MacColl is a Scottish surname shared by several notable people:

Born after 1800
Born after 1900
  • James MacColl (19081971), British Member of Parliament
  • Ewan MacColl (born 'Miller', 19151989), British singer-songwriter, actor and playwright
Born after 1950
  • Catriona MacColl (born 1954), English film and television actress
  • Kirsty MacColl (19592000), British singer-songwriter with several top-10 singles on the UK and Irish music charts
  • Mary-Rose MacColl (born 1961), Australian novelist
  • Angus MacColl, scottish bagpiper from Benderloch (Oban), who won Gold Medals at both the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering, and the Glenfiddich Championship four times.

MacColl is also apparently an uncommon male Scottish given name, perhaps meaning "Son of Coll" and spelled without CamelCase, i.e. as "Maccoll".[1]

Origin and Clan MacColl

The surname 'MacColl' may have its origin in a Scottish clan by the name of Clan MacColl, which had a historical association with the sea loch Loch Fyne, located in the modern day unitary council area of Argyll and Bute.[2] Clan MacColl may be a branch of Clan Donald (MacDonald), albeit a small one, based on several lines of evidence including a shared badge (sprig of heather). In the year 1602, Clan MacColl lost most of their military force in a battle with Clan MacPherson.

Additional lines of MacColls no doubt exist. For instance, a new line was made possible in 1940's England when James Henry Miller changed his name to Ewan MacColl. This new line was established with the birth of his children in the 1950s and passage to a third generation through (at least) children of Kirsty MacColl.[3]


According to United States Census data from 1840, 1880 and 1920, the MacColl surname was not recorded as present in the United States in 1840, was found only in New York by 1880, and had spread, albeit thinly, to the West Coast by 1920.[4] Meanwhile, according to 1891 census date from England and Wales, MacColls were found in five counties in the north and east of England, with the greatest number identified in Lancashire and London.[5]


  1. "Maccoll baby name meanings". Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
    "World names popularity for Maccoll". Retrieved 2008-01-23.
    "Scottish Boy Name - MacColl". Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  2. "Clan MacColl". Electric Scotland. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  3. This passage is a synthesis from information available in the linked biographical articles.
  4. "MacColl Family History Facts 1920". Family Facts. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
    "MacColl Family History Facts 1880". Family Facts. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
    "MacColl Family History Facts 1840". Family Facts. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  5. "MacColl Families Living in England and Wales in 1891". Family Facts. Retrieved 2008-01-23.

See also

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