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Origins of the McDonald surname

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What does the name McDonald mean?

The McDonald surname is Scottish and Irish. In both of these countries, it's a patronymic name, an anglicisation of the Gaelic name 'MacDhomhnaill' or 'MacDomhnallach'. This name would be given to those who were the son or descendant of somebody name 'Domhnall' (a name anglicised to 'Donald').

Alternative variations of the name McDonald

McDonald, Macdonald, MacDonell, MacDonall, McDonald

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Delve deeper into the McDonald family's history

Where do most McDonalds live?

In 1921, most McDonalds lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about McDonalds

How common is your surname?

153rd most common surname in the UK

We have 349,000 records for the McDonald surname. The oldest one dates back to 1719.

Who were McDonalds most likely to marry?

Mc Donalds



Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married McDonalds.

What are the most common McDonald first names?

  • John
  • James
  • Mary
  • Margaret

Our birth record sets tell us the names of McDonald family members

Common jobs for McDonalds

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for McDonalds in 1921
Domestic Servant








General Servant


Common Male occupations for McDonalds in 1921




General Labourer


Farm Servant




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