The surname of DONALDSON is the English form of MacDonald and was a baptismal name 'the son of Donald'. Early records of the name mention Lucas filius Douenaldi de Lumenach, a Scots prisoner of war in Berkhamstede in 1296. Henry Donaldson was one of the garrison of Edinburgh Castle in 1339-40. Donaldson was transferred to the jurisdiction of the court of regality of Logy, in 1392. David Donaldson was one of the tenants of Camsy in 1443. The name is found in Aberdeenshire as early as 1419, and Donaldsons were important individuals in Strathdee in early sixteenth century. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. James DONALDSON (1751-1830) was a Scottish newspaper proprietor and philanthropist, he was born in Edinburgh. He inherited the Edinburgh Advertiser, and left about Z240, 000 to found a "hospital" (school) for 300 poor children. It was built in 1842-51 from designs by William Playfair at a cost of about Z120,000; it subsequently became Donaldsons school for the deaf. John William DONALDSON (1811-61) was an English philologist, he was born in London, of Haddington ancestry. He was educated at Trinity college, Cambridge, he became a fellow and tutor there. He was a spectaculary unsuccessful headmaster of Bury St Edmunds Grammar school (1841-55); thereafter he tutored at Cambridge with great success. His New Cratylus (1839) was the first attempt on a large scale to familiarize Englishman with German principles of comparative philology.
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