Hello Matt, I did not know Jeff but he was my third cousin.
I have been researchng McGlothlen family history for about six years and know that Jeff's fourth great grandfather was one John McLaughlin.He was born about 1754 but we do not know if that was in Ireland or in the colonies in North America.He fought in the revolutionary war as a private in the 5th Virginia Line.On April 5 of 1781, he was in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina.He and his wife, Sarah, lived near Eddyville, Kentucky in 1818 - 1827 and applied for his Rev War pension from there.His profession was that of farmer and by 1818 he was quite sick and unable to work.In 1827, he and Sarah moved to Lafayette County, Missouri with their son, John McGlothlin, Jr.(The surname spelling is no error, that is just how they spelled it.)
Another of John McLaughlin Sr's sons was named Charles M. McGlothlen - and that is how Charles spelled it.Charles was Jeff's third great grandfather.Charles died in 1850 in Eddyville, Iowa, Wapello Co, and is buried there in the McGlothlen family cemetery.Essentially al of Charles's descendants spelled their name as McGlothlen, just as Jeff did and I do today.
While we know that we are of Irish descent because of the early family stories that have been passed down to us, we do not as yet know exactly where in Ireland our ancestors came from.Nor do we know if they were in Ireland from the time of the Celts or if they migrated to Ireland from Scotland - where they would have also descended from the Celts.
The sum of this is that there is no McGlothlen family crest that can be identified.All of the advertisements selling family crests for our name are themselves bogus - None can provide any documentated history of the artwork they profess to be ours.Additionally, we do not yet know the branch of the McLaughlins that John came from - So the Crest identity cannot be identified from that approach as yet.(It may even be that John did not come from a McLaughlin branch but that spelling was phonetically derived in the 1700's.)
All the Best, Don McGlothlen McGlothlen Family Historian