844 Global MACDONNELL Family Members

Days Hours Minutes Seconds
MACDONNELL Family Room Next Event:

Sunday 28th July
2pm (New York), 7pm (Ire)


Stay informed about MACDONNELL Family events
1 MACDONNELL Members Joined

My MACDONNELL family came from?

Don't forget to share within your family whatsapp groups

Days Hours Minutes Seconds
MACDONNELL Family Room Next Event:

Sunday 28th July
2pm (New York), 7pm (Ire)


Our in-person family gatherings

Our TEDx talk about family gatherings

MACDONNELL Family History

Mac Domhnaill- or in litriú nua, Mac Donaill, is anglicised MacDonnell, MacDonald, Macdonald, MacConnell, or those forms with the abbreviated 'Mc', as well as Donald, Donaldson, earlier McDaniell & c.The root of this surname is the personal name Domhnall- 'world mighty', Domnuill in Scots Gaelic, which is an ancient and frequent Gaelic first name.

The first statement must be that there are three distinct origins for this name in Ireland: 1) a branch of the Scottish clan MacDonnell/MacDonald; 2) MacDonnell of Thomond, a branch of the O'Briens; 3) MacDonnell of Clan-Kelly in present Co Fermanagh.Of course, lexically, the names are cognate, from the Gaelic name, but there is no genealogical connection between these three families.

Incidentally, the Scottish clan is of remote Irish origin, having come to Scotland with the 'Scoti' (latin word for the Dark Age Irish colonists of Caledonia, such as the tribe of the Dál Riada et. al.)

To take the Scottish clan MacDonnell/MacDonald first, their name would have been pronounced 'mac-hoonul' in Scottish Gaelic: it is likely that many Ulster McConnells have this origin.

As stated, they were by remote origin Irish Gaels, and their main branches were spread through the Islands and western highlands. The MacDonalds of Glencoe, infamously massacred by their guests, a Campbell regiment of the British Army, on 13th February, 1692, were conscious bearers of an Irish heritage they claimed to reach back to Conn of the Hundred Battles.

The clan Donald descend from Domnuill or Domhnall, grandson of Somhairle or Somerled, the lord of Argyll. (This first name was later used by the MacDonnells of Antrim, in the form 'Sorley'). As Lords of the Isles they became extremely powerful, from the 12th century onwards,vying with the lowland royal Stuarts for the control of most of Scotland.

Members of this Highland clan came to Ireland in the 14th and 15th centuries as 'galloglaigh' or gallowglass. These were heavily armed mercenaries used by the Irish chiefs and lords; in fact they were the elite soldiers of their time. According to Woulfe ('Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall', 1923) they formed a military clan of their own and settled in parts of Leinster, notably in Cos Leix and Wicklow.

At the beginning of the 15th century Iain Mór, a son of the Lord of the Isles,came into possession of the Glens of Antrim, but it is likely that MacDonnells/MacDonalds had already been established in numbers there before this date.

The second family would be the MacDonnells of Thomond, descended, in all probability, from one Domhnall, a son of Muirchertach ua Briain who was king of Ireland in the 12th century. This surname, in the form MacDonnell, is well established in Co Clare and adjacent areas in Co Limerick etc.

The third family mentioned, that of Clan-Kelly in western Ulster, which I have read stated to be 'almost extinct' (MacLysaght, 'Irish Families' series, 1980, 1982). However, there is plenty of evidence for this name in Fermanagh in the 1659 'Census' figures below.

In Petty's 1659 'Census' of Ireland, the name is listed as a 'Principal Irish Name' in counties: (all figures are for families)

Ossory Barony, McDaniell, 7; Maryborough, (Mc)Daniell 8; Cullenagh, Daniell 6; Portnyhinch, McDaniell, 10; Stradbally, Donnell & McDonnell, 9; Tynahinch, (Mc)Daniell, 6.

Glencarne Barony, McDonald, 9 (+ John Donaldson is listed as a proprietor & gentleman of Glenarme); Masareene, McConnell, 9; Belfast, (Mc)Donnell, 10; Dunluce/Carey, McConnell 16, McDonnell 10.

Bunratty Barony, McDaniell, 31; Tulla, McDaniell, 26; Inchiquine, McDaniell, 13; Island, McDaniell, 16; Clandirala, McDaniell, 10; Corcomroe, McDaniell 7.

Clownish & c. parishes, McDonnell, 10; Bohue Rossory, McDonnell, 4; Aghaharcher & c., McDonnell, 8; Dunmurry & c., McDonnell, 23.
Introduce yourself
MACDONNELL family crest

My MACDONNELL Family Story

is with

    X X
    Schedule a MACDONNELL Video Meeting
    1) Choose a date
    2) Choose time
    3) Add agenda
    Invite MACDONNELL Members

    Add to Your Post

    Select Audience

    Who can see your post?

    Your post will show up in News Feed, on your profile and in search results.
    • Public

      Anyone on or off Wales101
    • Friends

      Your friends on Wales101
    • Specific

      Only show to some friends
    • Only me

      Only you can see your post

    Tag People

    • Kane William

    • John Micky

    • John william

    • John Smith

    • John

    Create Life Event

    Share and remember important moments from your life.

    Invite more MACDONNELL family members!

    Write an email address and click 'Invite' to share this page with more members of the MACDONNELL tribe.

    Log in or Register to invite others
    Family Coat of Arms Generator

    Why not see what your family crest could look like based on your own family characteristics?

    Create Crest

    Discover where the MACDONNELL Family members live around the world

    Explore where tribe members live today!

    Join the Irish Learning Rooms


    Travel Planning to Ireland101

    Niamh Long


    Irish Business 101

    Ed Murphy


    Irish Folklore 101


    Irish Language 101

    Noah Buffini Higgs


    Irish History 101

    Michael Doyle

    Show off the MACDONNELL Family Crest…

    Wear your crest with pride...plenty of products to choose from