There are numerous spellings of this name, which is rendered in Gaelic as ‘Maceoghainn’. The sons of Ewen hold that they descend from Ewen of Otter on the shores of Loch Fyne in Argyll. Malcolm MacEwen witnessed a charter by the Earl of Atholl to the church of St Andrews around 1174. The chiefs of the clan seem to have stayed around Loch Fyne and shared a common heritage with the Maclachlans and the Macneils until around 1432, when by a charter of James I, the barony of Otter was confirmed to Sween Macewen with a destination to the heirs of Duncan Campbell of Loch Awe. Sween is the last Macewen chief on record, and thereafter they appear only as dependents of the Campbells or as broken (clanless) men. In 1598 two hundred Macewens were described as broken Highland men heavily armed and living by robbery. They are listed in an Act of Parliament in 1602, along with other broken clans as subjects of the Earl of Argyll who was made answerable for their good behaviour. Some of this name seem to have become poets or bards, and found patrons among the Campbells and the Macdougalls. Neil Macewen composed a poem on the death of Campbell of Glenorchy in 1630. The Macewens seem to have supported the Jacobite cause, but only as individuals, as they were lacking a chief to call them out as a clan. Sir Alexander Macewen was lately Provost of Inverness.