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. Early records of the name mention John McFadyeane, 1457 Ireland. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
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