Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Christma Sale on DNA testing from Family Tree

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Christmas Sale on DNA testing from Family Tree: Link to join:  Ulster Heritage DNA Project

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)



Green Grow the Rushes O.... The McCains, 2004

Friday, July 25, 2014

The McCains in Ireland mid 1800s

Map is the location of McCain families in the mid 1800s.  The group down in County Laois/Offaly (in the south) area are not part of our family, they are Mac Canna surnamed families that used the same anglicised form as we did.  Our family's surname in Gaelic is Mac Eáin. The families in Donegal, Tyrone, Derry, and north Antrim, are our family. They can be connected to descendants that did DNA testing and match us.  The County Laois/Offaly McCains also tested, which is when we discovered their connection to the Mac Canna families from the Loch Neagh area.  The large blue cluster is in Tyrone right across the Folye River from Port Hall.  I visited many of these McCains during my 2008 trip over.  That is the area of highest concentration of our McCains in Ireland to this day.  You can sit on the porch of a McCain home in Port Hall and look across the river to the McCain farms in Tyrone.  The family migrated there from Port Hall in the early 1700s.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

McCain Lands in Scotland.

This map a bit blurry as I had to enlarge it, sorry about that, but... it shows well the lands of the McCains in Scotland.  The green areas on either side of Loch Fyne labeled MacLachlan belonged to  Clann Lachlainn.  The lands on the west side of the loch are in Glassary.  Above them you see the lands held by the Scrymgeour family.  There were many marriages between the McCains and Scrymgeours in the 1500s. Fortunately, the records are well preserved in mid Argyll so most of them are recorded. Now an interesting sidebar is the Scrymgeour family is know in Gaelic as the Mac Eáin family.  Our family also used that surname.  There is no paternal DNA link that has turned up so I really do not know the details.  Our McCains took their surname from Ailean Mac Eáin Riabhach and theirs took their surname from a 'John' Scymgeour of note.  In the many land records you can tell the two families were close and were often represented together in lands being handed down. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Ulster American Heritage Symposium, 26-28 June, At...

Note: the McCain family will be a featured presentation in the symposium

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Ulster American Heritage Symposium, 26-28 June, At...: 20th Biennial Ulster-American Heritage Symposium comes to Athens June 26-28 The 20th Biennial Ulster-American Heritage Symposium will ta...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Family Finder Autosomal DNA Sale. Very good price...

For those with McCain ancestry through your maternal side, here is a very good offer on Family Tree's autosomal DNA test, call the Family Finder test, which both men and woman can take (it does not use the Y chromosome).  Keep in mind, it is only good for connections of the 4th Cousin degree or closer.

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Family Finder Autosomal DNA Sale. Very good price...: Dear Group Admins, Father's Day is almost here and that means a new Family Tree DNA sale!  Here's what the sale will en...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

R-DF13 R-S1051 The McCains Halogroup

DNA news, the McCain family appears to have a unique SNP in the grand R-L21 haplogroup.  We are the R-DF13... and specifically the R-S1051 subclade.   These subclades are new discoveries, so new they did not make it into Family Tree's recent update of their haplogroup nomenclature.  I think as this subclade is researched it will provide important information about the McCains early history in Scotland.  Stay tuned.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

McCain's Corner: Scotland Anno Domini 570

McCain's Corner: Scotland Anno Domini 570: In the map above pay attention to Strathclyde, the upper part around Loch Lomond.... that is where the DNA suggests, our McCains originat...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

McCain Family DNA Analysis April 2014

Link to latest McCain DNA analysis.  This work was done by Cara McCain and we very much appreciate her taking some time and effort of this work.

Comments and feedback very welcomed.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Our Jim McKane

Jim McKane of Ontario

Very pleased to receive this email from our Jim McKane recently.  Another feather in Jim's cap.

I am very proud and pleased to announce I have been appointed as Commissioner of The Great Lakes Fishery Commission whose mission is as quoted below -

Our Mission

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission was established by the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between Canada and the United States in 1955. The Commission has two major responsibilities:
  • To develop coordinated programs of research on the Great Lakes, and, on the basis of the findings, to recommend measures which will permit the maximum sustained productivity of stocks of fish of common concern; and
  • To formulate and implement a program to eradicate or minimize sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes.
The Commission is made up of four commissioners from each of Canada and the U.S.A. It receives reports from both Canadian and USA Advisors to assist this extremely important mission.
More information on the Commission can be obtained from the website -
Jim McKane

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chris McCain

Our Chris McCain of California looking particularly sharp at a Saint Patrick's Day event.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Laggan Redshanks in Paperback on Amazon

In the sixteenth century Scottish Highlanders settled in the Laggan district of east Donegal. They were called Redshanks.  The history of the Laggan Redshanks has many fascinating elements which include Clann Chaimbeul and their dynamic leader the fifth Earl of Argyll, Gaelic sexual intrigues, English Machiavellian manoeuvres, and the Redshanks themselves.  This book not only tells the fascinating story of how a Highland Scottish community became established in the Laggan, but also includes the surnames of the Redshanks and notes of their origins in Scotland, which will be of interest to family historians and genealogists.
The paperback is a much expanded version of the Ebook that came out a couple years ago.  We had a lot of request for the Ebook in hard copy book format, so here it is.  The cover photo is Mongavlin castle where literally the McCains first appear in written records in Ireland.  William McKean the Soldier was there for a muster roll of soldiers in 1630.  His name is in the book in the muster at Mongavlin under John Stewart, the son of Ludovic Stewart, the Duke of Lennox.  The book has a map of the Laggan showing where Portlough precinct was and some of the areas the early McCains lived (and they still live there to this day). 
To purchase on Amazon:   The Laggan Redshanks
The next project up is a hard copy of Finding the McCains.