Show ContentsMacFalls History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the MacFalls family begins among the Pictish clans ancient Scotland. The name MacFalls comes 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 MacFalls family

The surname MacFalls 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 MacFalls family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacFalls 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 MacFalls History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacFalls Spelling Variations

In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. MacFalls has appeared MacPhail, MacPhial, MacPhiel, MacFail, MacFall, MacFaul, MacVail, MacPhale, MacPail, MacPhaul, MacFale, Phail, Fayle and many more.

Early Notables of the MacFalls 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 MacFalls Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacFalls family to Ireland

Some of the MacFalls 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.

Migration of the MacFalls family

Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name MacFalls: Patrick McPail, who settled in Philadelphia in 1860; John McPhail and his wife Christie and three children, who arrived in New York in 1739; Alexander, Donald, Duncan, Jean, John, and Will McPhail, who all arrived in Philadelphia in 1775.



  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)


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