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MacDonnal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland spawned the name MacDonnal. It 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.

Early Origins of the MacDonnal family


The surname MacDonnal 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 MacDonnal family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDonnal 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 MacDonnal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacDonnal Spelling Variations


In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. MacDonnal has appeared as MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.

Early Notables of the MacDonnal family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early MacDonnal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacDonnal family to Ireland


Some of the MacDonnal 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 MacDonnal family to the New World and Oceana


Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The MacDonnal were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown: John MacDonnell, who settled in Virginia in 1650; and of course, the large settlement of MacDonnells who settled in Canada.

The MacDonnal 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.


MacDonnal Family Crest Products



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