Saturday, April 30, 2016

McCain's Corner: Viking, a profession for many Gaels

McCain's Corner: Viking, a profession for many Gaels: Gaelic Lord and warrior circa 1000 AD (c) Ulster Heritage  Gaelic Lord and warrior circa AD 1000 in Argyll.  Mid Argyll was one of t...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

McCain's Corner: DNA Test Sale with Family Tree

McCain's Corner: DNA Test Sale with Family Tree: Barry R McCain with Ian McKean and Ivan Knox, two of his Irish cousins located using DNA testing For a very short time, until midnight ...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How to Participate, the Scots-Irish DNA project

Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas
It is easy to participate in the Scots-Irish DNA project.  The project's home is with Family Tree DNA of Houston, Texas.  It is a Y chromosome project and the goals are to assist participants with their genealogy, family history, and to locate kinfolk that remained in Ireland and Scotland and to find the geographic point of origin of the family.


Scots-Irish immigrant ship 1762
The Scots-Irish DNA project uses the Y chromosome paternal test. The Y chromosome is only carried by men and is handed down from father to son.  This makes it a powerful tool for paternal line research.  While only men carry the Y chromosome, both men and women participate in the project.

For a male who is in a direct paternal line of a Scots-Irish ancestor the process is easy; join the project, order the test and await the results.  An example: a man named Campbell is a direct paternal descendant from an immigrant from Ireland to the Colonies in 1730.  His Y chromosome test will reveal his related Campbell family branches, in Ireland, Scotland, and in the Diaspora. 
 
For women, and men who are researching a non direct paternal line, it is a little more complex.  Both groups need to do an autosomal DNA test to locate a male relation that is in a direct paternal line of the family they wish to research.  When one is located, that male can proxy test and provide the Y chromosome needed to research that line.  The autosomal test is used to confirm kinship with that paternal line.

An example:  A man wanted to research his father's mother's father's family.  While he carries their autosomal DNA, he does not carry their Y chromosome.  He did the autosomal DNA test, located a female cousin of that line, he then had her brother do the Y chromosome test and in this manner obtained the needed Y chromosome to research the paternal line of that family.

To join the Scots-Irish DNA project one goes to the project's page and asked permission to join.  The project is limited to true Scots-Irish families so a note stating that the participant is 'Scots-Irish' is required.

For women and men who are researching non direct paternal lines, they will do the autosomal test first; locate a male of direct paternal descent of the family they are researching, have him do a proxy Y chromosome test, then join the Scots-Irish project using that Y chromosome results.

There is a stereotype of all Scots-Irish being descendants of Ulster Scots that in turn were descendants of Lowland Scots who settled in Ulster during the Ulster Plantation in the seventeenth century.  It is true that many were, it is also true that many families that were Scots-Irish have other origins.  As many as 35% of the Scots-Irish are of Highland Scots ancestry, usually from mid and northern Argyll or Lennox.  There two areas in the Highlands were influenced by the reformed church movement in Scotland at an early date and also had migration to the north of Ireland beginning in the 1500s and continuing into the 1600s.  Two of the most numerous 'Scots-Irish' surnames are Campbell and MacDonald, both of Highland Scots origin. 

Other families also became Scots-Irish.  In east Donegal and in the Bann valley area, there was many native Irish families that converted to the reformed church and later the Presbyterian faith, and also were part of the Ulster migration to the New World in the 1700s. 

There were also a number of Welsh and English families that were living in Ireland and participated in the Ulster Migration and that became part of the Scots-Irish society in the Colonies.  In the Colonies the process continued, with Platt Deutsch, American Indian, and others, marrying into and became allied to and part of the Scots-Irish community here.

While most Scots-Irish came from the nine counties that make up the province of Ulster in the north of Ireland, some Scots-Irish came from other parts of Ireland.  By the 1700s there were families of Scottish origin living in many parts of Ireland and some Scots-Irish have ancestors that migrated to the Colonies from Mayo, Sligo, Dublin, Cork, etc. 

The criteria we use at the Scots-Irish DNA project is, does your family consider themselves 'Scots-Irish.'   One of the goals of the project is to collect data on the origins of the Scots-Irish and to add to the information we already have on them.   Most of the families that are participating are 'Ulster Scots'  and have ancestors from Ulster that immigrated to the Colonies in the 1700s, but as the project grows we are getting families that originate from other parts of Ireland who are very much Scots-Irish.

To join the project:  Scots-Irish DNA Project

Scots-Irish DNA Project results:  Results 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Scots-Irish DNA Project Update 2 Jan 2016

'Young Frontiersman' by H. David Wright
The Scots-Irish DNA project has reached 1,000 participating families.  This list below shows families participating in the Scots-Irish DNA project.  It is NOT a comprehensive list of all Scots-Irish surnames; it is a list of those Scots-Irish families that are participating to date in the Scots-Irish DNA project.
 
The families participating show very typical Scots-Irish surnames.  The surnames originate from around Scotland, but the majority of the families are from the western Lowlands and the southwest Highlands. The majority of the haplogroups (circa 86%) show most Scots-Irish are the descendants of the Cumbric and Gaelic Celtic people of southern and western Scotland, with about 10% being of Norse or Norman ancestry. 
 
The majority of the Lowland surnames continue to be from Ayrshire, Wigtown, Kirkcubright, Dumfries, Lanark, and Renfrew (using pre 1975 nomenclature).   Many of the families participating in the project are descendants of the first wave of Scottish settlers in Ireland and the surnames of Cunningham, Hamilton, Stewart, Montgomery, Graham, etc., are well represented.   
 
The Highland families are from the southern Hebrides, Argyll, Lennox, and Dumbartonshire.  Two Highland clans that sent many families to Ireland in the mid to late 1500s are Clann Dhónaill and Clann Chaimbeul and both are well represented in the Scots-Irish DNA project participants. Those surnames associated with Clann Dhónaill tend to be from County Antrim and northeast Ulster in general and those associated with Clann Chaimbeul are usually from west Ulster, from Donegal, Tyrone, and Londonderry.
 
While most Scots-Irish families are of 'Ulster Scots'  ancestry and are from one of the nine counties of Ulster; Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, in  Northern Ireland and Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan, in the Republic of Ireland.  However, there are a number of Scots-Irish families from other parts of Ireland such as County Mayo, Sligo, from urban areas such as Cork, Galway, and Dublin.  Most of these families migrated to the New World in the 1700s and became what we now call the Scots-Irish and self identify themselves as being Scots-Irish.   
 
The Scots-Irish DNA project is run through Family Tree DNA.  The goals are to help Scots-Irish families in the Diaspora re-establish contact with their kinspeople in Ireland and Scotland, and to confirm genealogies and recover lost family history using DNA testing.
 
Surnames that have multiple listings indicate the number of families with that surname that have joined the project.   

To view, click on a page and this will bring that page up in a larger format. 

To view the DNA results, visit the Scots-Irish DNA project results page.

All families that identify themselves as Scots-Irish are welcomed participate in the project:  Join Scots-Irish DNA project.















Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Finding the McCains, A Scots Irish Odyssey... In Time For Christmas

An Irish Christmas Present, Finding the McCains

Mongavlin Castle, Donegal, Ireland
A wonderful read that covers 40 years of travel in Ireland; it includes stories and insights into the relationship between Diaspora and Homeland and reconnecting with one’s cultural roots; it tells the history of Highland Gaels and their migration to Ireland in the 1500s; it is mystery story solved using Y chromosome DNA testing and an excellent guide for families on how DNA testing to locate their family in Ireland and Scotland and uncover their real history.   Available on Amazon in time for Christmas:  Finding the McCains, a Scots Irish Odyssey
 
McKane's Corner, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal
 
 
Ivar Canning & Donovan McCain at the Auglish Standing Stones, Co. Derry
 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cornbread, a Scotch Irish Icon


In the 18th Century when many thousands of Ulster's sons and daughters came to New World to settle on the frontier, they brought with them their folkways, music, etc., and also their foods and methods of food preparation. Many of the cooking styles and foods became in time quintessentially 'American.' Foremost among these would be the humble and incredibly delicious cornbread.

The Ulster settlers brought with them a tradition of cooking flat oat breads on a griddle, something that had been done for several thousands years in Ulster. Now, in the New World these Ulster settlers quickly adapted to the new foods available to them. In the Ulster settlements oats and wheat quickly gave way to corn and the traditional griddle cooked oatcake gave way to one made of corn. This trait of adaptation and borrowing from other cultures they were exposed to was one of the reasons for success the Ulstermen had on the frontier.

Griddle cooked cornbread quickly became the bread of the Scotch-Irish communities and the bread followed them west as they conquered the nation. This wonderfully simple food is still commonly found in those areas where the Scotch-Irish settled and it is to this day a staple on the supper table of the descendants of these Ulster folk, especially in the American South.

The bread is simplicity itself, a little cornmeal, an egg, some leavening, a pinch of salt, and enough buttermilk to make a batter. This is poured onto a cast iron hot skillet with bacon grease or oil in it. In the past the bread was cooked in a skillet next to the fireplace or anyplace where coals were available. When Dutch ovens came into use, the cooking of cornbread was often done in them. Later still, when ovens became a common kitchen appliance, the cornbread recipes were adapted for the modern oven, where it came into its present day form.

The cooking of cornbread in the South is an art as well as a science. Many families have special cast iron skillets, often that have been in the family for generations, in which the cornbread, also called a corn pone, is cooked. Many women have wooden bowls and spoons handed down in from past generations, in which the batter is made. It is served with butter with a meal and can also be served after a meal with honey or sorghum syrup, as sweet.

Cornbread is a wonderful food, simple, tasty, and also part of a many thousand year cultural continuum, from Ulster.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Three Centuries of Life in a Tyrone Parish, A history of Donagheady from 1600 to 1900


Three centuries of life in a Tyrone parish
A history of Donagheady from 1600 to 1900

Many of the Scots-Irish that migrated to the Colonies in the 1700s came from the Tyrone parish of Donagheady.  This book by Dr. William Rouston is a well done and recommended history of Donagheady.
 
This book tells the story of the parish of Donagheady and its families over three centuries. Donagheady occupies the most northerly portion of County Tyrone. It is a large parish, stretching from the River Foyle to the Sperrins. In the period covered by this study Donagheady experienced massive changes with the result that the parish in 1900 was a very different place from the one it had been in 1600. Through the Plantation and subsequent waves of migration in the seventeenth century, especially from Scotland, the character of much of the parish was transformed.

The creation and disintegration of the estate system in Donagheady is also charted in this volume and the fate and fortunes of the landowning families and their tenants is explored. The histories of the main religious denominations are covered, as well as the nature of rural society itself. Other chapters in this book examine the impact of the Great Famine on the parish, the development of the village of Dunnamanagh, attempts to improve educational provision, the rise and decline of rural industries, and the relationship between Donagheady and the wider world.

Dr. William Roulston is from the townland of Gortavea in the parish of Donagheady, and was raised on a farm that has been in his family’s possession since 1830. He is the Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation. His other books include The parishes of Leckpatrick and Dunnalong: their place in history (2000), Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors (2005), and Restoration Strabane, 1660-1714 (2007).

This e-book is every-word-searchable and includes Griffiths Valuation for the Parish. 390 pages.  Price for Ebook download is US 12.95

Link:  Three centuries of life in a Tyrone parish, a history of Donagheady from 1600 to 1900.

McCain's Corner: Y-DNA test When No Paternal Relative Is Available ...

McCain's Corner: Y-DNA test When No Paternal Relative Is Available ...: This post will again address genetic genealogy for Irish, Scots, and Scots-Irish, when no male relative is available to DNA test.  Why is a...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Scots Irish Surnames

Below is a list of families participating in the Scots-Irish DNA Project as of November 2015.  There are now over 900 participating families. 
 
The surnames are very typically 'Scots-Irish.'   The Lowland Scottish names draw very heavily from the western seaboard counties of the Lowlands, with many families from Ayrshire, Wigtown, Kirkcudbright, and Renfrew (using the older county names).   Most of the Lowland Scottish families migrated to Ireland post 1609.  
 
Many of the surnames, about 35% are of  Highland Scots ancestry.  The majority of these are from mid Argyll, Lennox, and the southern Hebrides.  Many of the Highland families migrated to Ireland in the mid to late 1500s. Mid Argyll and Lennox were areas influenced by the Reformed faith and this fact influenced their relationship with the Lowland Scots migrating to Ireland in the 1600s.
 
There are several native Irish families that became Scots-Irish, most of these were from the Bann valley and had converted to the Reformed faith or to the Establish Church by the late 1600s.   
 
The deep ancestry of these Scots-Irish families reveal that a large majority of them descend from the indigenous Celtic tribes of Scotland, over 84%, while the Norse and Norman origins coming in at about 10%. 
 
The Scots-Irish DNA Project is open to families of Scots-Irish ancestry.  The project has several goals, including reconnecting Scots-Irish in the Diaspora with their families that remained behind in Ireland.  Another goal is to locate a family's point of origin in Scotland and recover lost or forgotten family history.  
 
Multiple listings of a surname indicate the number of families with that surname participating.  You will see a lot of Highlanders with Campbell and MacDonald the two most numerous.  Several of the participating families are descended from famous Scots-Irish men, such as David Crockett (who turned about to be from Ayrshire ancestry, not Huguenot as often report in older history books).

Families interested in participating can do so by contacting the Scots-Irish DNA Project.

Click on a page to enlarge:




Monday, October 26, 2015

William McIntosh Jr 1778-1825

McIntosh and Menawa

Real history is always more complex and multilayered than the history told by the modern media and even in most basic academic history books.  The relationship between the Scots-Irish and certain Indian tribes was complex.  The often were are war with one another, yet they also intermarried, made alliances, and lived together and shared the same values;  Clan, tradition, blood, a warrior culture, honour, were of paramount importance to both peoples.


William McIntosh Jr. 1778-1825

McIntosh

William McIntosh Jr. 1778-1825, also known as Tustunnuggee Hutkee (White Warrior), was born around 1778 in the Lower Creek town of Coweta to Captain William McIntosh, a Scotsman of Savannah, and Senoya, a Creek woman of the Wind Clan. He was raised among the Creeks, but he spent enough time in Savannah to become fluent in English and to move comfortably within both Indian and white societies.

He was a leader of the Lower Towns, the Creek who were adapting European-American ways and tools to incorporate into their culture. He became a planter who owned slaves and also had a ferry business. McIntosh was among those who supported the plans of U.S. Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins to "civilize" the Creeks. While McIntosh's support of white civilization efforts earned him the respect of U.S. officials, more traditional Creeks regarded him with distrust and contempt.

He was instrumental in the United States victory at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. In the wake of that war, the Creeks suffered famine and deprivation for many years.  In 1825 cousins William McIntosh, a Creek leader, and George Troup, the governor of Georgia, signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, which authorized the sale of Creek lands in the state to the federal government. McIntosh allied himself with Indian agent David B. Mitchell, Hawkins's successor, to coordinate the distribution of food and supplies from the U.S. government to the Creeks. This alliance assured McIntosh's control over resources and he became a very wealthy man.

In 1821 the new Indian agent severed McIntosh's access to resources, weakening McIntosh's influence among the Creeks, who were then compelled to sell some of their land to pay debts and acquire food and supplies. However, for his role in the Treaty of Indian Springs, McIntosh received 1,000 acres of land at Indian Springs and another 640 acres on the Ocmulgee River. He himself owned two plantations with slaves, Lockchau Talofau (Acorn Bluff) in present-day Carroll County, and Indian Springs, in present-day Butts County.

McIntosh's participation in the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs cost him his life. According to a Creek law that McIntosh himself had supported, a sentence of execution awaited any Creek leader who ceded land to the United States without the full assent of the entire Creek Nation. Just before dawn on April 30, 1825, Upper Creek Chief Menawa, accompanied by a large force over 100 Creek “Law Menders” (warriors), attacked McIntosh at Lockchau Talofau (McIntosh’s home and plantation overlooking the Chattahoochee River near Whitesburg, worked by 72 slaves and also served as a tavern and inn, owing to its location on the Federal Road and a strategic crossing of the river) to carry out the sentence.

They set fire to an outbuilding in order to light up the yard so as to prevent anyone from escaping. They called to the white guests and women to come out, saying they would come to no harm. McIntosh's son Chilly and another mixed-blood escaped from an outbuilding they were sleeping in because there wasn't room for everybody in the main house.

Shot in the front doorway of his home, McIntosh managed to climb the stairs to the second floor, from which he began shooting at his assailants. Forced to leave when they set fire to the house, he was shot and dragged some distance from the house. Raising himself on an elbow, he gave them a defiant look as he was stabbed in the heart. An eyewitness estimated that his corpse was shot about 50 times. After destroying what they could not carry away; slaves, horses, and cattle, produce, the assassins left.

Later that day they caught Samuel and Benjamin Hawkins, his sons-in-law and also signatories to the treaty. They hanged Samuel and shot Benjamin, but he escaped.

Menawa

Menawa (1765-1836), was second in command of the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, when they were defeated by General Andrew Jackson commanding militias of Tennessee, Georgia and the Mississippi Territory, as well as allied Cherokee. More than 800 Red Stick warriors died. Menawa was wounded seven times during the battle, but he escaped and survived his wounds. By his own account he lay among the dead until nightfall and then crawled to the river, climbed into a canoe, and disappeared into the darkness.

Some major Creek chiefs passed a resolution to kill McIntosh, and Menawa headed the assassination party. McIntosh was surrounded at his tavern on the old Federal Road in Georgia and shot to death.
By 1836 the Creek Indians had been repressed and were defeated a second time trying to save their ancestral lands. The U.S. was planning a general removal of the Nation. Menawa proposed that the Creek Nation give up their collective rights, though each individual who wanted to remain be given a plot of land. This proposal was defeated and the removal was commanded. Menawa had been given an exclusion from relocating by the U.S. but a local judge ordered him to join the exiles to the west.
Menawa reportedly stayed up all the night watching sunset and sunrise over his home Oakfuskee (located on the Tallapoosa River in present-day Alabama). As he joined his people traveling to an unknown place he said, "Last evening I saw the sun set for the last time and its light shine on the treetops and the land and the water, that I am never to look upon again."

Heartbroken, Menawa died on his way to the new Creek territory in the west. His burial place is now unknown. Menawa was not only brave and skillful, but was a gentleman in appearance and manners. Although he was a savage in the field, or in the revel, he could at any moment assume the dignity and courtesy proper to his high station. In after years, he regretted his role with the Creek Law Menders in 1825, saying that he would freely lay down his life, if by; so doing, he could bring back to life Billy McIntosh.

(credit:  John Stewart Longhunter Facebook page)


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Henry McWhorter




Henry McWhorter 1760-1848 was born in New Jersey son of Gilbert McWhorter (1742 -1767) who was a linen-weaver by trade, hailed from Northern Ireland and settled in New York. His father died leaving his mother in extreme poverty with six small sons; James, Henry, John, Thomas, Robert and Gilbert, all born between 1760-1765 and later known as the “The Orange County McWhorter Boys.” Since times were hard, the children were bound out. Henry was apprenticed to a millwright. He enlisted as a Minuteman at age 15 to fight in the Revolutionary War. After his term of service expired, he volunteered six more times in a 22 month time span. His brothers Thomas and James served in the same regiment with him under Sergeant Hugh McWhorter (1735-1812), their uncle and brother of their father.

Afterwards, he lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he married Mary Fields in 1783. In 1786, the couple moved to Hampshire County, (West) Virginia. Three years later, Henry sought a home in the wilds of McKinneys Run a branch of Hackers Creek in Harrison County, (West) Virginia.

In 1793, the McWhorters moved again, this time building a log house near West’s Fort on the south bank of the murky Hackers Creek, where they reared three sons. A mill was erected on the creek near his cabin home, and the place became known as McWhorter's mill, which is now known as Jane Lew, West Virginia. To this mill came the settlers from a radius of many miles to get their corn ground. And it is a traditional fact that at one time the settlements were suffering from a scarcity of breadstuff, and parties came from distant settlements and offered him over $1.00 per bushel for all the corn stored in his mill, which offer he refused, giving as his reason that if he did so his neighbors and friends would suffer.

Henry's brother, John, died in 1797 at the age of 35, one month before his daughter Hannah was born. His widow was left with seven young children. Henry went by horseback to New Jersey to visit his people and having no daughter of his own, offered to take Hannah, the little daughter of his dead brother home with him. He did and raised her as his own.

Eventually, a saw mill was added on the property as the population in the West’s Fort area grew. Henry was a Methodist and was a class leader for 50 yrs. Very often the services were held in his home, as there was no church there at the time.

Henry made frequent trips to Fort Pitt in flat boats, via the West Fork and Monongahela Rivers, exchanging furs, jerked venison, etc., for ammunition and other home necessities. On one of these trips he was accompanied by Jesse Hughes, the most noted Indian scout and fighter in Western Virginia.

Three generations of the McWhorter family were born in their cabin during the forty years they lived on Hacker’s Creek. The family was forced to leave the homestead in 1827 and return to McKinney’s Run after a series of security debts put the family in a bad financial situation. It was there that Henry died in 1848. Henry was buried on his farm beside his wife, in the quiet country cemetery where sleep six McWhorter generations.

His eldest son, John (1784-1880), became a barrister and never married. The second son Thomas (1785-1815), inherited part of the home farm on McKinney's Run and was a prosperous farmer, and the third and youngest son, Walter (1787-1860), inherited with his brother Thomas, the homestead on McKinney's Run in Harrison County. He was a Major in the militia, a noted athlete and never met his equal in wrestling, jumping or foot racing. He fathered 17 children.

The McWhorter log homestead and the mill were sold to Edward Jackson, a cousin of Stonewall Jackson. The cabin remained in the Jackson family for many years. In time it became the property a Jackson descendent who decided to turn the cabin back into the hands of the descendants of the original owner and builder of the condition that the cabin be removed and preserved. With leadership provided by Minnie McWhorter, a great-great-granddaughter of the pioneers, the cabin was moved to Jackson’s Mill and dedicated there on August 14, 1927. The cabin was rededicated by the McWhorter Family Association to the state of West Virginia on July 24, 1993.

Source; John Stewart, Longhunter 1744-1770

 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

McCain's Corner: Iníon Dubh

McCain's Corner: Iníon Dubh: Iníon Dubh (said, Nee-an doo) is one of the most remembered and beloved heroines in Irish history.  Iníon Dubh was her pet name which means ...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

BBC Radio Ulster, Kist o Wurds program

Barry R McCain

(Update.... a Rugby match on BBC is running long, our program rescheduled for  Wednesday 30th at 19.30 hour UK time and that is 1:30 PM CDT.   The show can is archived for a couple of weeks so can be streamed during that time also.  But on a brighter note, at least Ireland is winning the rugby match)

My BBC interview will be on today, evening in the UK, at 1:30 PM (13:30) on BBC Ulster Radio.  The program is the Kist o Wurds program and I was interviewed by Alister McReynolds, well known writer and personality in Northern Ireland.  (and a friend of mine)

Here is the link:   BBC Ulster Radio

This link should go to the program page from which you can click on a link to live stream the show.

The Kist o Wurds program focuses on Ulster Scots history, culture, and language.  It is a very good program, and a great way to discover an interesting aspect of Irish life and society.  This is my second time on the program.  I was also interviewed by them when I started my Finding the McCains book project.  This interview was done as the book is finished now and out at bookshops and on Amazon.  It is always enjoyable to talk with the lads and lassies back in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

McCain's Corner: BBC Ulster, the Kist o' Wurds program

McCain's Corner: BBC Ulster, the Kist o' Wurds program: Barry R McCain on the Thacker Mt Trail My BBC interview will be on today, evening in the UK, at 1:30 PM (13:30) on BBC Ulster Radio.  Th...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

McCain's Corner: Celtic Life Internation Magazine

McCain's Corner: Celtic Life Internation Magazine: A note to one and all; there is a review of my new book Finding the McCains in the October 2015 edition of Celtic Life magazine. Th...

Friday, September 4, 2015

McCain's Corner: Highlanders in West Ulster, 1569-1630

McCain's Corner: Highlanders in West Ulster, 1569-1630: In the sixteenth century Scottish Highlanders settled in the Laggan district of east Donegal. They were called Redshanks. Their story ...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

McCain's Corner: Epigenetics

McCain's Corner: Epigenetics: Epigenetics is the study, in the field of genetics, of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external o...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Ohio Celt Fest, August 7-9

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Ohio Celt Fest, August 7-9: The 4th Annual Ohio Celtic Festival Welcome to the Ohio Celtic Festival! We'll feature some of the very best in Celtic music, d...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

McCain's Corner: Anglicized Surnames; the many forms of John

McCain's Corner: Anglicized Surnames; the many forms of John: Knowing the Gaelic form of our surnames is a very helpful in genetic genealogy research.  There are many surnames in Ireland and Scotla...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Tomahawk, Scots-Irish Iconic Tool

The humble hand axe, or tomahawk, is an iconic tool of the Scots-Irish.  It was the multi-tool of its day, of use around the camp for cutting, splitting wood, to drive stakes, and also used for personal protection.  It was good in hand to hand close combat and a skilled wielder could throw it with great precision at ranges from five to twenty yards.   While some associate it with the frontier, its design and use goes back several thousand years.


hand axe in war from a medieval Gaelic manuscript 
 


typical frontier tomahawk
Small hand axes, of the same design and type as used by the Scots-Irish on the frontier, were in use since prehistoric times in both Ireland and Scotland.  The battle axe was called a tuagh (said Too-ah) in Gaelic.  There are many hundreds of them in the Irish National Museum.  Early ones are in stone and as technology improved they were made in copper, bronze, iron, and eventually steel.  From their ethnogenesis in Scotland, to their migration to Ireland, and then to the frontier of the New World, the hand axe, or tomahawk, has remained the one constant of Scots-Irish material culture. It was the Scots-Irish frontiersman that introduced the American Indians to the tool.
deployed American soldier with tomahawk
 
The tomahawk is still very much in use today and is just as useful in the 21st Century as it was to our Neolithic ancestors.

Friday, July 17, 2015

McCain's Corner: The Second Sight among the Scots Irish

McCain's Corner: The Second Sight among the Scots Irish: Sarah Pearl Tweedy circa 1905 The phenomenon of Second sight has fascinated me for many years.  I was exposed to the Second Sight early...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Families in the Scots-Irish DNA Project June 2015

The Scots-Irish DNA Project now has 761 participating families.  Below is a roster of the participating families.  As you can see the families are a combination of Lowland and Highland Scottish surnames with a few native Irish surnames.  All these families self identify as being Scots-Irish.  Most of these families participated in the 18th Century Ulster Migration to English Colonies and early Republic, or in the 19th Century Ulster migration into Canada.

The majority of the Lowland Scottish families are from Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and Gallowayshire, and most of these families migrated to Ireland during the Ulster Plantation (1609-1720).  The Highland Scottish surnames from Argyll, Lennox, and the Southern Hebrides; many of these families migrated to Ulster circa 1550-1600).

The dominate haplogroups are Insular Celts (85%) and there is about 12% of the haplogroups of Norse/Norman ancestry.   The native Irish surnames come from certain families that converted to the reformed faith and became part of the Protestant Irish community in the 1600s. 

Click on image to enlarge:



 









Saturday, June 20, 2015

McCain's Corner: Autosomal DNA Test Sale

McCain's Corner: Autosomal DNA Test Sale:   Autosomal DNA tests utilize DNA from the 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal DNA is inherited from both parents. Ther...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Foyle Valley Covenanters, a new book by William Roulston




Dr William Roulston is the Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation. He holds a PhD in Archaeology from Queen’s University Belfast.
  


Foyle Valley Covenanters
In the middle of the eighteenth century a community of Covenanters in the Foyle Valley emerged from the shadows to form a congregation. The first minister was ordained in 1765 and six years later a site at Bready was secured for a meeting house. Since then the members of this small but significant congregation have been active in preserving a Reformed Presbyterian witness in the district as well as contributing to many other aspects of local life. Through a detailed study of the congregational and denominational records, this book explores the ministers and ministries, the life and work of the congregation, the buildings, the families, and the relationship between the Covenanters of Bready and the state. The appendices to the book include an index to the names in the earliest session book (1791-1800). Raised on the family farm in Bready, William J. Roulston grew up a few fields away from the Covenanter meeting house. He has written extensively on his local area and is the convener of the Reformed Presbyterian Church History Committee.

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Ulster Heritage Magazine: Gaelic Language Festival 26-28 June in Ontario

Ulster Heritage Magazine: Gaelic Language Festival 26-28 June in Ontario: OIREACHTAS GAEILGE CHEANADA A Festival of Gaelic Language and Culture 26 – 28 June 2015   Register Now   Information   ...

Sunday, May 17, 2015