Show ContentsFales History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Fales lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Fales is derived from the personal name Paul. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Phàil. [1]

Another source notes the name is from "Mac Phail, ‘Paul's Son'. Phail is Anglicised from Maelfabhaill. ‘Maelfabhaill, son of Muircheartach, slain by the Norsemen'. " [2]

Early Origins of the Fales family

The surname Fales was first found in Inverness, where one of the first records was of Gillemore M'Phale who was one of an inquest at Inverness in 1414. [3]

From this earliest record, spellings were frequently changed. "Donald M'Pawle witnessed an indenture between Doncan Makyntosche and Huchone the Rois, Baron of Kylraok, 1490, and Donald Makfaill and Gylleis Makfaill were witnesses to a contract of friendship between Dunbar of Westfield and the Clanchattan, 1492. Finlay MacChaell, bailie of Rothesay, 1501, appears in 1503 as Macfaill, and again in 1506 as Makcaill, under which name he received a grant of a third of the lands of Dunallirde in Bute. The lands of Dulatyr in the lordship of Petty were let to Gilleis McFale in 1504. Sir John Mcfaell, a Pope's knight, who witnessed a bond of manrent in 1533, is possibly D John M'Fale who witnessed a charter relating to the church of Lindichty, 1535, and in 1538 appears as rector of the church." [3]

Early History of the Fales family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fales research. Another 420 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1481, 1490, 1502, 1510, 1533, 1547, 1548, 1557, 1575, 1578, 1579, 1583, 1588, 1589, 1603, 1618, 1670, 1671, 1678, 1684, 1686, 1692, 1699, 1706, 1711, 1736, 1754, 1785, 1786, 1794, 1805 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Fales History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fales Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Fales has been spelled MacPhail, MacPhial, MacPhiel, MacFail, MacFall, MacFaul, MacVail, MacPhale, MacPail, MacPhaul, MacFale, Phail, Fayle and many more.

Early Notables of the Fales family

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was James MacPhail (fl. 1786-1805), gardener, the son of a highland peasant, born in Aberdeenshire in 1754. In his seventeenth year he obtained employment as a farm labourer. 'I ate and drank,' he says, 'at the same table as my master and mistress, for I was the only servant or labourer they kept' (Hints and Observations on the Improvement of...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fales Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fales Ranking

In the United States, the name Fales is the 12,847th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Fales family to Ireland

Some of the Fales family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fales migration to the United States +

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Fales:

Fales Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Fales, who arrived in Ohio in 1798 [5]
Fales Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • F. L. Fales, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1894
Fales Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Catherine Fales, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1904
  • De Coursey Fales, who immigrated to America, in 1907
  • Edith G Fales, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Frederick Fales, aged 36, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Grace Fales, aged 34, who landed in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fales (post 1700) +

  • Major-General Eugene Warren Fales (1887-1963), American Commandant Infantry Replacement Center Camp Blanding (1943-1945) [6]
  • Almira L. Newcomb McNaughton Lockwood Fales (1809-1868), American philanthropist and nurse during the American Civil War
  • DeCoursey Fales (1888-1966), American lawyer, banker, collector, bibliophile and yachtsman, author of The Fales Family of Bristol, Rhode Island (1919)
  • Major-General Warren Fales Draper (1883-1970), American Chief of the Public Health Branch (1944-1945) [7]
  • Warren Fales Draper (1883-1970), U.S. Deputy Surgeon General and member of Eisenhower's staff during WWII


  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Moore, A.W., Manx Names. London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1906. Print
  3. 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)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  5. 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)
  6. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Eugene Fales. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Fales/Eugene_Warren/USA.html
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 24) Warren Draper. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Draper/Warren_Fales/USA.html


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