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.

Most historians note the name claims descent through the High Kings of Ireland, namely Colla Uais and Conn of the Hundred Battles. Movement between Scotland and Ireland was very frequent over the centuries. [1]

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.

Early History of 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 1603, 1692, 1386, 1336, 1386, 1329, 1335, 1341, 1342, 1386, 1420, 1386, 1449, 1415, 1424, 1498, 1456 and 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), the first Lord of the Isles (1336-1386) and chief of Clan Donald. He was he was the son of Angus Og Macdonald, who died at Isla about 1329, and was buried at Icolmkill. The Macdonalds trace their descent from Donald, elder son of Refinald, second son of Sommerled of Argyll, king of the Isles. On account of a dispute with the regent regarding certain lands, John of Isla joined the party of Edward Baliol, to whom, in consideration of a grant of the lands of...
Another 354 words (25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDonall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland 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.


United States 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 [2]
McDonall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McDonall, who arrived in New York in 1834 [2]

Canada 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 [3]


The McDonall 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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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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