Sunday, May 4, 2008

The 1718 McKeens

John Cargill “Jack” MacKeen is a direct lineal descendant of settlers from the 1718 migration from Antrim to America, including both McKeen and Cargill lines. His immigrant ancestor, John McKeen, born 1700 in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, arrived as a young man with his mother and siblings in Boston in August of 1718. This is a historically significant family in that it was the families of James and John McKeen, father of the above John McKeen, which were the motivating force behind the fleet of ships from Ulster that came into Boston harbour in late summer of 1718. Many historians site the event as the actually ‘beginning’ of the Ulster Migration to the New World. They established a migration paradigm, of many families coming together in a fleet of ships, and this pattern established the large Ulster presence in the New World.

When the McCain DNA Project began we did not know that the New England McKeens and McKeans were the same family as the New Brunswick McCains and Mississippi McCains, to our surprise the DNA testing revealed not only that they were the same family, but quite close kin as well. Jack McKeen was an early participant in the McCain DNA Project and because his McKeen family is so well documented his participation did much to further the research into the Mac Eáin family history.

Jack is now retired from the high tech field. Jack is a Trustee of New England Historic Genealogical Society, a member of Clan Donald USA and a member of the local historical society.

The picture below is the gravestone of that immigrant ancestor and his wife, Martha Cargill, in the Robie Street Cemetery in Truro, Nova Scotia. Both died on the same day, December 30, 1767.

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