Show ContentsDougal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dougal family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name Dougal is derived from the personal name Dougal. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Dhughaill and literally means son of Dougal.

Early Origins of the Dougal family

The surname Dougal was first found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), where they were descended from Dugall eldest son of Somerled, first Lord of the Isles, and his son Duncan who received the lands of Lorn. The Clan was a bitter foe of Robert the Bruce, who made a narrow escape during one battle with the MacDougals only by discarding his cloak. The brooch of this cloak, now known as the Brooch of Lorn, is a treasured possession of the Chief of the Clan. The Clan faced heavy retaliation and was stripped of their lands once Robert the Bruce secured the Scottish throne. The lands were restored to the Clan upon the death of the king, but passed to the Stewarts in 1388 when the last member of the senior branch of MacDougals died without issue.

Early History of the Dougal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dougal research. Another 154 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1244 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Dougal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dougal Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Dougal has been written as MacDougall, MacDowall, MacDowell, MacDugald, MacDill and many more.

Early Notables of the Dougal family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dougal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dougal family to Ireland

Some of the Dougal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Dougal migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Dougal or a variant listed above include:

Dougal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Dougal, aged 19, who landed in New York in 1774 [1]
  • Walter Dougal, aged 42, who arrived in New York, NY in 1774 [1]
Dougal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Dougal, aged 20, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [1]
  • John Dougal, who arrived in New York in 1833 [1]

Canada Dougal migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dougal Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Anthony Dougherty U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]

Australia Dougal migration to Australia +

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

Dougal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Henry Dougal, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 27th May 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Catherine Dougal, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839 [4]
  • Janet Dougal, aged 27, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"

Contemporary Notables of the name Dougal (post 1700) +

  • William H. Dougal, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Washington; Elected 1908 [5]
  • Clarence H. Dougal, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Torrington; Elected 1906 [5]
  • Stuart Dougal (b. 1962), retired Scottish football referee
  • James "Jim" Dougal (1945-2010), Northern Irish journalist, writer and broadcaster
  • Dougal Haston (1940-1977), Scottish mountaineer who died in an avalanche while skiing above Leysin, Switzerland, the first to conquer Mount Everest by the south-west face
  • Dougal Dixon (b. 1947), Scottish geologist and author

The Dougal 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: Buaidh no bàs
Motto Translation: Victory or death

  1. 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)
  2. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th March 2022). Retrieved from
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1839. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, September 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook