This surname was derived from the gaelic MACPHAIDEN, son of Paidean or little Pat. McFadden was an Ulster name of both Irish and Scottish origin, without the prefix Mac it is found in County Mayo. The name predominantly in Ulster is borne by families of ancient Irish descent. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. The earliest of the name on record appears to be in 1304 when Malcolm Macpadene appears as a charter witness in Kintyre. Conghan PacPden petitioned for the archdeaconry of Argyll in 1390, and John MacFadyeane is in record in Edinburgh in 1457. Hugh McFattin was a tenant of Myldoule in 1499, and in 1620 William Makfadieane in Beirwell was prosecuted for shooting game. Finlay McPhadan and Angus McPhaiden were tenant farmers in Islay in 1733. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
Another record of the name mentions John McFadyeane, 1457 Ireland. Many Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries, and were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. People heard of the attractions of the New World, and many left Ireland to seek a better life sailing aboard the fleet of ships known as the 'White Sails', but much illness took its toll with the overcrowding of the ships which were pestilence ridden. From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining the wagons to the prairies, and many loyalists went to Canada about the year 1790, and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
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