Recorded as Dongal, Dongall, Donegall, Dongle and the patronymic Dongles, however spelt this is a very rare name and of confused ancestry. It is clearly locational and if so is from some place in the British Isles. The obvious place would be Donegal in Ireland and this name actually translates as "The fort of the foreigners." This refers to the invasion of Ireland in the 9th century, not for once by the much maligned English and Scots, but by the earlier Norse-Vikings, who also controlled the Isle of Man and much of Northern England.The surname does appear although very rarely and very late in the Irish surnames lists with a suggestion that it comes from England! Locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is a name given as easy identification to a person when he or sometimes she, finally settled somewhere else. The first recording date that we have is that of James Dongall at St Peter's church Dublin, on December 22nd 1728, and this seems to be the recording of an Englishman rather than an Irishman, whilst later in London we have the remarkably named Ichonadab Donegall, whose son Thomas was christened at the church of St Clement Danes, in the city of London, on July 25th 1786.
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