This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac an Phearsain", the prefix "mac" denoting son of, plus "pearsan" parson, hence "son of the parson". Early recordings include Bean Makimpersone who witnessed a bond between William of Rose and Duncan Makintosche, captain of Clancattane (1490); payment was made to David Makfassane "for twa gunnis of matel" in 1538, and Donald Makphersone, prior of Strathphillane, appears as witness in 1585, and is recorded in the "Black Book of Taymouth". Edinburgh Church Records list the marriages of Aeneas McPherson to Margaret Scrimgeor on April 19th 1677, and of Alex McPherson to Anna Robertson on March 29th 1683. John McPherson was born in Edinburgh in 1784. He was a merchant who emigrated to North East Canada. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is per fesse gold and blue a lymphad, sails furled, gold oars in action, in the dexter chief a hand fessways couped, grasping a red dagger erect, in the sinister chief a red cross crosslet fitcheee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Makfersan, which was dated 1447, bailie to the bishop of Aberdeen, during the reign of King James 11 of Scotland, 1437 - 1460. 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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