McFarlin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McFarlin family. 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 McFarlin family

The surname McFarlin 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. [1]

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 McFarlin family

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

McFarlin Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, McFarlin has been spelled MacFarlane, MacFarlain, MacFarlan, MacFarland, MacParlan, MacParland, MacPartland, MacPartlin, MacPharlane, MacPharlin, MacPharlan and many more.

Early Notables of the McFarlin 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. [2] 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 McFarlin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McFarlin Ranking

In the United States, the name McFarlin is the 7,138th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the McFarlin family to Ireland

Some of the McFarlin 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.


United States McFarlin 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 McFarlins to arrive on North American shores:

McFarlin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McFarlin, who landed in America in 1804 [4]
  • Joseph McFarlin, aged 35, who landed in New York in 1854 [4]

Canada McFarlin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McFarlin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ms. Charryty McFarlin U.E. who settled in Didgeguash, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]
  • Mr. Hugh McFarlin U.E., (McFarlan, McFarland) who settled in Mascarene, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]
McFarlin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Sarah McFarlin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1824

Contemporary Notables of the name McFarlin (post 1700) +

  • Robert John McFarlin Sr. (1929-2017), American politician and a civil engineer, Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (1967-1970)
  • Robert M. McFarlin (1866-1942), American oilman, cattle rancher, philanthropist, and businessman, eponym of the McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, on the campus of Southern Methodist University; he built McFarlin Building, a general office in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1918
  • Diane McFarlin, American publisher for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
  • Ivan McFarlin (b. 1982), American professional basketball player
  • W. D. McFarlin, American politician, Mayor of Plano, Texas, 1898-1904 [6]
  • Mary S. McFarlin, American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [6]
  • John J. McFarlin, American politician, Mayor of Portsmouth, Ohio, 1883-85 [6]
  • J. N. McFarlin, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 9th District, 1919-20 [6]
  • Mrs. Clyde McFarlin, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1944 [6]
  • Clyde McFarlin, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1936 [6]
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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