DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2009-11 > 1257454574
From: Bernard Morgan <>
Subject: Re: [R-M222] Ewing m222
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 20:56:14 +0000
> Name in Gaelic is Mac Eáin, a form of Eóin unique to the Gaels of that part
> of Argyll. The family moved to east Donegal circa 1568 to 1590 (hard to
> pinpoint). They are still very numerous in east Donegal, one line did move
> to north Antrim. Anglicised forms are McCain (most common), McKean, McKeen,
> McKain. Several naval admirals, a senator, a couple of well known musicians,
> an Wimbledon champion, etc., from this family also.
Yet I have found no evidence for the MacKean Redshanks idea in county Donegal (parish of Taughboyne/St Johnstown).
MacCain blog: http://maceain.blogspot.com/search?q=argyll or http://www.ulsterheritage.com/clans/mccain_maceain.htm
Yes 1568 onwards O'Donnells and other hired professional mercenaries known as Redshanks. Yet did they settle or go home after a "mercenary expedition to Ireland as gallowlasses or redshanks"? The quote is from “The politics of religion in the age of Mary”.
I have also looked in Ulster Heritage Y-DNA project, but haven't found MacKean from Donegal?
Ulster Heritage blog offers two pieces to support the existence of Redshanks settlement. Which I think does not support it:
1. “Highland Scottish surnames appear on muster and tenant lists on the vast Hamilton estates in east Donegal and northwest Tyrone.”
The implication made is that Highland Scottish cannot be part of the plantation (which I understand as true) and hence must be from the pre-existing population, hence Redshanks? So if Redshanks can be tenants why can’t the native Irish remain as tenants?
There are the Highland Scottish surnames given as justification. Along with native Irish origins of the surnames:
McAllen: MacLysaght says from MacCaillen of Donegal [in realty they are from Inishowen] where Laud 610 has Óe Chuliúin and Book of Ballymote has U Chuiliuin. Which are from na Bretcha and so native to Inishowen.
McColley: Can be from the anglization of Mac Duinnshléibhe found in Donegal or from numerous other native names: MacCullagh, O’Coyle, MacColla, etc.
McKean: O Cuinn, O’Cathain etc.
McDuff: O Dubhtaigh as in Húi Dubdai of Conchobhar of Magh Ith. McDuffs appears in the Pardon rolls of Donegal.
McNaughten, O Nechtain linked to the Maguires?
2. "letters written by James Hamilton and Dennis Campbell in the 1601, that discussed the possibility of using the Highland Scot communities in Donegal and Tyrone."
I haven't read these letters yet I find this correspondence from Sir James Hamilton to Sir Robert Cecil (March 1601):
"Further, that in the late intended employment of the Scots, offer was secretly made to him to withdraw some from the rebel for the furtherance of that service, ..."
This suggests to me that reference to "Highland Scot communities in Donegal and Tyrone" is the Redshank mercenary communities (the mercenaries themselves) of Hugh O’Donnell and Hugh O’Neill.
The argument for the existence of Redshank settlements; which acts to explain the existence of non-lowland tenants. Shows for me the continuation of pre-1609 Irish populations in those areas deemed to have been planted. The question is how many of these Redshank surnames are in realty native surnames and how many Lowland surname are in realty either Redshank or native surnames?
> Go to www.ulsterheritage.com look at the menu on the left, click 'clans' I
> think it is, anyroad, follow that and you can go to a McCain Clan website
> and McCain family DNA project. This family has around 50 matches in the
> Diaspora. They are related to the McArthur and McLea families, also of mid
I see no appreciation in the MacCain blog that the Gaelic names of Scotland can also be found multiple times in Ireland. For there are the MacEoin Bisset of Antrim, MacEoin related to the O'Neill of Clanaboy and more MacEoin in Co. Armagh.
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