clans are not bound by fealty to the primary branch Chief, as they are Chiefs in their own right.

Today the houses of Lochbuie, Ardgour, and Dochgarroch are recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon as feudally independent clans in their own right. Their progenitors are directly descended from Iain Dubh (4th Chief) making them senior cadet houses,6 and all hold charters directly from the crown5 making them branch clans. The McLeans of Coll also held charters from the crown, but are now armigerous since its heritable line ended in 1882.

Contemporary Context & Perspective

One of the oldest4 Scottish clans, the Macleans have an expansive and sometimes complicated cadetcy. Since the Jacobite defeat at Colloden in 1745, the clan system that held the Scots together gave way to a government centered organization of society; though still regarded as noble societies, clan chiefship and association are little more than social dignities today.2 Regardless of the house one’s genealogy connects them to, all houses as all descend from Gilleain na Tuaighe, 1st Chief; as such all houses are the Children of Gilleain, all of his descendants are cousins. Both the connection to family and the distinctness of the various houses, branch clans, cadets, and septs that derive from our shared history should be celebrated.

Current Branches of the Clan Maclean

Maclean of Duart (Chiefs Arms)

House of Duart

Clan Maclean of Duart, Chiefs of the Clan Maclean

Maclean of Lochbuie (Chief's Arms)

House of Lochbuie

1st Senior Cadet of Duart
Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie

  • Junior Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Urquhart & Culbokle
  • Macleans of Kingairloch
  • Macleans of Pennygown
  • Macleans of Cappurnach
  • Macleans of Scallasdale
  • Non-Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Uisken
  • Macleans of Garmony
  • Macleans of Loch Gorm
Maclean of Ardgour (Chief's Arms)

House of Ardgour

2nd Senior Cadet of Duart
Clan Maclean of Ardgour

  • Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Borreray
  • Macleans of Treshnish
  • Macleans of Inverscaddel
  • Macleans of Dunconnel
  • Non-Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Blaich
  • Macleans of Achnadale
  • Macleans of Highnish
  • Macleans of Glenbard
Maclean of Coll (Chief's Arms)

House of Coll

3rd Sr Cadet of Duart
Clan McLean of Coll

  • Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Muck
  • Macleans of Drimnacross
  • Macleans of Crosspol
  • Macleans of Gallanach
  • Non-Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Grishipol
  • Macleans of Achnasaul
  • Macleans of Totaranald
  • Macleans of Haremere Hall
Maclean of Dochgarroch (Chief's Arms)

House of Dochgarroch

Junior Cadet of Lochbuie
Clan Tearlach

  • Cadet Branches
  • “The Macleans of the North”
Maclean of Lehir & Ross (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Lehir & Ross

4th Senior Cadet Branch

  • Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Lehir
  • Macleans of Shuna
  • Macleans of Ormsaig
  • Non-Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Airdchraoishnish
  • Macleans of Breda
Maclean of Duart (Chief's Arms)

House of Morvern

5th Senior Cadet Branch

  • Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Kinlochaline
  • Macleans of Drimnin
  • Macleans of Pennycross
  • Macleans of Tiree
  • Non-Cadet Branches
  • Macleans of Calgary
  • Macleans of Grulin
  • Macleans of Kilunaig
  • Macleans of Penygoun
Maclean of Torloisk (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Torloisk

6th Senior Cadet Branch

  • No Junior Cadet Branches
Makeleer of Sweden

House of Makeléer

7th Senior Cadet Branch
Lords of Gåsevadholm, Hageby and Hammarö
Baronets of Duart (Sweden)

  • Non-Cadet Branches
  • Mackleans of Sweeden
Maclean of Donconnel (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Dunconnel

8th Senior Cadet Branch

  • No Junior Cadet Branches
Maclean of Kingairloch (Chieftains Arms)

House of Kingairloch

Junior Cadet Branch of Lochbuie

Maclean of Drimnin (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Drimnin

Junior Cadet Branch of Morvern

Macleans of Muck (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Muck

Junior Cadet Branch of Coll

Maclean of Drimnacross (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Drimnacross

Junior Cadet Branch of Coll

Maclean of Tiree (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Tiree

Junior Cadet Branch of Morvern

Macleans of Haremere Hall (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Haremere Hall

Junior Branch of Coll

Maclean of Lehir & Ross of Breda (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Breda

Junior Branch of Ross

Maclean of Plantation (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Plantation

Junior Branch

Macklean of Sweeden (Chieftain's Arms)

House of Macklean

Junior Branch of Makeléer
Lords of Ström, Hjärtum and Svaneholm
Barons of Gåsevadholm

Historic Branches of the Clan Maclean

Chart of Historic Branch, Chiefs, and Chieftains (Opens a PDF)

Septs of the Clan Maclean

Septs are the houses of separate sir names that historically bore fealty to the chief. While the males are not directly descended, these houses are considered part of the Clan. The list below includes known historical septs (spelling variations omitted).



    1. 1. Heritable Jurisdictions (Scotland) Act 1746″. Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain. 20 Geo. II (c. 43). 1746.
    2. 2. “What is a clan?”. Court of the Lord Lyon. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008.
    3. 3. “Duart Castle”. Duart Castle. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009.
    4. 4.  MacLean, J. P. A MacLean Souvenir. Franklin, Ohio: The News Book & Job Print, 1918. Print.
    5. 5.  Sinclair, Alexander Maclean. The Clan Gillean. Charlotteown: Haszard and Moore, 1899. 3p39-42 3bp50.
    6. 6  White, Alasdair. “Maclean Cadet Branches and their Chiefs.” Clan MacLean. N.p., 1999. Print.
    7. NOTE:  This presentation of the Branches and Cadet Houses of the Clan Maclean is an attempt to reconcile the modern and historical distinctions within the families.