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Clan MacDowall Branches



Clan MacDowall Branches and Extended Names

The Family name was derived as “Macdougall” from Prince Fergus’ grandson, Duegald, second son of Uchtred Lord of Galloway who was killed (1185) while fighting in a feudal reconquest of Galloway.  The Galloway name of “Macdougall” was transliterated to “Macdowyl” in July 1292 under Edward I of England and MacDowall has persisted over the eight centuries since with many variations (about 76).  



The early armigerous baronial stock of the MacDowall Family on surviving records starts from the Macdougalls of Garochloyne with Lougan-Elrig and continues through a century to the Macdowylls / Macdowalls of these lands and also of Garthland.  McDoualls of Logan and Macdowalls of Freugh then appear separately, but Macdowall or Macdougal of Makerstoun preceded Garthland in Makerstoun inheritance. Those of Machrimore (Machermore) developed later but soon lost touch. 



Younger sons who formed cadet lines or stirps from these families inherited, were granted or purchased lands, often castellated. Those stirps from Garthland on record included Elrig, Spotts, Barjarg, Kildonand, Inch, Mindork, Myroch, Knockglass, Dalreagle, Lefnall, Corochtrie, Killaser, Crockuncrush, Castlesemple, Kirriebroom, Woolmet, Walkinshaw and Arndilly. Each contained tenant farms and lands. Scions of Logan included Ardwell, Ringseat and Culgroat; and those of Freugh had Longcastle, Hackburn, and Stratford Hall. A sequence of Swedish baronies stemmed from the family in Makerstoun. 



A number of Macdowalls chiefly of Garthland origin settled in Ireland as McDowells, and thence abroad to North American colonies.  Others of Freugh emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand & Australia, and Makerstoun is represented also in Europe.



After Duegald’s time his family were called the Macdougalls in Galloway. They have no proven relation to the MacDougalls of Argyll though their shared original Gaelic name of “MacDougall” meaning “son of the black stranger” suggests that both have a Norse heritage. In 1292 on the Ragman Roll the name of Macdougall in Galloway was modified to distinguish it from those in Argyll when letters “ug” were changed to "w" (i.e:”uu” pronounced “oo”) in a Norman transliteration introduced under King Edward I of England.  



In later centuries the spellings of Macdowall with a capital “D” and the letter "e" as in “McDowell” became common especially after many emigrated from Galloway across to Ireland during Plantations of Ulster in the early 1600’s, and then later to North America, including many during the Irish potato famine of the 1840’s. As a result, most members of the family now live in the United States where this spelling of our name is commonly found.



Nowadays the names and spellings with or without the Mac, Mc, or M’ prefix within the Macdowall Kindred include many spelling variations of the surname including McDowell, MacDowel, Macdowal, MacDowyl, McDuyl, Macdoual, McDouall, M’Douall, MacDool, McDoll, Makdougal, Macdougall (the original ancient name of the MacDowalls) etc.  Other names within the MacDowalls include Dowall, Dugal, Dugle, Duwall, Duvall, M’Gowall, Wall, Wahl, etc.  and also Doyle, and O’Dowill.  The Britonic Kyles with Coull, McCoul, Coyle, Cole, and Dole are accepted territorially.  However these and many other variant name spellings are all considered part of the Kindred of MacDowall. 

Source: Macdowall, F.D.H., & MacDougald, S.A. (2010). The Clan of the MacDowalls of Galloway.

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