This most interesting and unusual surname is of Old Gaelic origin, found in Scotland and Ireland, and is one of the many variants of the surname "MacFadden", an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "MacPhaidin, Macphaidein", meaning "son of Paidean or little Pat", composed of the Gaelic prefix "Mac", "son of", and the personal name "Padraig", Patrick. In Ireland, MacFadden is found primarily in Donegal and has a long standing connection with Cavan, and without the prefix "Mac" is found in Mayo. The surname itself first appears in Scottish records in the early 14th Century (see below) and modern variants include MacFadin, MacFadyean, MacFadzan, MacFadzeon, MacFadzein as well as Machaiden and MacPhaden.In Scotland MacFedyens were said to have been the first possessors of Lochbuie, and when expelled they became "a race of wandering artificers". One Conghan MacPaden petitioned for the archdeaconry of Argyll in 1390, and William McFadzean witnessed "an instrument of Sasine" in Ayrshire in 1618. Blind Harry, in his "Schir William Wallace", records the doings of a MacFadzan, leader of a band of Irish mercenaries under the King of England. One Charles MacFadin was one of the commisioners for Co. Cavan in charge of the Poll Tax Ordinance of Ireland in 1660. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Malcom Macpadene, which was dated 1304, in the "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland (1306 - 1668)", during the reign of King Robert 1 of Scotland, known as "The Bruce", 1306 - 1329. 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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