The Clan MacEwen was originally a western clan and descended from the Siol Gillevray, one of the Celtic tribes of the Dalriada Scots.
They possessed territory, and were settled under a chief of their own in Argyll, on the shores of Loch Fyne, in the district of Cowal from the thirteenth century to the middle of the fifteenth century. The MacEwen Castle ruins are still present on the shores of the loch near Kilfinan.
War had caused them much suffering both before and after the last Chief of the clan causing remnants to seek new alliances in Argyll, Dumbartonshire, Galloway and elsewhere.
Swene MacEwen resigned his title “Barony of Otter”, to his feudal lord, King James. It was restored to him but Gillespie Campbell (heir to Duncan Campbell of Lochow) was designated the heir to the Barony of Otter upon Swene’s death. Therefore, when he died in 1493 the barony and estates of Otter were passed into the hands of the Campbells . This entered the Campbell name as “Laird of Otter” leaving the MacEwens to become a broken clan.
Since the death of Swene the line of chiefs of the MacEwens of Otter has been untraced according to the same source, but according to tradition a MacEwen clan arrived in the earldom of Lennox under a Chieftain of their own during the fifteen century.
There are others who believe that there actually may be no connection between the Clan Ewen of Otter and the modern name. The MacEwen clan today, does not have a recoginzed chief and therefore would be considered an armigerous clan. This means that they are not recognised as noble communities and have no legal standing under Scots Law.
Whatever the case, since the mid-fifteenth century the MacEwens have remained a broken clan.
The name MacEwen translated means “son of Ewen”. The spelling of the name pre-dates widespread literacy and many variations can be found. Ewen in Gaelic is Eoghan meaning according to some, kind natured.
Some MacEwen Facts
i. The MacEwen tradition claims that they fought on the side of Mary, Queen of Scots, at the battle of Langside in 1568.
ii. Elspeth MacEwen the last witch to be put to death in Scotland was executed in Kirkcudbright in 1698.
iii. At the same time one MacEwen family held title to Barmolloch in Lorne around the same time.
There are nine grants of Arms by the Lyon Office in Scotland to persons bearing the clan name. Six of these are Ewings and three McEwans.
I am not sure of our McEwans (MacEwens) actual origins as some appear to come from Derry, Ireland and others, the oldest I have found, appear to be from Renfrew, Scotland. I believe our McEwans to be of the Muckley line, County of Argyll and descended of the Macdougals of Lorne.
However some of our MacEwens spelled the name McEwen and were from Derry, Ireland and show up in the Armagh area.
According to Skene, the last of the old abbots of Iona of whom there is any notice died in 1099, and thereafter, for upwards 60 years, there is an unbroken silence regarding the Monastery. The Celtic Church had to give way before the invasion of one of the religious orders of the Roman Church. In the 12th century, Somerled, who had Iona for one of his possessions, attempted to restore the old abbey and offered it to the Abbot of Derry, but the Abbot of Armagh and the King of Ireland disallowed the proposal. In 1166, on the succession of his son Reginald, the monastery was re-built on a larger scale. Reginald is said to have been “the most distinguished of the Galls and of the Gaels for prosperity, sway of generosity, and feats of arms”; and the Church benefited largely by these qualities.
Note that a coat of arms is the exclusive property of the grantee. No one other than the eldest son of the grantee is entitled to their father's coat of arms. Younger children are required to "Matriculate them in the Lyon Court with their proper differences.
In ancient times other family members would make use of badges as a family mark. They would be displayed in seals. They were the earliest form of hereditary insignia and distinct from crests. These would however be unrecognized by heraldic authority.
Below are the coats of arms for the Argyll Clan and Irish Clan
The MacEwen tartan somewhat resembles the Farquharson and MacLeod tartans of Harris. If in place of the white lines in the 'Campbell of Loudon' red lines be substituted, we get the MacEwen tartan exactly.
The ground-work of the MacEwen tartan is the same as that of the 'Black Watch', which was the original Campbell tartan. The MacEwen has the double black lines running through the blue ground as in the 'Black Watch,' the distinguishing feature between the two being that for the black cross lines (over-checks) of the 'Black Watch' there is a red and yellow line alternately in the green ground of the MacEwen. The similarity of the MacEwen tartan to the 'Black Watch' and the 'Campbell of Loudon' (red in lieu of white lines) points to the early connection of the clan with the Campbells, just as in heraldry ensigns and cadences point to connection and distinction in families. In early times the tartan took the place of the heraldic shield.
McEwan (my family connection), is from Glasgow, of a Renfrewshire family, descended on the female side from a daughter of Campbell of Craignish. Their crest is the trunk of an oak tree with a branch sprouting forth on either side with the motto: Reviresco.
On February 27th 2012, the Lord Lyon announced his intention to appoint a Supervising Officer to oversee a future Family Convention or Derbfine “for those of the MacEwen name, broadly defined with a view to the recognition of the Commander
On 11 October 2012, the Court of Lord Lyon announced the appointment of the Adam Bruce, Marchmont Herald of Arms, as Supervising Officer for the Family Convention. The Family Convention is scheduled for 2:00pm, Friday 6th June 2014, at The Beardmore Hotel and Conference Centre, Glasgow.
Time will tell if the MacEwens will receive recognition as a recognized clan or if it must remain an armigerous one.
 The name is a derivative of Clan Ewen of Otter (Gaelic: Clann Eóghain na h-Oitrich) which was a Highland clan which once controlled the area around Kilfinan on the Cowal peninsular in Argyll.
 (1967) The Highland Clans. London: Barrie & Rocklif
 MacEwen, R. S. T. (1904). Clan Ewen: Some Records of its History. Glasgow: John MacKay