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||http://www.familytreedna.com/public/MidArgyllKinshipGroup/|