This interesting surname of Scottish and Irish origin and derived from the Gaelic personal name Dubhgall, composed of the elements "dubh" meaning "black" plus "gall", "stranger". This was used as a byname for Scandinavians, in particular to distinguish the dark-haired Danes from fair-haired Norwegians. The name is now chiefly found in the province of Ulster and in Scotland where it is wide-spread. With the prefix "mac" meaning "son of", the name becomes Macdougal, MacDoual, etc.. The surname dates back to the early 12th Century, (see below).Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Dougal, Dougill, Dugall, Dugald, Dowall, Doyle, etc.. One Elizabeth, daughter of William Dowgill, was christened on June 30th 1577, and his son William was christened on September 15th 1583, both at St. Mary le Bow, London. June, daughter of Peter Dougall, was christened at St. Luke's, Chelsea on January 2nd 1745. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dufgal filius Mocche, which was dated circa 1128, St. Serf's Island in Loch Leven, during the reign of King David 1 of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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