McDougal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Clan from whom the McDougal family descends began among the ancient Dalriadan kingdom of the west coast of Scotland. Their name comes from the personal name Dougal. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Dhughaill and literally means son of Dougal.

Early Origins of the McDougal family

The surname McDougal was first found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), where they were descended from Dugall eldest son of Somerled, first Lord of the Isles, and his son Duncan who received the lands of Lorn.The Clan was a bitter foe of Robert the Bruce, who made a narrow escape during one battle with the MacDougals only by discarding his cloak. The brooch of this cloak, now known as the Brooch of Lorn, is a treasured possession of the Chief of the Clan. The Clan faced heavy retaliation and was stripped of their lands once Robert the Bruce secured the Scottish throne. The lands were restored to the Clan upon the death of the king, but passed to the Stewarts in 1388 when the last member of the senior branch of MacDougals died without issue.

Early History of the McDougal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDougal research. Another 154 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1244 and 1316 are included under the topic Early McDougal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McDougal Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name McDougal include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include MacDougall, MacDowall, MacDowell, MacDugald, MacDill and many more.

Early Notables of the McDougal family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDougal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McDougal Ranking

In the United States, the name McDougal is the 3,835th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the McDougal family to Ireland

Some of the McDougal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McDougal migration to the United States +

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

McDougal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Margaret McDougal, who arrived in New York in 1740 [2]
  • Alexander McDougal, who arrived in New York in 1792 [2]
McDougal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Walter McDougal, who landed in New York in 1817 [2]
  • D McDougal, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • Governor McDougal, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • Allan McDougal, aged 29, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864 [2]
  • Dr. McDougal, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1871 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McDougal migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McDougal Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Archibald McDougal, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1813 [3]
  • Widow McDougal, who landed in Canada in 1817
  • Mary McDougal, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835
  • Mr. Jerry McDougal, aged 40 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Broom" departing 13th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 6th August 1847 but he died on board [4]

Australia McDougal migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McDougal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James McDougal, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839 [5]
  • Jane McDougal, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839 [5]
  • Miss Isobell McDougal, (Webster) who was convicted in Aberdeen, Scotland for 10 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 10th November 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • J. McDougal, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" in 1849 [7]
  • Mary A. McDougal, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk" [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McDougal migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McDougal Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. McDougal, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Philip Laing" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 15th April 1848 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name McDougal (post 1700) +

  • James H. "Dewey" McDougal (1871-1935), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Browns (1895-1896)
  • John Auchanbolt "Sandy" McDougal (1874-1910), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played in the late 1800s and early 1900s
  • Kevin T. McDougal (b. 1972), American retired University of Notre Dame football starting quarterback (1993)
  • Myres S. McDougal (1906-1998), American professor at the Yale Law School for fifty years
  • Dennis McDougal (b. 1947), American author and journalist, recipient of the National Headliner Award
  • Douglas C. McDougal (1876-1964), American marine, the 10th Assistant to the Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps
  • Jim McDougal (1940-1998), American political figure in the Whitewater controversy of the 1990s
  • David Stockton McDougal (1809-1882), American naval officer in the American Civil War, eponym of the USS McDougal (DD-54), and the USS McDougal (DD-358)
  • Karen McDougal (b. 1971), American model and actress
  • Francis McDougal (1826-1910), Canadian businessman and mayor of Ottawa, Canada from 1885 to 1886


The McDougal 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: Buaidh no bàs
Motto Translation: Victory or death


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 87)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIR CHARLES FORBES (originally Charles Forbes) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839SirCharlesForbes.htm
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARRY LORREQUER 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849HarryLorrequer.htm
  8. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Nashwauk 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/europa1855.shtml
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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