Friday, July 25, 2014

The McCains in Ireland mid 1800s

Map is the location of McCain families in the mid 1800s.  The group down in County Laois/Offaly (in the south) area are not part of our family, they are Mac Canna surnamed families that used the same anglicised form as we did.  Our family's surname in Gaelic is Mac Eáin. The families in Donegal, Tyrone, Derry, and north Antrim, are our family. They can be connected to descendants that did DNA testing and match us.  The County Laois/Offaly McCains also tested, which is when we discovered their connection to the Mac Canna families from the Loch Neagh area.  The large blue cluster is in Tyrone right across the Folye River from Port Hall.  I visited many of these McCains during my 2008 trip over.  That is the area of highest concentration of our McCains in Ireland to this day.  You can sit on the porch of a McCain home in Port Hall and look across the river to the McCain farms in Tyrone.  The family migrated there from Port Hall in the early 1700s.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

McCain Lands in Scotland.

This map a bit blurry as I had to enlarge it, sorry about that, but... it shows well the lands of the McCains in Scotland.  The green areas on either side of Loch Fyne labeled MacLachlan belonged to  Clann Lachlainn.  The lands on the west side of the loch are in Glassary.  Above them you see the lands held by the Scrymgeour family.  There were many marriages between the McCains and Scrymgeours in the 1500s. Fortunately, the records are well preserved in mid Argyll so most of them are recorded. Now an interesting sidebar is the Scrymgeour family is know in Gaelic as the Mac Eáin family.  Our family also used that surname.  There is no paternal DNA link that has turned up so I really do not know the details.  Our McCains took their surname from Ailean Mac Eáin Riabhach and theirs took their surname from a 'John' Scymgeour of note.  In the many land records you can tell the two families were close and were often represented together in lands being handed down. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Ulster American Heritage Symposium, 26-28 June, At...

Note: the McCain family will be a featured presentation in the symposium

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Ulster American Heritage Symposium, 26-28 June, At...: 20th Biennial Ulster-American Heritage Symposium comes to Athens June 26-28 The 20th Biennial Ulster-American Heritage Symposium will ta...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Family Finder Autosomal DNA Sale. Very good price...

For those with McCain ancestry through your maternal side, here is a very good offer on Family Tree's autosomal DNA test, call the Family Finder test, which both men and woman can take (it does not use the Y chromosome).  Keep in mind, it is only good for connections of the 4th Cousin degree or closer.

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Family Finder Autosomal DNA Sale. Very good price...: Dear Group Admins, Father's Day is almost here and that means a new Family Tree DNA sale!  Here's what the sale will en...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

R-DF13 R-S1051 The McCains Halogroup

DNA news, the McCain family appears to have a unique SNP in the grand R-L21 haplogroup.  We are the R-DF13... and specifically the R-S1051 subclade.   These subclades are new discoveries, so new they did not make it into Family Tree's recent update of their haplogroup nomenclature.  I think as this subclade is researched it will provide important information about the McCains early history in Scotland.  Stay tuned.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

McCain's Corner: Scotland Anno Domini 570

McCain's Corner: Scotland Anno Domini 570: In the map above pay attention to Strathclyde, the upper part around Loch Lomond.... that is where the DNA suggests, our McCains originat...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

McCain Family DNA Analysis April 2014

Link to latest McCain DNA analysis.  This work was done by Cara McCain and we very much appreciate her taking some time and effort of this work.

Comments and feedback very welcomed.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Our Jim McKane

Jim McKane of Ontario

Very pleased to receive this email from our Jim McKane recently.  Another feather in Jim's cap.

I am very proud and pleased to announce I have been appointed as Commissioner of The Great Lakes Fishery Commission whose mission is as quoted below -

Our Mission

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission was established by the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between Canada and the United States in 1955. The Commission has two major responsibilities:
  • To develop coordinated programs of research on the Great Lakes, and, on the basis of the findings, to recommend measures which will permit the maximum sustained productivity of stocks of fish of common concern; and
  • To formulate and implement a program to eradicate or minimize sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes.
The Commission is made up of four commissioners from each of Canada and the U.S.A. It receives reports from both Canadian and USA Advisors to assist this extremely important mission.
More information on the Commission can be obtained from the website -
Jim McKane

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chris McCain

Our Chris McCain of California looking particularly sharp at a Saint Patrick's Day event.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Laggan Redshanks in Paperback on Amazon

In the sixteenth century Scottish Highlanders settled in the Laggan district of east Donegal. They were called Redshanks.  The history of the Laggan Redshanks has many fascinating elements which include Clann Chaimbeul and their dynamic leader the fifth Earl of Argyll, Gaelic sexual intrigues, English Machiavellian manoeuvres, and the Redshanks themselves.  This book not only tells the fascinating story of how a Highland Scottish community became established in the Laggan, but also includes the surnames of the Redshanks and notes of their origins in Scotland, which will be of interest to family historians and genealogists.
The paperback is a much expanded version of the Ebook that came out a couple years ago.  We had a lot of request for the Ebook in hard copy book format, so here it is.  The cover photo is Mongavlin castle where literally the McCains first appear in written records in Ireland.  William McKean the Soldier was there for a muster roll of soldiers in 1630.  His name is in the book in the muster at Mongavlin under John Stewart, the son of Ludovic Stewart, the Duke of Lennox.  The book has a map of the Laggan showing where Portlough precinct was and some of the areas the early McCains lived (and they still live there to this day). 
To purchase on Amazon:   The Laggan Redshanks
The next project up is a hard copy of Finding the McCains. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

McCain Clan DNA Update

A lot of progress is being made with our McCain DNA Project.   If you take a look at the Family Tree public page with the results you will see that we are beginning to classify the 'clan' into sub groups linked to geography.  We have sorted out a lot of the Colonial McCain lines and the Irish lines, we are now focusing on the McCains in Scotland.

To do this we need is more McCain men in the project to upgrade their kits.  One of the DNA loci that is of interest to us is the 485.  All the McCain men that have tested the full 111 loci carry the value of 13 at the marker.  This is unusual, the norm with the R-L21 haplogroup is 15. 

Additionally, the other surnames in our match group, that is the non McCains that are of the same paternal line as we are, carry the value of 16.  This means there was a mutation event, probably at the generation of the 'first' McCains, or the Mac Eáin man living in Kilmichael Glassary parish that is our progenitor.  This man probably was Ailein Mac Eáin Riabhach or his father Eáin Riabhach.  Anyroad, that is where we are in the research.

Again, we need more McCain men to upgrade their Family Tree kit to the 111 level.  What we are attempting to do is reconstruct our history, prior to AD 1500 using DNA and primary sources. A lot of work, many hours of work, is going into this research.  The records I go through are written in a combination of Lallans influenced English, Lallans, Gaelic and bizarre phonetic Gaelic. But, I am having success at following the family from circa 1434. 

There is even some clues as to the origin of the family prior to their lordship of Glassary, but more on that later. Right now we those McCain men who have not done so to upgrade their kits.  There are a few men that have only done the 12 locus level.  Those are not much good to us.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Argyll Lord 1000 AD

Argyll Lord Circa 1000 AD  (c) Ulster Heritage
Above is clan member Donovan McCain in the dress of a Gaelic lord in mid Argyll circa 1000 AD.  The clothes and arms are period authentic and made from materials used in Argyll at that time.  Basic dress is the Léine, the linen shirt which came down to the knee and a Brat, the woolen cloak in the shape of a rectangle.  The helm is a one piece construction which was state of the art in that time and is a facsimile of a surviving helm in a museum; the chain mail shirt typical of that day for the well funded warrior.  The sword, which is fully functional, is a Norse style, reflecting the unique Gall Ghaeil culture that existed in mid Argyll at that time. The Gaels in mid Argyll borrowed both shipbuilding and arms technology from the Vikings and became in essence Gaelic Vikings.