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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The McFadden family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name McFadden is derived from the personal name Paidean. The Gaelic forms of the surname are Mac Phadein or Mac Phaidin, both of which mean son of Paidean.

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The surname McFadden was first found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of McFadden include McFadyen, Fadden, Fadyen, Faden, McFadin, Fadin, McFadwyn, Fadwyn, McFadyean, McFadyon, McFayden, Feyden and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McFadden research. Another 244 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McFadden History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McFadden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McFadden family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name McFadden arrived in North America very early:

McFadden Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Andrew McFadden, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • James McFadden, who landed in New England in 1718-1720

McFadden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John McFadden, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1809
  • Joseph McFadden, aged 6, arrived in America in 1822
  • Samuel McFadden, who landed in New York in 1827
  • Sharp McFadden, who arrived in New York in 1838
  • Robert McFadden, who landed in Mississippi in 1838


McFadden Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Denis McFadden, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Patrick McFadden, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Patrick McFadden, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Ferigal McFadden, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Grace McFadden, aged 27, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833


McFadden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Mary McFadden, aged 23, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"
  • William McFadden, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
  • Margaret McFadden, aged 25, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • Nancy McFadden, aged 14, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • Mary McFadden, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"

McFadden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William McFadden, aged 48, a farm labourer, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Catherine McFadden, aged 45, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • William McFadden, aged 19, a farm labourer, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Margaret McFadden, aged 22, a dairymaid, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Daniel McFadden, aged 25, a farm labourer, arrived in Napier aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879

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  • Cyra McFadden (b. 1937), American writer, known for her 1977 novel The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County which was made into a 1980 movie called Serial, starring Tuesday Weld and Martin Mull
  • Claron McFadden (b. 1961), American soprano
  • Robert "Bob" McFadden (1923-2000), American singer, impressionist, and voice-over actor, known for his work in Thundercats (1985), Silverhawks (1986) and Milton the Monster (1965)
  • Gates McFadden (b. 1949), American actress, best known for her work on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and All My Children (1970)
  • Joseph Patrick McFadden (1947-2013), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Harrisburg (2010-2013)
  • Darren McFadden (b. 1987), American NFL football running back
  • Cynthia McFadden (b. 1956), American anchor and correspondent for ABC News
  • Bryant McFadden (b. 1981), American NFL football cornerback
  • Daniel L McFadden (b. 1937), American economist who won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
  • Tom McFadden, American actor

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  • A McFadden Chronology by William Thomas Skinner.
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  1. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The McFadden Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McFadden Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 December 2015 at 14:50.

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