|Gaelic Lord, Dunadd AD1014|
There has been a lot of water under the bridge, the DNA bridge that is, since the first McCain DNA match was back in late August of 2003. Since that time, through a collective effort of many McCain family researchers, we have located our cousins in Ireland, several of us have been over to visit them, and... we have uncovered our family history and our point of origin as 'the McCains' dating back to AD 1290s. In short, our McCain DNA project have been successful.
Now to some updates: one of the interesting facts we discovered is that we share the same paternal ancestry and a cluster of families all from what is now the parish of Kilmichael Glassary, which is located in mid Argyll. One of these families is well known in Scottish history, the Mac Ailpín family. Their lore, the primary sources, etc., say they descend from the famous figure of Coinneach Mac Ailpín, King of the Picts. He is also called the first King of Scots.
There is much lore an some scholarly disagreements on the nature and facts surrounding Coinneach Mac Ailpín, but there is also a body of factual data on the man. He was a Gael and king of Dál Riata and inherited the throne of Pictland through his Pictish mother. The Picts, for those not familiar with north British history, were a group of indigenous Celtic tribes that lived in what is now mid and northern Scotland.
From the Y chromosome DNA results, it appears he and his sons established a group of ruling families in mid and northern Argyll. The McCains and McAlpins are just two families of the group, there are several more all with lore and DNA results that connect them to mid Argyll, the Dunadd area, and SNP results point to a date to shared ancestor being circa mid to late AD 800s. Now the McCains are connected by clan to Clann Lachlainn of Cowal, that is that is from whom they held rights to their lands in Glassary. The lines of descent are lost to the fog of history and we are only slowly extracting data as the DNA results come in.
It is possible and it appears that Coinneach Mac Ailpín functioned much like Niall of the Nine Hostages, in that he establish a dynasty and many families actually descend from him. Niall of the Nine Hostages and his descendants are a much larger group and range from western Ulster, across the province, and then into the Scottish Lowlands. In the case of Coinneach Mac Ailpín, it is more regionalised to mid and north Argyll, until the 1500s, when there was a migration of many families to western Ulster.
Other news: the McCains, i.e. clann Mhic Eain, are also descendants of the Indo-European tribes that migrated into western Europe from the Pontic Caspian Steepe. The dating of the time frame of this migration has firmed up due to new techniques in extracting viable Y chromosome data from skeletal remains. Tests on these remains from the Balkans west to Ireland, tell us when and how this migration took place. Our people reached what is now Ireland circa 2000 BC, or around 4,100 years before present. This new data supports the historian paradigm of Dr Koch and Dr Cunliffe and their 'Celtic From the West' concept. In short, Celtic language and people have been in Ireland, Scotland, Britain, etc., much longer than the old theories projected. I will post more on this later as it is a fascinating field of study and their is so much new data out.
Our McCains in the McCain DNA Project are now doing advanced SNP tests. With these tests we can determine the date of branches of our family and even locate unique haplotypes for each branch. This allows future researchers to test of a particular haplotype to confirm a connections to a particular family and even to date that connection.