Recorded in several spellings including Donald, Donnel, Donnell, the diminutive Donnellan which is mainly recorded in Ireland, the patronymics Donaldson and Donnellson, and dialectals such as Doull, Doole, and even Daniel, this is a surname of Scottish and sometimes Irish origins. It is a developed form of the pre 10th century Old Gaelic patronymic name "MacDomhnall", meaning "son of Donald", and composed of the elements "dubro", meaning world, and "val", might or rule and is first recorded in 13th century Scotland as Dofnald, Douenald and Dufenald. Early examples of recordings include those of Lucas filius Douenaldi, given as being a Scots prisoner of war in the town of Berkhamstede in 1296, according to the Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, whilst Haket Donald paid his "contribution for peace" to the Bailie of Kinross in 1328, and the O'Donnellans were recorded as a bardic clan in County Galway, Ireland, in 1396. Davide Donaldson was one of the tenants of Campsie, Scotland, in 1443 whilst Walter Donalson was a philosophical writer and part of an embassy sent by James V1 of Scotland to Denmark in 1594. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Donaldson, one of the Garrison of Edinburgh Castle, which was dated 1339, in the "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of King David 11 of Scotland, 1329 - 1371. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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