Monday, November 28, 2011

Irish Trip of Bruce B McCain

 Bruce B McCain's note to me about his recent trip to Ireland and his visit to many of our Irish cousins. 

 My wife and I had a fun trip to Ireland!  We did research in Dublin,
Belfast, and Omagh, but the highlight of the trip was the time we spent near
the Stranorlar/Lifford area of Donegal.  We spent a very pleasant time with
Ivan Knox and his wife, Letitia.  Thank you for giving Ivan a "heads-up"
about our arrival.  He had done some on-line searching of the Presbyterian
Church in St. Johnston and came up with a marriage announcement for a
William McKain and Anne Roulston for 1862.  Based on that finding and your
findings regarding Taughboyne Parish, Donegal, he felt that my "people" were
from the  Traughboyne area.  He gave me the address of his website, and I
will see what more information I can glean.  That night, I also did some
searching on the Donegal Genealogy Resources website and found 5 McKean pew
holders at the St. Johnston Church in 1867.

Bruce B McCain with Mervyn and Jean McKean of Porthall
The next day we went to the Hall Green B&B and spent some time with the
owners, (William) Mervyn McKean and his wife Jean.  I had also invited his
cousin Ian McKean to come over and chat.  We had a wonderful conversation,
and they gave me copy of an old family photo.  Their recollections of the
McKean ancestry don't go much farther than the late 1800s.  That evening,
Mervyn invited Alice and me to their church (the Ballylennon Presbyterian
Church) for the Celebration of Praise Harvest Service (they said it was the
biggest service of the year).  There we met another cousin, Joe McKean and
Pastor Wilson who is also the pastor of St. Johnston Presbyterian Church.
We also met John Hamilton who told us he had a book on the Hamilton
genealogy written by another John Hamilton; he said he would drop a copy off
at Pastor Wilson's house the next day.  The next day, Mervyn drove us over
to St. Johnston Church and we met with Pastor Wilson.  I had hoped to look
at some of his church records, but we was not too crazy about the idea. We
had a fun talk, he copied the pages out of the Hamilton book dealing with
the McKeans, and I took some pictures of a McKean gravestone in the church's

Bruce B McCain, his wife Alice, and Ivan and Letitia Knox
I'm not sure how much progress we made on the McCain/McKean genealogy, but
we sure met some wonderful McKeans.  Have any of the Donegal McKeans had
their DNA analyzed?  Ian said he would be willing to have his analyzed (I
would pay for it), and I got the feeling that Mervyn was also interested.

Thanks again for all your help in preparing me for our trip and for your
contacts with Ivan.

Bruce B.

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