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The distinguished surname Parker is one of the most notable Anglo/Saxon surnames, and its historical trail has emerged from the mists of time to become an influential surname of the middle ages and of the present day.

In an in-depth research of such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book compiled in 1086 A.D. by Duke William of Normandy, the Ragman rolls (1291-1296) collected by King.....

Heraldry Database: Macrannell


Surname:  MacRannell
Branch:  MacRannell
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is a Scottish and Irish, surname. It originates from the pre 9th century Norse-Viking name "Rogn-valdr", which translates as "wise- counsel" or perhaps "wise God", a meaning which no doubt increased its popularity. The Vikings controlled much of Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Northern England from the 8th to the 11th centuries, and their influence remains ion many place names and surnames of which this is one. In the Gaelic the spelling is usually as Rannald or Rannell, the English form being Ronald. From these have developed numerous patronymic or diminutive forms, such as MacRanald, MacRannell, and MacReynold, as well as the short forms commencing Mc, as well as the patronymic Ronaldson. John M'Ranald was recorded in Kintyre, Scotland, in 1483, although it is claimed that the name as MacRannell or Grannell originate not from Scotland, but from the province of Connacht, in Ireland, their territory being known as Muntir Eolais. This clan was very influential in Ireland up to the war of 1690, when as a result of their support for the Catholic cause and King James 11nd (1685 - 1690), their lands were expropriated. Examples of the early recordings include John McRannells, of County Tyrone, in 1712; and that of Gorrif McCrannell (as spelt), which was dated November 21st 1657, at Derry Cathedral, County Derry, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, known as "The Lord Protector", 1650 - 1658.

Motto:  Spectemur agendo, Let us be viewed by our actions.
Arms:  Vert, a lion rampant between three escallops or.
Crest:  On a mount a stag couchant proper.

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In Reynolds we have an example of a fine old Gaelic Irish surname which has been given as its usual anglicized form a common English one. In Irish it is Mac Raghnaill, Raghnall being the Gaelic equivalent of Randal or Reginald. The forms MacRannal and Grannell, also used in English, are of course, nearer the original. The sept belongs to Co. Leitrim; their territory was Muintir Eolais in the southern half of that county. They remained influential as long as the Gaelic order survived and indeed up to the end of the seventeenth century, in spite of continual rivalry and feuds with their powerful Breffny neighbours the O'Rourkes (with whom, however, the were at times allied). The "Composition Book of Connacht" calls the Chief of the name Magranill of Moynish (Co. Leitrim) and thiry years later Camden, writings of Counties Leitrim and Longford in 1617, includes them, under the name MacGrannell, with the O'Rourkes as "downright Irish". O'Dugan's fourteenth century "Topographical Poem" shows that they were equally prominent in the medieval period. Modern statistics indicat that Co. Leitrim is still the principle stronghold of the name, nearly half the people in Ireland so called hailing from that area.

An excellent memoir on the MacRannals in the Jounral of the Royal Society of Antiquaries (vol. xxxv) gives much valuable information, particularly about the family of Lough Scur Castle, whence came several notable members of parliament as well as James Reynolds, whose diary (1658-1660) is of great interest. The Elizabethan Mac Rannal of this line who was the first to change the name to Reynolds was known in consequence as Mac Raghnaill Gallda (i.e. the English MacRannal). Their estates were very extensive: after the Restoration and the Act of Settlement they were in possession of no less than 6,660 acres in Co. Leitrim and 1,000 acres in Co. Roscommon.

Quite a number of Irishmen called Reynolds have distringuished themselves in various fields of activity, To the Church they have given Most Rev. Christopher Augustine Renolds (1834-1893), first Catholic Archbishop of South Australia. (Richard Reynolds, Catholic martyr, was not Irish). In science there were Osborne Reynolds (1842-1912), famous for his original investigations on mechanical and physical subjects, and James Emerson Reynolds (1842-1920), discoverer of various chemical substances. In literature the father of the last named, Dr. James Reynolds (d. 1866), was a novelist and playwright, while George Nugent Reynolds (1770-1802) was a noted ballad writer and probably the author of "The Exile of Erin". We must also mention Thomas Reynolds (1771-1832), brother-in-law of Wolfe Tone, whose betrayal of the United Irishman was largely responsible for the failure of their plans to free Ireland from British domination. On the other hand it should be mentioned that the Reynoldses, especially those of Lough Scur, were strong supports of James II and figured largely in the attainders and forfeitures which followed his defeat.

Name Variations:  MacRannell, Rannell, Reynolds, MacReynolds, O'Rannell, O'Reynolds, Grannell, O'Grannell, MacGrannell, MacRannals, MacRannal, MacRaghnaill, Raghnaill, Reymoldses, Magranill, MacRaghnald, MacRanel, McRanel, MacRannal, MacRannel, MacRanell, MacRanall.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.
The Book of Irish Families Great and Small.
Surname Database: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/MacRannell


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