The western coast of Scotland
and the desolate Hebrides
islands are the ancient home of the McDonnal family. Their name is derived 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 McDonnal family
The surname McDonnal 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).
Early History of the McDonnal family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDonnal research.Another 751 words (54 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1575, 1672, 1647, 1745, 1749, 1794, 1812 and 1790 are included under the topic Early McDonnal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McDonnal Spelling Variations
were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. McDonnal has appeared in various documents spelled MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.
Early Notables of the McDonnal family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McDonnal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McDonnal family to Ireland
Some of the McDonnal family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 223 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McDonnal family to the New World and Oceana
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 McDonnal or a variant listed above include: John MacDonnell, who settled in Virginia in 1650; and of course, the large settlement of MacDonnells who settled in Canada.
The McDonnal 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 water and land.