McGall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the McGall family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the Gaelic surname of Scottish origin, which means son of the battle chief.

Saint Gall (550?-645?), originally named Cellach or Caillech, was abbot and the apostle of the Suevi and the Alemanni, and appears to have been the son of Cethernach, an Irishman of noble lineage, of the sept of Hy-Cennsealach, his mother being, it is asserted, a queen of Hungary. [1]

The MacGall variant was later derived from the Gaelic Mac goill, or Mac an ghoill, 'stranger's son,' 'Lowlander.' [2]

The MacCall variant was from the Gaelic MacCathail, 'son of Cathal,' "the M'Calls of Guffokland were an old Nithsdale family. Robert M'Kawele, was Lord of Karsnelohe, c. 1370-1380." [2]

Early Origins of the McGall family

The surname McGall was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

The Maccalls of Dumfriesshire were settled there as early as 1500, and are said to be descended from the Macaulays. John M'Call is recorded in Cumbray, 1583 (Hunter, p. 31). Matthew McCall in Maybole, charged with reset of rebels in 1607, appears a few days later as McEall (RPC., XIV p. 507). Quintigern Makcall, bailie of Edinburgh, 1610. [2]

Early History of the McGall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGall research. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1629, 1684, 1686, 1688, 1602 and are included under the topic Early McGall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGall Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. McGall has appeared as MacAll, MacColl, MacCole, MacCall, MacAul, Mccall and others.

Early Notables of the McGall family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McGall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McGall family to Ireland

Some of the McGall family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 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 McGall migration to the United States +

These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The McGall were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

McGall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert McGall, who landed in America in 1811 [3]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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)


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