Show ContentsMcFall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Picts of ancient Scotland were the tribe of the ancestors of the McFall family. The name McFall is derived 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 McFall family

The surname McFall 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 McFall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McFall research. Another 420 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1533, 1547, 1548, 1557, 1578, 1579, 1583, 1589, 1618, 1686, 1711, 1678, 1411, 1684, 1706, 1736, 1603, 1502, 1481, 1692, 1588, 1510, 1711, 1583, 1575, 1692, 1684, 1699, 1670, 1671, 1786, 1805, 1754, 1794, 1785 and are included under the topic Early McFall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McFall Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, McFall has been spelled MacPhail, MacPhial, MacPhiel, MacFail, MacFall, MacFaul, MacVail, MacPhale, MacPail, MacPhaul, MacFale, Phail, Fayle and many more.

Early Notables of the McFall family (pre 1700)

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 McFall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McFall Ranking

In the United States, the name McFall is the 3,664th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the McFall family to Ireland

Some of the McFall 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.


United States McFall migration to the United States +

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name McFall:

McFall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McFall, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802 [5]
  • Mrs. McFall, aged 20, who landed in America in 1822 [5]
  • Arthur, Daniel, James, John, Patrick, and William McFall, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Bridget McFall, aged 20, who landed in America, in 1894
McFall Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Calvert McFall, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1900
  • Calvin McFall, aged 30, who settled in America from S. Africa, in 1902
  • Agnes McFall, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States from Belfast, in 1904
  • Agnes McFall, aged 30, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1904
  • Daniel McFall, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1904
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McFall migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McFall Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. David McFall U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Lieut. Neil McFall U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
McFall Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Peter McFall, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Robert McFall, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast, Ireland

Contemporary Notables of the name McFall (post 1700) +

  • William H. McFall, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Killingworth, 1926
  • William H. McFall, American politician, Candidate for Governor of New Hampshire, 1906; Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Hampshire 2nd District, 1908
  • William B. McFall, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1944, 1948
  • W. H. McFall, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Missouri 15th District, 1920
  • Randy McFall, American Republican politician, Chair of Clay County Republican Party, 2011
  • John Joseph McFall (1918-2006), American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Manteca, California, 1948-50; U.S. Representative from California, 1957-79 (11th District 1957-63, 15th District 1963-75, 14th District 1975-79)
  • John McFall, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1868
  • Jack Kirkham McFall (1905-1990), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Finland, 1954-55
  • Arthur McFall, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Illinois State Auditor of public accounts, 1944
  • A. L. McFall, American Democratic Party politician, Presidential Elector for Arkansas, 1948
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Charles W. McFall, American Gunners Mate First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [7]


  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)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  5. 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)
  6. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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