Sorry that I don't have any information about a possible name change. I've been researching the McClard family for years and still hit the same brick wall. I've searched through countless Scottish, Irish, and British records as well as ship manifests, criminal records, etc and there is just too many possible variations. There are several interesting leads that "could" be it, but nothing certain that I have found so far.
The question of whether the family name was changed is probably a definite. I hadn't heard the rumor but it's certainly plausible. Many people came to the new world in search of a "new" life for themselves.
If I can dig up some of the leads I have, I'll pass them on to you and maybe you'll have better luck. Sometimes a fresh perspective can help. I, for one, would like to pick this damn lock and discover more.
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