McLean last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name McLean is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named McLean.

Meaning of McLean

A Scottish toponymic surname derived from the Gaelic "Mac Gille Eáin," meaning "son of the servant of Saint John."

McLean, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the McLean surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of McLean in America

McLean is the 801st most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The McLean surname appeared 43,260 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 15 people would have the surname McLean.

We can also compare 2010 data for McLean to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 801 768 4.21%
Count 43,260 40,871 5.68%
Proportion per 100k 14.67 15.15 -3.22%

The history of the last name McLean

The surname McLean has its origins in Scotland, with the earliest recorded examples appearing in the 13th century. It is derived from the Gaelic "mac gille Fhaolain," meaning "son of the servant or follower of St. Fillan." St. Fillan was a Scottish abbot and missionary who lived in the 8th century.

The name is closely associated with the clan territory of Lochbuie on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. The McLeans of Lochbuie were a powerful branch of the clan and held significant lands in the region. Alternative spellings of the name in early records include MacLean, MacClean, and MacLyne.

One of the earliest notable figures with the name was Sir Lachlan Mor McLean, the 5th Chief of the McLean clan, who lived from around 1390 to 1472. He played a significant role in the Wars of Scottish Independence and was a loyal supporter of the Stewart kings.

Another historical figure was Sir John McLean, a Scottish soldier and diplomat who served as the British ambassador to France in the early 18th century. He was born in 1670 and died in 1714.

In the realm of literature, Lachlan McLean was a Scottish poet and songwriter who lived from 1776 to 1848. He is particularly known for his Gaelic language compositions and his work in preserving Scottish folk traditions.

One of the most famous McLeans was Allan McLean, a Scottish explorer and fur trader who played a significant role in the exploration and settlement of western Canada in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He was born in 1768 and died in 1847.

The name McLean also appears in the Domesday Book, a survey of landowners in England commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086. This suggests that the name may have had an earlier presence in Britain before its association with the Scottish clan.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name McLean

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname McLean.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for McLean was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 66.95% 28,963
Non-Hispanic Black Only 26.91% 11,641
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.66% 286
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.70% 303
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.14% 926
Hispanic Origin 2.63% 1,138

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of McLean has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 66.95% 70.60% -5.31%
Black 26.91% 24.80% 8.16%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.66% 0.46% 35.71%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.70% 0.54% 25.81%
Two or More Races 2.14% 1.80% 17.26%
Hispanic 2.63% 1.79% 38.01%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name McLean was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of McLean, please contact us.

Reference this page

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"McLean last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

"McLean last name popularity, history, and meaning"., Accessed 17 July, 2024

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