Reposted from the Record Lookup Forum From "The Surnames of Scotland" by Dr. G.F. Black Ronald - a variant of Ranald. Early examples are Jean Ronald, heiress of her father JohnRonald in 1655 Thomas Ronnald, schoolmaster of the grammar school of Linlithgow, 1662.
Ranald is derived from the Norse Rognvald - once a common name in the Orkneys and the Hebrides. It means " Ruler from the Gods". Other versions are Raghnall and Ragnall. The Norse did not use surnames but patronymics. In Easter Ross it is pronounced Raoghalt (Ra'olt). Early examples of its use as a surname include John Rannald was a burgess of Glasgow 1463 Patrick Rannald held a tenement in Linlithgow, 1472. Thomas Rawnald was burgess of Dumbarton 1500 Malcolm Ranalde held a tenement in Glasgow 1506.
The Chiefs of Keppoch are styled Mac Mhic Raghnaill, after Ragnall who was beheaded in Elgin in 1547.