An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2013
Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish, Scottish
Where did the Scottish Donnell family come from? What is the Scottish Donnell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Donnell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Donnell family history?The Donnell family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name Donnell is derived from the personal name Donald. the surname is derived from the Gaelic Mac Dhomhnuill, which means son of Donald; it is a form of the surname MacDonald.
Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Donnell has been spelled MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.
First found in Inverness, where the origins of this name can be traced back to Somerled, Regulus of the Isles, who evicted the Norsemen from the Western Isles during the 12th century. From him is descended John Macdonald, first Lord of the Isles, and it was MacDonald's younger son, Ranald, who was the progenitor of Clanrald, which includes the families of Moidart, Morar, Knoidart and Glengarry. The MacDonells are from this last branch. It is from Ranald's son, Donald, that the MacDonell's take their name (Son of Donald). There is also a branch of the MacDonells that claim Ranald's other son, Alistair, as its progenitor (the Keppoch branch).
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnell research. Another 751 words(54 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1575, 1672, 1647, 1745, 1749, 1794, 1812 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Donnell History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Donnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Donnell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Donnell were among those contributors:
Donnell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
Donnell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Donnell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Per mare, per terras
Motto Translation: By water and land.
The Donnell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Donnell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 15 May 2013 at 11:17.
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