Hugh McLellan
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Hugh McLellan (abt. 1710 - 1787)

Hugh McLellan
Born about in County Antrim, Irelandmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Husband of — married about 1729 in County Antrim, Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 77 in Gorham, Cumberland, Maine, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 14 Sep 2009 | Last significant change: 20 Feb 2023
20:16: Melanie (Green) Armstrong edited the Status Indicators, Father Status Indicator and Data Status (Father) for Hugh McLellan (abt.1710-1787). (Minor corrections. ) [Thank Melanie for this]
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Birth: County Antrim, Ireland

Immigration: 1733 Boston, Massachusetts

Note: Sailed from Londonderry, arrived in Boston after 2 months at sea


From History of Gorham, ME., pg. 658: “Hugh was the son of Hugh, and Elizabeth (wife) was the daughter of Cary McLellan. Their famlies were remotely connected, and were descended from Sir Hugh McLellan of Argyle, Scotland, who was knighted in 1515. This branch of the McLellans migrated from Scotland (probably the southern part of Ross, where the name is still numerous) to the north of Ireland, with a colony of Scotch, some seventy or a hundred years previous to the coming to America of Hugh and Elizabeth. In the year 1733 with their first child, William, they sailed from Londonerry, and after a rough, stormy passage of two months arrived in Boston.”
Arr. Boston 1733; from there went to York, Maine; then to Wells, Maine (where they purchased land and stayed for a time); then to Saco, Maine (where Hugh’s brother James lived). From Saco, they went to Falmouth (where Hugh had a sister). In Falmouth, lived on Moses Pearson’s farm at Back Cove; then moved to Falmouth Neck. Hugh purchases a grantee’s right of land in Narragansett No. 7, which was 200 acres (paid 10 pounds). Deed was given by Shubael Gorham, August 10, 1739.
Sprague's Journal of Maine History, Vol. IV, June, 1916, No. I, pages 17-19:
Frances Meserve Cotton.
About one-third of a mile in a northwesterly direction from Central Square in Gorham Village, is situated the first brick house erected in Cumberland County. It is the old McLellan homestead, and is of historical interest to all
who have been sojourners in the town or read "Good Old Times," by Elijah
Kellogg, himself a descendant of this family.
In the year 1733, Hugh and Elizabeth McLellan, with their first born William,
left their humble home in the north of Ireland and came to America. For the
first few years they lived in York, Wells, Saco, and Falmouth. In 1739, Hugh
purchased a grantee's right of two hundred acres in Narragansett No. 7, which
is now Gorham. For this land he paid ten pounds, all the money he possessed.
The deed was given in the same year and was signed by Shubael Gorham.
The family journeyed to their new home on a cold, winter's day, Hugh bearing
a pack on his back, and carrying his little girl in his arms.
Elizabeth rode on the white horse, with most of their household goods, and the
boy, William, led the cow. At first, they had to live in a deserted hunter's cabin,
and were very poor. Later, they built a comfortable log house in which they
were living at the time of the outbreak of the French and Indian War.
In 1746, the day following the massacre of the Bryant family who were
neighbors of theirs, they entered the fort on the hill, which Hugh had
helped to build, and there their daughter Jane was born. In seven years,
after the close of the war, they returned to their home, and the succeeding
years were prosperous. For many years following 1763, Hugh paid the
highest provincial tax of anyone on town. He was a successful lumberman
as well as farmer, and both land and mill were his.
The family owned fifteen hundred acres, and had large stocks of cattle.
They were blessed with many children and grandchildren, and one
Thanksgiving Day when all were gathered about the table in the primitive
log cabin, William, the eldest born, suggested that a larger dwelling house
be built. His father replied that he had no idea of spending all the money
he and Elizabeth had so hardly earned, in a brick house (and she would
have no other), and they must build it themselves. So they hewed the
imber, shaped the shingles, and sawed the boards in their own mills. A
kiln was set up, the clay procured from their land, and the bricks made
by the old Highlander and his sons. Four years passed before the house
was completed, but it was a noble building when finished. The lower
story has the thickness of four bricks and the upper, three. The walls
are firm, and the well-seasoned timbers bearing the axe-clips of Hugh
and his sturdy sons, are strong as ever. A brick in the wall between
the two front windows in the second story, bears the date of erection,
traced by the fingers of Elizabeth in the soft clay.
At the time of the Revolution, this family contributed largely to the cause,
and all their sons and sons-in-law were in the army.
At one time when the families of Gorham soldiers were in great nee,
having few resources, Hugh McLellan furnished money to purchase a
large cargo of corn to be distributed among the needy ones.
Alexander, his son, was captain of a full company of men from his own
town, under Col. Jonathan Mitchell of Yarmouth; and that his company
had a drum is shown by the following letter:-
"To the Selectmen of Gorham:-
Gentlemen:-I am obliged to carry off Austin Alden's drum, or go without
one. I desire you to pay him for it, as I think the Selectmen are obliged
to find one for me; I think the Drum is well worth Ten pounds, ten
shillings, old way, as thing went seven years ago.
Yr Hubl Servt.
Alexr McLellan, Capt.
Falmouth, July 15, 1779."
This note has the following endorsements:
"Gorham, May 14th, 1781. We have considered of the within and find
that the Town were obliged to find a Drum for Capt. McLellan, and
therefore think Mr. Alden ought to be paid the same by the Town.
Wm. Gorham
S. Longfellow, Jnr.
It is a remarkable fact that, during the period extending from 1861 to 1903,
there were no deaths in this house, and no young person has ever died
within its walls.
The old mansion is now owned and occupied by Miss Ella Rebecca Hale,
who is the great-granddaughter of Jane McLellan, born in the fort on the
summit of the hill. The water with which the house is abundantly supplied,
comes from a crystal spring beside which the log cabin stood, and where
the pioneers in the Narragansett wilderness slaked their thirst. In the
front hall stands Elizabeth's wheel brought from Portland, upon which
she spun the flax for her family. There, too, is to be found the bible
from which the rigid Presbyterians read the Bread of Life to their children;
and the trammel from which the great kettle swung in the stone fireplace.
No more is heard the terrifying yell of the Indian; gone, too, are the forests
through which the Redman came on their way to the seacoast, to hunt, fish,
and trade skins with the settlers.
Where once towered mighty pines of three feet in diameter, marked with a
broad arrow by a surveyor sent out by the Royal Commissioner of Forests,
to be reserved for the ships of the king, now are green fields and pastures.
But the old house remains on the hillside, undisturbed by the changes of
time. Since its cellar was dug, from the wilderness has sprung a prosperous
village, an educational center; but the townspeople like to visit the mansion
and tell its history to all who come that way.[1]

The arrival of Bryce's cousins Hugh and Elizabeth McLellan, their settling in Gorham and building a brick home are also discussed. "Thus the family [Hugh and Elizabeth McLellan] moved from a one room house to a house with 15 rooms which was a great talking point in the local vicinity. Elder Hugh, as he was known, was now the wealthiest man in Gorham and owned 1500 acres of land, as well as many cattle and slaves. He had achieved all of this because he was prepared from the start to ‘literally tame the wilderness’."

The History of Gorham says Elder Hugh McLellan owned an African slave called Limbo. Limbo was persuaded to run away by a group who "agitated" for the liberation of slaves. Limbo probably ended up in Concord, New Hampshire where he eventually was owned by Moses Ames. [2]


  • Limbo, later owned by Moses Ames, Samuel Osgood, James Osgood.


  1. McLellan, Hugh D. History of Gorham, ME., published online by Google Books (; original publisher: Smith & Sale, Printers, Portland, Maine, 1902.
  2. History of Gorham, Me by McLellan Hugh; Lewis, Katherine B. Publisher Portland, Smith & Sale, printers, 1903. Page 250

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Hugh by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Hugh:

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Comments: 2

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MacClennan-1 is Hugh McLelland's daughter who just happened to be born 7 years after his death. Please research this as that is truly impossible. This comment is posted on both profiles.

Thanks, Cindy Williams Lesure

MacClellan-2 and McLelland-4 appear to represent the same person because: Same wife and daughter. Not certain which spelling (if either) is correct Last Name at Birth.
posted by Sharon Casteel

Rejected matches › Cary McLellan (1745-1805)