Donny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

The surname Donny 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 Donny family

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

Donny Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Donny include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include MacDonald, Macdonald, McDonald, Donaldson, MacDonny and many more.

Early Notables of the Donny 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 Donny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Donny family to Ireland

Some of the Donny 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 Donny migration to the United States +

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 Donny or a variant listed above:

Donny Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anton Donny, who arrived in America in 1783 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Donny (post 1700) +

  • Jacqueline Donny (1927-2021), French model and beauty pageant contestant, Miss France and Miss Europe in 1948
  • Donny Gerrard (1946-2022), Canadian singer, member of the band Skylark in the early 1970s, lead singer on their hit single, "Wildflower"
  • Donny Harrel (b. 1969), American college baseball coach, currently serving as head coach of the Seattle Redhawks baseball team
  • Donny McCrary (b. 1982), American professional boxer, nicknamed "The Savage"
  • Donny Prosise, American actor and composer, known for Blunt Offerings (2013)
  • Donny Gorter (b. 1988), Dutch professional footballer, son of former footballer Edwin Gorter
  • Donny Goines, stage name of Donny Scott, an American rapper and a businessperson from New York City
  • Donny Lalonde (b. 1960), Canadian retired professional light heavyweight boxer who had 44 wins in 50 fights, WBC Light Heavyweight Champion (1987-1988)
  • Donny Parenteau, Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • Donny McCaslin (b. 1966), American jazz saxophonist


The Donny 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. ^ 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)


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