Your Stories and Questions.

Over the years I have received many requests for information and Cleland’s telling me their stories.

I have reproduced some off these and I hope the writers don’t mind and the readers gain some knowledge and assistance.

If you have questions or stories you would like to be included please send them through and I will add them from time to time.

The most recent entries are at the top of this page.

José Barreto writes:-

Lisbon Portugal

I’m a Portuguese researcher from the Lisbon University.
What could you tell me about a certain Charles Cleland, who lived in the eighteenth century and was the author and publisher of
Abstracts of the Several Laws and Rules that are now in force, relating to the Importation and Exportation of Wines. Into and out of Great-Britain. With complete tables of the net duties … Likewise are annex’d, the regulations of the ancient duties of prisage, and butlerage, etc., pp. 172. Printed for the Author: London, 1737. 4o.
Any connection with William Cleland (1674-1741), commissioner of taxes and duties and father of novelist John Cleland?
Thank you for your attention

Julie Battson writes :- 

Thank you for the newsletter. Since sorting out an initial hiccup with Martyn and Owen we have confirmed that we are kin, although we have an aunt that is unaccounted for!

We have gone back to my great- great grandfather Robert and his wife Georgina and what has been most exciting for me is the link to North London, which I thought was fairly unimportant but where our branch seems to have settled. This explains Granddad’s devotion to Arsenal FC when he never lived anywhere near there- but his father did!

I am preparing to visit my aged Great Aunt with a few delicate enquiries to see if that helps things further. The file I have ends with .gft is that a GEDCOM one ? If it is I could send you what we have, but I have no idea if it links to anything on your file.

I am amazed at the way names keep cropping up, even with my own son and I had no idea that they were ‘family’ ones. I have also found details of a mysterious murder at The Grange where Hannah Clelland worked.

Finally, I am more than happy to pay membership, but how much is it in Aus Dollars? If I could wire it directly that would be easier and cheaper too as no charges would incurred by the Society.

Merry Christmas to you and Morag and the boys,

Gerry Neilands of Ontario Canada writes:-

Received your newsletter today and enjoyed it very much.
You mention a communication you received from a Kneilands from Canada. Does this person have an email address? I would like to get in touch with them. I’m as much interested in what part of Canada they are from as I am in to sharing info.
Thanks for the newsletter and have a great Christmas and Happy New Year.

Robby Robinson writes,

Did you know that one of our Edward Kneelands married an Alden — two generations after the Mayflower arrival…Regards,

James Cleland writes:-

Very interesting site. Can you give me any information on James Cleland born Whitburn 1797.          

William Cleland writes:-

Amazing.  I have visited your site for the last three years and never dreamed of a connection and I was out of town when you visited Albuquerque last year.

Lillias brother Thomas was my great grandfather who immigrated to the States in 1887. I have James and Ann Riddell Cleland having 10 children, one of which (James) surfaced earlier this month. One of James descendants is in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
I have been able to track this branch of the Cleland’s back to Thomas Cleland/Jean Millar married June 3rd 1791.  Have you been able to track further? Do you have any idea how this branch became colliers?  I have a lot of questions, that I am certain you can answer and would love to have any information that you are willing to share.
If you would like, I would be very happy to send a GEDCOM file of what I have.
Thanks for your quick response and am looking forward to continued correspondence.

John Kneilands writes:-

My name is John Kneilands, I live in Port Hope, Ontario. I am 42 years old and was born in Glasgow, Scotland. I have 2 sons named Andrew and Jay, also a step son John and 2 step daughters, Nikki and Stacie. I came to Canada in 1964 ( the same year as you did I see). I am very interested in finding out more about my ancestry and seem to be running into a lot of obstacles along the way. My aunt, who still lives in Scotland has told me that I should just leave it alone. with no further explanation all that this has done is make me more curious, in the meantime I have learned that my aunt Anne was murdered and I was never told of this event until I happened by it, by accident, one day. upon further investigation I found that this was part of the reason we immigrated to Canada.
My boys, my 3 nephews are the sole members of our immediate family in Canada as far as I know right now. My parents and my younger brother have all passed away. I feel I owe it to my boys and my nephews to try to find out as much as possible about our ancestors so they  have something to pass on to their own in the years ahead.
Interestingly enough my fathers family was from East Kilbride, and I believe this is were my aunt met her untimely demise. I believe it was in a golf course somewhere around there. Please contact me so that we might get together and chat sometime at your convenience. Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future

Edwin L. Boehringer writes:-

Speaking of wills have you seen this: for    Cleland, Clelland, Kneeland, Kneland etc….Best Regards,

Brant Cleland writes:-     

My name is Brant Cleland, I am 25 years old and I live in Alberta Canada. My family to the best of my knowledge settled in the South Western Alberta in a small Hamlet called Cowley, my Grandfather was one of five children (three boys, two girls). There is not many of us out here and It was nice to see that there people that share the last name. I am in search of purchasing a tartan and family crest but I have hit a bit of a slump because I cannot find our name any where and I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find these items.

If any one can help that would be great,

Fay Wright writes:-


How would we know if our American family is part of the Cleland clan?  If we are, we would like to join.

This is all I know:

Walter F. Cleland was born probably prior to 1900, in South Carolina.  His son, James David, was born 1921, South Carolina.  James’ siblings were Mary, Olin, Walter F., and Bobby Joe.  Our family was descended from James David Cleland.


Stuart Cleland writes:-

Dear Fellow Cleland’s Having read your web site, I thought that I should write to introduce myself. I was most intrigued with the discovery of both a tartan, which I was understood had been lost through the course of time and also coat of arms. With respects to the tartan, how genuine is this? My lineage is direct from relatives who once lived in Corstophine, Edinburgh and nearby in Winchburgh. My grandfather, James Cleland, lives nearby in South Queensferry. Indeed James is a predominant name in our line and continues as second names with my brother and nephew. Personally my immediate family reside in Chester, after my father moved from South Queensferry in the 1960’s. Myself, I live in Reading, West of London. I have always been interested to learn more about our family name and your site has done the trick. Indeed I hope to trace my lines family tree, which may prove tricky in itself as am aware of a line that lives in Canada. Could you advise on membership to the society. Best wishes
Cheryl writes:- My maiden name is Cleland.  I have only been able to research back 5 generations and would appreciate information that anyone might have come across on the following Clelands from Western Pennsylvania.  I am looking for my great, great grandfather’s parents in Pennsylvania circa 1830 or previous to that date.  My great, great grandfather was George W. Cleland.  He was born in 1830.  The 1860 census states that his parents were born in Pennsylvania.  He married Elizabeth A. Royal on 19 Nov, 1879 and lived in Espyville, PA in Mercer County.  (second wife Philena).  George and Elizabeth had a son William Wilbur Cleland who married Anna Davis on 28 Oct 1897 (second wife Arvilla Reaugh married on 24 Oct 1923).  William W. Cleland lived in Westford, Pennsylvania in Mercer County.  William and Anna had a son Wilbur Clark Cleland who married Sylvia Schlecht on 4 Sept 1924 and lived in Westford, PA.  They had a son (my father) William Warren Cleland who married Margaret White on 22 Nov 1959 and lived in Westford, PA.  Please write to Cheryl at  Thank you!

John Clelland writes:-

Hi there,

This is probably a very strange email to get. Purely out of idle curiosity, I entered my name into Google, only to discover an entire website devoted to all things Clelland.

I’m finding this quite bizarre, as I’ve met very few other Clellands in my life, and being a born-and-raised Scot I would have thought that the last place I would run into one is on the internet, never mind from Queensland!

Anyway, I’m sure you’re got far more important things to do than read boring emails like this one. Just wanted to say keep up the good work!!!



Tom Richter writes:-

To whom it may concern, My great-grandmother was a Cleland, and as such I consider that to be my clan.  As such, someday I would like to get a kilt in that tartan, however I’m finding difficult to find anyone who sells such a tartan.  Could you tell me how I might go about finding this tartan? Thank you,

Chip writes

I’m a Kneeland out of the New York City, USA family…. my grandfather (maternal) is the last entry in Stillman’s book Charles Gustace…..#3299A I’m wondering about 2 questions: #1….. Has anyone hired a genealogist in Scotland to substantiate the change from the ancient name Kneilland to Kneeland of Lanarkshire to Clelland, or are we all taking Stillman’s word….? #2….. The Clan Maclellan also keeps popping up as having the Kneeland’s (Neland) as a “Sept.” I found this out while enjoying the clan gatherings in New Hampshire and attempted to find the tartan of Kneeland’s. Is this accurate….? My Best,

Then in reply Chip writes

Hi John, Okay…. things are getting clearer. Can you describe how you come up with the Tartan design….? Did you make it up…… or adapt it from an associated family Tartan….? [“A very keen tailor aligned us to the MacNabbs as he just happened to have plenty of the tartan spare. Now we have our own registered tartan we can do our own thing.”] My mothers Kneeland family carries both crests as found on her family silver and retains a connection to the mystery of the Kneeland history. She has done some research into Tartans and I wonder if hers is the same…..? I live in Boston and should see if any Kneelands still live in the area…., and if so do they retain any memories of the early Tartan., and/or retain any interest in being of Scottish descent. The name Kneeland is tied into the early history of Boston, and there may be a thread worth following that Hunter missed. I’ve gone to one of the oldest church yards and stood at the base of a Kneeland grave from the 1600’s.

Donald Cleland writes:-

I live in Cleveland Ohio, I have been to a few family reunions in Pennsylvania. We are descended from Arthur Cleland, The family was part of the plantation of Ulster. He came to the colonies from Ireland, and settled in Buttler County PA. I am a Deputy Sheriff with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s office in Cleveland, Ohio, and am assigned to the Detective Bureau. I noticed that no other Clelands from this area have posted anything on your site, have you heard from any others in this area? The research for our end of the family began in 1942. Thank you for a great site                              

Justine Walmsley writes:-

I stumbled across your website and was wondering if you could help me.

My GGG grandfathers wife was a Maria Cleland Wayman.  All I know is that she married Henry Sherwin in June 1854 in St Pancras, London.

Are you able to help me trace where she may come from?  I would be so grateful, as I have no other info about her.

Thank you for your time in this matter.


Michael Neelands writes:- I have information on the Neelands family of upstate South Carolina. 
Information dates back to approx. 1800.  Have census information, gravesite
information, land records.  My information starts with a Abraham Neelands (born prior to 1755), James Neelands (Neelins) born 1785 to 1790, and Robert Neelands born about 1787.  I suspect Abraham was the father to James and John but have no records to verify other that each other witnessing land deeds.  Wondering if anyone has any information on any of the mentioned Neelands.  I have briefly taken a look at “Seven Centuries of the Kneeland Family” find mention of a southern connection but find no information.  I am willing to share information I have and hopefully find additional info.

Anon writes:-

Just wanted to say hello from the U.S.A  I am a Cleland Descendant.  An Asa Kneeland m Hannah Cheney and Philena Kneeland m  Chase Fuller . is there anyone that can swap info on that line .  Thanks . This is a great site !


Tim Szetela writes:-

I am looking for information re: the ancestors of my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth “Bessy” Cleland, born June 19, 1840 in Redding, Stirlingshire, Scotland.  She married a George Muirhead of Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland (Born August 26, 1836).  Both eventually immigrated to Ontario, Canada.

Any information would be helpful.  Thank you.


Steven A McClelland writes:-

My descendent, John B. McClelland immigrated from the province of Ulster, Probate District of Belfast in Antrim county, Ireland. To the best of our knowledge at this time. Born 1710 Died 1760. I just located the clan-Cleland today but also seen the clan-MacNabb so I’m questioning which clan would be the proper one would appreciate your clarification. I know he was born in Ireland to a Scottish family.

S. Pelow writes:-

I found your email in a site I was searching through for my ancestors.  I have been trying to locate the “Cleland” clan who were believed to be British but lived in India as far back as 1800’s.  Augustine Cleland is my ggggrandfather, but no record can be found of his birth but his children were born around 1835+ in India.  What are the past clan Cleland Society newsletters and is it possible for me to look at them if they may be of some benefit to my search.

Thank you.


Patricia Miller writes:-

I am requesting information on the Cleland family. I have, in my family, Robert Goodfellow from Canada, migrated to Michigan, USA. Robert born in Valcartier, Quebec Canada, his father was Robert Goodfellow born in Roxburgh, Scotland. Robert born in Canada married Agnes Cleland who was his cousin. Agnes’ birth is said to have been August, 14, 1832.  She died in 1895.  If you have any information on Agnes Cleland, please forward it to me or let me know where I may obtain this information. Robert and Agnes’ daughter Jane Goodfellow was my great grandmother. Thank you for your time.

James Morrell Cleland writes:-

My name is James Morrell Cleland of St. Catharine’s Ontario Canada. My grandfather was Alexander Newel Cleland of County Down in Ireland His father was James Cleland b approx 1870 in Ireland. does anyone no more, or are related please contact me.


Olivier Cleland writes :-

Hello I am a direct descendant of John CLELAND, Prebendary of Armagh (on 1755 – 1834).

I look for information about the relatives(parents) of John CLELAND, Prebendary of Armagh (on 1755 – 1834).

For information my great-grandfather was Arthur Charles Stewart CLELAND.

Thank you for any information helping me in my search.

Best regards


Michael Bogle writes:-

Dear Sir,

I have a problem in that I am researching for many years now my own name which is Bogle and I came across a Jonet Kneeland who was married to a William Bogle possibly of Bogleshole, Glasgow in or around 1640.  There is also another record which shows her name to be Kneeland but there are similarities in the children’s names, not perfect fit by any means, but close.  What I would like to ask is the name Cleland a later version of Kneeland or are they completely separate names.  I would appreciate any information in this respect.  PS I live in N Ireland and I am strangely enough married to a Cleland from Co Down whose ancestors came from Scotland at the beginning of the 18th Century.


Ian & Mary Morris of Ontario, Canada write:-

We are in the process of tracing our roots and I came across a familiar name, Cleland.

My wife’s family traces back to a John Cleland born September 1, 1779 in Shotts, Lanark, Scotland. He married Isabella Bell born 1796, married October 19, 1806 in Shotts. they had one son, William born February 27, 1818 who married Helen Miller January 31, 1900.

Would they be related to your ancestors?

Any correspondence would be great.