Clan MacNab got its name from the Gaelic Mac an Abu which means ‘the son of abbot’. Because of this, it is strongly believed that the Clan MacNab founder was of a clerical profession. The clan offers a rich and colourful history as they started as a large clan in the 13th century.
The History of Clan MacNab
In the early days, Clan MacNab and the MacDougalls opposed the struggle of Robert the Bruce for the Scottish crown. Robert the Bruce had many fights with the MacDougalls, who were strongly supported by Clan MacNab, particularly during the Battle of Dalry. This fight took place back in 1306 and MacDougall and Clan MacNab were victorious.
Despite this, Bruce continued to become the King and his troops took aim at the Macnabs and destroyed all family writs.
There are records of the Macnabs from the early 16 th century, which include Finlay MacNab who was the clan’s chief at the time. He received a charter in 1502, and his son witnessed a charter from the King to a Duncan Campbell in 1511.
The chief passed away in 1525 at Eilan Ran and was buried at Killin. His son, also Finlay MacNab, was the sixth ‘laird’ and mortgaged the family lands of Ewer and Leiragan to Campbell of Glenorchy. The seventh ‘laird’ was also Finlay who underwent a violent feud with Clan MacNeish.
The MacNabs and MacNeishes fought many battles with varying success at either side, with final seeing the MacNabs victorious at Glenboultachan.
During the Civil War, the MacNabs supported Charles I and fought alongside James Graham, who was the 1 st marquess of Montrose. After a successful fight at the Battle of Kilsyth, Clan MacNab was given command of the Kincardine Castle near to Auchterarder.
After many feuds and battles over the years, the land of the MacNab’s ravaged. So, once again, their papers were lost. The final of the MacNab Clan relocated to Canada and sold his last possessions, including the Dreadnought Hotel in Callander. Today, the chief memorial of Clan MacNab is the picturesque burial place in the trees at Inch Buidhe.