Malcolm Laing (1762–1818), a lawyer and historian, was descended from the Orkney line of Laings of Strynzie. Admitted to the Scottish Bar in 1785, he wrote a history of Scotland in 1800 and Ossian's poetry with notes and drawings in 1805. These works made him famous throughout Europe.
His work on ancient Scottish history formed the basis for most modern books on this subject. He is also remembered for his contribution to naval history: he designed and built several small warships for the Royal Navy between 1802 and 1807. One of these vessels, named after him, was the first iron-built ship to be commissioned by the Royal Navy.
He died in London at the age of 53.
Laing was no relation to the pirate Jean Laing who sailed out of Saint Malo in 1698.
The surname Laing is found all over Scotland and some can be traced back to early settlers from northern France or Belgium. Others are derived from names found in various languages such as Gaelic, Welsh, English or Scandinavian.
The clan origin of the name is from an old Norse word meaning "jarl" or "earl". It originally applied to the sons of a king or emperor. The earliest record of the name is in 1266 when Alexander Laing held the lands of Balweary in East Lothian.
Laing (/laeNG, leING/) is a Scottish surname that is widespread in Scot-settled nations such as Canada and New Zealand. It is a descriptive surname, similar to the English surname Long, which means "tall." The Gaelic form of the name is Liggin.
The first recorded use of Laing as a surname was around 1250. There are two main branches of the family tree of the Laings: one in Scotland and one in England. In addition, there are several other families with the surname Laing or Leeing. These other families may have originated in either Scotland or England but some also appear in North America and Australia.
The earliest known bearer of the name is Alexander Laing, who was born in 1567. He was the son of William Laing and Margaret Campbell, and he had two brothers named John and Robert. All four members of the family were ministers of the gospel. Alexander served an apprenticeship with a wig maker in London before traveling to Switzerland to study theology. He returned to England and was made pastor of two churches in Suffolk before being called by the Scottish Church to be minister at St. Andrews University. He died in 1657 at the age of 70 years.
John Laing was born in 1592. He was the son of William Laing and Margaret Campbell.
Despite their surname, the Bains were not members of the Scottish Clan MacBean (McBain). They were really a branch or sept of another Highland Scottish clan, Clan Mackay. John Bain Mackay, sometimes known as John Ban, was the ancestor of this family (Ban is Gaelic for "fair," as in "fair-haired"). He had two sons, George and David, who carried on the family name in Scotland. The younger son, David, moved to America with his children and assumed the English name of Bain.
In America, both sons made their living as merchants in various towns across the country. The brothers' daughter, Mary, married William Meade, one of the early settlers of what would become Meade County, South Carolina. Their son, Edmund, became the first president of the Bank of Columbia.
Because they were well-to-do merchants with honorable military records, the American government allowed each of David's children by law American citizenship, even though they all lived in South Carolina. These children included Eliza McCallum and her brother Alexander; the former married a Mr. Williams and the latter married Mr. Pinckney. Through this last marriage, both siblings came into contact with Thomas Pinckney, the father of our next topic.
When Thomas Pinckney married Eliza McCallum, he brought her family into close contact with himself and his wife Elizabeth.