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Surname McCandless - Meaning and Origin

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McCandless: What does the surname McCandless mean?

The last name McCandless is of Scottish and Irish origin. It has roots in of both countries and is derived from the Gaelic name MacFhaolain, which translates to 'son of the wolf'. In Ireland, the name is sometimes spelled McFadden, and in Scotland it is also sometimes spelled as McFadzen.

The McCandless clan is said to have migrated to Ulster from Scotland in the 17th century, during the Plantation Period. The family then spread to Donegal, specifically to the Rosses area. The surname McCandless may have survived in Donegal as a result of the clan being closely associated with the Anglican Church.

The name is now widespread throughout Scotland, Ireland, the United States and Canada. In Scotland, the name is primarily found in the counties of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. In Ireland, it is concentrated in northeastern Ulster and Donegal. In the United States, the name is found predominantly throughout the mid-Atlantic and southeastern states.

The McCandless family crest is a wolf rampant, and the family's motto is ‘With God, Through Courage’. The name is derived from the Gaelic, and is a testament to the bravery and strength of the McCandless clan.

McCandless: Where does the name McCandless come from?

The last name McCandless is most commonly found throughout the United States, particularly in the central and northeastern states. However, McCandless is also found in parts of Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.

The McCandless surname is thought to have originated in Scotland and migrated to Ulster in the 1600s. There, the surname spread to Northern Ireland, where the family name can still be found in County Donegal and surrounding areas. The Scottish/Irish McCandlesses are most likely the descendants of the ancient Irish clan Mac an Ghallais.

The McCandless name is also commonly associated with the Scotch-Irish settlers who immigrated to the American colonies in the 1700s, primarily in Pennsylvania. During this time, many lived in the Cumberland Valley south of Pittsburgh and into the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Today, the McCandless family name can be found all over the United States. The top five states include Pennsylvania (9.2K), California (3.1K), Ohio (3.1k), Michigan (2K), and Virginia (1.9K). In Pennsylvania, towns with the highest concentration of McCandless families include Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster.

Anyone curious about the origin and history of the McCandless family name can find support and fellowship within the McCandless Family Association, an organization that records genealogy records and provides events and meetings for the family.

Variations of the surname McCandless

The surname McCandless is primarily used by descendants of Irish and Scottish immigrants. The various variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin include MCandless, MacCandless, McCandless, McConless, and McConnel.

McCandless and MacCandless are the most common spellings of this surname, derived from the Scottish Gaelic word “MacConaille” which was derived from the Gaelic “MacCanaille”, meaning “son of Canary”. This is probably derived from someone with a melodious voice, which in Gaelic translates to “canary”.

McConless is another version of the surname McCandless. It is usually a variant of McCann or McConnel and is derived from the Irish surname MacConaill, which means “son of Conal”. The meaning of the name Conal is “strong in battle”.

McConnel is a variation of McConless, derived from Mac Conail (son of Conal). It is often confused with MacCorner and MacCornel, both originating in different parts of Scotland and Ireland.

Overall, McCandless is a very ancient surname, derived from Gaelic beginnings. Each variation, spelling, and surname of same origin are all derived from ancient Gaelic roots, and all denote a common ancestor from whom they are descended.

Famous people with the name McCandless

  • Christopher McCandless: also known as Alexander Supertramp, was an American hiker and traveler who gained fame due to his journey into the Alaskan wilderness in April 1992.
  • Carine McCandless: the sister of Christopher McCandless and the author of “The Wild Truth: What Really Happened to Chris McCandless”.
  • Sean McCandless: a former professional American football player who played cornerback in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Raiders, and in the World League of American Football for the Barcelona Dragons.
  • William McCandless: a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania and later a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
  • John McCandless: a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 202nd legislative district from 1995 to 2006.
  • Kristopher McCandless: an American physicist and engineer who worked on NASA's Project Mercury and later the Apollo Lunar Module.
  • John Blair McCandless: a politician in the Province of Ontario, Canada, who served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Canadian Parliament.
  • David J. McCandless: a Brigadier General in the United States Marine Corps, whose final assignment was Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs/Budget, Headquarters Marine Corps.
  • Joe McCandless: an English Manchester United footballer.
  • Faun McCandless: a Basque-American sculptor and printmaker.
  • Walter S. McCandless: a brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve Quartermaster Corps.

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