Doney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Doney family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. Their surname comes from the Anglicized version of the Gaelic personal name Mac Dhomhnuill. Doney is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The surname Doney 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.

Most historians note the name claims descent through the High Kings of Ireland, namely Colla Uais and Conn of the Hundred Battles. Movement between Scotland and Ireland was very frequent over the centuries. [1]

Early Origins of the Doney family

The surname Doney was 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.

Early History of the Doney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doney research. Another 300 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1692, 1386, 1336, 1386, 1329, 1335, 1341, 1342, 1386, 1420, 1386, 1449, 1415, 1424, 1498, 1456 and are included under the topic Early Doney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Doney 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, Doney has been spelled MacDonald, Macdonald, McDonald, Donaldson, MacDonny and many more.

Early Notables of the Doney family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John of Islay, or John MacDonald, (d. 1386), the first Lord of the Isles (1336-1386) and chief of Clan Donald. He was he was the son of Angus Og Macdonald, who died at Isla about 1329, and was buried at Icolmkill. The Macdonalds trace their descent from Donald, elder son of Refinald, second son of Sommerled of Argyll, king of the Isles. On account of a dispute with the regent regarding certain lands, John of Isla joined the party of Edward Baliol, to whom, in consideration of a grant of the lands of...
Another 354 words (25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Doney Ranking

In the United States, the name Doney is the 8,065th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Doney family to Ireland

Some of the Doney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Doney migration to the United States +

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 Doney were among those contributors:

Doney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Doney, (b. 1812), aged 30, English miner departing from London aboard the ship "Mediator" arriving in Ohio, USA on 19 May 1842 [3]
  • Mrs. Doney, (b. 1824), aged 24, Cornish settler departing from London aboard the ship "Mediator" arriving in Ohio, USA on 5th May 1848 [3]
  • Mr. Robert H. Doney, (b. 1872), aged 16, Cornish miner departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "Arizona" arriving in the United States on June 4 1888 [3]
Doney Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Doney, (b. 1864), aged 36, American miner travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 1st July 1900 en route to New York, USA [4]
  • Mr. Reginald Doney, (b. 1886), aged 17, Cornish porter travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 15th November 1903 en route to Jersey City, New Jersey, USA [4]
  • Mr. Richard P. Doney, (b. 1882), aged 21, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 6th June 1903 en route to Jersey City, New Jersey, USA [4]
  • Miss Clara O. Doney, (b. 1884), aged 19, Cornish dressmaker travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 6th June 1903 en route to Jersey City, New Jersey, USA [4]
  • Mr. William Doney, (b. 1885), aged 20, Cornish blacksmith travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 27th August 1905 en route to Painesdale, Michigan, USA [4]

Australia Doney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Doney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Job Doney, English convict who was convicted in Buckinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. John Doney, English convict who was convicted in Buckinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Doney, English convict who was convicted in Buckinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Samuel Doney, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840 [6]
  • Johanna Doney, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Doney migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Doney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Doney, (b. 1850), aged 22, Cornish blacksmith departing on 13th June 1872 aboard the ship "Ballarat" going to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 15th September 1872 [7]
  • Miss Jane Doney, (b. 1853), aged 20, Cornish settler departing on 11th July 1873 aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 18th October 1873 [8]
  • Miss Mary A. Doney, (b. 1849), aged 24, Cornish housemaid departing on 11th July 1873 aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 18th October 1873 [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Doney, (b. 1852), aged 21, Cornish smith departing on 11th July 1873 aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 18th October 1873 [8]
  • Thomas Doney, aged 21, a smith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Doney (post 1700) +

  • George Edward Doney (1758-1809), African slave born in Gambia arriving about 1756 at Cassiobury House, Hertfordshire, England, as a servant of the Earl of Essex he was baptised in 1774, his gravestone lists that he "died a free man"


The Doney 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 sea and by land.


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRIGHTMAN 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Brightman.htm
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Wellington 1872-1880 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nz_wellington.pdf    
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 4th November 2011). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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