Names and Families of Clan Donald

To be of Clan Donald, your family should be from the territory indicated. All names must be related to Clan Donald by birth, or marriage, or legal adoption.  Mouseover the menu above for all the name lists or use the menu to the right.

Commercially published "sept" lists should not be used without reference to this work.

  • Some people and clan associations speak of a "sept list" to indicate the various names associated with their clan. It is the official position of the Clan Donald-USA Genealogy Committee that this is an improper use of the term, at least when speaking of Clan Donald, and probably when speaking of any Highland clan. Our preferred terminology is "Families of Clan Donald."
  • Many Clan Donald name variants are derived from a root name -- usually more closely tied to the gaelic original.
  • The anglified prefixes for the gaelic"mac" or "mhic" (Mac, Mc, Ma, M') are all interchangable, and indicate no special importance as to Highland, Island or Eire (Irish) family origins.
  • Most of the family names connected to Clan Donald have territorial limitations. (This is true with names connected with almost all clans, although many do not recognize or impose those restrictions, leading to unseemly confrontations about, for example, "my Clark" no "MY Clark!" -- when almost every clan probably had families named Clark attached to them -- from the clerks or clerics who did most of the accounting and book work. The same can be said of Gowans, Smiths, Taylors and a number of others.)
  • Clan Donald feels that these territorial limitations are important. Therefore, where those limitations are listed, a prospective member must indicate that his or her family of the correct name did come from the indicated area before they may be accepted for membership. In over 35 years of using this list we have found that a strong family tradition of being of Clan Donald has proven correct in 99.99% of all cases.
  • A list of the main References used in the development of this table is at the end. Many of these are primary documents or original research of primary records.