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


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.

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDougal research. Another 307 words (22 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.

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Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDougal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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
  • Alexander McDougal, who arrived in New York in 1792

McDougal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Walter McDougal, who landed in New York in 1817
  • D McDougal, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Governor McDougal, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Allan McDougal, aged 29, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864
  • Dr. McDougal, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1871


McDougal Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Archibald McDougal settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1813
  • Widow McDougal, who landed in Canada in 1817
  • Mary McDougal, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835

McDougal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James McDougal arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839
  • Jane McDougal arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839
  • J. McDougal arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" in 1849
  • Mary A. McDougal, aged 20, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk"
  • Christina McDougal, aged 20, a seamstress, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"

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  • 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


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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: Buaidh no bąs
Motto Translation: Victory or death

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The McDougal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McDougal 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 6 April 2016 at 09:30.

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