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Doyle


DoyleThe modern English language version of "Dubh-Ghaill" in Ireland today is "Doyle", "O’Doyle" or "Dowell", "McDowell", and in Scotland it is "Dougall" or "MacDougall" (the modern Scots pronunciation is closer to the original Gaelic). In Ulster and Roscommon, these names now exist as "McDowell" and "Dowell", and are carried on by the descendants of the original immigrant Irish/Scots/Norse Galloglass mercenaries.A more complete list of surname varients include all the following: Dougall, Dowell, Doyle, O'Doyle, DubhGhaill, MacDowall, MacDowell, McDougal, McDougall, McDoughall, McDowall, McDowel, McDowell.

As early as 851 AD one DubhGilla, son of Broder, is mentioned as king of Idrone in County Carlow. From this time onwards, it is an interesting exercise to trace the development of the name in the calendars of Irish records. We instance the following as examples:- O Dowill, Dowyll, O Dowile, O Doule, O Douell, Duggal, McDuggal, McDowell, Dowell, McDowall and Dowall. All are clearly forms of "dubh-ghaill" mentioned above.

The McDowell family in Ireland are “cousins”, and are descended from the Danish Vikings who settled in Argyll and the Western Islands of Scotland.  Their great ancestor was Somerled (a Viking word meaning “summer warrior”) , he was the master of Argyll (on the west coast of Scotland) and he was killed in battle against the Scots in 1164.  (Argyll and the Western Isles were not ceeded to Scotland by the King of Norway until 1266.)  A branch of this family settled in Ireland in the 1240’s.  Initially they served as “galloglass” (professional mercenary soldiers) for the O’Conor Clans in the Province of Connacht.  For the next 300 years or so, the McDowells are recorded in various ancient Irish records as professional soldiers, serving a number of different Irish Warlords in various parts of Ireland.

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