My Clan McEwen Research
by Jim Allen
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Cowal Marker with Otter Ferry and MacEwen Lands
You ask for Clan McEwen stories. I enjoyed what I found on your website, so here is my clan story and some research. My mother was Marion McEwen. Her father was George McEwen... his father was James McEwen. James' father Peter married Mary McIntyre. They emigrated and were buried in Nairn Ontario. James McEwen was from Kenknock, Perthshire. We have his bible and some history of part of the clan.
I too am interested in general clan history. There are many McEwen/MacEwan websites... different spelling, but they're all the same bunch. I find a lot of information on electricscotland.com. Here's a brief summary for posting general highlights and points of interest.
• The McEwens are of Irish/Scotch ancestry descended from Irish Kiings who came to Scotland circa 500-600 AD.
• The McEwens of Loch Fyne established themselves in the district of Cowal about 1100-1200 AD. Their neighbours were the Lamonts and the MacLauchans. They were known as the McEwens of Otter.
• Eoghain na h-Oitrich (Ewen of Otter), who gives his name to the clan, lived at the beginning of the 13th century. His name is derived from Eoghan which translates from the Gaelic as "Born of the Yew Tree".
• In 1794, the Rev. Alexander McFarlane wrote in his Statistical Account of the parish of Kilfinnan: "On a rocky point on the coast of Lochfyne about a mile below the church is to be seen the vestige of a building called Caesteal Mhic Eobhuin or MacEwen's castle ... this MacEwen was the chief of a clan, and proprieter of the northern division of the parish called Otter."
• The McEwens were displaced by the powerful Campbell clan who moved to Loch Fyne from Loch Awe in 1474 AD to be near the sea.
• The current Duke of Argyle is a Campbell.
• The last known clan chief of the McEwen was Ewen Earl of Otter who died or was killed without children; ergo no successor and the clan broke up no chief no clan.
• Some McEwens joined the Campbells... some eventually becoming hereditary bards and sennachies to the Campbell Chiefs of Glenorchy. And other MacEwens went to their cousins, the MacLauchans. Some ran off and became outlaws/rogues, a loutish bunch generally.
• The last witch to be executed in Scotland was a MacEwen.
This research fascinates me. Will write a more coherent account when I can. We will take a trip on retirement hopefully with your help. Cheers, and I will someday soon sit in the Otter Pub and have a pint or two. Jim Ed.... Jim sends new items from time to time... we created a whole page for his Clan McEwen - MacEwan Research Check it out!
He loves to contact other Clan members. If you would like to contact Jim, send your e-mail address with your comment, we'll put you in touch.