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  1. #1
    Join Date
    9th April 18
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    MacDonald? or MacDonald of the isles?

    Perhaps someone can help. Being able to trace my family back to the time of Oliver Cromwell and his orders to exile Scots who were captured fighting for the crown, both my paternal and maternal roots come from clan Donald (Surnames of Cone and Conn). My question is what the differences or distinguishing details between clan MacDonald and clan MacDonald of the isles are. Are they branches of the same tree?
    Per mare per terras

  2. #2
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
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    Crieff, Perthshire
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    Clan Donald, the whole clan. MacDonald of the Isles is the senior branch, depending on your point of reference. Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch etc., are branches but large enough and old enough to be recognised as clans in their own right.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    9th April 18
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Clan Donald, the whole clan. MacDonald of the Isles is the senior branch, depending on your point of reference. Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch etc., are branches but large enough and old enough to be recognised as clans in their own right.
    Thank you. Perhaps you could point me in the right direction.
    My surname is Cone. Past family lore and genealogical records trace my family (Both paternal and maternal, my motherís family name is Conn) to Daniel Cone who was exiled to Haddam, Connecticut by Oliver Cromwell. Itís believed Danielís name was logged into the ships manifest as Cone rather than MacCoan or Coan by a disinterested Brit clerk. Hereís my question. Both surnames, Cone and Conn are associated with Clan Donald. My DNA testing would indicate a mix of 87% Scottish and the rest, Norse and Russo, since both sides of my family descend from a common group with not much variation, the belief is that my line comes from the highland/ Isles area. The issue is that all accounts of Daniel Cone identify him as belonging to the Colqhuoun/Calhoun clan and he was born near Loch Lomond, even though his name isnít associated with it, though none of his personal records or writings indicated either possibility. In your opinion, where would you go in the next steps to figure this out? My family has always associated with clan Donald and none of the older family tree keepers ever delved into the name discrepancy.
    Per mare per terras

  5. #4
    Join Date
    3rd January 18
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    CA
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    There is a Clan Donald USA DNA project at https://www.clandonaldusa.org/index.php/dna-project . If you believe to be of direct paternal linage then you can take a Y DNA test through FamilyTreeDNA.com and administrators on the project may be able to tell you something. I know that most people just find out if they are descendant from Somerled, but if you get more in depth tests (Big Y) you can be placed into a specific branch (Clan Ranald, Keppoch, e.t.c.). You do have to be a member of Clan Donald USA to get the benefits of the use of the genealogist.

    Once you get results there are many different groups you may be put in, some of which have no relation to Clan Donald if you are prepared for that possibility.

    -Warren Macdonald

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  7. #5
    Join Date
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    To open, welcome to the great rabble who comprise this forum.

    You may already know that clan Donald considers itself to be quite interested in, and skilled at, genealogy. So I was told by a
    gracious, persistent (almost annoyingly so), and knowledgeable gentleman I met at the clan Donald tent at the Stone Mountain
    Highland Games. As we talked I assured him I had a fair knowledge of my genealogy to no avail. Within three minutes, to our
    mutual astonishment, I had named his gggg grandfather, my ggg grandfather. We still laugh. The point being we find connections
    all over, and clan Donald is eager to be helpful. Mark provided to me the name of the regional genealogist, knows the cousin who
    has amassed much of our personal connections, who was trained by another cousin who persuaded Ellen Odom to bequeath
    her farm to provide funding for the Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie, Georgia. Said library is the repository of records from over
    100 clans. It has become part of the Moultrie Library system, and some links no longer work, but if you can contact or get to the
    library, they have extensive material related to clan Donald. All that to say hie thee hence to south Georgia to dive into the most
    complete info on clan Donald outside of Skye.

    On another note, those of us in the Atlanta attempt to gather from time to time at locations which not coincidentally provide food
    and drink to support pleasant conversation. Please consider joining us. Watch for posts in the Events section of the forum. Or PM
    member Wareyin, who graciously attempts to herd cats on a monthly basis. Life is busy, the metro area is 125 miles across, but
    we'd love to have you join us.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    3rd January 18
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    Not sure if you have this information already but I found the following from the resources on Clan Donald USA website. It's from a list of Clan Donald associated names.

    "Conn: Only those from West Highlands & Islands or Antrim. Clan Donald Conns derive from: Traditional name of Clan Donald - Siol Cuinn - "The Seed of Conn" of the 100 Battles. Found in Islay, Kintyre, Antrim, Clan Donald SOUTH"

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    2nd October 04
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    My ancestors are from Uig, then Staffin, on the forth end of the Trotternish Peninsula of Skye. Viking blood.

    I have documents that show we have spelled our name Macdonald - no big D in the middle - for 11 generations now.

    My grandfather Murdoch told me Macdonald with the small d was an indication of Island Scots while the big D MacDonalds were highlanders.
    Ol' Macdonald himself, a proud son of Skye and Cape Breton Island
    Lifetime Member STA. Two time winner of Utilikiltarian of the Month.
    "I'll have a kilt please, a nice hand sewn tartan, 16 ounce Strome. Oh, and a sporran on the side, with a strap please."

  11. #8
    Join Date
    8th September 16
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    I am in a very long line of MacDonald's, Clanranald, and of the Isles, both. Did the DNS with Clan Donald, and put in the olive/black group that is one of the oldest of the Highlanders, defiantly old very old, but NOT related to Sumerled. I am having a MacDonald of the Isle Kilt being made now, and plan to wear it proudly. FYI, ALL my MacDonald ancestors are from Knoydart, Keppock and Airsaig, as far back as I have been able to track, early 1500's. I HIGHLY recommend the Clan Donald DNA Test, as the research and results get better every year. Regarding the small "d" and large "D", many times the spelling was changed by Censes, Immigration and Government Clerks who sounded it out phonetically, and did not really adhere to what the spelling actually was. May there is something to the Isles or mainland, but I have seen MacD(d)onald spelled both ways interchangeably throughout generations, even in my own family.
    Last edited by CollinMacD; 17th April 18 at 06:47 AM.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  12. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by CollinMacD View Post
    I am in a very long line of MacDonald's, Clanranald, and of the Isles, both. Did the DNS with Clan Donald, and put in the olive/black group that is one of the oldest of the Highlanders, defiantly old very old, but NOT related to Sumerled. I am having a MacDonald of the Isle Kilt being made now, and plan to wear it proudly. FYI, ALL my MacDonald ancestors are from Knoydart, Keppock and Airsaig, as far back as I have been able to track, early 1500's. I HIGHLY recommend the Clan Donald DNA Test, as the research and results get better every year. Regarding the small "d" and large "D", many times the spelling was changed by Censes, Immigration and Government Clerks who sounded it out phonetically, and did not really adhere to what the spelling actually was. May there is something to the Isles or mainland, but I have seen MacD(d)onald spelled both ways interchangeably throughout generations, even in my own family.
    Which DNA tests have you done so far? I've only done the Y-37 test, but I was told my results were strong enough to be put in the R1a red/black subgroup. I was told by the moderator that I am a descendant of Somerled and John, 1st Lord of the Isles. I want to do the Big Y test to see if I can get put in more specific sept of Macdonalds, but I'm waiting for a sale. Though I know that, I can only trace back my paper lineage to arrival in Canada in the early 1800's. My earliest traceable ancestor was a John Macdonald with his wife Margaret and 5 kids that were stated to have been from Inverness-shire (from their ship records), but I realize Invnerness-shire included most of the highlands and isles so I still don't know quite where they came from.

    I'd love to compare notes with any other Macdonalds to find out if we share any ancestry.

    Also my great-grandfather also used to say something about the lowercase "d" meaning something special and he was the only one in his family who made sure to keep is spelled that way. I'm still not quite sure if it means anything. I have seen it used interchangeably on census records, but those were usually written by someone else and perhaps the individual families kept it spelled a certain way in their own records on purpose. I do think that people generally do want to inflate their own personal family importance so it's hard to know if word of mouth really means anything.

    -Warren Macdonald

  13. #10
    Join Date
    8th September 16
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    I too two DNA test not the expensive one yet. I am R-M269. I went to the Donald Clan and took that one, and then took another my wife got me both came out the same.

    I have documented my family back to 1740 Knoydart marriage of John Alexander MacDonald, who married Margaret MacBride, one of his sons Samuel was born o/a 1750, married Johanna Huet in Knoydart, having three sons and daughter, Angus (My 7h grandfather), Donald and Allan, and one daughter Catherine. All Samuel and all family left Scotland on the Nora in 1790, arriving at Cape Bretton, NS. Angus and Donald Chisholm got land grants and cleared the forest for farmland what call Marydale, now called St. Andrews, Antigonish County, NS. Family remained there for generations until my Grandfather left, married Mary Elizabeth Chisholm, migrated to the US, 1916, became a US Citizen in 1934. My father was born with his siblings in the US. All my family were substance farmers, miners, or fishermen. Nobody in my family roots was famous, just hard workers. We all are still practicing Roman Catholics, and all Clanranald, all very Scottish and proud. My MacDonald's had very close clanship with Chisholm's, MacBride's, Macintosh's, MacIsaac, and other MacDonalds, (MacDonnell from Glencoe, and MacDonald of Sleat) but ALL were Catholics. I have solid documentation from 1790 through current when they arrived in Nova Scotia, I have all brother sisters etc. Several generations to current. There is even a Kennedy thrown in there...


    I do know that John Alexander MacDonald was a Jacobite Captain, arrested several years after Culloden near Knoydart and imprisioned at Fort Williams, put on trial, served time, forfeit all lands and property, So they became tenant farmers and lived in poverty and he died around 1765, wife died year later. He could have come from Keppock or more likely Airsaig. have not got beyond him yet, so can't tell you much more. Our family left just after the Clearances, and from what I can summarize, they wanted to own land, which they could not do because of their religion, as they never signed the allegiance and remained Catholic, which caused some serious problems with their welfare. I have much more, but don't want to bore you, that is what I have that is documented. I hope to go to Scotland and learn more in the future. Although both of us have ancestors called John with wives of Margaret, I doubt there is a relationship, unless its the same one who was Catholic and a Jacobite. Was one of his sons name Samuel? Knoydart is in Inverness-shire.
    Last edited by CollinMacD; 17th April 18 at 01:57 PM.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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