The MacFadyens of Mull

Individual pages for larger branches of McFaddens will be added as they are identified via DNA testing and/or old-fashioned research.  The first page to be posted is that of The MacFadyens of Mull.

The MacFadyens of the Isle of Mull in Scotland may be the oldest recorded McFadden clan.  Their story begins in the 14th century when Hector the Stern of the Clan MacLean was granted lands on Mull and found them already inhabited by MacFadyens.  Hector was the founder of Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie and the MacFadyens would become a sept of that clan.  Any McFaddens (or variants) with connections to Mull or the surrounding area, including the nearby isles of Tiree and Coll, are almost certainly affiliated with Clan Maclaine.

Some of the Maclaines converted from Catholicism in the early 17th century and variants of that surname are associated with The Plantation of Ulster.  It is likely that many McFaddens who trace their line to Ulster, especially those that trace to the eastern counties, are descended from the MacFadyens of Mull.

Hopefully McFaddens with known ties to Mull will join our project and allow us to attempt to determine the Y-DNA signature(s) of that clan and compare them with other McFadden lines.

EDIT: With the creation of the message board, comments on blog posts have been disabled. The message board can be accessed by clicking the link at the top of the page or by going here:

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Posted in MacFadyens of Mull
21 comments on “The MacFadyens of Mull
  1. Hilary Rosado says:

    The furthest back I have managed to go is to my GGG Grandfather, John MacFadyen, who married Jean Renfrew (1783-1855) on 26 September 1806, in the Parish of Paisley. They had three children, James, Mary and John. I know there are connections to Ayrshire. Any advice on how to continue my research?

  2. John Glendinning Fadden (CALL ME GLEN) says:

    I am a ninth generation, direct descendant of Andrew McFadden, born on the Isle of Mull, 1675. It was one of my ancestors who dropped the Mc in the Stoughton area of Massachusetts. I can document pretty much all of it back to the MacCallum in 1718. I am 81, and have a 56 year old son, 32 year old g’son, and a 7 yr old g.g.son. I am interested in pre-Andrew #1 history, and will do the dna.

    • Rob says:

      Glen, glad to have you onboard! I’m excited to see the results of someone who has ties to Mull. I would recommend starting with the Y-DNA37 test, which can be ordered via this link:

      Thanks for your interest,


    • John D. McFadden says:

      I am a descendant of Andrew through son John Stephen McFadin
      (1700 – 1776). This is my lineage:

      John D. McFadden (me)
      Jeffery D. McFadden (1926 – 1990)
      Elza E. McFadden (1889 – 1983)
      James S. McFadden (1862 – 1930)
      Joseph A. McFadden (1826 – 1881)
      William Twitty McFadden (1803 – 1878)
      Alexander McFadin (1760 – 1836)
      John Stephen MCFadin (1700- 1776)
      Andrew McFadin (1675- 1762)

      In 1967 I found records confirming the connection between William Twitty McFadden, Alexander McFadin, John Stephen McFadin, and connecting John to Andrew McFadin.

      UNFORTUNATELY, I was just beginning my research (I was 13 years old) and did not note the exact location of the records
      confirming John S. to Andrew.

      Any help would be appreciated.

    • JoAnn McFadden says:

      I may be a descendant of Andrew. My father told me his family came in 1718. Also, some of that family lived in Maryland for a time and that is where I was born. Do you have any info about the Maryland connection? Jo McFadden

    • Mark McFadden says:

      I’m very interested in the results of your DNA test. I’m not sure if you have completed such test, but highly suspect that my family line of McFadden’s (also McFaden, McFaddin) may be connected to Andrew McFaden. In a previous e-mail I described the possible sons; Thomas and William who both may have migrated to Massachusetts (Boston) and then later to Pennsylvania (Philadelphia/Chester, PA. Their brother John (Stephen) moved further to Central Maryland (Frederick) where he remained for a short time and then located – later moving to North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Their oldest brother James had a son Andrew – whose son James migrated to south central Virginia. The remainder of Andrew’s family remained in New England – mostly in Maine and possibly New Hampshire/Massachusetts coastal areas. There are also a number of families believed to descend from Thomas and William whose given names were Andrew, Daniel, Thomas, William, James, John – However, there are also less common names being Alexander, Edward, George & Hugh frequently documented specifically in Pennsylvania. Any discoveries you may have would be greatly appreciated. I’m thinking about having the DNA test as well, but not sure what kind would be most beneficial.

      • Brad McFadden says:

        Mark- I’m not sure as to whether you are the gentleman that wrote to my family here in Maine, back in the ’80′s.? about Merrymeeting Bay. I, along with my brother own the piece of property that Andrew and Jane(Linsey), settled after arriving on the McCallum in Sept. 1718.
        My Great- grandfather bought the property back, back in 1950. I am 10th gen by Andrew(2), who I believe was 3yrs. when arriving here. Sommersett was next in1720, Daniel was born in 1722.
        Maybe is will make a connection!
        Bradford Andrew McFadden

      • Brad McFadden says:

        Mark- I’m not sure as to whether you are the gentleman that wrote to my family here in Maine, back in the ’80′s.? about Merrymeeting Bay. I, along with my brother own the piece of property that Andrew and Jane(Linsey), settled after arriving on the McCallum in Sept. 1718.
        My Great- grandfather bought the property back, back in 1950. I am 10th gen by Andrew(2), who I believe was 3yrs. when arriving here. Sommersett was next in1720, Daniel was born in 1722.
        Maybe this will make a connection!
        Bradford Andrew McFadden

  3. John Faid says:

    I am most interested to see this blog with Irish and Scottish McFaddens/MacFadyens contributing.

    Do any of your bloggers know of any widely known Irish traditions (better still evidence!) bearing on the account of the 17th century Sleat historian, Hugh Macdonald, that the MacFadyens were settled in Argyll in the 12th century, as allies of Somerled, progenitor of the Macdonalds; or the account of the same Hugh and of the chronicler, Blind Harry [c 1450 - 1492]that the MacFadyen chief of the 1290s brought 1500 men from Ireland {Donegal?]with which to fight on behalf of John of Lorne against Wallace? This last historical detail is dubious but the wider Irish-Scottish link mentioned suggests a plausible gallowglass background.

    My own family, the [Mc]Faids, flourished in Easter Ross c 1400 – 1700 and, I suspect, may have stemmed from one of many MacFadyens widely dispersed over the Highlands after the 14th century takeover of Mull by the Macleans/MacLaines. [ MacPhaidin > McFaid?].

    I’d be grateful for any feedback.

    • Rob says:

      John, the stories you mention are on this same web site, just on another page:

      I wasn’t aware of the potential ties between the McFadden/McFadyen and Faid surnames. Have you considered taking a Y-DNA test and joining the project? It’s possible you could match with some McFadyens and provide some evidence for your theory. We’d love to have you.

      Thanks for posting,

  4. john faid says:

    Rob, Many thanks for the welcome and for pointing me to another part of the website with its useful links to Scottish sources on the MacFadyens of Mull – I gather Irish sources are not readily available.

    I will certainly seriously consider taking a DNA test, and I note that some McFaddens are M-222 (most predicted?).

    I know of only one Faid tester – a potential remote kinsman – and he has tested positive for Scottish /Pictish L1335. Is there a way of testing for L1335 and M222 NW Irish SNPs at a reasonable cost? I am inclined to do this rather than an STR test given the uncertainties, though cost may be a crucial factor here.

    I will contact other friends who have tested or been involved in DNA testing but meanwhile I’d be most grateful to see your views and comments, Rob.

    • Rob says:

      John, I am still searching for Irish sources. It has been surprising how little documentation there is on the early Irish McFaddens. I’ve seen certain things repeated often – that the McFaddens were originally Scottish Galloglass who came over to fight and that there may be separate unrelated Scottish and Irish clans – but no actual sources. I need to find an Irish historian who can help with this.

      Your best bet for individual SNP testing is likely . I have not personally used them, but they seem to have been vetted by the wider testing community. I don’t think you can find individual SNPs for cheaper.

      The question is though, after you test for L1335 and/or M222, what then? These tests alone are not enough to link people. It looks like we have multiple unrelated McFadden lineages within M222, for example. Testing SNP by SNP may actually end up costing more in the long run. I don’t have the answer, just food for thought. It might be better to wait and save up for a more expansive test. I suppose it depends on what you are expecting to get from DNA testing. The costs can certainly get out of hand.


  5. john faid says:

    Rob, Very helpful. Many thanks.

  6. Joan Rasmussen says:

    My relations go back to Findlay McFadyen who was married to Christine McTaylor at Needal on Mull. He was buried in Treshnish with scissors and thimble engraved on his tomb stone. Most of my relations lived in Glasgow and were either weavers or cork cutters. Findley is one of the names that are carried down in the family
    Perhaps you know more about them!

  7. Michele Lewis says:

    I recently discovered that I have McFadden/MacFadyen ancestors. But it dead ends at a “The McFadden” 1600s from Hull. He had a son Andrew (1675-1753) who left Hull/Inverness, went to Ireland where James (1701-1754) was born and they both/all ended up in Maine, which is where I’m from. Anyone know where I can get more information on my Hull McFadden/MacFadyen ancestors? I would appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Carole says:

      Hi… I am from Andrew McFadden and Marcy Mallory. Andrew was from Mull and went to Derry, Ir about 1702. Carole

  8. Michele Lewis says:

    Whoops, I meant Mull, not Hull.We have a Hull in New England too.

  9. john burnett says:

    Through my great grandmother vera may lord I am connected to andrew mcfadden do the Isle of Mull

  10. JoAnn McFadden says:

    I believe I am descended from Andrew of Mull. I had my cousin’s Y-DNA sent to the National Geographic Genographic project, but they won’t transfer it to family tree DNA because I am female. What can I do?

  11. Nicole says:

    I am a descendant of the Isle of Mull McFaddens. My line has kept meticulous records, recorded stories, photos, etc. since the family came to America around 1794. Here is the line:
    John McFadden 1755 (Ireland) – 1811 (Natchez, MS)
    John Christian McFadden 1808 (kentucky) – 1900 (Ohio)
    Thomas W McFadden 1851 (Ohio) -1901(Ohio)
    Edgar McFadden 1882 (Ohio) – 1926 (Ohio)
    Edgar Burdette McFadden 1922 (Ohio) – 2004 (Ohio)

    My Grandfather had only girls so I can’t participate in the DNA testing, but if anyone has any connections, I’d love to hear them!


  12. amber robinette hofer says:

    I have also traced my line to Andrew McFadden, originally born in Mull and moved to Ireland who married had first wife (M.M.) and then married Jane Lindsay, moved to Maine. I am from Andrew’s son James, but after James I have John then Isaac McFadden. Working my research backwards from my grandmother I can cite all my research to Issac who was born in Lexington, VA. It’s John McFadden that birth and death dates never match from one research to another….Can anyone offer feedback? point me in a better direction? Thanks in advance!

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  1. […] the one who brought the Irish into our lneage —   According to the McFadden Project (click HERE), the MacFadyens of the Isle of Mull in Scotland may be the oldest recorded McFadden clan. Their […]