MacConnel M'Connel McConnel McConnell
It seems highly probable that the name was originally "MacConnel." This Scottish spelling meshes well with the often stated fact
that Matthew (the elder) was of Scottish Highland orgin.
Perhaps Augustus MacConnel, great great grandson of Matthew the elder, clarified all these different spellings best in a letter he wrote in 1898.
He said, "I suppose the contraction if used should be this form M' instead of Mc."
Both Matthew the younger's bibe as well as the bible of his son, Judge John, uses the surname written as "MacConnel." The only exception to this
is the very last entry in Judge John's bible, which he made in 1823, enters his youngest son as "Noah McConnel."
Family tombstones still standing today in Chemung county, and those which were transcribed in the mid-1970 but which are no
longer standing today, use "MacConnel" "M'Connell" and "McConnel." Nevertheless, all known signature's of Judge John's children were signed as "McConnell"
using the two "L" variation.
With this name transition happening over a hundred years, between 1800 and 1900, there are no clear dividing lines between
the different spellings. For example, Judge John used MacConnel throughout his bible records, signed his name as McConnel and had M'Connel on his headstone.
With the understanding that all the variations mean the same thing (MacConnel) the only attempt made to show this name evolution is:
Both Matthew Sr and Jr use "MacConnel." All others use "McConnell" except Murray McConnel and his line
(which still use the one "L" variation today) and Agusutus MacConnell (who reverted back to the original spelling of the name during the late 1800s).
The 1881 Scottish
census reflects a goodly number of McConnell and McConnel families throughout Scotland, mostly in Ayrshire county in south west Scotland.
And it would appear that any real Scotsman will tell you the McConnell name is a branch of the great MacDonald clan. And there's always the strong
suspection that it might really be Irish, as it seems to be.