The MacMillans are descended from Gilchrist, one of six sons of Cormac, the Bishop of Dunkeld> around 1100. Gilchrist was a monk in the Celtic church in Moray> and his tonsured hair cut is rendered in Gaelic "Mhaoil-Iain" or "Gille Maolin". Around 1160 King Malcolm IV removed the MacMillans from Lochaber> to Lawers in Perthshire. However, John, son of Malcolm Mor MacMillan returned to Lochaber in 1335 and the clan remained there for centuries until they were forced to leave by the Camerons>.
The clan fought at the Battle of Bannockburn with Robert the Bruce> in 1314 and were granted lands at Knapdale around 1360. A MacMillan tower, near Castle Sween> is a reminder of their time there. Other branches of the clan settled in Galloway and Arran. It was Alexander MacMillan from Arran who established the publishing firm of MacMillan. Harold MacMillan>, UK Prime Minister in 1957-1963 came from this family.
By 1742 the direct line of the MacMillan chieftainship had become extinct and the chieftainship passed to MacMillan of Dunmore at the side of Loch Tarbert. In 1951 Sir Gordon Holmes MacMillan of Finlaystone> was recognised as clan chief by the Lyon Court. (The illustration here is of Finlaystone where clan gatherings have been held).
McMillan was the 67th most frequent surname at the General Register Office> in 1995.
The clan motto is "Miseris sucurrere disco" ("I learn to succour the unfortunate").
The Brown and MacBaxter families are septs (sub-branches) of MacMillan.
There are a number of McMillan Web sites including those here> and here> as well as here> and here>.
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