Origins Available: Irish
This family was originally Mac Domhnaill in Gaelic, meaning 'son of Domhnall' and as such a patronymic
name. The family claim descent from Colla Uais, the 121st Monarch of Ireland
, a younger brother of Colla da Chrioch.
Early Origins of the MacDonnel family
The surname MacDonnel was first found in County Clare
where MacDonell and O'Easkin were chiefs of the territories of Corca Baisgin or Baiscind, now the barony of Moyarta. However, according to John O'Hart, in his reference Irish Pedigrees, Hart agrees with Connellan's Annals of the Four Masters in that many of the tribe " Clan
Colla" traveled from Ulster
where they were the Earls of Antrim to settle in Scotland
where they retained the name MacDonnell but were generally called MacDonalds who became the Lord of the Isles. Edward MacLysaght disagrees with O'Hart and believes the migration went he other way, in other words the MacDonalds came to Ireland
in the 13th century to become the MacDonnells in Antrim. As both authorities were Chief Heralds of Ireland
, and noted authors, we put both scenarios here for the reader to decide the family's origin.
Early History of the MacDonnel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDonnel research.Another 413 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1505, 1890, 1505, 1590, 1636, 1615, 1699, 1609, 1683, 1691 and 1754 are included under the topic Early MacDonnel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacDonnel Spelling Variations
of this family name include: McDonnell, Hoddonell, O'Donnal, Otonell, MacDonnell, Donneill, McDonel, McDonell, McDonneil, Hodonell, McDonnel, McDoneill, Odonell, Odonel, Donnelson, Donnell, Donnel, O'Donnall, Donell and many more.
Early Notables of the MacDonnel family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Somhairle Buidhe Mac Domhnaill (Somerled of the yellow hair, son of Donnell, Anglicized Sorley Boy McDonnell) (c.
1505 - 1590), Irish prince or flaith and chief; Randal Macsorley MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim (died 1636); and his son, Alexander MacDonnell, 3rd Earl... Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacDonnel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacDonnel family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: John MacDonnell who landed in Virginia in 1650; Archibald McDonell who arrived in Canada in 1816; Anthony McDonnell, who arrived at Red River, Canada in 1811.
The MacDonnel 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: His vinces
Motto Translation: With these you will conquer.