Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Mid Argyll Kinship Group

Barry R McCain, admin of the Ulster Heritage DNA Project has been in touch to highlight his research into a group of families who share the same paternal line of descent from Argyllshire. The families originate in the parishes of Kilmartin and Kilmichael Glassary, the area from Loch Awe south to Dunadd near Lochgilphead.

View north from Dunadd
Barry has been using both DNA results and primary sources such as the family papers of the Campbell’s of Argyll to unravel the origins of these native Argyllshire families.

The main surnames in the group are Mac Eanruig (Henry), Mac an Leagha (MacLea), Mac Ailpín (Mac Alpin), Mac Donnchadh (Duncan), Mac Eáin (McKean), and Mac Dónaill(MacDonald). These surnames are not 'clan' surnames, but rather simple Gaelic patronymic surnames taken circa mid 1400s and the 1500s. Research suggests that they are all from the Mac Lochlainn (MacLachlan) of Dunadd line.

According to Barry, the Mid Argyll Kinship Group's paternal DNA results show no genetic links to a paternal line in Northern Ireland or any northern Irish Gaelic family that migrated there circa 400 AD to 1200 AD, nor to the celebrated Niall of the Nine Hostages haplogroup. On the contrary, the base paternal DNA of the group shows them to be indigenous to Argyll and no links outside of the locality have yet appeared. The McCains (McKeans) in this group can be found in group one at the McCain DNA Project. It includes Barry's family and those of the family of Senator John McCain.

Recently Barry has been researching the Argyll Redshank settlement in east Donegal circa 1570s to late 1590s finding key corroborative primary evidence in the Calendar of State Papers for Ireland.

Barry is being interviewed by Dr William Roulston on the BBC Radio Ulster programme Kist o’ Wurds to be broadcast on Sunday 7 November at 4pm. You can listen online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vlqvk and if you miss the show, listen again on BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007d4s0/episodes/upcoming

You can read more and keep updated on developments with the Mid Argyll Kinship Group at Barry’s blog and at the Ulster Heritage Magazine.

For further information on the ancient history of this part of Argyll visit the Kilmartin House Museum