Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DNA Project Update

We have two sub groups that have developed in the Mid Argyll Kinship Group.  The DNA locus 485 has a value of 13 for all the Mac Eáin origin surnames and a value of 16 for the rest of the men in the project.  The norm for the R-L21 haplogroup is in fact 15.   So, both sub groups within the Mid Argylll Kinship Group, i.e. the R-L21 9919 A-1 group to use geneticist jargon, have a 485 different than the norm.  This is a valuable research factor.

This mutation of the Mac Eáin sub group may have happened circa 1450 to 1550.  Pure speculation.  It may be 'the' marker of families that descend from Donnchaidh Mór Mac Eáin, as his family used the surname McCain beginning in the late 1400s.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Viking Britons

Link to a fascinating article by Scottish historian Tim Clarkson.  Most students of Irish and Scottish history are very familiar with the Gall Ghaeil, but Tim Clarkson has proposed that there was also a Gall Bhreathanaigh.   Gall Ghaeil means the foreign Gaels and Gall Bhreathanaigh means the foreign Britons, as in the Celtic people that lived in Scotland.  This is linked to McCain history and our DNA results.  When I have more time I will post an explanation.  This article specifically about Clan Galbriath, but relative to the McCains.

The story here:  The Viking Britons

Monday, August 19, 2013

z9919 A-1

There is another DNA project that is researching our group it is the z9919 project. Our Mid Argyll Kinship group is a part of this study, we are designated z9919 A-1 in their nomenclature. 

The z9919 cluster is a relatively large genetic cluster with at least 300 members so far, well-known for their characteristic 459=9-9, YCA=19-19 pattern (double 9s at the 459 marker, and double 19s at the YCAII marker).
For those interesting this is the 9919 and RecLOH Project under Family Tree.  I joined as it will help with our project as well.  I see some interesting data developing around this haplogroup.  I think we are dealing with an indigenous Celtic tribal group located initially in central Scotland, from the Firth of Clyde east to Dundee area. 
I will post news on this as it comes in.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Burial Slab of Donnchadh Ruadh Mac Allein

The burial slab of Donnchadh Mór Mac Allein Mhic Lachlainn. Better known in history as Donnchadh Mac Eain, or in English, Duncan McCain.   He was active from the late 1460s until circa 1514.  He was a son of Ailean Mac Eáin Riabhach.  Ailean was given a charter to a large holding of land in Glassary in 1436 by his cousin and the overall Taoiseach of Clann Lachlainn, Eáin Mac Lachlainn.  The exact nature of the kinship between Ailean and Eáin is not known, the term cousin had a very broad meaning in the Gaelic world in the fifteenth century.  While the kinship connection is a mystery, there is no doubt of the clan affiliation.  Ailean held his lands through Eáin Mac Lachlainn and his descendants continued this practice in both the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Key to the Mid Argyll Group

The key to the Mid Argyll Group research is the historical figure of Donnchadh Mac Eáin.  As Captain White, who did the survey of Donnchadh's burial slab in 1875, pointed out when speaking about the slab, it is one of the few burial slabs that can be linked to a historical figure.

To quote Captain White, 'The writing in this case is tolerably perfect, and there is no difficulty in reading the initiatory words, ''Hic iascet Duncanus." Now, in 1479, King James III granted to Colin, Earl of Argyll, the lands of Gareald, Craigenewir (in the vally of the Add) and Tangladlew (within the barony of Glassary), resigned by Duncan Makcane.  With the aid of this information, if we turn again to the inscription, the following, I think, can be deciphered--  Hic iacet Duncanus Roy M'Allan --  and at the top of the slab the name 'Lachlan.' This appears to be one of those rare instances where we are enabled to identify a mediaeval tombstone in the West Highlands with a substantive individual of whom there is documentary record.' 

Captain White was correct Donnchadh appears is the Scottish crown records and the Argyll records.  He is the vector.   Through him we can follow his descendants and those of his three brothers, Dónall, Eáin Riabhach, and Giolla Chríost. 

In most of the 1400s and 1500s records that Donnchadh and his descendants appear, they continue the use of the Mac Eáin surname.  Usually is found put into Lallans, but sometimes left in a Gaelic spelling. 

It is interesting that we know so much about Donnchadh as his House, at Dunemuck, was not the head of the clan, it was his older brother Dónall who was the Taoiseach of the Dunadd Mac Lachlainns.  The House were Dónall of Dunadd, Donnchadh Mór of Dunemuch, Eáin Riabhach of Killiemuchanock, and Giolla Chríost of Creig an Tairbh. 

As the research progresses I will post more of these brothers and their descendants from the primary sources.  Luckily the habit of writing a man's Derbfine name was often followed in the Argyll records, so that we not only get the man's name, but his line of descent, usually for four, sometimes three, generations. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mid Argyll Group DNA Project Launched

The research into the Mid Argyll Kinship Group picking up pace with the creation of the Mid Argyll Group DNA project.  The project will collect DNA results from those men are in the group, which means every man will have the same paternal ancestry.  The project is only open to men that are a paternal DNA match to the group.

The project's goal is to research the Mid Argyll Kinship Group circa 1300 to late 1500s. . The geographic area of the study is the parish of Kilmichael Glassary and the surrounding districts, such as Bute, Arran, Cowal, etc.

The surnames in the group are Duncan, Gay, Gray, Henry, Henrie, McAlpin, McCain, McCane, McKane, McKain, McKean, McKeen, McDonald, and McLea.  In Gaelic, Mac Donnchaidh, Mag Aodh, Glass, Mac Eanruig, Mac Ailpín, Mac Eáin, Mac Dónaill, and Mac an Leagha.   Another surname of interest in the research are McLachlain (Mac Lachlainn) and the project is open to any male that is high level DNA match to the group.
The reason are so many surnames in the group is because surnames were not fixed in Argyll in the 1500s.  Gaelic families often followed traditional patronymic customs of mid Argyll.  This generated several surnames within the same family during that century.  This is why we have McAlpin, Henry, Duncan, McDonald, etc., showing up within the same paternal clan.

The surnames in the DNA match group were in use in Kilmichael Glassary in the 1500s.  Most of these surnames appear in records connected to the Mac Lachlainn 'clan'  of Dunadd.   It is speculated that the Mid Argyll Kinship group is actually the Mac Lachlainn of Dunadd family. 

This project will have Dr Kyle MacLea as an administrator, he is a geneticist by profession and teaches at a university.   I will be a co-administrator helping out with the primary source research and Gaelic language elements. 

Link to Join the Mid Argyll Kinship Group DNA project:   Mid Argyll Group