Hi Nan, I will post everything I find on the Donnel/Donnell's in Scotland here. I have not been researching this name very long but from what I've read, IF any of it is correct, the name is may be a misspelling of Donald / McDonald.In my own 5th grt. grandmother's marriage record her name is spelled DONALD, but there is a note at the bottom that says that in that area (Buxton, York Co., Maine) the name was more commonly spelled Donnell. Her father was a Benjamin Donnell (Nathaniel > Thomas > Henry 1).However after contacting the Buxton Historical Society, they informed me that it was more commonly spelled DUnnell in the area.My 5th grt. grandmother's daughter even named one of her children with the middle name spelled DUnnell too, so I have no idea.The old records, Probate, Birth, Marriage, all have this families last name spelled as DONNELL and Donald so I find it all very confusing to say the least. My Benjamin's father Nathaniel's name is spelled Donnell in the Lincoln Co., ME Probate records too so the spelling went back as early as the 1670's with him.He was a Capt. in the Louisburg Expedition and records from the NEHGS also have his last name spelled as Donnell.
My research has been to track the Scottish families that came to New England from Scotland during the captures at the Battles of Dunbar and Worcester.It has been my experience just through my own research that these Scots, married Scots more times than not.
Because I believe my own MOODY family to have come from one of those on the 1st ship UNITY from the Battle of Dunbar, and because those families (Moody's) have married Scots, over and over all the way down to my 5th grt. grandparents....James Moody and Elizabeth Donnell, I have tried to find the origins of the Donnell name.
Anyway, anything that I should happen upon via my research on the Donnell name or any close variant of spelling, I will post here.