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The 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 know.

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 prisoners.

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 earlier).

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 inheritance.

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 [1688]

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 Thomas Duboys.
(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, p.479.
(3) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 2nd Ser., V.3, p.405
(4) Deed Book B#l, Chowan Co., N.C., #1058, p.524
(5) Abs. of No. Carolina Wills, Grimes, Sec. of State, p.228.
(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, p.652.
(9) Colonial Records of N. Carolina, 2nd Ser., V.4, P.242.
(10) The McLendons of America, p.2, Melba Goff Allen, Metairie, La., 1983.

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 family's origin:

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

Here are the 25 different spellings of the McLendon Name

1. MacAlinden
2. MacAlinton
3. MacClandon
4. MacClenden
5. MacClendon
6. MackClenden
7. MackLenddon
8. MackLenden
9. MackLendin
10. MackLendon
11. MacLenden
12. MacLendon
13. MacLyndon
14. McAlinden
15. Mccclendon
16. McClandon
17. McCleandon
18. McClenden
19. McClendon
20. McClindon
21. McGlendon
22. McLandon
23. McLendon
24. McLinden
25. Meclendon



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