Friday, March 23, 2012

Donations Needed

The McCain clan blog and the McCain family DNA project are seeking donations.  There is a lot, an awful lot, of volunteer work that goes on to collect, organise, and make available our history.  We have several projects running now which include book publishing and coordinating the DNA results in a way to better assist our McCain genealogist and family historians.  The book titles in the cue are A Short History of the Laggans Redshanks, 1569-1630, Finding the McCains, A Short History of the McCain Family, and The Mid Argyll Kinship Group. 

The DNA project is gearing up for a phase two.  There have been great advances in mitochondrial DNA research in the last ten years.  It is now possible for us to use mtDNA to confirm which particular McCain line one descends from.  This will be a great asset to a family's genealogy.  The mtDNA is maternal line DNA.  We can use it to see if two McCains share the same 'mother' in generations past.  This has the potential of radically improving our understanding of the various McCain lines.    

Funding is needed to help purchase computers, software, books, etc., that we use in the projects.  Donations would really help all the projects greatly.   Just use the Donations link on the right hand side column of this page.  It leads to the Ulster Heritage Website and donations made there will go to the McCain projects. Or use the link below. 

Donations to the McCains Projects

Many thanks agus go raibh maith agaibh.

Chris McCain of California

Chris McCain
 The McCain Family DNA Project continues to locate members of our particular McCain clan.  This is the nature of genetic genealogy.  As more and more men participate in DNA testing we are able to place them in the correct McCain family.  A short summary:  there are at least 6 separate McCain families.  There are McCain families that originate in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.  Our McCain is the Mac Eáin family that originates in Kilmichael Glassary in mid Argyll, Scotland.  They were, and are, what is known in popular history as Highlanders.  They migrated to Donegal, Ireland, in the mid 1500s.  So we have both Irish and Scottish ancestry.  Donegal has many families that originated in the Scottish Gaeltacht.

Chris lives in San Diego, California.  He is a navy veteran (a lot of military veterans among our clan, and within this group a lot of those are navy).   Chris runs a numismatics firm there. Contact data below for anyone in need of gold and silver coins.  He is also a board member of The Friendly Sons of St Patrick.

From the DNA results we know Chris descends from Alexander McKean who was the immigrant ancestor.  Alexander McKean and his brother Hugh McKean appear in tax records in Donegal township, PA Colony in 1722.  Their exact arrival date is not known.  But, given the ships leaving from Ulster we suspect they either came in the 1718 fleet that landed in Boston in late summer of that year, or were on a ship that came into Boston the next year.  Alexander McKean and Hugh McKean are the progenitors of the Marsh Creek Settlement McCains.
·          McCain Numismatics
·         The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick (FSOSP)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The McCain Surname

McCain, McCane, McKane, McKean, McKeen, and McKain are just various anglicised forms of the Gaelic surname Mac Eáin. Most of our families have used several anglicised spellings over there years.  Most anglicised spellings did not become 'fixed' until the early 1800s.  The Marsh Creek McCains used, or the clerks that wrote their name down, used McKeen and McKean in the 1700s.  Most families that remained north of the Mason Dixon line retained those two spellings.  In the South (of the USA) the McCain spelling became dominate.

Jim McKane Our Webmaster

Jim McKane of Wiarton, Ontario, Canada
Our webmaster for both the McCain DNA Project and the Ulster Heritage Project is Jim McKane.  Here is a recent photo of him at a function in his 'snow bird' second home in Arizona.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

McCain Family DNA Research Update March 1012

Mongavlin Castle from an old newspaper photo
The research on our family is now focusing on the McCains in east Donegal from the late 1500s through the 1650s.  We continue to have more McCains join and match our family from that area.  The first appearance of the McCains in papers records are also from that area. William McKean the Soldier is in the 1630 muster roll for Mongavlin.  He was missed by early researchers, perhaps because his forename in written in a phonetic version of the name William in Gaelic.  For those of you with maps, look about 2 and 1/2 miles south of StJohnston, that is the epicenter of the early McCains in Ireland. We also now know that a branch of our family moved very early to the Stranorlar area, which is in the Finn Valley.  There are still many McCains in our family living in the Finn Valley and just south of StJohnston, in Porthall and Carrickmore.