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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Ronald family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name Ronald is derived from the Anglicized version of the Gaelic personal name Mac Dhomhnuill. Ronald is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The surname Ronald arose from the vernacular naming tradition, whereby surnames were formed by adopting the given name of one's father, or another ancestor. This name was first found in Kintyre, where members of this family had resided for many years.

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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. Ronald has appeared in various documents spelled MacDonald, Macdonald, McDonald, Donaldson, MacDonny and many more.

First found in Kintyre, and much of the Eastern islands and coast-lands where members of this Clan, descended through Somerled, Lord of the Isles and had resided for many years.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ronald research. Another 435 words (31 lines of text) covering the years 1336, 1386, 1423, 1437, 1449, 1603, and 1692 are included under the topic Early Ronald History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ronald Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Ronald family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ronald or a variant listed above:

Ronald Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John A Ronald, who landed in Colorado in 1878

Ronald Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Edward Ronald arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Diadem" in 1840

Ronald Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Ronald, aged 29, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875
  • Jane Ronald, aged 28, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875
  • Robert Ronald, aged 31, a miner, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875
  • Robert Ronald, aged 24, a ploughman, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875

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  • Walter Ronald, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1912 (speaker)
  • James Theodore Ronald (1855-1950), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Seattle, Washington, 1892-94; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Washington at-large, 1900; Superior Court Judge in Washington, 1909-49
  • J. H. Ronald, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1916
  • Terry Ronald, English songwriter and producer from London
  • Sir Landon Ronald (1873-1938), English conductor


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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 sea and by land.

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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  5. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  6. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  10. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  11. ...

The Ronald Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ronald 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 20 October 2015 at 11:55.

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