The west coast of Scotland and the rocky Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the Donnal family. The root of their name is 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.
Early Origins of the Donnal family
The surname Donnal was 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).
Important Dates for the Donnal family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnal research. Another 376 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1575, 1672, 1647, 1745, 1749, 1794, 1812 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Donnal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donnal Spelling Variations
Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Donnal has appeared in various documents spelled MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.
Early Notables of the Donnal family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Donnal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donnal family to Ireland
Some of the Donnal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 118 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donnal migration to the United States
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Donnal or a variant listed above:
Typical Donnal Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Donnal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Bryan Donnal, aged 21, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775 
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)