MacFarlane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the MacFarlane family were born. Their name comes from the personal name Parlan, which is the Gaelic equivalent of Bartholomew. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Pharlain.
Early Origins of the MacFarlane family
The surname MacFarlane was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they were descended from the ancient Chief Allan, son of Farlane and settled in Strathdonn in Aberdeenshire about the 9th century.
This Clan were originally known as the Clan Allan. Official documentation is derived from Gilchrist MacFarlane who was brother of Maldowen, third of the ancient Earls of Lennox in the 13th century. Grandson of Gilchrist was Parlan, the first of the Clan so named. Duncan, sixth Chief of the Clan obtained the lands of Arrochar in 1395. They supported the Earls of Lennox at the Battle of Pinkie, and they also distinguished themselves at the Battle of Langside, fighting against Queen Mary and capturing three of the Queen's standards. 
The MacFarlane Clan acquired the lands of Arrochar from the Earl of Lennox in the late 14th century. The chief, Duncan, gained many of the surrounding lands through marriage in 1395 and claimed the title of Earl of Lennox upon the death of the old Earl, who had left no male heir. In fact, the MacFarlanes had a reasonable claim to the Earldom of Lennox, for which they fought so strenuously, for their eponymous ancestor was Parlan, the great-grandson of Gilchrist. His brother had been Maldowen, the third of the ancient earls of Lennox during the 13th century.
When the title of Earl was conferred upon Sir John Stewart, a bitter feud ensued between the MacFarlanes and the Stewarts, which lasted until the 15th century. Interestingly, in the next century, the warlike MacFarlanes became supporters of their erstwhile foes and distinguished themselves in many battles. However, by the 17th century, the Clan was outlawed and became scattered, with some members immigrating to Ireland and later to America.
Early History of the MacFarlane family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacFarlane research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1705, 1771, 1857, 1771, 1791, 1792, 1768, 1832, 1758, 1832, 1734, 1804, 1734, 1804 and are included under the topic Early MacFarlane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacFarlane Spelling Variations
Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. MacFarlane has been spelled MacFarlane, MacFarlain, MacFarlan, MacFarland, MacParlan, MacParland, MacPartland, MacPartlin, MacPharlane, MacPharlin, MacPharlan and many more.
Early Notables of the MacFarlane family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Walter MacFarlan (d. 1767), antiquary, second son of John Macfarlan of Arrochar and Helen, daughter of Robert, second viscount Arbuthnot, succeeded his father in 1705. From his early years Macfarlan devoted himself to antiquarian research connected with the history of Scotland. Ecclesiastical records specially attracted him, and he employed a clerk named Tait to make copies of most of the cartularies accessible to him; the copies are notable for their accuracy and neatness. Macfarlan appears to have held strict views on etiquette. 
Duncan MacFarlane (1771-1857), principal of Glasgow University, son of Duncan Macfarlane...
Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacFarlane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacFarlane World Ranking
In the United States, the name MacFarlane is the 7,961st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name.  However, in Canada, the name MacFarlane is ranked the 951st most popular surname with an estimated 5,685 people with that name.  And in Australia, the name MacFarlane is the 953rd popular surname with an estimated 4,166 people with that name.  New Zealand ranks MacFarlane as 477th with 1,428 people. 
Migration of the MacFarlane family to Ireland
Some of the MacFarlane family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacFarlane migration to the United States +
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 MacFarlanes to arrive on North American shores:
MacFarlane Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Alexander MacFarlane, who arrived in New York in 1795 
- John MacFarlane, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1795 
MacFarlane Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- James MacFarlane, who arrived in Wyoming in 1829 
- Peter MacFarlane, who landed in New York in 1830 
- Robert Macfarlane, who arrived in New York in 1836 
- Robert MacFarlane, who landed in Albany, NY in 1840 
- J R Macfarlane, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
MacFarlane migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
MacFarlane Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Ann MacFarlane, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1814
- Mr. Andrew MacFarlane, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 
- Miss. Catherine MacFarlane, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but she died on board 
MacFarlane migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
MacFarlane Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Macfarlane, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia 
- Mr. John Macfarlane, British Convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 
- Duncan MacFarlane, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles" in 1840 
- Edwin MacFarlane, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elizabeth" in 1849 
- James Macfarlane, English convict from Northumberland, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia 
MacFarlane migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
MacFarlane Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- John MacFarlane, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
- Rev. MacFarlane, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" arriving in Port Nicholson, (Wellington Harbour), New Zealand on 20th February 1840 
- J. Macfarlane, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
- Mr. MacFarlane, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Phoebe" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 18th April 1843 
- P. Macfarlane, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand via Nelson and Wellington on 1st March 1852 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name MacFarlane (post 1700) +
- Allison M. Macfarlane, American past Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2012-2013)
- Seth MacFarlane (b. 1973), American animator, actor, and director
- Wallace Macfarlane (b. 1856), American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 1894-98 
- Robert MacFarlane, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Eastford, 1948 
- Matthew B. Macfarlane, American Republican politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1897-1909; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1908, 1912, 1916 
- John J. MacFarlane, American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 4th District, 1883-90 
- James Rieman Macfarlane (1858-1938), American Republican politician, Common Pleas Court Judge in Pennsylvania 5th District, 1903-29 
- Ian Ross MacFarlane, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1956 
- Grant MacFarlane (b. 1899), American Democratic Party politician, Secretary of Utah Democratic Party, 1928; Member of Utah State House of Representatives, 1929, 1935; Member of Utah State Senate, 1939-45 
- Dave MacFarlane, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 11th District, 1929-30, 1949-52 
- ... (Another 41 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
Suggested Readings for the name MacFarlane +
- Genealogy, History and Biographical Record of Families of Joeseph Haney and Sarah Decker, David MacFarlane, et al by W. Flora Shepherd.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
- ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
- ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
- ^ 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)
- ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 40)
- ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 84)
- ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHARLES 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Charles.gif
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELIZABETH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Elizabeth.htm
- ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1855
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html