Monday, September 29, 2014

Scottish historian Tim Clarkson

This blog is primarily about the Scots-Irish in the New World from Colonial times to the present.  Occasionally, I will post items of interest concerning the history of the Scots-Irish prior to their migration to the New World.  Below is a link to the blog of Scottish historian Tim Clarkson, who is a leading researcher concerning early medieval Scottish history.  It is highly recommended.

Link:  Seanchus

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: News From Ballymoney Museum

Ulster Heritage Magazine: News From Ballymoney Museum: Dear Family Historian, It’s less than two weeks to ROUTE BACK HOME 2014 and the staff at Ballymoney Museum are getting everything re...

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...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scots-Irish DNA Project Update 13 August 2014

442 families are now participating in the Scots-Irish DNA project and the project is growing at a rapid pace.  We have enough DNA results to begin analysis of the group.  As expected, the Celtic haplogroups dominate, with R-M222 and R-L21 the largest two elements in the R1b Celtic group.  I haplogroups are running around 11% of total, which is also expected for men with origins in the Lowlands of Scotland and west Highlands.  One family of note, descendants of David Crockett are participating in the project and appear to be Norse in paternal ancestry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Great Wagon Road

The Great Wagon Road followed paths used by Indians and was the main roads by which the Scots-Irish moved south and west and peopled the backcountry and Southern Uplands.  In the 1700s and early 1800s The Fall Line Road and Upper Road became the most used segments of the road system and many Scots-Irish settlements were established along these routes from Pennsylvania to Georgia.
(Map from the book 'Map guide to American migration routes, 1735-1815'  by William Dollarhide.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Openning in Forest by David Wright

The Frontiersman by David Wright

David Wright's splendid illustration of a typical Scots-Irish frontiersman. 

The Scotch-Irish... 1816

"Ireland is divided into four provinces, viz. Munster, Connaught, Leinster and Ulster. Leinster is chiefly inhabited by what are called the English Irish, and Ulster the Scotch Irish - From the latter province at least three quarters of the emigrants to America, have come for many years past.  The Scotch-Irish, both by education and religion are inclined to Republicanism, or a free government.”


Junot’s Library
Saturday, September 14, 1816, Enquirer, Richmond, Virginia. pages 2,3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Scots-Irish Art Work of David Wright

Before the Long Hunt by David Wright

Tennessean David Wright is a gifted and brilliant artist. Fortunately for us he often select Scots-Irish themed works.  His specialty is historical art. Link to purchase prints:  David Wright 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scots-Irish DNA Project Update 18 June 2014

Of this morning, the project has 384 families participating.  The results page is current and most kits have been grouped by haplogroup designation.  As many know, Family Tree recently expanded and revamped their haplogroup nomenclature and added many new designations.  On the results page the kits are listed under both the shorthand and full haplogroup name.  For those members that have tested various SNPs this has the potential for providing a lot of new data for your family history.

The geneticists are identifying more haplogroups downstream from the major groups. This will allow us to classify kits with more precision.  The end result is your kit will be in a haplogroup from a more recent genetic event.  In layman's terms, it will allow you to locate your family's geographic point of origin and identify your kinship group in historical times.  For Scottish origin families this is particularly useful information. (that clan and blood thing)

Many of the kits in the major haplogroups such as R-M269 or R-L21 would benefit from testing for downstream SNPs.

Some analysis of the Scots-Irish: 

The majority of the participants are as expected of Atlantic Zone Celtic origin. This will be a combination of Cumbric and Gaelic Celts native to Scotland.  The participants are running about 65% of Lowland Scottish origin and 35% Highland Scottish origin,.  There is a stereotype of all Scots-Irish being from 'the Lowlands' but many were from Argyll and Lennox in the southwest Highlands. This is showing up in the DNA results.

One interesting aspect, we have more I haplotypes than expected.  Some of these I subgroups are Scottish Norse/Norman in origin and others are indigenous to ancient Scotland.  It is a very complex group and I have not had time to read the latest research on the I subgroup origins.  We are dealing with a lot of very new material.

I highly recommend the books 'Britain Begins' and 'Celtic from the West 2' by Dr Barry Cunliffe for those who would like to read the latest research and thinking about the people who became the 'Scots-Irish.'   

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: DNA Testing Transfer to Family Tree

Ulster Heritage Magazine: DNA Testing Transfer to Family Tree: Note... if you have done DNA testing with another company here is your opportunity to transfer your results to Family Tree DNA.  Our projec...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Historical illustrator: Well i decided to head to Monea Castle in County F...

Historical illustrator: Well i decided to head to Monea Castle in County F...: Well i decided to head to Monea Castle in County Fermanagh, to see Claiomh today. They are doing a show today as part of the 4-5 week dig pr...

(great post by Seán Ó Brógáin, you have seen his work in the Osprey books series.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

New Haplogroup Designations

Family Tree has released their new haplogroup designations.  However, there has been some issues with this release that are still being sorted out.  Participants in the Scots-Irish DNA project are asked to be patient while Family Tree corrects the issues.  You might see your kit in the results move around as these corrections are made. 

Ultimately, the new haplogroups will contribute to our ability to fix a point of origin of families in the project.  The geneticists are uncovering more SNPs which in time will have a geographic link.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ballymoney Genealogical Gathering

If you have ancestors in North Antrim, then the Route Back Home 2014 is the place to find out more about your family history!
The exciting conference gives genealogists from across the world the opportunity to enjoy a unique series of lectures & research trips focusing on Ballymoney and district.
The Route Back Home will run from 24-27 September and will be based in Ballymoney Town Hall.  It has been developed to assist people who are specifically researching their ancestry in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.  The conference is an opportunity to meet other people who share an interest in North Antrim, a region traditionally known as "the Route”.
The Route Back Home is run by Ballymoney Museum.  It is supported by the Coleraine Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www. and their members will be available to help delegates and provide advice throughout the conference.
Delegates must pay the full booking fee of £180 to be allocated a place at the conference.  Only 20 places are available and bookings cannot be confirmed until receipt of a completed booking form and full payment.  The conference fee includes:
  • Lectures on how to research your ancestry in North Antrim
  • Daily lunch and regular refreshments
  • Conference dinner and drinks reception
  • Research trips to Belfast and Ballymena
Please contact me at this email address if you require further information and I look forward to hopefully seeing you in September.
Keith Beattie
Museum Manager

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DNA Testing For Scots-Irish

The basics:  The Scots-Irish DNA project recommends the 111 marker Y chromosome DNA test.  If this is not within your budget, the 67 will do and the 37 is an acceptable start.  We use the Family Tree DNA lab in Houston, Texas.

Who are the 'Scots-Irish?'  Or Scotch-Irish?  Generally speaking the Scots-Irish are the descendants of settlers to Colonial and early Republic America from the nine counties of the province of Ulster, in Ireland.  As a group the Scots-Irish were majority Presbyterian, though not all were and most descended from Scots families that had migrated to Ireland.  Also of note, some 'Scots-Irish' migrated to the Colonies from other parts of Ireland outside of Ulster.

The main migration of Scots to Ireland came during the Ulster Plantation (circa 1609 to early 1700s).  These Scots came primarily from the Scottish Lowlands. There is also a substantial number of Highland Scots that became Scots-Irish.  Most of these Highland Scots descend from families from Argyll, Lennox, and the Hebrides, that migrated to Ulster in the 1500s. 

There are other components of the Scots-Irish which include French Huguenot, Manx, and Border English, who settled in Ulster and migrated to the New World in the Ulster Migration.  They married into and became part of the people and society we now call Scots-Irish.

There was also a large migration of Presbyterian Irish into Canada in the nineteenth century. They went mainly to New Brunswick and Ontario.  Many of these families were of 'Ulster Scots' ancestry from both Lowland Scottish and Highland Scottish ancestry.  In the past the term Scots-Irish has not been applied to this group, but increasingly the term has expanded to include the descendants of the Canadian migration. Nomenclature has been problematic in regards to the Scots-Irish for a long time.  The term today reflects a better awareness of the descendants of Ulster Scots in the Diaspora.

Most families 'know' or self-identify as Scots-Irish.  These are the families that are participating in the Scots-Irish DNA project.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Laggan Army 1640s

James McKeane, above, believed to be the grandfather of James McKeen of the 1718 fleet fame

One valuable primary source for Scots-Irish family historians is the 1642/43 muster rolls for the Laggan Army. This muster roll includes the many Scottish families settled in east Donegal from Lifford, north into Inis Eogháin.  The list reflects the makeup of the Scottish settlement and there are surnames from the Scottish Highlands, primarily from mid Argyll and Lennox and from the Lowlands, primarily from Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and Gallowaysrhire.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Portlough Muster Roll 1630

One early primary source available for Scots-Irish research is the 1630 and 1642 muster rolls taken in those areas settled by Scots.  In the Laggan district in east Donegal the Scots' settlement was in the Portlough precinct.  It is interesting for several reasons, not only does it show Lowland Scottish settlement from Ayrshire, but also many Highland Scots from Argyll and Lennox.  In a muster such as this one the abled bodied men of every family in the district was expect to appear.  This makes the muster rolls function like a census.    If you have DNA tested and your match group includes links to the Laggan, your ancestor will very likely be on this muster roll.

Below is the entire Portlough 1630 muster roll.  The surnames have been left as they were written.

1.  The Lord Duke of Lynox, undertaker of 4000 acres, his men and armes
Swords Only
Robert Leackye
James Wood
Andrew Wood
Mathew Lyndsey
William Douglas
Robert Lyndsay
Robert Buchanan
John Galbreath
Alexander Buchanan
Alexander Lawder
James Denniston elder
Andrew Royare
William Laughlan
John Lowrye
John Ralston
William Cokeran
Hector Hinman
Robert Cocheran
John Buchanan
John mcConochy
Robert mcPeter
George Haldin
Robert Horner
Donell Galey
Robert mcKyndely
Robert Glass
Archbell Campbell
ffyndley mcKindley
Andrew mctyre
Alexander Galbreath
John mcKaire
John Thromble
John Smyth
Dunkan mcffarlen
Patrick mcNeron
Wm. McLentock
George Colmories
Robert mcffarlan
John mcffarlan
Patt  mcAndrew
Patt. mcArthur
Robert Denyston
Donnell mcBaxter
John Boyd
Humfrey Colquphone
William Gulilan
John Steward
John McIlman
John Scot
Robert Boyde
Thomas Lowrye
Swords and Snaphances
John Wood
John Martin
John mcLenochan
John Cambell elder
William Deneston
John Buchanan
John Cambell
John mcffarlan
Donnell mcffarlan
Robert Michell
Costyme Ranckein
John Allen
Gilbert mcLyntock
John Brice
James Allan
Dunkan Speney
Thomas Ramsey
John Cock
James Cock
Andrew Cock
William Scot
John mcCawly
John mcGourden
Andrew Lackye
James mcKennye
James Hustone
Robert Lackye
Snaphances Only
James Dromond
Archbald Gambell
Swords and Pikes
Morrice mcConnell
John Cocheran
John Snodgarse
John Cambell younger
Owen mcNair
David Lyndsay
Alexander mcLentock
Robert Aickeene
Robert Morison
James Kilsoe
Donnell mcNichol
Dunkan Cambell
Donnell mcBaxter elder
Robert Barlaine
James Richye
John Swayne
John Valentyne
Dunkan Graham
Pikes Only
Robert Calmeris
Andrew Calmeris
Sword and Halbert
Hugh Greire
Sword and Calleuer
John mcffarlan
No Arms
John Royer,
Morrice Peacock
Walter Lowrye
William mcNevin
Robert Campbell
John mcKyndley
David mcKan
John mcIldonagh
Dunkan mcffarlan
John Crawfford
John Sempell
James Symison
William mcarthur
Robert Reroch
Thomas Crafford
Camack mcCole
Henry Cruse
John Barlone
Thomas Swaine
Patrick Porlerm
Randall mcAlexander
John Douglas
James Logan
Alexander Hamond
Mathew Gillrew
William Hewes
Robert Leman
Donnell mcCahey
Adam Quahone
Neece mcGilrouse
John mcffarlan
Walter Deneston
Anthony Steward
William Noble
John Parmenter
Andrew Galbreath
Willliam Wood
John Wood
John Steward
James Deneston
James Muthey
John Pecock
Walter Roger
Robert Craufourd
John Brittein
Archbald Ballintyne
John Young
Thomas mcKeeg
Gawen mcConnell
John Logan
John Watson
Lamock mcColl
Walter Henry
John Buchanan
Robert Cambell
David Gibb
Dunkan Crafford
John Pearce
George Allyson
John mcGillione
2.  The Lady Conningham Widdow of Sir James Conningham, undertaker of 2,000 acres, her men and armes.
Swords and Pikes
William Conningham
James Calquahan
Andrew mcCorkill
John mcCorkill
Tobias Hood
James Davye
Peter Starret
John mcquchowne
James Knox
Adam Garvance
Swords and Snaphances
James mcAdowe
ffyndlay Ewing
Dunkan mcffarlan
Ninian ffoulton
James Scot
William Rankin
Daniell Ramsay
Martin Galbreath
Patrick Porter
 Swords and Calleuers
William mcIltherne
David Walker
John Barbor
Sword and Halbert
James Makee
 Swords Only
Andrew George
James mcIlman
Michaell Rot[h?]es
Patrick Miller
Robert Muntgomery
Alexander Conningham
Richard Leaky
Robert Staret
John mcIlhome
Sallomon Giffin
David Reed
Donnell mcDonnell
Alexander Carlell
William Gafeth
No Arms
Gilbert Highgate
Patrick Porter
Robert Hasta
William Gambell
John Hunter
John Crawfford
Robert Johnston
Henry Smyth
William Boyes
David Ramsay
William Steward
Robert Crafford
James Conningham
Andrew Conningham
John Crafford
John Hunter
John Wilson
James Bredyne
Mungo Davy
William Richey
John mcIlhome
Henry Hunter
John mcHutchon
James Rankin
William Killy
Robert Pots
William Gambell
John Lyone
James Knox
3.  William Steward Esqr.  Lard of Dunduff, undertaker of 1,000 acres, his men and armes.
Swords Only
Archbald Thomson
Andrew Thompson
Robert Alexander
John mcKey
David Kenedye
Patrick Baruzathyn
Anthony Steward
John Steward
Archbald Steward
John Browne
Andrew Browne
Edward Roger
John Moore,
John mcCullagh
John Moire
Patrick Conningham
John Allyson
John Smeally
 Swords and Pikes
John Davidson
Archbald mcEmmory
Roary mcCleane
Patrick Thomson
Donnell Or
Mungo David
John Cambell
John mcLynienie
Archbald Hourd
William Houston
James mcKee
Anthony Kenedy
George Steward
John mcClen
John Cambell
Hugh Gamill
 Swords and Muskets
Robert Thomson
John ffife
 Swords and Snaphances
James Squire
John Conningham
Steaphen Marshell
John Smyth
Michaell Smith
Michaell mcCleary
Donnell Cambell
Archbald Bredene
No Arms
John Kelly
Humphrey Cooke
William Wan
ffynley mcKirdly
Alexander mcClaney
John Conningham
John mcffay
Donnell mcNevin alias McNit
John mcKee younger
John mcWalker
James mcKergour
David Kenedy
Alexander mcWilliam
Patrick Steward
Donnell mcCarslaire
James Kenellye
John Campbell
 4.  Mr. Alexander Steward, undertaker of 1,000 acres, his men and armes.
Swords and Pikes
John mcIlwane
Callum mcMuyre
James Cambell
Robert mcKenily
William To[y]es
William Conningham
William Home
Neall mcCurid
Alexander Cambell
Swords and Snaphances
Alexander Cambell
John mcKenely
Robert Boyd
Robert Henedy
Storiment Carr
Sword and Musket
John Niweme younger
Sword and Target
Walter mcffarlen
Swords Only
John Kennan
Ninian Steward
No Arms
Andrew Cambell
Gilbert mcKenny
John Gillaspy
Robert Steward
John Steward
Archbald Steward
William Cambell
James ffyfe
Arch Alexander
John Roger
John Boyill
William Boyill
John Cambell
Gilbert mcCan
 5.  James conningham Esqr.  undertaker of 1,000 acres, his men and armes.
Swords Only
Andrew Crafford
John Gills
Hugh Lokehart
Arch ffynlagh
ffynlay mcCredy
John Browne
Swords and Pikes
John Alexander
George White
Snaphances Only
Andrew Arnott
John Alexander
Adnarle Hoomes
Robert Graham
Swords and Snaphances
John Smyth
William Gall
Andrew Smyth
James Gillmore
Robert Roger
Thomas Roger
Thomas Lars
John Adam
Robert Davison
Michaeli Beare
Swords and Halberts
Robert mcKeene
Mathew Giesse
No Arms
James ffulloone
George Steavenson
Joseph Browne
William Galbreath
Hugh Leag
Andrew Browne
John Harper
Thomas Stole
Patrick Robison
John Enery
Andrew Leag
John Hururence
John Hamilton
James ffulloone
Robert Patterson
John Cunningham
George Naught
Hugh Leag
James Browne
John mcEuan
George Speare
Mathew mcCadame
John Dyne
Andrew Dyne
Arch Boyle
John Calwell
Robert mcCamy
Robert mcCamy younger
Dunkan mcWrick
Thomas Richmoule
John mcJohn Keine
Mungo Willy
Andrew Cambell
Hugh Mure
Andrew Callhow
6.  Mr. John Steward, undertaker of 1,000 acres, his men and armes.
Swords Only
Arch Steward
Andrew Cambell
William Cambell
Illime mcKaine
James ffife
John Steward
Pike Only
John Barkly
Sword and Snaphance
William Conningham
Sword and Pike
John Bullesine
Pike Only
Robert Steward
John Boyle
John Roger
Arch Alexander
No Arms
William Conningham