MacDonell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the MacDonell family. 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 MacDonell family

The surname MacDonell 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 MacDonell family

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

MacDonell 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. MacDonell has been written as MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.

Early Notables of the MacDonell family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the MacDonell family to Ireland

Some of the MacDonell 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.

MacDonell migration to the United States

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name MacDonell or a variant listed above:

MacDonell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Macdonell, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [1]
  • Sander Macdonell, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651 [1]
MacDonell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Of Leek MacDonell, who arrived in New York in 1773 [1]
  • John Scotus Macdonell, who landed in New York in 1773 [1]
  • Margaret Macdonell, who arrived in New York in 1773 [1]
  • Mary MacDonell, who arrived in New York in 1773 [1]
  • Ranald MacDonell, who landed in New York in 1773 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

MacDonell migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacDonell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Alexander MacDonell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Allan MacDonell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Donald MacDonell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. John MacDonell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Capt. Miles MacDonell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name MacDonell (post 1700)

  • Bishop William Andrew Macdonell (1853-1920), American-born, Roman Catholic Bishop of Alexandria in Ontario, Canada
  • Alex D. MacDonell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1940 [3]
  • Angus MacDonell (1751-1817), Scottish-born, soldier and political figure in Upper Canada
  • James Macdonell (1841-1879), Scottish journalist
  • Donald Macdonell (1778-1861), Scottish-born, political figure in Upper Canada
  • Miles MacDonell (d. 1828), first governor of the Red River Colony (or Assiniboia), a 19th-century Scottish settlement western North America
  • Alastair Ruadh Macdonell (1724-1761), Jacobite
  • John Edward MacDonell (b. 1966), Past President of the Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Sir John Macdonell K.C.B. (1846-1921), British jurist
  • Donald Greenfield MacDonell (1849-1916), Canadian lawyer and political figure in Ontario
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Citations

  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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