There are two distinct origins for this name. In the isles, the name derives from Proto-Celtic *dumno- 'world' + Proto-Celtic *val 'rule'. On the continent, it is a compound of a prototheme formed from Latin donatus 'given' (cf. Donato) or Latin dominus 'lord' + Old Saxon wald, Old High German walt 'power, authority'.
The name of a 7th C king of Dál Riata, a 7th C high king of Ireland, an 8th C Irish saint, an 8th C high king of Ireland, two 9th C kings of the Picts, and 11th C king of the Scots, and an 11th-12th C high king of Ireland.
This name has historically always been one of the most popular names in Ireland.
- ● 814 Domnaldus (nom) StVdM-II H1,
Donaldus (nom) ibid. F12
- ● c1431x1432 Donaldi (gen) RegOct 102;
1432 Donaldi (gen) ibid. 103;
1433 Donaldi (dat) ibid. 58;
1434 Donaldo (dat) ibid. 67;
1479 Donaldum (acc) ibid. 5;
1491 Donaldus (nom) ibid. 4;
1497 Donaldum (acc) ibid. 38
- ● 1093x1097 Douenald (nom) ESC XIII;
1272x1360 Donaldo (abl) CartStAndrew p. 3,
Donaldus (nom) ibid. p. 3;
1376 Donaldi (gen) morton-vol1 16,
Donaldo (dat) ibid. 16
Cite as: S.L. Uckelman. "Donald". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2017, no. 1. http://dmnes.org/2017/1/name/Donald.