This surname, with variant spellings M(a)Fadin, MacFadyen, MacFadz(e)an, MacPhaden etc., is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic Mac Phaidin. The Gaelic prefix 'mac' means 'son of', plus the personal name Paidin, a diminutive of Padraig or Patrick, itself coming from the Latin Patricius, a 'nobleman'. In his book 'clan traditions and popular tales of the western highlands and islands' J.G. Campbell states that the MacFadyens were the first possessors of Lochbuie, and when expelled they became a race of wandering artificers known as Sliochdnan or - cheard - the race of Goldsmiths.The surname was first recorded at the beginning of the 14th Century, (see below). One, Conghan Macpaden petitioned for the archdeaconry of Argyll in 1390, and a John McFadyeane appeared on record in Edinburgh in 1457. The variant spelling M'Fadzeane was recorded in Kirkcudbright in 1473, and on April 23rd 1846 James McFadden and Rebeca Dunnaway were married in St. Nicholas, Aberdeen. The name is also well recorded in the Isle of Man and in Ireland, chiefly in counties Donegal and Cavan. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Malcolm Macpadene, charter witness in Kintyre, which was dated 1304, in the 'The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland', during the reign of the Interregnum in Scotland, 1296 - 1306. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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