MacDonald McDonald Family Records

THE M(a)cDonald Family is among the forty-nine “best families” selected by the American Historical-Genealogical Society for whom the Society has published family histories during the past few years. The M(a)cDonald family has been prominent in the British Empire and in the United States; its members having played important roles in war and in peace. Family pride is a commendable trait and should be cultivated. All M(a)cDonald have just cause to be proud of their family history and traditions.

In reference No. 14 we find the following regarding the origin and meaning of the name MacDonald:

The surname, MacDonald, means the son or descendant of Donald. Donald is a well-known northern personal name. By some etymologists it is thought to be derived from the Gaelic “donhuil,” which means “browneyed.” Others say that it comes from two Gaelic words, “domhan”-the world-and “all”-mighty. In Scotch histories of the family the name is always written Macdonald or MacDonald, while those of the clan who have come to America usually use the abbreviation, McDonald.

The clan MacDonald is certainly one of the oldest and most important in Scotland. Its chiefs descended from Somerled, Thane of Argyle, but sometimes styled King of the Isles, who flourished in the twelfth century.

This clan has been known for centuries for its fearlessness and bravery, and also for its ancient and unbroken lineage. It is well represented today throughout Great Britain and the United States.

The data in this volume is gathered from reliable sources. We have selected what we consider the most important material. Many of the daughters, and sons for whom no issue was shown, have been omitted from the pedigrees. A missing symbol indicates that a name has been omitted. Those desiring further information are advised to consult the volumes mentioned in the list of References.

The compiler hopes that, in producing this volume he is bringing to the M(a)cDonald Family information which will be of interest and value to them, and that he is rendering an important service to the public. He and his associates will be glad to give their cooperation to members of the family who are interested in having a complete genealogy of the family published..

Unless otherwise plainly shown, the persons in this volume whose names are accompanied by three figures are children of the immediately preceding persons bearing immediately preceding numbers. All persons in each group bearing the same letter as a part of their numbers, are directly related. The generations of the descendants of those bearing numbers of three figures are represented as follows. However, some of our material is published as copied from various records without rearrangement according to this system.

Generations: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Symbols: (1),etc. (A),etc. (a),etc. 1,etc. A,etc. a,etc. (I),etc. (i),etc. I,etc. i,etc.


Add., address;
b., born;
ch., children;
coll., college;
d., died;
d. y., died young;
d. w. i., died without issue;
dau., daughter;
grad., graduated;
l., lives, lived;
m., married, moved;
s., son;
univ., university.

MacDonald/McDonald References

All of the works listed below will be found in the Library of Congress. Most of them will be found in the libraries of historical and genealogical societies. Some of them will be found in the libraries of all of the large American cities.

1. Americans of Royal Descent, 1891, Browning.
2. Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography.
3. British Family Names, Barber.
4. Burke’s General Armory.
5. Burke’s Landed Gentry.
6. Burke’s Peerage and Baronetcy, 1925, 1926.
7. Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, Bardsley.
8. Dictionary of National Biography, London, 1887.
9. Directories, City and Telephone.
10. English Surnames, Bardsley.
11. Heraldic Illustrations, 1853.
12. Miscellaneous Sources.
13. Officers of the Continental Army, 1775-1783, Heitman.
14. Patronymica Britannica, Lower.
15. Private Collections of Family Data.
16. Revolutionary Records of the Respective Colonies.
17. Surnames of the United Kingdom, Harrison.
18. U.S. Postal Guide.
19. Who’s Who (British).
20. Who’s Who in America, 1926-27.
21. A Keppoch Song: A poem celebrating the origin and history of the family. John Paul MacDonald, Montrose, 1815.
22. Vindication “Clanronald of Glengarry,” Edinburgh, 1860.
23. Genealogy and History, MacDonald of Sanda, London, 1826.
24. History, Genealogy and Miscellaneous Tracts, and Sketch of History of MacDonalds of the Isles, Alexander Sinclair, Edinburgh, 1860.
25. Genealogy MacDonald Family, New Haven Conn., 1876.
26. Contributory History, Bryan McDonald and Family, Frank V. McDonald, San Francisco, 1879.
27. Supplement to No. 1 edition of B. MacDonald Genealogy and Descendants, Jesse Peter, Frank V. McDonald, Cambridge, 1880.
28. Biography Richard Hayes McDonald of San Francisco, Cal., Frank V. McDonald, Cambridge, 1881.
29. History, MacDonalds and Lords of the Isles, Alexander MacKenzie, 1881.
30. Moidart; or Among the Clanranalds, Rev. Charles MacDonald, Oban, 1889.
31. Clan Donald, Rev. A. MacDonald, Inverness, 1896-1904.
32. Glengarry McDonalds of Virginia, Mrs. Flora McDonald Williams, Louisville, 1911.
33. Highland Papers and History of the MacDonalds, J.R.N. Macphail, Edinburgh, 1914-16.
34. MacDonald of the Isles, A.M.W. Stirling, New York, 1914.

Macdonald, McDonald,



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1 thought on “MacDonald McDonald Family Records”

  1. This info is wrong. DM and Mary had 9 children. My great great grandfather was one of the children and I have his bible in my basement with the correct names and dates. Also Donald Malcolm was NOT the name he used when he came to America in 1822.

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