There are several versions of the story of the origin of the name, I include them here for your entertainment:
MacFarland/MacFarlane come from MacFadyen, a Scottish clan name that was formerly written Mac Phaidein. It is derived from the Gaelic Paidean, a form of Patrick. MacFayden therefore means: "son of Pat".
The Scottish family of MacFarlane/MacFarland originated with the ancient earls of Lennox; their ancestral home was along the western shore of Loch Lomond. The progenitor of the MacFarlanes was named Bartholomew, which in Gaelic becomes Parlan, hence; MacPharlain; "son of Parlan" popularly interpreted to mean; "son of furrows".
There is an old legend to account for the name MacFarland. It is at least entertaining. We are told that a nephew of an earl of Lennox killed his uncle's cook in a quarrel and left Scotland. He returned many years later, and built a castle on an island near Inversnaid where he lived the life of a recluse. The lonely home of the former exile was known as "Far Land," hence the family name MacFarland; "son of the man from the far-land". The moral seems to be: never quarrel with the family cook, lest you start another surname.
At any rate, our branch of the family started in Scotland, but little is known of the Scottish heritage.