McDonald Coat of Arms, Family Crest and McDonald Family History

If you are conducting some McDonald family history research then you can view the McDonald coat of arms and the name meaning and origin of the name as well as the meaning of symbols below. This is a great place to start when tracing your genealogy and McDonald surname history and will help you answer the question 'what is the meaning of my name?'


McDonald Coat of Arms, Family Crest - Click here to view

The ancient origin of the name McDonald was found in the archives.

Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.

Variants of the name McDonald include Donald, Donaldson and McDonell. The Clan founder was Somerled, who freed his countrymen from the Norse Yoke. He died in 1164, leaving three sons. The second, Reginald, died in 1207, leaving an eldest son, Donald, from whom the Clan takes its name. As Lords of the Isles and Earls of Ross, the Clan Donald were the greatest of the Highland Clans in Scotland, their Chief until 1493, ranking as an Island Sovereign. After the fall of the Lords of the Isles, first Glengarry, and then the Lords of Sleat held the Chieftainry. The Chief of Glencoe MacDonalds was of Royal descent and was, with nearly all his Clan, massacred by Campbell of Glenlyon in 1692. In Ireland this name is usually of immigrant origin having been brought into Ulster by settlers and gallowglasses from Scotland. Some members of the Gaelic MacDomhnaill sept adopted McDonald as the anglicized form of their name instead of the more usual McDonnell.The McDonald family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McDonald descendants.

Meaning of Symbols & Colors on the McDonald Coat of Arms

Gules/Red 'The Martyr's colour', signifies Military Fortitude and Magnanimity.
Or/Yellow/Gold Represents Generosity.
Vert/Green Signifies Hope, Joy and sometimes, Loyalty in Love
Cross Patoncee/Cross Flory One who had Conquered
Fish Symbol of Christ
The Lion Emblem of Deathless Courage
Ship/Galley Symbol of a notable Expedition by Sea
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by Michael Green

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