Genealogy. Finding one's MacMillan ancestors.
Unless relatives or ancestors have already done the work or one hires a professional genealogist, searching one's family tree tends to be a time-consuming, but often immensely rewarding exercise. There isn't one approach that works for everyone and many of the variables are based on nationality and region. There are considerations unique to Scottish and Highland ancestry. The genealogy-related content of this site is primarily specific to MacMillans. However, in the sidebar at right are more general resources that might assist in pursuing genealogy research.
Join Clan MacMillan International (CMI) to access more detailed information on our Clan's history and genealogy.
More in-depth information on MacMillan-related genealogy is available in password-access Members' pages including: a Guide to Genealogy, Project MAOL, Clan septs and forenames. Find out how to join CMI.
How history influences MacMillan genealogy.
Clan MacMillan is in some ways unique among Highland clans. This creates some unique considerations in pursuing one's MacMillan ancestry which include a wide range of spellings and septnames and numerous homelands (contrary to the maps commonly sold to tourists, Clan MacMillan had branches situated in both the Highlands, Lowlands and Northern Ireland). See a detailed guide to the genealogy of Clan MacMillan with more in-depth content on the topic. Members of Clan MacMillan International Centre may log in to the Member's pages.
What is, and isn't in a name.
A key consideration in pursuing one's ancestry is spelling, of which there are over 200 MacMillan variants. Spelling wasn't that important an issue to those living before the 20th century. Researchers will frequently find the spelling of a surname changes from one generation to the next. Surnames weren't in use in Western Europe until the 13th century and then only by the elite. Commoners might not have had a surname until the 18th century, often assigned when they emigrated.
There are also customs and issues relating to forenames. Naming customs, nicknames and Gaelic to English spellings all figure into recorded names of Scottish and, in particular, Highland ancestors. Available to CMI members is a page with more details about forenames/given names in the Highlands.
See a page with downloadable PDFs specific to military service, vocation and time periods, this available to CMI members.
Project MAOL. Clan MacMillan's dedicated genealogical database.
Project MAOL is a database specific to MacMillans (of whatever spellings) and septs being compiled and maintained by the Clan Centre. For more information see an introduction to Project MAOL. Members of Clan MacMillan International Centre may log in to the Member's pages to access the archives and contribute their family trees.
Clan MacMillan Y-DNA Project.
MacMillans may participate in the Clan MacMillan Y-DNA Project, this facilitated through FamilyTreeDNA. See a page with an explanation of the benefits and process. Administrators are Gary McMillian, David W. McMillan and Robert McMillan.
Genealogical enquiries through the Clan Centre.
The Clan Centre offers the services of Clan historian and genealogist Graeme M. Mackenzie, MA for genealogical research for a fee. Members of Clan MacMillan International Centre and Clan branches (those supporting the Clan Centre through the Conclave Challenge) have a discount available to them.