MacDonald Clan

MacDonald Clan Crest Scottish Clans

Short information

CrestA hand in armour fessways, holding by its point a cross crosslet fitchee, Gules.
Motto“Per Mare Per Terras”
TranslationThe translation of the MacDonald Clan Donald motto “Per Mare Per Terras” is “By Sea and Land.”
PlantCommon heath (Erica cinerea)
Gaelic NameThe Gaelic name for the MacDonald Clan is “Clann Dòmhnaill” or “MacDhòmhnaill” in Scottish Gaelic. The name is derived from the personal name “Domhnall,” which means “world ruler” or “ruler of the world” in Gaelic.
Origin of NameThe name “MacDonald” is a Scottish surname that is derived from the Gaelic language. The prefix “Mac” means “son of” in Gaelic, while “Domhnaill” or “Dòmhnaill” is the Gaelic form of the name “Donald”. Therefore, “MacDonald” means “son of Donald”.
The name Donald itself is of Celtic origin and is derived from the Old Gaelic name “Domhnall”, which is a combination of the words “domhan” (world) and “val” (rule), meaning “ruler of the world”. The name was popular in early medieval Scotland, and was borne by several powerful kings and nobles, including the first king of Scotland, Donald II.
Over time, the name Donald and its variants, including MacDonald, became associated with several Scottish clans, including the MacDonald Clan, which became one of the most powerful and influential clans in Scottish history.
War CryThe war cry or slogan of the MacDonald Clan is “Chlanna nan con thigibh a so’s gheibh sibh feoil” in Scottish Gaelic, which means “Sons of the hounds, come here and get flesh”. This war cry is believed to date back to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where the MacDonalds fought alongside Robert the Bruce against the English. According to legend, the MacDonalds were so ferocious in battle that they chased down and killed many English soldiers, feeding their hounds on the flesh of the fallen. The war cry has been associated with the MacDonald Clan ever since and is still used today as a symbol of their proud and fearless warrior heritage.
Pipe MusicThe MacDonald Clan has a rich tradition of pipe music, with several tunes associated with the clan. Some of the most well-known MacDonald Clan pipe tunes include:

“The MacDonald’s March”
“The MacDonald’s Salute”
“The MacDonald’s Gathering”
“The MacDonald’s Kinlochmoidart March”
“The MacDonald’s Reel”
These pipe tunes are played on the Great Highland Bagpipes, which are an important symbol of Scottish heritage and culture. The MacDonalds, like many other Scottish clans, have a strong connection to the pipes and have a long history of using them to communicate important messages during battle or other gatherings. The music of the pipes continues to be an important part of the MacDonald Clan’s cultural heritage and identity.
All about Clan MacDonald

MacDonald Clan Crest

MacDonald Clan Crest Badge
MacDonald Coat Of Arm

MacDonald Clan History

The history of the MacDonald clan is long and complex, as the clan has a rich and varied past. Here are some of the key highlights:

The MacDonalds are one of the oldest and most powerful clans in Scotland, and they trace their history back to the 12th century. They were originally based on the west coast of Scotland, in the region known as the Lordship of the Isles.

The clan’s founder was a man named Somerled, who was of mixed Celtic and Norse ancestry. He was a powerful figure who managed to unite many of the clans in the region under his banner.

Over the centuries, the MacDonalds were involved in many of the key events in Scottish history. They fought in the Wars of Scottish Independence, and later supported the Stuart kings during the Jacobite uprisings.

The MacDonalds were also involved in a number of feuds and conflicts with other clans, most notably the Campbells. The two clans had a bitter rivalry that lasted for centuries, and led to many battles and acts of violence.

Despite their turbulent history, the MacDonalds remained one of the most powerful clans in Scotland until the 18th century. Today, the clan is still active and has members all over the world, with many descendants of the clan living in North America, Australia, and other parts of the world.

The MacDonald clan has a long and complex history that spans many centuries, and there are several significant dates that mark important events in the clan’s history. Here are some of the most notable dates:

  • 1266: The Treaty of Perth was signed, which ended a long-running dispute between the kings of Norway and Scotland over the Hebrides. As a result of the treaty, the Hebrides were ceded to Scotland, and the Macdonalds became one of the most powerful clans in the region.
  • 1493: John MacDonald of Islay was made Lord of the Isles by King James IV of Scotland. This marked the peak of the MacDonalds’ power and influence, and they became the most powerful clan in the western Highlands and Islands.
  • 1545: The Battle of the Shirts took place, which was a bloody feud between the Macdonalds and the Campbells. The battle resulted in the deaths of hundreds of men from both clans and was one of the most brutal conflicts in Scottish history.
  • 1691: The Massacre of Glencoe took place, in which government soldiers killed 38 members of the MacDonald clan in their homes. The massacre was a result of the clan’s perceived support for the exiled King James II of England, and it remains a dark chapter in Scottish history.
  • 1745: During the Jacobite rising of 1745, the Macdonalds were divided in their loyalties, with some supporting the exiled Stuart dynasty and others supporting the Hanoverian government. The Battle of Culloden, which marked the end of the rebellion, saw many Macdonalds on both sides.
  • 2014: The chief of Clan Donald, the overarching clan of which the Macdonalds are a part, was officially recognized by the Lord Lyon, the heraldic authority for Scotland. This marked the first time in over 400 years that a chief of Clan Donald had been recognized by the Scottish government.

These are just a few of the many significant dates in the history of the MacDonald clan, which continues to be an important part of Scottish culture and identity today.

MacDonald Tartans

The MacDonald clan is one of the oldest and largest clans in Scotland, with several branches that have their own distinct tartans. The most well-known and commonly used MacDonald tartan is the MacDonald Lord of the Isles tartan, which features a pattern of green, blue, black, and yellow stripes.

The MacDonald Lord of the Isles tartan is associated with the clan’s history as the Lords of the Isles, a powerful dynasty that ruled over the Hebrides and parts of the Scottish mainland. The tartan is said to have been designed by the clan’s chief, Reginald MacDonald, in the 19th century.

Other MacDonald tartans include the MacDonald of Clanranald tartan, which features a pattern of red, green, blue, and black stripes, and the MacDonald of Sleat tartan, which has a pattern of red, green, and yellow stripes. These tartans are associated with specific branches of the MacDonald clan.

In addition to these tartans, there are also several MacDonald district tartans, which were designed to represent the areas of Scotland where the MacDonalds were traditionally based. These include the MacDonald of Glencoe tartan, which features a pattern of red, green, and black stripes, and the Macdonald of Keppoch tartan, which has a pattern of red, green, and yellow stripes.

Overall, the MacDonald tartans reflect the rich history and traditions of the clan, and continue to be worn with pride by members and supporters of the clan today.

MacDonald Clan Cheif

Clan MacDonald Cheifs

The MacDonald Clan Donald, also known as Clan MacDonald of MacDonald, is one of the largest and most powerful branches of the MacDonald Clan. Here is a list of the chiefs of the Clan Donald from the beginning:

  • Domhnall mac Raghnaill (died c. 1250)
  • Aonghas Mór mac Domhnaill (died c. 1293)
  • Aonghas Óg mac Aonghais (died c. 1314)
  • Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles (died 1386)
  • Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles (died 1449)
  • John of Islay, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles (died 1498)
  • Angus of Islay, Lord of the Isles (died 1539)
  • James MacDonald of Dunluce and the Glens (died 1565)
  • Sorley Boy MacDonnell of Dunnyveg (died 1590)
  • Randal MacDonnell, 1st Marquess of Antrim (died 1683)
  • Alexander Macdonald of Sleat (died 1745)
  • Sir James MacDonald of the Isles, 6th Baronet (died 1766)
  • Sir Alexander MacDonald of the Isles, 7th Baronet (died 1795)
  • Ranald George Macdonald of Clanranald (died 1873)
  • Godfrey Macdonald, 8th Baron Macdonald (died 1960)
  • Ian Godfrey Bosville Macdonald, 9th Baron Macdonald (died 2019)

MacDonald Clan Society

There are several societies and organizations dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the MacDonald Clan Donald. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Clan Donald USA: This is the official organization for Clan Donald in the United States. They have a network of regional branches across the country and host events and gatherings throughout the year.
  2. Clan Donald Canada: This is the official organization for Clan Donald in Canada. They have regional branches across the country and host events and gatherings for members.
  3. Clan Donald Society of the Highlands and Islands: This is the main organization for Clan Donald in Scotland. They work to promote the culture and history of the clan and have branches throughout the Highlands and Islands.
  4. Clan Donald Heritage: This organization is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the MacDonald Clan Donald and runs a museum and heritage center on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
  5. Clan Donald Australia: This is the official organization for Clan Donald in Australia. They have regional branches across the country and host events and gatherings for members.
  6. Clan Donald New Zealand: This is the official organization for Clan Donald in New Zealand. They have a network of regional branches across the country and host events and gatherings for members.
  7. Clan Donald Foundation: This is a charitable organization that supports projects and initiatives that promote the history and culture of Clan Donald.
  8. Clan Donald Lands Trust: This organization manages and maintains the ancestral lands of Clan Donald, including Armadale Castle on the Isle of Skye. They work to preserve the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the lands for future generations.

MacDonald Septs

Here are some of the most common Septs (or family branches) of the MacDonald Clan Donald:

  1. MacDonell of Glengarry
  2. MacDonell of Keppoch
  3. MacDonell of Lochgarry
  4. MacDonell of Leek
  5. MacDonell of Scotus
  6. MacDonell of Glencoe
  7. MacDonell of Bohuntine
  8. MacDonell of Trossachs
  9. MacDonell of Laggan
  10. MacDonell of Aberchalder
  11. MacDonell of Inch
  12. MacDonell of Morar
  13. MacDonell of Knoydart
  14. MacDonell of Arisaig
  15. MacDonell of Glenaladale
  16. MacDonell of Asher
  17. MacDonell of Barrisdale
  18. MacDonell of Castleton
  19. MacDonell of Fersit
  20. MacDonell of Glengarry (Canada)

It’s worth noting that there are many variations in the spelling of these Septs, and some Septs may be associated with more than one Clan or family.

There are many variations in the spelling of the Septs associated with the MacDonald Clan Donald, but here are some of the most common variations:

  1. MacDonell
  2. MacDonnell
  3. MacDonald
  4. McDonald
  5. McDonell
  6. McDonnell
  7. McDaniel
  8. Dainard
  9. Donald
  10. Donaldson
  11. Donell
  12. Donnell
  13. Dondaldson
  14. Dondell
  15. Dondald
  16. Donuld
  17. Dondalson
  18. Doneil
  19. Doneill
  20. Donel
  21. Donellson
  22. Donil
  23. Donill
  24. Donegan
  25. Donneil
  26. Donnill
  27. Donnelson
  28. Donoghue
  29. Donohoe
  30. Dowling

It’s important to note that not all of these variations are exclusively associated with the MacDonald Clan Donald, and some may also be associated with other Clans or families.


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