MCFARLAND HISTORY NAME: Mc Farland is from the Gaelic Mac Pharlain meaning "son of Parlan", which comes from the Old Irish name Partholon, often translated "Bartholomew" (from Rneill/clan.html on internet). Known in Scotland principally as Mac Farlane, it became in Ireland more well known as McFarland. Spelling varies, especially in 17th and 18th century documents: McFarland, MacFarlane, McFarlaine, McParland, McParlin, McPartland, McPharland, or even as simply Farland or Parland. In Ireland, the 'c' in mc, may be spelled " ' ", e.g.: M'Farland.
EARLY HISTORY: It is noted that the McFarland family may be descended from the first Celtic Colonists from Spain who arrived in Ireland, and later settled in Scotland. The first records of the family date to Arrochar, Scotland in about 1150 AD. Much of the clan was broken up about 1600 AD, and several moved to Northern Ireland. McFarland is found almost solely in the Ulster Province of Ireland, and are principally located in the Counties of Tyrone and Armaugh, and some in Leitrim.
AMERICAN IMMIGRATION: The first of the McFarland family to America was in about 1665. This was Purthe McFarland from Scotland who settled in Massachusetts. However, there are found three principal migration periods to America prior to about 1800:
(1) 1718/1719 (from Ireland)
(2) 1730 to 1740 (from Ireland)
(3) about 1770 to 1790 (from Scotland).
(1) In 1718 and 1719 there were about four families of McFarland settling in America (with about 15-20 family members). One family settling in Massachusetts, the others arriving in Philadelphia, and soon migrating to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.
(2) From about 1730 to about 1740 there were at least five families arriving in Philadelphia from Ireland (about 20-25 family members), several locating soon in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Also about the same time (about 1730 to 1745) was one or two families from Scotland (and possibly Ireland) who settled in adjacent counties along the northern shoreline of Virginia (King George and Westmoreland Counties).
(3) From about 1770 (or slightly earlier) to about 1790 there were seven or more families arriving from Scotland, settling in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and inland.
MCFARLAND FIRST NAMES: Over half of all first names in the McFarland family consist of just four names for males and four names for females, and are statistically separate from all other names. What makes research in the McFarland family difficult is exactly this: repetition of the same name over and over again. For example, the most common name by far is John, accounting for over 20 percent of all male names, and is found over 90 times in the database of about 450 male names prior to about 1810.
The most common male names (accounting for about 55 %) are John, James, William, and Robert. Other names (accounting for a total of about 85 percent of the names) are: Thomas, Joseph, Alexander, Benjamin, David, Andrew, George, Walter, Samuel, and Arthur.
The most common female names (accounting for about 50%) are Mary, Margaret, Jane (Janet, Jean), and Elizabeth (Eliza). Other names (accounting for a total of about 85% of the names) are: Sarah, Ann (Anne), Rachel, Nancy, Catherine, Martha, Rebecca, Eleanor (Elinor), Susan (Susannah), and Hannah.