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MacPhearson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Picts, an ancient Scottish tribe, were the ancestors of the first person to use the name MacPhearson. It was a name for a parson. The Gaelic forms of the names are Mac a' Phearsain and Mac a Phearsoin, which mean son of the parson. This was the surname of various ecclesiastical families in Scotland and is descended from a Chief of the great Clan Chattan ('tribe of the cats'), called Gille Chattan. This Chief can, in turn, be traced back to Feachar the Long, King of Lorn who died in 697 AD. The Clan's original territories were in Stratthnairn, Strathdearn and Badenoch from whence they long contested the leadership of the Clan Chattan with the MacKintoshes, who also claimed descent from the Gille Chattan through a female heiress.

Early Origins of the MacPhearson family

The surname MacPhearson was first found in Inverness, where they were hereditary keepers of the sacred stone of St. Catan, and early Chief of the Clan Chattan. The MacPhersons are sometimes called the Clan Mhuirich, 'the children of Muredach,' from an early Chief of the Clan, Duncan (the Parson) who was imprisoned with the Lord of the Isles after the Battle of Harlaw (1411).

Early History of the MacPhearson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacPhearson research.
Another 1047 words (75 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1528, 1600, 1645, 1672, 1689, 1688, 1715, 1745, 1745, 1784, 1932, 1675, 1700, 1776 and 1783 are included under the topic Early MacPhearson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacPhearson Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. MacPhearson has appeared MacPherson, McPherson, MacPhersone, Mac a' Phearsoin (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the MacPhearson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was James MacPherson (1675-1700), the Scottish outlaw, famed for his Lament or Rant supposedly written on the eve of his execution, a version of which was rewritten by Robert Burns; and Colonel Duncan MacPherson, the Clan Chief, who commanded...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacPhearson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacPhearson family to the New World and Oceana

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name MacPhearson: Aeneas MacPherson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1685; Alexander McPherson, who settled in south Carolina in 1716; along with Angus, Daniel, Donald, Duncan, John.

The MacPhearson Motto

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Touch not the cat bot a glove
Motto Translation: Touch not the cat without a glove

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