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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


The Dalriadan clans of ancient Scotland spawned the ancestors of the McDaniels family. Their name comes from the personal name Donald. The name McDaniels results from an erroneous Anglicization of the Gaelic name Mac Dhomnuill, which means son of Donald and is normally Anglicized MacDonald. The confusion is a result of the similar sound of the given names Daniel and Donald.

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The surname McDaniels was first found in Argyleshire, where they held a family seat from early times.

The medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English created many spelling variations of the same name. McDaniels has been recorded as MacDaniel, MacDaniell, MacDanell and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDaniels research. Another 311 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDaniels History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McDaniels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McDaniels family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name McDaniels, or a variant listed above:

McDaniels Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • C. McDaniels, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States, in 1893

McDaniels Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Belle McDaniels, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1907
  • J. H. McDaniels, aged 55, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Jos. McDaniels, aged 81, who emigrated to America, in 1921
  • T.I. McDaniels, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1921
  • Frank McDaniels, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States, in 1921


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  • Hattie McDaniels (1895-1952), the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award
  • Ben McDaniels (b. 1980), former American football quarterbacks coach
  • Pellom McDaniels (b. 1968), former American NFL defensive end
  • Ralph “Uncle Ralph” McDaniels, American hip-hop culture pioneer, entrepreneur, and visionary
  • James Ronald McDaniels (b. 1948), American former professional basketball player
  • Gene McDaniels (1935-2011), American singer and songwriter
  • Darryl "D.M.C." Matthews McDaniels (b. 1964), American musician


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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: Toujours pret
Motto Translation: Always ready.

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  1. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  4. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  5. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  11. ...

The McDaniels Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McDaniels Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 June 2015 at 05:19.

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