Caal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Caal family. Their name comes from the Gaelic surname of Scottish origin, which means son of the battle chief.

Saint Gall (550?-645?), originally named Cellach or Caillech, was abbot and the apostle of the Suevi and the Alemanni, and appears to have been the son of Cethernach, an Irishman of noble lineage, of the sept of Hy-Cennsealach, his mother being, it is asserted, a queen of Hungary. [1]

The MacGall variant was later derived from the Gaelic Mac goill, or Mac an ghoill, 'stranger's son,' 'Lowlander.' [2]

The MacCall variant was from the Gaelic MacCathail, 'son of Cathal,' "the M'Calls of Guffokland were an old Nithsdale family. Robert M'Kawele, was Lord of Karsnelohe, c. 1370-1380." [2]

Early Origins of the Caal family

The surname Caal 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 census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

The Maccalls of Dumfriesshire were settled there as early as 1500, and are said to be descended from the Macaulays. John M'Call is recorded in Cumbray, 1583 (Hunter, p. 31). Matthew McCall in Maybole, charged with reset of rebels in 1607, appears a few days later as McEall (RPC., XIV p. 507). Quintigern Makcall, bailie of Edinburgh, 1610. [2]

Early History of the Caal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caal research. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1629, 1684, 1686, 1688, 1602 and are included under the topic Early Caal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caal Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Caal has been spelled MacAll, MacColl, MacCole, MacCall, MacAul, Mccall and others.

Early Notables of the Caal family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Caal family to Ireland

Some of the Caal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Caal family

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Caals to arrive on North American shores: Andrew and Catherine MacCall settled in Boston in 1849; Andrew, Denis, Hugh, James, John, Patrick, Robert and William MacCall all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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)


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