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McCausland (Mac Ausaláin in Gaelic), meaning "Son of Absolom" is a surname of Irish and Scotch-Irish origin. The family came from Ireland to the Loch Lomond region of Scotland sometime before the twelfth century. They are said to have settled through a charter on the island called Clarines - Clarich, in Loch Lomond. One version of the surname's etymology originates with Absalon, son of Macbed, the family name deriving from Mac Absalone - 'son of Absalone'. There are however, other supposed derivations, including that the initial immigrant to Scotland was Buey Anselan, son of O'Kyan, King of Ulster, who became Buey Anselan, Dominie de Buchanan when granted the "lands of Buchanan".
Alternatively, the surname may be an Anglicization from a Gaelic name, as was the case with many Irish surnames, changing to sound more English over the centuries. The surname "Mac Ausaláin" may have an underlying Gaelic personal name, possibly Caisealán, meaning ‘little one of the castle’.
Although the exact origins are still unclear, almost all of today's McCauslands are descended from the McCauslands of Ulster, Ireland. Most people with the surname McCausland or one of its variants refer to themselves as Irish. However, some McCauslands with Protestant rather than Irish Catholic heritage sometimes refer to themselves as Scottish-Irish.
Notable people with the surname include:
- Charles McCausland (1898-1965), Irish cricketer
- Chris McCausland (1977-), British stand-up comedian
- Edward McCausland (1865-1936), Australian rugby player and cricketer
- Ernesto McCausland (1961-), Colombian journalist and filmmaker
- Gary McCausland (1968-), Northern Irish television presenter and property developer
- John McCausland (1836–1927), Confederate general in the American Civil War
- John McCausland (politician) (1735–1804), Irish Member of Parliament for Donegal County
- Maurice McCausland (1872-1938), Irish landowner and political figure
- Nelson McCausland, minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly
- McCausland, Iowa, city in Scott County, Iowa
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