Wednesday, April 1, 2015

McCain's Corner: Thacker Mt trail vid 1 April 2015

McCain's Corner: Thacker Mt trail vid 1 April 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hugh McKean 1753 Ballyrahane, Co Antrim, Ireland

Ancestor notice:  The McCain family DNA project is looking for male direct descendants of Hugh McKean born 1753 Ballyrashane, Antrim, Northern Ireland, died 1849 Mercer County, Pennsylvania for DNA testing.   We would like to determine if Hugh was descended from Samuel McKean/McKeen who died in 1784 in New Hampshire or from an as yet unknown McKean/McKain who died in Antrim, Northern Ireland and had a son, William of Ballywatt. We have a high level DNA test from a known descendant of William of Ballywatt.  Hugh's descendants include McKeans of Iowa (Emmet, Jones and Jackson Counties) and Pennsylvania (Mercer and Lawrence Counties).

If you are a descendant of Hugh McKean, born 1753, born in Ballyrashane, County Antrim, Ireland, please contact the McCain Family DNA Project. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

McCain's Corner: Barry R McCain on the JT Show

McCain's Corner: Barry R McCain on the JT Show: I was interviewed today by JT from the JT show on Mississippi Supertalk.   This network goes over the entire state of Mississippi and parts ...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Chris McCain of San Diego

on left, Chris McCain
Chris McCain is a member of the Board for The Friendly Sons of St Patrick, in San Diego. He is seen here participating in their St Patrick's Day events and parade.

Chris McCain and daughter Marie

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Henry David McCain with Senator McCain

It is always a good thing when McCains can meet and congregate with other members of the family.  Henry David McCain, who is a participant in the McCain DNA project and has Mississippi roots, recently had an opportunity to meet with Senator John McCain, who also has Mississippi roots. Henry David McCain is the father of Cara McCain a co-administrator of the McCain DNA Project.

Henry David McCain with Senator John McCain

Friday, March 6, 2015

McCain's Corner: St Patrick Day Gifts

McCain's Corner: St Patrick Day Gifts: As a writer I can say I have only had good service from the omnipotent Amazon.  Not one issue has come up and I can focus on the actual wri...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

McCain's Corner: Finding the McCains

Posted some photos from the book Finding the McCains.

McCain's Corner: Finding the McCains: Finding the McCains, is an account of one Mississippi McCain’s 40 year odyssey to find his family in Ireland.  Senator John McCain and hi...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finding the McCains


Finding the McCains

Finding the McCains, is an account of a man’s 40 year odyssey to find the McCain family in Ireland.  Senator John McCain and his cousin, novelist Elizabeth Spencer, both include a short history of the McCain family in their respective memoirs Faith of our Fathers and Landscapes of the Heart.  Their history is a romantic tale of Highland Scots who supported Mary Queen of Scots and who fled to Ireland after her downfall in 1568.  The search for the McCains became a mystery story with clues, false turns, many adventures, and then ultimate success through Y chromosome DNA testing.  In 2008 the McCains were reunited with their family that remained in Ireland, after 289 years of separation.

The McCain history includes people and events familiar to readers of Irish and Scottish history; Redshanks, Iníon Dubh, Mary Queen of Scots, the Earls of Argyll, the Ulster Migration, and the Scots-Irish, are all part of this family’s history.  Faint memories of this past were told for generations in Mississippi and as the research progressed the facts behind these memories were uncovered. 

The Y chromosome DNA results revealed that the McCains of Mississippi, which include Senator John McCain’s family, are the same family of Wallace and Harrison McCain, the founders of Canada’s McCain Foods, one of the most successful corporations in the world.  They are also the same family as James McKeen who organized the 1718 fleet that began the great Ulster Migration to the English Colonies.  All these families are paternally related and they all descend from one Gaelic man named Mac Eáin that lived in Kilmichael Glassary parish, in mid Argyll, in the Scottish Highlands, in the 1400s.

The book tells of the author’s many trips to Ireland in search of his distant cousins there.  There are anecdotal stories, some humorous and others involving “famous” people; such as, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, Mary Coughlan (Irish Tainste or vice president), Cindy McCain (wife of Senator McCain), Seán Mac Stiofáin (1970s head of the IRA) , Alan Heusaff (WW II German officer in Dublin who later became president of the Celtic League), and Muhammad Ali.  There is even an encounter with a Bean Sí (faerie woman) on the windy cold hill of megalithic stone ruins at Loch an Craoibh.  All presented from the perspective of a native Mississippian.

Another theme in the book is the Scots-Irish.  Contemporary histories about the Scots-Irish present stereotyped and romanticized accounts of this dynamic group.  Finding the McCains reveals a more complex history and shows the cultural conflation common in Scots-Irish popular history.

Finding the McCains is an excellent read for all interested in Irish and Scottish history and is an how-to guide for those interested in how-to guide for those who would like to use genetic genealogy to locate their family in the old country and recover lost family history.

To purchase from Amazon: Finding the McCains

To purchase from Ulster Heritage directly send US $20 (postage paid) to:
Ulster Heritage
PO Box 884
Oxford MS 38655

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Waxhall North Carolina McCains

The McCain family DNA project is seeking Waxhaw North Carolina origin McCains to participate in DNA testing.  The project is using Y chromosome DNA testing and results to organize the family's history from the immigrant ancestor to the present.  This McCain family descends from two McKean brothers, Alexander and Hugh, that settled in the Donegal township of the PA colony circa 1719-1721.   The project needs more Waxhaw McCains to determine whether the branch descends from Alexander or Hugh McKean.  The current data suggests it was from Alexander McKean through his son Alexander McKean II who lived in the southern part of the Marsh Creek settlement, just south of the Pennsylvania border, in north Maryland. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Scots-Irish: Tim Clarkson & Viking Age Strathclyde

The Scots-Irish: Tim Clarkson & Viking Age Strathclyde: Tim Clarkson's new book on Viking Age Strathclyde  is now available and highly recommended.  Strathclyde and the Anglo-Saxons in th...

Monday, September 29, 2014

McCain Deep Ancestry

There are several DNA projects researching the deep ancestry of the Mid Argyll Kinship Group to which the McCains belong.  This kinship group share paternal ancestry and is indigenous to central Scotland and includes several families from mid Argyll; some of the surnames in the group are, Mac Ailpín (McAlpin), Mac Artair (McArthur), Mac Eanruig (Henry), Mac Eain (McCain), Mac Donaill (McDonald), Mac Donnchaidh (Duncan), Mac an Leagha (McLea), Mag Aoidh (Gay) along with several names that are harder to discern their original Gaelic form, Machlan (possibly Mac Lachlainn), Gray (probably from the nickname Glas, meaning "grey."  Most of these surnames are not clan surnames, but rather surnames taken in the 1400s through the 1500s, from traditional Gaelic patronymics.

The group shows no deep ancestry in Ireland and outside of Scotland it has more DNA matches in Wales, which suggests a Cumbric origin for the kinship group.  Cumbric is a term for the indigenous Celtic people that were native to much of Scotland and historically spoke the Cymreag language.  The Cumbric population of Scotland became Gaelic speaking in the early medieval period. Cymreag is a P-Celtic language, whereas Gaelic is a Q-Celtic language. As Scotland was formed into a country as we know it in the modern sense, the Cumbric population, became Gaelic speaking.

Cumbric ancestry in Argyll is not unusual. Several Gaelic clans in Argyll have lore that claim Cumbric ancestry.  Three prominent ones are Clann Chaimbeul (the Campbells), Clann Eanruig (the Henrys), and Clann Neachtáin (the MacNaughtons).  

The group has a unique Y chromosome DNA haplogroup designated as R-S1051.  They are also called the 9919 A-1 group, so called because of loci, 459 = 9-9, the YCA II = 19-19, and 640 = 12.  Their 485 locus is also unusual and runs from 485 = 13, or 485 = 16 (the norm for R-L21 is 15).

The Y-Chromosome projects researching this group are:

Mid Argyll Group

Sunday, September 28, 2014

McCain families in Scotland 1432-1610

Map of the McCain families in Scotland circa 1432 through early 1600s. 

The McCains in Ireland

The map shows locations of the McCain families in Ireland in the 1800s.  The families represented here have participated in the DNA project and have been confirmed as 'our' McCains.  The blue areas represent higher concentrations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The DNA of McCain

Here is the link to the results of the McCain Family DNA Project.  A summary: the 01 McCains are the Mac Eain family of Glassary of Clann Lachlainn, the 02 McCain family is linked to County Cavan, Ireland, the 03 McCains are the Glencoe and Ardnamuchran Mac Eain families of Clann Dhónaill, the rest of the McCains listed include several smaller Scottish groups and several larger Irish groups.  There is also one Manx origin McCain family.

Link:  McCain Family DNA Project Results

Monday, September 1, 2014

McCain's Corner: DNA Genetic Genealogy Sale

McCain's Corner: DNA Genetic Genealogy Sale: All the DNA projects I administer and assist with, use Family Tree DNA labs in Houston, Texas.  Why?  Well, they are the best, they have the...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hance Hamilton McCain

This is Michael Axel McCain, who is a descendant of Hance Hamilton McCain (born Marsh Creek settlement 1763 and died in Mississippi in 1840).  Michael's line of descent is from John Milton McCain, a son of Hance Hamilton McCain.  John Milton McCain married Mary Turnbow and the family lived in Webster County, Mississippi.  This line goes back to Hugh McKean, born in Ireland circa 1690+/- and died in 1748 in the Marsh Creek settlement in the PA Colony.  Michael was born in Rome, Italy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

McCain DNA, the Math of it.

For all McCain clan members, here is a link to a very useful TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) calculator. It is calibrated a .002, which should be adjusted for our family.  Using subgroups in our family the actual mutation rate is closer to .004, or even .005.  To be conservative I use the .004.  With this tool you can get an estimate of when your particular branch of the clan ties into the others. Generally, at the .004 setting the generation next to the 60% probability is correct, give or take a generation.  We know this using those subgroups that have very good paper records and go back some seven or eight generations.  We ran the calculation for them knowing the actual generation back, so it was how we arrived at the .004 mutation rate.

As you use the calculator, you will see we all seem to come from one McCain family circa mid 1600s.  It is very possible we all descend from James McKeen or his father.  James had two wives in his life (not at the same time fortunately) and the best estimate is 22 children.  Some of these are accounted for, but most are not. James McKeen (his and his brother's descendants) are a DNA match to the Port Hall and St Johnston McKeans.  We can follow them from 1630 onward.  This is the line that has the often mentioned in lore William McKean the soldier.

Anyroad, enjoy:   TMRCA Calculator

Comments and feedback welcomed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pre 1700 McCain Genealogy in Ireland

Below is a very incomplete genealogy of the McCains in Ulster, in Ireland. It is what we know from the DNA project.  As you can see, still much we do not know, but even finding this much is an accomplishment.  If anyone can add to this, plus email me.  If you have a DNA match to a line in Ireland that is pre 1700, just contact me.

Ilime McKaine
Mongavlin Castle
1630 (the famous William McKean the solider, born circa 1600)

James McKeane
John McKeane
Thomas McKeane
Robert Stewart’s Company; Lagan Army, August 1642

1665 Hearth Roll, Donegal, Taughboyne Parish
James McKean Altaskin township (on the west side of St Johnston)
James McKean Junior (listed as Taghboyne township, not a currently used township name)  This James a son of the 1642 James McKeane.

James McKean born 1665 died 9 Nov 1756
John McKean born 1667 died 1718
as adults lived in Ballymoney and Derry before immigration; probably born near Port Hall, Donegal.  James McKeen has 22 children by two wives, most of his first family is not accounted for, but given the DNA results, they look to be what became the Marsh Creek McCains.

Alexander McKean
Hugh McKean died 1748
Born in Ireland and lived in Donegal Township PA Colony moved to Marsh Creek Settlement.  (sons of James McKeen by first marriage or of a close kin, brother or 1st cousin of James)

A summary:
William McKaine 1630
James McKeane, John McKeane, Thomas McKean 1642
James McKeen, John McKeen 1665
James McKean (probably the grandfather and the same man in the 1642 muster) 1665
James McKean Junior (son of above and probably father of James McKeen and John McKeen)
Alexander McKean, Hugh McKean 1720 (proven kin to the above, probably sons of James McKeen via his first wife, if not, then 1st cousins of his children)