MacCall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The west coast of Scotland and the rocky Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the MacCall family. The root of their name is 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 MacCall family

The surname MacCall 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 MacCall family

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

MacCall Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. MacCall has been spelled MacAll, MacColl, MacCole, MacCall, MacAul, Mccall and others.

Early Notables of the MacCall family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the MacCall family to Ireland

Some of the MacCall 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.


United States MacCall migration to the United States +

Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first MacCalls to arrive in North America:

MacCall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alex MacCall, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • Alice MacCall, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • Andrew and Catherine MacCall, who settled in Boston in 1849
  • Andrew, Denis, Hugh, James, John, Patrick, Robert, and William MacCall all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Contemporary Notables of the name MacCall (post 1700) +

  • Tom MacCall, American news analyst
  • Robin MacCall, American politician
  • Admiral Sir Henry MacCall,
  • Charles MacCall, British Artist


  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)
  3. ^ 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)


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