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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish McFarlane family come from? What is the Scottish McFarlane family crest and coat of arms? When did the McFarlane family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McFarlane family history?

The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McFarlane family. Their name comes from the personal name Parlan, which is the Gaelic equivalent of Bartholomew. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Pharlain.

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Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McFarlane has been written as MacFarlane, MacFarlain, MacFarlan, MacFarland, MacParlan, MacParland, MacPartland, MacPartlin, MacPharlane, MacPharlin, MacPharlan and many more.

First found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they were descended from the ancient Chief Allan, son of Farlane and settled in Strathdonn in Aberdeenshire about the 9th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McFarlane research. Another 625 words(45 lines of text) covering the years 1395, 1395 and are included under the topic Early McFarlane History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McFarlane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McFarlane family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name McFarlane or a variant listed above:

McFarlane Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Donald McFarlane, aged 26, landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774
  • Dond McFarlane, aged 26, landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774
  • Katherine McFarlane, aged 17, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775

McFarlane Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • M McFarlane, aged 27, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • Duncan McFarlane, aged 51, landed in New York in 1812
  • Henry McFarlane, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Daniel McFarlane, aged 55, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Malcolun McFarlane, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813


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  • Robert McFarlane (b. 1937), American National Security Advisor to President Reagan
  • Tracey McFarlane (b. 1966), American Olympic swimmer in the 1988 Olympics
  • Andrew McFarlane (b. 1951), Australian actor
  • Bob McFarlane (1927-2006), Canadian runner and professional football player
  • Brendan McFarlane (b. 1951), Irish republican activist
  • Brian McFarlane (b. 1931), Canadian television sportscaster
  • Don McFarlane (b. 1926), Canadian runner in the 1952 Olympics
  • Jean Kennedy McFarlane FRCN, MCSP (b. 1926), Baroness McFarlane of Llandaff, member of the House of Lords
  • John McFarlane, former chief executive of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
  • Leslie McFarlane (1902-1977), Canadian journalist, ghostwriter of the Hardy Boys series

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  11. ...

The McFarlane Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McFarlane Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 September 2014 at 12:04.

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