The McLains have been traced back to Scotland to Clan Maclaine (if you look back at old Scottish clans, the various spellings of the name, including McLean, are derived from the same family.) Clan Maclaine was from the Isle of Mull, where their ancestral home, Moy Castle, is located. According to history, the two sons of Iain Dubh (or Black John) were each granted independent charters to lands on the Isle of Mull from John, 1st Lord of the Isles (MacDonald), thus forming the two dominant lines of the family; Maclaine of Lochbuie and McLean of Duart. Eachann Reaganach, or Hector the Stern, was granted lands at Lochbuie and married MacDonald's eldest daughter Margaret in 1356. There were fueds among the two branches of the family, but they banded together to fight outside forces. Lands were lost to England in the 1920s and much of the family was coerced into moving to Ireland, which became a gateway for those coming to America.
The American branch of the family has been traced back to Alexander McLain (born about 1758 in North Carolina.) We are still researching to find the "immigrant," the one person who brought the family from Scotland to America. Alexander's son, Reverend Thomas McLain (1771-1855) is the one who moved the family to Tennessee, where many of them still live today. Thomas' great-great grandson was Jacob Claude "PawPaw" McLain (1905-1988), who was the one who brought the family to North Carolina (among other places, Claude was a wanderer!) The majority of our branch still calls North Carolina or South Carolina home.
According to rumours, Jacob Claude "PawPaw" McLain's grandmother was part or full-blooded American indian. His great-grandmother's name was Appy Cela, which could have some Native American history to it, although there has been no proof and this rumour could have started as conjecture.
So far, the Luster's first appear in Maryland in the early 1800s when they quickly moved to eastern Tennesse (Stokely David Luster who died around 1835.) Again, there are quite a few Lusters left in Tennessee which we are surely related to.
The Crooks were early settlers in Virginia around the time of the Revolution. We have traced the line back to Michael Crook (born in 1761 in Franklin Virginia.) He was a shoemaker. Two of Michael's grandsons were twins Pacific Ocean Crook and Atlantic Ocean Crook, who both fought in the Civil War. Pacific died at age 19 in 1862. Another of Michael's grandsons was Sciota Crook (Nanny's grandfather.) Sciota married Sina Ibby Carter, bringing the name Sina into the family. Sciota's son James H. Crook married Mary Elizabeth Williams in 1895, but was killed in 1907 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was robbed for his paycheck and left where he fell, which was on a train track. Lizzie remarried in 1909.
This branch of the family has been traced back to William Carter, who was born in England in 1549. His grandson, Capt. Thomas Carter was born in Kempston, England and owned an estate called Barford. He immigrated to Lancaster County, Virginia where he built a new estate with the same name. He married Katherine Dale in 1670. Capt. Carter's grandson Peter moved to Fauquier County, Virginia, and his son Norris is the one who moved the family to Scott County in western Virginia.
Katherine Dale's mother was Lady Diana Skipwith, daughter of Sir Henry Skipwith 1st of Prestwould, Leicestershire County, England. The SKIPWITH branch has been traced back to Sir William Skipwith, who died in 1391. William's son Sir John Skipwith was High Sheriff of Ormsby, England. Sir John's son, Sir Thomas Skipwith, married the daughter of Baron William Willoughby de Eresby, who was 5th in descent from King Henry VI. Sir Thomas Skipwith's great-grandson was also named Sir William Skipwith, who was High Sheriff of Lincolnshire England in 1527. This Sir William married the daughter of Sir Lionel Dymoke, who was 8th in descent from Kind Edward I.
Lady Diana Skipwith was also the sister of Grey Skipwith, who was the great-grandfather of Sir Peyton Skipwith 7th, who founded the Prestwould Plantation in Skipwith, Virginia (the town I went to high school in, by the way!) For more information on Prestwould, read a feature article I wrote on the plantation in college or visit my Virginia History website's pages dedicated to Prestwould.
The WILLIAMS branch of the family has been traced to James "Big Jim" Williams, who was born in 1793.