What’s in a name?
Did you know the McDonald Surname means descendant of Donald?
According to Forebears.io, it is the 2036th most common surname in the world, with approximately 272,000 people bearing the name (McDonald and MacDonald combined). Most of those people live in the United States.
There are many variants of McDonald, including MacDonald and Macdonald, which are Anglicised versions of the Scottish and Irish Gaelic: MacDhòmhnaill or Dòmhnallach. The name is a patronym (a name conveying paternal lineage) meaning “son of Dòmhnall”. The personal name Dòmhnall is composed of the elements domno “world” and val “might”, “rule”.
How appropriate! Think of all the McDonalds you know!
Somerled – The Common Ancestor
Somerled may have upwards of 500,000 living descendants, second only to Genghis Khan. The key person for the McDonald (MacDonald) descent lines was John, Lord of the Isles, who was known as “Good John.” Good John died in 1386 and is the progenitor of most of the Somerled descendants. DNA testing has shown that all of the MacDonald clan chieftains were genetic descendants of Somerled, as are roughly a quarter of all those who bear the MacDonald name today.Since the early 2000s, several genetic studies have been conducted on men bearing surnames traditionally associated with patrilineal descendants of Somerled. The results of one such study, published in 2004, confirmed that five chiefs of Clan Donald, who all traced their patrilineal descent from Somerled, were indeed descended from this common ancestor.
You’ll Never Guess Who?!
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the first McDonald’s restaurant was started in 1948 by brothers Maurice (“Mac”) and Richard McDonald in San Bernardino, California. They bought appliances for their small hamburger restaurant from salesman Ray Kroc, who was intrigued by their need for eight malt and shake mixers.Other Famous McDonalds
It’s all History…
Check out our contributor section. A growing body of historical articles, fact sheets, and informationals all about the McDonalds, MacDonalds, and their progany!
My name is Ron McDonald – I’m an antiquarian & retrophiliac
I am enamored by history. And, because I’m lucky enough to carry the McDonald surname, I’ve contributed an inordanite amount of time to studying the name’s origins. Recognizing the enormous contributions our McDonald forefathers made to the European continent (and the Americas), I’ve decided to unite MacDonalds, Macdonalds, and McDonalds everywhere, by creating a functional surname database and DNA vault. I provide this for pure archival-based gratification, borne out of simple academic enthusiasm.CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE