MEIKLE

HISTORY OF THE NAME

I have received several notes about the history of the Meikle family. Here are some to share with you:

"My name is Andrew Meikle and I am from England. I have just read your article on the Meikle name on your website. I will tell you some more information about the Meikle' past and background. The Meikle's originally started of(f) as a clan in the central Highland area in Scotland near Glasgow. They were quite a small clan. The clan also fought in the wars with William Wallace, as they were paid mercenarys they fought in many wars on either sides.

No I don't think the Meikle clan had a tartan of itself but we use the Gunn Clan tartan as that was the last clan they fought for....."

balfour@accglobal.net wrote on the Meikle Message Board (March 1, 2002):

The Meikles were Lowland Scots, not Highlanders. Despite this they seem to have had some claim to wear the Lamont tartan. Why, I'm not sure. This tartan is basically green with a white overstripe. The Lamont badge was a silver circle with the image  of a hand inside - "The Red Hand of Lamont" . Allegedly members of the clan were losing a boat race to the shore of a loch and rather than face humiliation one of the crew  cut off his hand and flung it ahead so that it reached land before the other competitor. They took things pretty seriously in those days. Hope this is of interest.

Harry Meikle answered the above with:

Can't give you the "Arms"  but you're probably Clan Lamont which clan has a right hand held up - palm facing and a belt with the motto NE PARCAS NEC SPERNAS on a surrounding belt. The names taken by members of the clan in the 17th.century (to avoid being identified) included MEIKLE which is an old word meaning "Much" or "Great".Cheers - Harry Meikle (Cheshire , England)

One lady in Scotland wrote a letter some years ago that the name originated in a village called Meikle in Lanarkshire in the 13th century under the Clan of Baird.

In Meikles of Lochlibo, the following is found:

The earliest references that can be traced to the name is that of William Mykyl, a resident of an unnamed part of Scotland in the year 1382. The next reference to be found is that of Bessie Mekill in the year 1609, followed by William Meikill in 1616, again, both residents of Scotland. The name itself is Middle Scots meaning "big".A sept of the Clan Lamont, it is highly likely that the Meikles suffered along with the Lamonts at the hands of the Campbells, a theory which is borne out by the following extract from the history of Clan Lamont: "...but their great antiquity could not protect the Lamonts from the encroachments of the Campbells, by whom they were soon reduced to as small a portion of their original possessions in Lower Cowal as the other Argyllshire clans had been of theirs. Indeed, it is highly likely that as a result of the Campbells activities the Meikles ceased to exist as a clan in their own right, and joined forces with the Lamonts against a common foe. It is certain that during the Civil War of the seventeenth century the Campbells harried the lands of the Lamonts with fire and sword, and razed Toward Castle to the ground (1646). In the same year they called the Lamonts to a peace talk at Dunoon, stipulating that the negotiators from both sides should come to the conference unarmed. Two hundred Lamonts and their supporters , perhaps including Meikles, fully observed this condition arriving at the meeting place without weapons of any kind, whereupon the Campbells attacked them most treacherously and murdered them to a man. It is said that the provost of Dunoon was so horrified by this foul deal that he protested to the Campbells with more vigour than discretion, with the result that they seized him and made him share the same fate.

Ian Meikle has a very impressive homepage located at http://www.killieman.com/index.html and includes a history of the name which is different from some of the other more common suggestions.

If there was German, Dutch or Norwegian influence as suggested in the Origin of the Meikle Name, it came much earlier in the history of Scotland.

Page created August 22, 2003 by Mary Thompson Saban, last updated 04/05/2004

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