Welcome to The McFadden Project!

My name is Rob McFadden.  Welcome to my new web site dedicated to researching the origins and history of the McFadden surname.  My primary motivation in creating the site was to drum up interest in the McFadden surname project at FTDNA, but I hope it will eventually become a hub for all things related to the surname.  This blog will be used for discussing site and project updates, the history of the surname, DNA testing, genealogy, and whatever else may be of interest to project participants.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the site.


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: http://themcfaddenproject.com/phpbb/index.php

Posted in Welcome
46 comments on “Welcome to The McFadden Project!
  1. Jim Mc Fadden says:

    McFadden from donegal

    • Mike mcfadden says:

      I’m mike McFadden from Boston but my grandfathers grandparents were from donegal!

  2. Cathy C says:

    I was adopted at birth in Illinois. However, I have just recently found that my birth mother was Agnes Violet Mcfadden from Chicago, Illinois. She had brothers and a sister who all married and had children. I do not know their children but they would be my genetic cousins and could probably participate in this. I would be interested to hear from those who are related to me. I have a genetic brother Robert Lindstrom age about 74-75.

  3. Alex McFadyen says:

    I also think Donegal is one of the most likely origin areas. Finding the direct paper evidence is a bit harder though. Good luck with the project, I’ll keep a look out for progress.

  4. Margaret McFadden Springer says:

    My father used to say that his McFadden ancestors were Scotch-Irish who were run out of Scotland for stealing cattle and to protestantize Northern Ireland. My research shows ancestor James McFadden was born in 1787 in Dromara, County Down, Ireland, and his father, Thomas, was born in Ireland in 1755. They both came to America around 1800 and settled in Washington County, PA. Passenger lists so far have not provided any real clues. Am at a dead end. Any suggestions as to tracing them in Scotland/Ireland?

    • marian barton says:

      Hello Margaret, the ancestors you are looking for are descendants of the fabulously handsome William Hartman McFadden whose portrait hangs in the Marland mansion in Ponca City Oklahoma.His father was Galbraith, his father James…wife Margaret Stewart…and his father was Thomas who was registered in the army at Kilmore, Armagh….coincidentally same origins as my family. I live in Liverpool England and was last week in Oklahoma for my granddaughters orientation at O.S.U. We went sightseeing to Ponca. What a fabulous story there! Bill McFadden died 1st nov 1956 in Fort Worth, Texas leaving a wife but no children. His American roots in mounds illy.

    • marian barton says:

      Sorry, I meant Moundsville, Washington county, P.A. Lots of info from “The upper Ohio valley” vol 1 pages 716-717. Wish I was as thorough with my own history. Felt an immediate connection…he was loved by all who met him. Dates, siblings, locations all correlate, hope this is of interest to you. He was loved by his friend Ernest Marland who ordered the painting of his friend and benefactor. They created ConocoPhillips oil.He also had a sculpture in the same area on the highway…” The Plainsman” made in his likeness. Hope this is of help to all McFadden clans. Our ancestors were Campbell’s ,the Capitol town there is Campelltown, origins of the McFaddens.Good luck!

  5. Rob says:

    Hi, Margaret. I’m afraid records are scarce in Ireland once you get back that far, sometimes nonexistent, and therefore it’s extremely difficult to trace families earlier than the 19th century. It’s actually quite a feat to document an ancestor born in the 1750s. Do you have any Irish records at all, or is the information all from American records?

    If your McFaddens were part of the Ulster Plantation, they would have likely come over from Scotland in the 1600s. You would probably have to go back quite a few generations to find your Scottish ancestors.

    I’m not sure what advice I can provide. I think everyone with Irish ancestors is in the same boat!

  6. J M McFadden says:

    I am really interested in learning more about where my McFadden Family. They came from in Ireland. I have been able to trace my family back to Andrew McFadden who was living in South Carolina in 1820. His naturalization papers in SC, state he was born in Antrim County, Ireland. How do I go about joining this McFadden Project? Do I take the DNA test first and then join the project?

    • Rob says:

      Hi, thanks for your interest. The best way to join is to order your test through the following page: https://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=McFadden

      This page covers the basics of what we’re doing: http://themcfaddenproject.com/dna-testing-info/ . Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Thanks again,

      • James Patrick McFadden says:

        Hi Rob,

        My name is James Patrick McFadden and I’m fourth Generation Canadian born in Ontario. I have recently purchased the Y67 McFadden Test kit and look forward to helping the project and attaining further answers.

        My Great Grandfather born in Ontario, Canada in May 10, 1858 and is James Patrick McFadden. His Father is Patrick McFadden born in Ireland June 24, 1832. Patrick married a Catherine Masterson born January 6, 1840 County Cavan, Ireland, married one another in Ontario, Canada in 1857 in a Roman Catholic Church. Patrick’s father is John McFadden born in Ireland and married a M Garvey also born in Ireland.
        This is all I have been able to track down, but have heard through family and family ties in the USA (Indiana & Michigan) that our Paternal line comes from County Donegal.

        James Patrick McFadden
        Ontario, Canada

  7. J M McFadden says:

    I will be ordering the DNA test today. I will contact and pass along the project information to another McFadden male acquaintance who cannot be traced to my family (going back 6 generations). I have documented research going back 6 generations (Andrew McFadden) who was naturalized in Fairfield County, SC., in 1824. Records reflect that he stated he was born in Ireland and gave his home as Antrim. The exact date of his arrival in the USA, and at what port, etc is unknown. He travelled to Lawrence County, IN, in 1837/38 with his brother-in-law John McCrea. Please let me know if there is any way I can help the project beyond providing the test results.

  8. Norman McFadden says:

    Hi, I have been researching my McFadden line now for some years, I live in Northern Ireland, and in my search, I have made the following observations.
    My family originate in Jonesboro, Co-Armagh, they were a family of woodturners, I can trace them to there and Newry Co-Down, to about 1800, I can also connect to another family of Woodturners in Glaslough, Co-Monaghan, and a possible connection to another Family of Woodturners in Ballynahinch Co-Down, both McFadden’s.

    The Donegal McFadden’s I have excluded from my research, for the reasons you have outlined, on this page. There is a lot of Presbyterian McFaddens in Co-Cavan, many of whom went to America, there are a few McFadden’s, in Armagh but not a lot.
    I haven’t really looked to much at the Antrim McFaddens, although there is a lot of them. You find a lot in Mid Co-Down, Dromore Dromara, Ballyhahinch, probably part of the Scottish Settlement, I have noticed of course that nearly all the Donegal McFadden’s are Catholic, but many in Dowm, Armagh, Monaghan and Antrim appear to be Church of Ireland which I find strange, always great to communicate with other McFadden’s, although I am not sure of DNA testing, but I will bear it in mind.

    By the way Margaret McFadden Springer, I have noticed in PRONI, there are early mcFadden, wills and Land records from Dromore and Dromara, she may find something there.

    Regards Normam McFadden

    • Rob says:

      Norman, good to hear from you. It is definitely interesting to note that McFaddens in different areas of Ulster tend to be of different religious affiliations. Part of what I hope to find out through DNA testing is whether these different branches stem from the same group of McFaddens, or whether they are indeed completely unrelated. If they are unrelated, it would be interesting to know which other clans they are related to. We don’t have nearly enough information at this point to suggest anything, but even at this early stage I’ve been surprised at how many unrelated McFadden lines we have in the project.

      Thanks again for your comments and interest.

      Rob McFadden

      • Deborah Morris says:

        My line is thru William McFadden born 1745 Antrim Co., Ireland. He is my 5th great grandfather. (Should be 6th, but my grandfather was 21 yrs older than my grandmother). Not sure when he arrived in America. Cannot find
        his name on any ship listing. But he was here in 1767 when he applied for 200 acres and it was surveyed, at Fishing Creek, Chester Co., SC. He took possession in 1770. I am still trying to find out how Candour McFadden is kin to him. Candour has to be either a father, older brother or uncle. Does anyone know for sure? I know the speculations that are out there, but I am unable to find a paper trail to prove it. I know that Candour made several trips from Ireland to America to see which state would be better suited for family and church members. The entire church and neighbors came to America shortly after William took possession of his tract of land. It was rumored that Candour had much wealth to travel back and forth with family paying his way each time. He had an education as he could speak elegantly and write as well. One child would be born in Ireland the next in America and so forth during these trips. It was rumored that he came thru Nova Scotia and then down the coast. It is also said that the McFaddens’ in my line originally came from Scotland and moved to Ireland where they married women from there in the 1600′s. I would love to know Anne’s maiden name (William’s wife), but can not find any documentation. Most think it is “Muse” but I do not put it to paper, unless it is documented. More than likely they were married in Ireland. Is Candour or William in your lineage?
        Deborah Morris

        • Deborah Morris says:

          Forgot to add that they were Presbyterians.

        • Linda McFadden Draper says:

          Hi Deborah, I’m also descended from William McFadden, through his son, Jesse. I have been searching for the connection between William and Candor since the 1980s, and all I can find is conjecture. I did contact one of Candor’s descendants in S.C. a few years ago who said his family’s oral history indicated that they were brothers. I have no documentation to support this. I found an excerpt of one of Candor’s journals on the Net, but no one knows if they are still around. As far as Anne McFadden, I was the one who contacted a Muse researcher that I knew named Lou Murphy several years ago about Anne. Lou felt she MIGHT be a Muse because of the relatives that were at William McFadden’s estate sale after his death, but again, neither she nor I were able to find any documentation. I made the mistake of mentioning it to a couple of other McFadden researchers as a LEAD, but found they shared the info with many others who then listed it as FACT. Since then, I have been very circumspect in what I share until I can document it.

          • Deborah says:

            Oh my gosh. Linda , email me. I was Deborah West.
            After the divorce, I went back to previous name.
            My ex husband deleted and emptied all of my ancestry
            folders on my computer, on purpose of course. Because of him, I lost everything that I did not have printed on paper, including all contact names with their email address. It will be great to talk again.
            Email me at irish.scot.girl@gmail.com

          • Hugh Wilkins says:

            Hi Linda,

            I have been searching for Candour McFadden’s journals for years. I have seen a reference to them from about 30 years ago. Have you had any luck in finding them?

            Hugh Wilkins

  9. Michele McFadden says:

    Female McFadden here, so no DNA test :-( My grandfather was a Donegal McFadden (Catholic) from Knockastoller in Bunbeg, Gweedore, Donegal (Patrick, son of James, son of Patrick). I’ve managed to trace back through family knowledge, headstones, Ancestry.com, etc. to John or James McFadden in Knockastoller in the Tithe Applotment book (pretty sure John is my great-great-great grandfather), but stuck beyond that. I know there was a lot of back and forth between Scotland and Gweedore in my family. Would love to trace them back!

    • Rob says:

      Hi, Michele. That is as far as I’ve gone back with my Donegal McFaddens as well, and probably as far back as most people can hope to trace their Irish lines. This is part of the reason I turned to DNA testing!

      Thanks for checking in.


    • Nora McFadden says:

      Hi Michele, My McFadden lineage comes from Knockastolar also. I descended from a Teague McFadden (my Gr Gr Grandfather) who I believe also had sons Patrick and James so perhaps we are related. Teague McFadden was born circa 1811 (married Rose Boyle). I think he had a brother Patrick born c. 1824. It’s hard to prove anything as no official documents available until 1864 and Gweedore church only has birth records from 1868 and Death records from 1888.

      • Brian Mcfadden says:

        i am Brian Mcfadden from glasgow my uncle James is from Knockastoller his Brother Patrick is my Dad and their Dad is Teague . I think we might be related

  10. Debra Westerman says:

    my andrew McFadden supposedly came from Dumfries-Shire, Island Mull, Highlands, Scotland and married a girl from Ireland.I have done my DNA on ancestry.com. They came into the US around 1718 into New England. Would like to know more about project and information. Will look into your site more. Thank you.

  11. Robert Haderly (mcfaden) says:

    I was trying to find my father just to hear his side of bullshit him & if he like mother he will lie to make him self sound like good guy I was told by mother ( lol) how much I believe she was married to a bob McFadden got caugh cheating on him with a Lloyd or a Paul she don’t remember & he left her she took me awAy as a baby change my last name so he wouldn’t find me she has couple of brothers Albert & Joel Nero her mother name was Marie Nero sisters are Marylou & charolett paw ski & they own farm with horses

  12. Paul Macfadden says:

    Paul Macfadden here in Seattle WA, USA. My fathers dad Henry Reid Macfadden is from Armagh. Born there in 1865. Antrim I believe.

  13. Patty McFadden Gross says:

    I have found John McFadden 1730-1711 came from around Dublin , Ireland to Harford County, Maryland, One family member said they came from Scotland to Ireland.. In Harford County court House, bel air, Maryland. Will Book #1 is recorded the will our our John McFadden. Looking for any other ancestors of his
    Have found names of three children. James b 1751 D. 1840. John b 1755 D 1835
    Elizabeth b 1756 D. 1850
    I am a descendant of James, son of John who married sarah pennock

  14. Linda Patricia Burroughs (McFadden) says:

    Hello Everyone: I was adopted in Tucson, AZ and on 10/24/15 it was revealed that my birthfather is Pat Ray McFadden. He was born on August 30, 1930 in Biardstown, TX and died September 20, 2000 in Glory Lamar, Tx and is buried in Tarrant, Tx. Pat’s parents were L.B. McFadden born in 1902 and was married to Hazel Jackson. In ancestary.com there is a picture of my father as a boy and I also located his tombstone.

    Discovering that I am a McFadden has been one of the most rewarding and exciting blessing of my life. If anyone has any information regarding my father, please let me know.

    Thank you, Rob, for creating this website. To all my McFadden family and future friends, I can’t wait to meet you. I hope we can all get together and someday have a huge family reunion. How fun and exciting that could be? Let’s make this happen. I’m game for it. Are you?

  15. Mary Lou Fry says:

    Hi All, I’ve been researching the McFadden family who came to Ontario, Canada in 1830 from Armagh. Robert was married and came with his wife and 3 children. He died in Dunnville, Haldimand, Ontario on June 9,1831 and his wife died on the 5th. leaving 3 orphan children a boy 13, a boy around 8 and the youngest a girl of 5. Robert had a brother, Stringer living near Prescott, Ontario. I have a great deal on Stringer and his descendants, but very little on Robert. I don’t even know his childrens names ! Does any of this ring a bell with you ? I will gladly share.
    Help Please,
    Mary Lou

    • Barbara Wilson says:

      Hi Mary Lou – I have been researching the McFaddens from Grange Lower, Co. Armagh who settled in Kent Co., Ontario Canada. Stringer McFadden is recorded as a Freeholder at Grange O’neiland, Co. Armagh in 1815. The names of lives or tenure on his lease were John and Thomas McFadden and James Ashmur. I believe that Thomas McFadden may be my ancestor.
      My g.g. grandfather Robert McFadden was the son of William McFadden and Ann McFadden. His uncle Joseph McFadden (son of Thomas) was the informant at the time of Robert’s death in 1884. This gets complicated so bear with me. Joseph emigrated from Grange to Scotland in abt. 1862 and lived there until 1886 when he emigrated to Chatham, Ontario. His brother James who had remained in Co. Armagh emigrated at the same time. They went to join their elder brothers Robert and Thomas who had settled in Ontario in the 1830s. Their other brother William drowned at sea. (I think this is my Robert’s father).
      I have not been able to connect Stringer to my branch other than his originating from the same area. My feeling is he was brother to my Thomas and also to John and Patrick McFadden whose descendants remain in the area of Grange today.
      I did not know Stringer had a brother Robert, until I read your post. I would be interested to know if you have any early info on Stringer e.g. his parents names.

  16. Kevin McFadden says:

    My grandfather Patrick Herbert McFadden was born 1888 in Munfad just south of Newtowncunningham, Donegal. I have researched all my Grand Fathers sibling. I have family records his father was John McFadden m. Bridget Ward and Johns father was Charles McFadden m. Margaret Fleming of Church of Ireland. I have a document with these names on.
    My Grand father Patrick and my English grand mother plus all their children had migrated to New Zealand by 1925. A brother migrated to Scotland plus my father cousins lived right in the centre of ‘Derry. Is this ifo of any use?

  17. Mark McFadden says:

    I have been researching the McFadden’s in America for a number of years and most likely descend from a McFadden (McFaddin) ancestral line that originated in Ulster, Ireland (. Our oldest documented ancestor is Robert Kerr McFaddin *1805-1870, born in Pennsylvania to unconfirmed parentage. About 1840-50 the spelling of the McFaddin surname appears to have been changed to McFadden. I currently have extensive documentation and numerous sources of information regarding most of the McFaddins/McFadden in Pennsylvania and the migration paths associated with their descendants. The most common birth names in Pennsylvania are as follows: Alexander, Daniel, Edward, George, Hugh, James, John, Samuel, Thomas, and William. In fact, prior to the American Revolution nearly every McFadden family in Pennsylvania contained at least one male member (many had 3 or more)whose name was contained in this list. Evidence suggests that the McFadden families in Chester and York/Lancaster Counties of Pennsylvania either entering America via the port of Philadelphia, New Castle, Delaware (at that time part of the Pennsylvania Colony), or the eastern shore area of Maryland/Virginia, and were likely related to Andrew & a Thomas McFaden (arrival 1718) – Irish immigrants to the Massachusetts Colony (later Georgetown area, Maine). There is much speculation about Thomas, William and John – possible children of Andrew McFaden. Thomas was named in early documents along with his father, so he may have been “of age” – or he may have been a brother. This Thomas was later found to have migrated to Massachusetts and then possibly to Philadelphia. Andrew was to have arrived in America with 6 Children – two having been born to his second spouse Jane Lindsey. This would leave 4 additional children (unnamed except for James – whose son Andrew’s family migrated to southern Virginia). Indicating that his older children may have been near adulthood (16 or older). Other researchers have suggested that the remaining sons migrated to Massachusetts where Indian raids forced them to migrate southward. These sons (including Thomas)may have been William and John. John’s descendants are documented through their migration paths in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I propose that William and Thomas relocated in Pennsylvania where William may have been the first McFadden to die in Lancaster, County; 1749. Thomas may have had a son Thomas who married Susanna Kirk in Philadelphia 1753. Early land grants support this, with Thomas having had warrants in Lancaster and Northumberland Counties. William’s son John also obtained a warrant on land in Northumberland County – moving from Lancaster (1769). William’s 1749 Orphan Court records only name John and Elenor (both minors), but William likely had other children since he would have been about 50 year of age at time of death. The most likely other children (located in Cumberland/Mifflin/Northumberland) were Samuel, William, George, Hugh, and John. I further propose that Robert Kerr McFadden descended from William’s son Hugh (married to Elizabeth McDowell – Little Britain, Lancaster County). His son James McFadden (1775-1851) relocated with his brothers Samuel and Adam to Montgomery County, Ohio before 1810. Other McFadden families located in central Pennsylvania during the 1750-1800 time period were Angus, Edward and John – all families migrated from southern Pennsylvania and North eastern Maryland areas. As for the South Carolina McFadden lines, it appears that they may also have had common ancestral links, yet to be confirmed. Anyone with additional information McFadden’s with roots in Maine, Pennsylvania and Maryland is encouraged to join efforts to solve the continuing of our elusive ancestors.

    • Deborah says:

      Mark, Have you come across info on Candour (or Candor) McFadden?
      Born in Antrim, Ireland approx. 1710 – 1727. He was highly educated and came back and forth several times before deciding on Chester County, SC. He did a lot of surveying and owned a plantation. My 5th great grandfather William born 1745 in Ireland acquired 200 acres on Fishing Creek. Application in 1767 and took possession in 1770. I almost believe Candour and William were father and son especially if Candour was born in 1710. If you have found any info, do you know the maiden name of William’s wife Anne?

    • Vicki Cook says:

      Interesting! I am descended from an earlier PA line. My 5th g-gfather, John, was born in 1769 in Cumberland, PA. Married in 1794 to Nancy Harper. His father was listed as being an “H” McFadden, which is all that I have? Any additional info/resources are much appreciated!

      My mother’s middle name is McFadden, from her mother’s maiden. My brother kept it going, using it as a middle name for his son, Andrew (:

    • Vicki Cook says:

      Great stuff, Mark!! Detailed reply below.

  18. toni proudlock says:

    I am researching Edward(maybe Teague)Mc Fadden and Ann(maybe Duggan/Doogan) in Bunbeg, Tullagh-O-Begley, Donegal circa 1830s. They had Margaret Mc Fadden in 1838. She married John O’Donnell in Bunbeg in Feb 1859. John and Margaret immigrated to NSW, Australia, courtesy of the Donegal Relief Fund in 1864 on the ship “Montrose. They had Mary Elizabeth (1864), Annie (1870), Bridget Gertrude (1871), Neil (1874), Catherine (1878), Margaret (1880). Also on board the Montrose were 3 single Mc Fadden males….James, another James and Anthony.

    My great grandmother was Margaret O’Donnell.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Patrick J McFadden says:

    I am subscribed in the ancestry.com DNA database. I have also downloaded my DNA data into gedmatch.com. I would be greatly interested in getting involved in your project. Is there a way for you to acquire my DNA data results without my having to invest in another test?
    Pat McFadden

    • Rob says:

      Hi, Pat. Unfortunately the test offered by Ancestry is an autosomal test. Surname projects like this one use Y-DNA testing, which is a different animal. The two types of tests are not comparable.

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      • Deborah Morris says:

        Rob, I had a post a little further up asking questions. I was going to do DNA testing for my mothers side, which I know will be thru her mother. I was wanting my uncle to test for the McFadden and my brother for my father’s side which will be Morris. Which DNA testing should I use for all of these?

        • Rob says:


          Apologies for not responding sooner. There are three different types of tests you can consider depending on what you hope to learn:

          Y-DNA – direct paternal line, for men only
          mtDNA – direct maternal line, for anyone
          autosomal – entire family tree, for anyone

          Y-DNA is what this project and any surname project is based on. It strictly deals with the paternal line, and not your dad’s side of the family but the direct male line. If you are interested in this test for your family members, I would recommend a Y-37 test with the understanding that you may want to upgrade in the future. There is no financial benefit for testing Y-67 or Y-111 right away and it may not be necessary to go that high yet. Y-12 is not sufficient to prove any kind of meaningful relationship.

          mtDNA is the direct maternal line. I would say this is the least useful of the tests because fewer people have taken them, which means fewer chances for good matches, and surnames weren’t passed down maternal lines which makes it difficult to draw any conclusions about common ancestors. This is the only type of test that I have not personally taken.

          Autosomal testing is FTDNA’s “Family Finder,” and is also the test that AncestryDNA and 23andMe do. This is useful for finding cousins across your entire family tree, though it won’t stretch back as far as a Y-DNA test. You will also get an ethnicity breakdown. Depending on what you’re after, it might be more rewarding to have your mother (or yourself) take an autosomal test instead of an mtDNA test.

          I hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

  20. Nicole says:

    My McFadden line is very well documented back to John McFadden and Sophia Kelly who came to America in about 1794. Family history says that they were “being watched” by the English because the English were looking for Irish people trying to escape. Their escape is credited to Sophia’s “condition” which is assumed to be pregnancy. They settled in Brown County Kentucky and after John’s death Sophia moved the family to Lees Creek, Ohio. Many McFaddens from this line still live in Lees Creek. This McFadden family has always been protestant since coming to America, and is assumed to have been protestant in Ireland as well. The family is believed to be descended from Scotland and the Isle of Mull.

    I have been thinking of taking the DNA test….

    • I have tracked my family back to Ireland. I discovered about 20 years ago that our real last name is mcfadden. I think my grandfather added an “a” to become a “mac” to make it more likely to get a job in Ontario at that time. The family settled in Kemptville Ontario in the early nineteenth century. The family came from near Portadown, Northern Ireland and were partners in a Linen Mill with another family (Grimshaw & McFadden of Armagh Road). I recognize the Stringer name. I have documented the family line on a website at the following address:


  21. JoAnn McFadden says:

    I had my father’s DNA transferred to family tree DNA and have joined the McFadden project. What do I do next?

  22. JOHN MCFADDEN says:

    I have do a little research on my history of mcfaddens from Ireland mu g.g.g. father came from Ireland when the pototoe famin was on. this name was Robert McFadden married jane hamilten
    had a son hamilton McFadden Robert came here from enniskillen fermaanagh iraland Hamilton lived in markdale Ontario doned know Roberts fathers name or his mothers name