Barry R McCain
I am often asked about tartans and is there a McCain tartan, etc. No, there is not 'McCain' tartan. The use of family tartans was a recent development in Gaelic society and took place long after our family left Argyll. Family tartans as they are used today came about in the 1800s. Prior to this time there were no clan or family tartan in general. There were colours and patterns favoured in a district and so there was some sense of people in an area using the same tartan.
For those McCain who would like to use tartan, I suggest any one that you like. To reflect our history I like several of them, the Ulster tartan, which dates to the late 1500s, early 1600s, then any of the Black Watch, Argyll, tartans. Historically we were connected to the Mac Lachlainn clan, so any of the Argyll Mac Lachlainn tartans have historical value. We were also allies to the Campbell family of Argyll, so their basic Campbell of Argyll tartan historically important also.
The Ulster tartan I mention is very nice, it was found on the body of a Gael in a bog in County Derry, Northern Ireland, in the 1950s. There are two versions, one is a faded version then the other is the colours restored to their original forms.
I am wearing a 'MacDonald' tartan in the photo above. Like many McCains, I assumed we were 'Clan Donald' before we did the research to locate our actual history. But, I love this particular tartan, and so I wear it.
Any McCains having photos of themselves sporting a kilt or tartan dress, please email me the photos and I will post them.