Origins Available: Irish-Alt
The age-old Hebrides
islands and the west coast of Scotland
are the ancestral home of the Donnelson family. Their name comes 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.
Early Origins of the Donnelson family
The surname Donnelson 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).
Early History of the Donnelson family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnelson 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 Donnelson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donnelson Spelling Variations
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations
in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Donnelson has been spelled MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.
Early Notables of the Donnelson family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Donnelson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donnelson family to Ireland
Some of the Donnelson 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 and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donnelson family to the New World and Oceana
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence
, many Scots who remained loyal to England
re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan
societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Donnelsons to arrive on North American shores:
Donnelson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Naites Donnelson, aged 36, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1850 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
- James Donnelson, aged 32, who arrived in America, in 1894
- Fabian Donnelson, aged 42, who arrived in America, in 1897
Contemporary Notables of the name Donnelson (post 1700)
- Glenn A. Donnelson, American politician, current Member of the Utah House of Representatives
The Donnelson Motto
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.