A Scottish surname, MacDonald comes from the Gaelic terms ‘mac’, ‘domno’ and ‘val’ which meant the son of a mighty ruler. The spelling variations for MacDonald include McDonald, McDonall, McDaniel, McDonnell and McDonaill. In England the MacDonald surname is very popular in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire to the north and in the south, in Middlesex and the city of London. In Scotland there are MacDonald families in every region of the country. The greatest percentage of MacDonald individuals reside in Inverness-shire, Ross & Cromarty and in Lanarkshire and Midlothian to the south. Within the United States the MacDonald family name originated in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Alabama. It spread across the country and also became popular in California. Famous: Jacques MacDonald (19th century Marshal of the Empire under Napoleon), Kevin MacDonald (footballer from Scotland), Pirie MacDonald (portrait photographer), Jeanette MacDonald (actress and singer), William J. MacDonald (television producer and writer), John D. MacDonald (novelist), John MacDonald (19th century founder of the Dominion of Canada), Mike MacDonald (comic and actor) and Alan MacDonald (rugby player from Scotland).