Macdonald, MacDonald, McDonald
Family name
Meaning "son of Dòmhnall"
Region of origin Scotland
Language(s) of origin Scottish Gaelic
Related names Donald, Donald (surname), Donaldson
Footnotes: [1]

MacDonald, Macdonald, and McDonald are Anglicised forms of the Scottish Gaelic name MacDhòmhnaill. It is a patronym where Mac means "son" and Dhòmhnaill means "of Dòmhnall". The personal name Dòmhnall is composed of the elements domno "world" and val "might", "rule".[2] According to Alex Woolf, the Gaelic personal name is probably a borrowing from the British Dyfnwal.

In the context of Scottish clans, the various forms of the name refer to one of the largest clans, Clan Donald.


Frequency and distribution

In Scottish surname data, no distinction is made between, for instance, "Macdonald" and "MacDonald".[3] According to this data, the following frequency information can be collated:

Year(s) Macdonald Rank  %freq[4] McDonald Rank  %freq
1855–1858[5] 2 1.23 <50 <0.30
1901[6] 38 (2)[6] 0.37 9 0.83
1935[5] 2 1.03 <50 <0.28
1958[5] 3 0.98 <50 <0.26
1976[7] 10 0.59 23 0.40
1990[7] 10 0.55 32 0.35
1999–2001[3][7] 9 0.55 24 0.37
Table References[4][5][6][7]

Frequency data from England of 1891 shows a concentration of families bearing the "Macdonald" surname in Lancashire and Yorkshire with a lower frequency in the northernmost counties, but overall widespread distribution throughout the country.[8] "McDonald" shares the same pattern of distribution.[9] Looking at contemporaneous data from the United States, coast-to-coast distribution of both "Macdonald" and "McDonald" appears in 1880.[10][11] Looking back to 1840 in the United States, the prevalence of "McDonald" is far greater than that of "Macdonald", with concentration in the Ohio-Pennsylvania-New York corridor.[12][13]

Notable people: MacDonald surname

Born after 1400
Born after 1700
  • Jacques MacDonald (1765–1840), French Duke of Tarento and Marshal of the Empire under Napoleon I (2nd generation French; father was Scottish)
  • John Small MacDonald (c.1791–1849), Canadian businessman and provincial politician
Born after 1800
  • Claude Maxwell MacDonald (1852–1915), British soldier and diplomat
  • George MacDonald (1824–1905), Scottish-English author, poet, and Christian minister
  • Hector MacDonald (1853–1903), Scottish Major-General of the British Army under Lord Kitchener
  • John Alexander Macdonald (1815–1891), first Prime minister of Canada
  • John L. MacDonald (1838–1903), Scottish-American national politician
  • Pirie MacDonald (1867–1942), American portrait photographer
  • Ramsay MacDonald (1866–1937), Scottish politician, twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (son of "Macdonald" father and "Ramsay" mother, registered at birth as "James McDonald Ramsay")
  • Ranald MacDonald (1834–1894), Scottish-Chinook educator. First man to teach the English language in Japan
  • William Josiah MacDonald (1873–1946), American lawyer and national politician
  • A. B. MacDonald, American journalist
Born after 1900
Born after 1950

Notable people: Macdonald surname

Born after 1800
Born after 1900
Born after 1950

Notable people: McDonald surname

Born after 1800
Born after 1900
  • Sir Arthur McDonald (1903–1996), British West Indian-English Royal Air Force Air Marshal
  • Marie McDonald (1923–1965), American film actress
  • Walt McDonald (born 1934), American poet, academic, Poet Laureate of Texas
  • Larry McDonald (1935–1983), a member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Very Revd Dr Alexander McDonald (born 1937), Scottish Minister of the Church of Scotland
  • Sir Trevor McDonald (born "George McDonald" 1939), Trinidadian-born British news presenter
  • Country Joe McDonald (born 1942), American musician and activist
  • Ian McDonald (musician) (born 1946), English rock musician
  • Mac McDonald (born 1949), American actor
  • Roy McDonald (poet) (born 1937), Canadian poet and busker
  • Roy McDonald (politician) (born 1946) New York State Senator
  • Susan Marshall McDonald (1918–1992), philatelist of Ohio,
  • Laurier McDonald (born 1931), Texas Attorney, Historian, Author.
Born after 1950


  • Ian MacDonald (born "MacCormick" 1948–2003), British music critic and author.


  • Brothers: J.S. Macdonald (b.1812) ↔ D.A. Macdonald (b.1817)
  • Brothers: C. McDonald (b.1955) ↔ D. McDonald (b.1960)
  • Father-son: A. McDonald (b.1937) → D. Tennant (McDonald) (b.1971)
  • Father-Daughter-in-Law: J.A. Macdonald (b.1874) → M.M. Macdonald (b.1910)

Notable fictional characters

See also

Ambiguous human name pages
  • John Macdonald (disambiguation) (includes 'MacDonald'), John McDonald (disambiguation)
  • Kevin McDonald (disambiguation)
  • Ian McDonald (disambiguation)
  • Michael MacDonald (disambiguation)
  • Steve McDonald (disambiguation)


  1. ^ British surnames - origin
  2. ^ "McDonald Name Meaning and History". Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Surnames in Scotland over the last 140 years". Occasional papers. General Register Office for Scotland. Retrieved 2008-02-10. "In this new survey of surnames, as in all previous surveys, we have not distinguished between the varying use of capital letters within surnames e.g. MacDonald/Macdonald. However, as in the previous two surveys, each spelling is noted separately in the tables e.g. McDonald/MacDonald." 
  4. ^ a b %freq = percentage of the sample population sharing a particular surname.
  5. ^ a b c d
  6. ^ a b c Note: Quote from GROScotSurnames: "Note that McDonald is shown as more common than MacDonald in 1901, although given the uncertainties surrounding the spelling of these names it would seem wrong to regard this as significant."
  7. ^ a b c d
  8. ^ macdonald Families Living in England and Wales in 1891 -
  9. ^ mcdonald Families Living in England and Wales in 1891 -
  10. ^ mcdonald Family History Facts 1880 -
  11. ^ macdonald Family History Facts 1880 -
  12. ^ mcdonald Family History Facts 1840 -
  13. ^ macdonald Family History Facts 1840 -

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См. также в других словарях:

  • MacDonald — oder MacDonald (ursprünglich schottischer Name in der Bedeutung von Sohn von Donald) ist der Name von folgenden bekannten Personen: Amy Macdonald (* 1987), schottische Musikerin Andrew Macdonald (* 1966), britischer Filmproduzent Andrew Archibald …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Macdonald — oder MacDonald (ursprünglich schottischer Name in der Bedeutung von Sohn von Donald) ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alan MacDonald (* 1958), englischer Autor Amy Macdonald (* 1987), schottische Musikerin Andrew Macdonald (* 1966),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Macdonald — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. MacDonald (ou McDonald) est un nom de famille d origine écossaise. Sommaire 1 Personnes 2 Voir aussi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MacDonald — MacDonald, James Ramsay MacDonald, Jeannette MacDonald, Ross * * * (as used in expressions) Fraser, George MacDonald MacDonald, (James) Ramsay Macdonald, Dwight Macdonald, Sir John (Alexander) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • MacDonald —   [mək dɔnəld],    1) George, schottischer Schriftsteller, * Huntly (County Aberdeenshire) 10. 12. 1824, ✝ Ashstead (County Surrey) 18. 9. 1905; Theologe, später freier Schriftsteller. MacDonald schrieb zahlreiche humoristische Regionalromane,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • MACDONALD (J. R.) — MACDONALD JAMES RAMSAY (1866 1937) Né dans une famille écossaise pauvre du Morayshire, d’esprit très religieux mais influencé très jeune par Henry George et Henry Mayers Hyndman, James Ramsay MacDonald eut une adolescence difficile. Membre de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • MacDonald — (James Ramsay) (1866 1937) homme politique britannique. Premier ministre (travailliste) en 1924, puis en 1929, il affronta la crise écon.; abandonné par son parti, il présida un gouv. d Union nationale (1931 1935). MacDonald (sir John Alexander)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Macdonald — Macdonald, Etienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre[665] M., Herzog von Tarent, geb. 17. Nov. 1765 in Sancerre im Departement Cher, stammte von einem ausgewanderten hochschottischen Clangeschlecht, trat 1784 in französische Kriegsdienste, schloß sich der …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Macdonald — Macdonald, 1) Etienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre M., Herzog von Tarent, Marschall von Frankreich, geb. 17. Nov. 1765 in Sedan, aus einer irischen Familie, gest. 24. Sept. 1840, trat 1784 in französische Kriegsdienste, wurde 1792, nachdem er sich… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Macdonald — Macdonald, Etienne Jacq. Jos. Alex., Herzog von Tarent, franz. Marschall, geb. 17. Nov. 1765 zu Sedan, aus hochschott. Clangeschlecht, trat früh in die franz. Armee, erhielt 1809 für seinen Anteil an der Schlacht bei Wagram den Marschallstab und… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • MacDonald [2] — MacDonald (spr. mäckdónnĕld), George, engl. Dichter, geb. 1824 in Huntly, gest. 17. Sept. 1905 in Sagamore, veröffentlichte Gedichtsammlungen, Romane (»David Elginbrod«, 1862; »Adela Cathcart«, 1864, u.a.), Jugendschriften, »Unspoken sermons«… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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