Varela Surname History

In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the Varela family were born. Their name comes from the Gaelic name Muiredachus, meaning "belonging to the sea, a mariner," fro which also coes the more common and quite distinct name Murdoch.

Early Origins of the Varela family

The surname Varela was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Varela family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Varela research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1485 and 1845 are included under the topic Early Varela History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Varela Spelling Variations

In various documents Varela has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacVurrich, MacVurich, MacVarish, MacVarrais, MacVarrich, MacWirriche, MacVorist, MacVorish, MacMorice, MacNuirighe and many more.

Early Notables of the Varela family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Varela Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Varela migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Varela or a variant listed above include:

Varela Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andres Varela, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1803 [1]
  • Cayetano Varela, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1803 [1]
  • Jose Varela, aged 50, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1830 [1]
  • Feliz Varela, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [1]
  • Pascual Varela, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1844 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Varela (post 1700) +

  • Manuel F. Varela, American Republican politician, Postmaster at San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1954-62 [2]
  • Jose M. Varela, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Puerto Rico, 1996 [2]
  • Leonor Varela Palma (b. 1972), Chilean actress, and model
  • Fernando Varela Ramos (b. 1979), Spanish footballer
  • Gustavo Antonio Varela Rodríguez (b. 1978), Uruguayan football player
  • Francisco Javier Varela García (1946-2001), Chilean biologist, philosopher and neuroscientist
  • Bernardo Carreño Varela (b. 1929), Colombian economist
  • Enrique Varela Vidaurre (1856-1914), Peruvian soldier and politician, Minister of War and Navy of Peru (1912-1913), Prime Minister of Peru (1912-1914), Minister of War and Navy of Peru (1913-1914)


The Varela Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Omine secundo
Motto Translation: With favourable omen.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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