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Silly question ! re McDonald surname

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Maura Report 19 Apr 2013 14:20

My McDonnell's are fom Co. Antrim and half of them, their names are spelt McDonald. It's a very common name in Antrim.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 19 Apr 2013 12:35

Thank you all for adding :-D

Malcolm that's very interesting about the farmers, might well be a possibility I think. I shall look into it!


DazedConfused Report 19 Apr 2013 11:50

And to add to the Irish/Scottish surname confusion

My OH is a Scott and his family are from Scotland (where he wasw born) but they originate from Northern Ireland...... :-D


Malcolm Report 19 Apr 2013 09:10

I read in a history of Scottish farming that many farmers moved to the Norfolk area in the mid 19th century. They took their skills of drainage with them which of course added to those introduced long before by the Netherlanders. They also brought plough designs and other farming methods which were successful.

McDonald tends to be a name associated with the Western Isles and Highlands but by 1800 there would be a lot of movement out of those traditional areas.

For anyone searching McDonald or similar names, be aware of the Irish version McDonnel which is easily confused.


GlasgowLass Report 18 Apr 2013 23:55

Rambling Rose
My OH's great grandparents were a Campbell and McDonald who married in Glasgow.
The Campbells were Scottish but the McDonalds were .. IRISH!
Have traced the McDonalds to Co Antrim circa1800

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 18 Apr 2013 20:43

very nice Ann , funnily enough my favourite skirt when I was little was tartan :-)


AnnCardiff Report 18 Apr 2013 20:32

of course you can :-D

google and see if the colour suits you

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 18 Apr 2013 19:49

Thanks Ann and Janet, it is so far the only link I have found with Scotland :-) it is my gt gt gt grandmother's maiden name and while I know she was born Norfolk from later census I can get no further back ( does that mean if her father was Scottish I can wear tartan? ;-) )


Janet Report 18 Apr 2013 19:39

...............about as fair a bet as it was that being born a Campbell meant that my tree had Scottish origins

J :-D


AnnCardiff Report 18 Apr 2013 19:37

Last name: McDonald
This is probably the most famous of Scottish clan surnames. Recorded in the modern spellings of MacDonald and McDonald, the derivation is from the pre 10th century Gaelic name Mac Dhomhnuill. This is a compound which translates literally as "The son of the world ruler". Whilst this may not have been the actual meaning fifteen hundred years ago, it is perhaps not entirely coincidental that one branch of the clan are known as "The Lords of the Isles". This was an assumed title, which much resented by early Scottish kings, King David 11 in the year 1369 going to considerable, if unsuccessful lengths, to try to dispossess them by force. In the Gaelic the name was pronounced Mak Oonil, and attempts at pronunciation have rendered a variety of spellings including; MakChonehill (1479), McConile (1570), Mak Donald (1571) and M'Oneill (1576). Early church registers in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh record the christening of John, the son of Alane McDonald, on July 4th 1672, and the marriage of John McDonald and Grissell McFuffan on July 29th 1687. Among the many famous nameholders are Flora MacDonald (1722 - 1790), the rescuer of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, and Sir John MacDonald, (1815 - 1891), the first premier of the Dominion of Canada. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Therthelnac MakDonenalde. This was dated 1251, when he was a charter witness at Lesmore, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling

Read more:

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 18 Apr 2013 19:22


Is it a fair bet to assume that a McDonald found in my tree has Scottish origins?