Dunnill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

On the western coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands the Dunnill family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes 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 Dunnill family

The surname Dunnill 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).

Important Dates for the Dunnill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunnill research. Another 376 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1575, 1672, 1647, 1745, 1749, 1794, 1812 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Dunnill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunnill Spelling Variations

In various documents Dunnill has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.

Early Notables of the Dunnill family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Dunnill family to Ireland

Some of the Dunnill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 118 words (8 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 Dunnill family

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 Dunnill or a variant listed above: John MacDonnell, who settled in Virginia in 1650; and of course, the large settlement of MacDonnells who settled in Canada.

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunnill (post 1700)

  • William Frederick Dunnill (1880-1936), English cathedral organist, Organist and Master of the Choristers of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham (1903-1914), Organist and Master of the Choristers of St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham (1914-1936)
  • Peter Dunnill OBE, FREng (1938-2009), British biochemical engineer and professor at the University College London (UCL)
  • Henry Powell Dunnill (1821-1895), English businessman from Jackfield, Shropshire who founded Craven Dunnill & Co. Ltd. in 1872, one of Britain's leading producers of ceramic tiles

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