McDonall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The McDonall 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 McDonall is derived from the Anglicized version of the Gaelic personal name Mac Dhomhnuill. McDonall is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The surname McDonall arose from the vernacular naming tradition, whereby surnames were formed by adopting the given name of one's father, or another ancestor. This name was first found in Kintyre, where members of this family had resided for many years.

Early Origins of the McDonall family

The surname McDonall was first found in Kintyre, and much of the Eastern islands and coast-lands where members of this Clan, descended through Somerled, Lord of the Isles and had resided for many years.

Important Dates for the McDonall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDonall research. Another 300 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1336, 1386, 1423, 1437, 1449, 1603, and 1692 are included under the topic Early McDonall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McDonall 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. McDonall has been written as MacDonald, Macdonald, McDonald, Donaldson, MacDonny and many more.

Early Notables of the McDonall family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John of Islay, or John MacDonald, (d. 1386), who was the Lord of the Isles (1336-86) and chief of Clan...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDonall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McDonall family to Ireland

Some of the McDonall family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McDonall 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 McDonall or a variant listed above include:

McDonall Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander McDonall, aged 40, who landed in New York, NY in 1775 [1]
McDonall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McDonall, who arrived in New York in 1834 [1]

McDonall migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McDonall Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Alexander McDonall U.E., (Bane Bog) who settled in Charlottenburgh [South Glengarry], Ontario c. 1784 he served in the 84th Regiment [2]


  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
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