Updated June 9, 2019

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Family name origins & meanings

  • Scottish or Irish : reduced form of McFall.
  • English : topographic name for someone who lived by a waterfall, declivity, or forest clearing, Middle English fall (from Old English (ge)fall ‘a felling of trees’, Old Norse fall ‘forest clearing’).
  • German : topographic name from Middle High German val ‘fall (of trees)’; in some cases ‘waterfall’ or ‘landslide’, or a habitational name from a minor place named with this word, or in Tyrol from Ladine val ‘valley’.
  • African : unexplained.