Origin of the McLendon Family Name
If you are a McLendon, McClendon or any other spelling
(total of 25 different spellings). You may want to study
this information. It may give information that you may
have been wanting to know.
This is a
possible history of your ancestors.
You can say that Dennis Macklendon is the first recorded
Macklendon name in the United States. The evidence
points to his appearance when he proved eleven rights in
which he received 550 acres of land on January 11, 1696
in North Carolina Perquimans Precinct Court, which
identified his family as himself, Elizabeth, Francis,
Dennis, Bryan, and Thomas Macklendon.
Dennis returned to the Perquimans Court on October 30,
1700, and proved thirteen rights in which he again named
his family as Dennis Senior, Elizabeth, Francis, Dennis
Junior, Bryan and Thomas Macklendon.
We also know that the relationship of Elizabeth and
Bryan Macklendon are not clear. There are no other
records of Elizabeth. She was not identified as his wife
in the original documents in 1696 and 1700, although she
may have been. If she was Dennis' wife, she died late in
1700. Dennis married Deborah Whedbee, a widow, in 1702.
Bryan was a probable a son of Dennis, and brother to
Francis, Dennis and Thomas, and probably was named after
his grandfather, Bryan of Barbados. A Bryan Macklendon
does appear in the record beginning in 1739 in Newbury
County, North Carolina.
Beginning in April 1704, the quarterly sessions of
Perquimans Court were held at the house of Dennis
Macklendon. On April 10, 1705, was the last session when
Dennis Macklendon served as a justice. In April 1706, no
court sessions were held. On July 9, 1706, session was
held at Mrs. Deborah Macklendon's house. Dennis
Macklendon appeared in the record as deceased.
The evidence also gives the date July 23, 1717 in which
a deed was made between Francis Macklendon, eldest son,
and Dennis Macklendon, second son, on Dennis Macklendon,
deceased of Albemarle Co.
January 19, 1725, we have a will, where Dennis
Macklendon, Jr., named as two of his Executors, brothers
Frances and Thomas Macklendon.
Now we will show further facts that most people do not
We need to go back into history to be able to follow
what we believe happened in history.
The generally accepted story about Dennis Macklendon,
Dennis was supposed to have been born in Scotland, the
son of John MacLennan. He was married and started his
family there. The family supposedly came directly from
Scotland and arrived shortly before Dennis proved the
rights. The problem with this story is that the authors
recording this story provide no documentation to support
it. Below, you will see evidence that will refute this
widely accepted story.
Bryan Maclandins is the one person documented to be the
possible beginning of the McClendon/McLendon surname. He
probably arrived in Barbados as an indentured servant
sometime prior to 1660. Based on the Barbadian records
provided below, Bryan's wife was Margery. We have no
further record about Margery other than the 2 Deeds of
Sale provided. Was Bryan married in Scotland or in
Barbados? This is unknown. The records might suggest
that he was married in Barbados. But we do not have any
evidence to prove it.
A fact that is not known well, is that the McLendon/McClendon
name (25 known different spellings), did no exist in
Scotland in the 1600 and 1700's. Other authors suggest
that the name came from Ireland and not Scotland. This
is suggested because Bryan and Dennis are not Scotish
names but Irish names. Thus begins the confusion of the
country of origin from which Bryan and Dennis came from.
This will be discussed further in a separate article
about the confusion of names from Scotland and Ireland.
John L. Roberts in his book, “Clan, King and Covenant”
pages 117 – 118 in the section of the “Battle of
Worcester” writes: The Battle of Worcester was fought on
September 3, 1651. . . . the Scots had about 12,000 men;
Cromwell had more than 30,000 men. . . . They (the
walls), were soon breached, and the Scots were utterly
routed after fierce fighting within the town itself,
leaving more than 2,000 dead and another 10,000 taken
We do know that….nearly all the Royalist prisoners were
transported to plantations in Barbados (Clan, King and
Covenant page 118).
The above paragraph confirms that 10,000 prisoners were
sent to Barbados in 1651 from the Battle of Worcester
alone. Bryan Maclandins probably arrived in Barbados
sometime prior to 1660 (more possibly around 1651/52 or
The question now is, “How many prisoners were sent to
Barbados from 1640 to 1670?” (This was the period of the
Covenant and the bloodbath that took place between the
Catholics and the Presbyterians.) Thus it is more
probable that the origin of the McLendons is that Dennis
Macklendon was born on the Island of Barbados, probably
in the 1660's or earlier. He was the son of Bryan
Maclandins, of Barbados. He was born of Scotish parents
in Barbados. (see Last Will of Bryan Macklendon below)
Economic opportunity was poor on the island of Barbados
and Dennis left sometime prior to December 29, 1687
(probably in his mid to late 20’s or early 30’s), going
to the Colony of Virginia, where he probably married and
started a family. Bryan Maclandins died in February
1688, and was buried in St. Philip Parish, Barbados. In
1690, Dennis returned to Barbados and disposed of his
The Barbados records below, shows RB3/4, p. 592-4, Deed
of Sale, Dennis Maclandon to Thomas Duboys. Date is
unknown, of property owned by Dennis. This could suggest
that this is when Dennis was preparing to leave
Barbados. However, there is no evidence to prove it.
The Last Will of Bryan Maclandins of Barbados, in part.
Entered the 20th day of February 1688 [RB6/41, p.118]
BARBADOS. Second section states: I give & bequeath unto
my loving son, Dennis Mclandens and his heirs of his
body for Ever all my Estate both Real and Personall
whatsoever provided he be heard of or any way make
demands of the same within two years after my decease.
But if he be not heard of within the time aforesaid,
then that part of my Estate hereby given to him I give
to my Executor hereafter named.
Bryan [his mark] McLandins
Published & signed before us to be his last will &
testament Geo. Bushell; James Fauntleroy; Susanna
Gillett St. Philip Parish Burial Register, p.19: [1st
name not entered] MaceLandon; 11 Feb 
Below, Roderick A. McLendon has provided all the
documents that are in this article. These documents help
us to understand what some of the facts are. However,
these documents do not prove that there may have been
other people that were sent to Barbados, by the
Royalists that could have also had their names changed
to McClendon/McLendon. However, there has not been any
documents brought forth to add or change these facts.
Barbadian records, which support this version of the
origin of Dennis McLendon, are located at the Department
of Archives, Black Rock, St. Michael, Barbados. There
are ten references; five are cited. RB#/ refers to
series and volume numbers of ledgers.
(a)RB6/41, p. 118, Will of Bryan MacLandins.
(b)RB3/4, p. 592-4, Deed of Sale, Dennis Maclandon to
(c)RB3/7, P. 71, Deed of Sale, Nicholas Rice to Bryan [McLendon]
& wife Margery.
(d)RB3/7, p. 79, Deed of Sale, Bryan [McLendon] & wife
Margery to Nicholas Rice.
(e)RB6/13, p. 253, Will of Henry Hunt.
Virginia and North Carolina references:
(1) Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abs. of VA Land Patents &
Grants, V.3, p.10.
(2) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 1st Ser., V.1,
(3) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 2nd Ser., V.3,
(4) Deed Book B#l, Chowan Co., N.C., #1058, p.524
(5) Abs. of No. Carolina Wills, Grimes, Sec. of State,
(6) From loose papers among the Records of Albemarle
Co., Edenton, N.C.
(7) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 1st Ser., V.4.
(8) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 1st Ser., V.1,
(9) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 2nd Ser., V.4,
(10) The McLendons of America, p.2, Melba Goff Allen,
Metairie, La., 1983.
(Copyright 1994) PLEASE CREDIT RODERICK A. McLENDON,
27527 Cunningham Drive,
Valencia, CA 91354-1912.
Based on the above facts from Roderick A. McLendon of
Valencia, California, a descendant researcher believes
that Dennis Macklendon came to North America earlier
than the date he first appeared on the record in North
Carolina, and he proposes an alternative theory of the
His origin was not Scotland but the Island of Barbados.
Dennis first went to the Colony of Virginia, possibly
Nansemond County, which is located on the North Carolina
border not far from Perquimans Precinct. His date of
arrival in Virginia is not known and only one possible
reference to him there has been located. In a land
transaction in Nansemond County, dated 29 October 1696,
one of the boundary properties was identified as "Maccladland's"
NOTE: The Macklendon name is spelled several different
ways in this article. This is probably because Bryan
could not write or read, thus it was spelled the way
others thought it should be spelled.
Copyright 2015 James P. McLennan
the 25 different spellings of the McLendon Name