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Randal MacSorely MacDonnell

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Randal MacSorely "Arranach" MacDonnell aka 1st Earl of Antrim
Born [date unknown] [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Dunluce, County Antrim, Irelandmap
Profile last modified | Created 7 Jul 2016
This page has been accessed 326 times.

Categories: Nine Years' War (Ireland) | Irish History, Surrender and Regrant.

British Aristocracy
Randal MacDonnell was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Preceded by
First of that title
1st Earl of Antrim
Succeeded by
Randal MacDonnell


Randal was the fourth son of Somhairle Buidhe MacDonald by his wife Mary O'Neill. He was fostered on the Isle of Arran, hence the nickname, Arranach.

Randal succeeded his brother, Sir James Macdonnell, as Chief of Clan MacDonnell.

On 28 May 1603, he married Alice O'Neill, daughter of Hugh O'Neill, 3rd and last Earl of Tyrone and Siobhan O'Donnell.

Randal was created Viscount Dunluce in May 1618; in June 1619 admitted a member of King James' Privy Council in Ireland and appointed to the command of a Regiment. Randal MacDonnell was created 1st Earl of Antrim on the 12th December 1620. [1]

Randal MacDonnell died 10th December 1636 at Dunluce, Country Antrim.

Children: [2]

  1. Randal b 1609 d 3 Feb 1682
  2. Alexander b 1615 d 10 Dec 1699
  3. Anne, married 1st, Christopher, Lord Delvin, eldest son of 1st Earl of Westmeath; married 2nd, 14th Lord (Baron) Slane.
  4. Mary, married 1stly, 2nd Viscount Dillon, and 2ndly, 6th Baron Louth.[3]
  5. Sarah
  6. Catherine
  7. Rose
  8. another daughter married George Gordon, 3rd son of 13th Earl of Sutherland.

In addition to those mentioned above he had a daughter Margarett who died unmarried in Dublin on 13th March 1623[4].

Randal Macsorley MacDonnell was the fourth son of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, and his first wife Mary, daughter of Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone.

After the death of his brother James in April 1601 he succeeded him to the lordship of the Glynns and Route in Ireland.

He was created Viscount Dunluce in 1618 and then became the 1st Earl of Antrim in 1620.

He had three sons before his marriage, all of whom were probably illegitimate: Morrisne or Maurice, Francis, and James.

By his wife Aellis, Elice, or Alice, third daughter of Hugh O'Neill by his fourth wife Catherine Magennis, he had two sons, Randal and Alexander, and six daughters, Anne, Mary, Sarah, Catherine, Rose, and Alice[5].


  1. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 1860 page:127 Gleanings from the Antrim Coast : The Mac Naughtons and Mac Neills by G. Hill
  3. Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th Edition., page 1601. Botrick, William., Editor.
  4. Funeral Entries vol 17; ca.1619-1729
  5. Wikipedia Randal_MacDonnell,_1st_Earl_of_Antrim

Burke, Sir Bernard, C. B., LL.D. "Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th Edition". London, England. (2003).

Macdonald, Rev. A. and Macdonald Rev. A. (1904). The Clan Donald: Volume 3. Inverness, Scotland. Northern Counties Publishing Company Ltd.p. 374.

Randal MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim. (2014, December 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:56, January 7, 2015, from,_1st_Earl_of_Antrim&oldid=640392239

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Randal by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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On 11 May 2018 at 15:40 GMT John Falvey wrote:

Hi there,

Due to the difference in spelling I have added another Sarah MacDonnell (double not single N) as MacDonnell-239.

Both Hill and Burke have later offerings than the sources quoted here. The family tree at appears to be based on Hill's 1873 book "Historical account of the Macdonnells of Antrim" (see This shows Rose marrying George Gordon and the sisters as Anne, Mary, Sarah, Catherine, Rose, and Alice.

Happy to merge them, but what spelling of the surname is preferred? I would go for Sarah MacDonnell.



Randal is 25 degrees from Rosa Parks, 22 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 12 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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