This interesting and unusual name is of Medieval Scottish origin and is one of the many variants of MacDougal, itself from the Gaelic 'MacDhughaill', the patronymic of 'Dhubgall', (the 'mac' denoting the son of). MacDoval also, has the same derivation as above and McDougald is pronounced locally McDoual, thus the two names appear to be from the same source. However it is thought that the MacDowells are descended from the ancient native lords of Galloway, and the family of MacDougall are descended from Dugall, the eldest son of Somerled of the Isles. This name was introduced into America during the 18th Century, when many Scottish McDougald's left Jura for America, for example, Alexander McDougald with wife and daughter landed in Beunswick a November 4th 1767 and settled in Cumberland and Mecklenburg counties. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Duncan MacDougal, which was dated circa 1230, 'The Scottish Macs', Paisley, during the reign of King Alexander 11, 'King of Alexander', 1214 - 1249. 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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