Dictionary of Medieval Names
from European Sources

Donald m. 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.

Czech Republic
1392 Donaldus (nom) LDFPUP1 p. 17
Early Modern English
1575 Donall RegBeb p. 15
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
Early Modern English
1591 Donell IORCHAR-II p. xxviii
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: A. Brown, S.L. Uckelman. "Donald". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2023, no. 1. http://dmnes.org/2023/1/name/Donald.