This rare surname, and its variant MacRanald, is of Scottish origin and is the Anglicization of the Gaelic 'Macraonuill', which translates as 'son of Raonull', the 'mac' denoting 'son of'. It is therefore a patronymic surname from a personal name 'Raonull', itself from the Old Norse 'Rognvaldr', meaning 'ruler of (from) the gods', or 'ruler of counsel'. It would appear that this name has undergone various changes in the recordings, for example, Donald McRanald Vaan (see below) is also spelled McKilrannaldvane, McRynald Waan, McRynald Baan and McRynall Waan. Among the sample recordings in Lanarkshire is the marriage of Agnes McRonald to John Hepworth, on March 15th 1663 at Glasgow High Church, and in Aberdeen the christening of George McRonald on April 16th 1687, at Forgue. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Donald McRanald Vaan, which was dated 1506, Kintyre, Scotland, during the reign of King James 1V of Scotland, 1488-1513. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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