The Clan/Sept History
Many variations of the name MacRannal have evolved since the time of its initial
creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Raghnaill, which means son of Raghnal.
Raghnal is a personal name equivalent to Randal or Reginald.
Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded
simply because their bearers were illiterate. Consequently, in this era many
people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written
Down. Research on the MacRannal family name revealed numerous spelling
variations, including McRannell, McReynolds, Reynolds, Grannell, Magranill,
MacGrannell, MacRaghnald, MacRanel, McRanel, MacRannal, MacRannel, MacRanell,
MacRanall and many more.
First found in county Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish Families made the long
journey to British North America and the United States. These people were
leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and
hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and
religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the
long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much
preseverence and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for
agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east;
the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction
or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less
frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom,
liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred
with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and
immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the
MacRannal family in North America: Christopher Reynolds, who came to Virginia in
1622; Nathaniel Reynold, who settled in Salem in 1630; Robert Reynolds, who
settled in Salem in 1630 with his wife Mary and his four children.
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