DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2011-04 > 1301819267
From: Iain Kennedy <>
Subject: Re: [R-M222] Cowan
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 08:27:47 +0000
They are all brick-walled Americans which is why I run my own separate testing project over here. Most of them are so-called Scots-Irish who sailed over from Derry and are most likely of lowland Scots descent. The highland branch rarely went to the modern States but turn up in large numbers in Canada (especially Ontario) and Australia.
Like most common surnames the Kennedys are a mixture of haplogroups and both lowland and highland branches contain a mixture of M222 and non-M222. It isn't possible to determine via STR testing if the M222 ones have a significant common descent, nor to work out the historical source of the highland branch.
I know Brian well and he was the first to point out to me the Deer entry. There is in fact a Kennedy branch who trace back to this area in Aberdeenshire in the early 1400s but they are difficult to pin down for testing and again, it's not proven whether they are native or connected with one of the other groups.
> Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 18:08:15 -0400
> Subject: Re: [R-M222] Cowan
> In a message dated 4/2/2011 3:57:39 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
> I'm relieved John found references to Lochaber in his MacGillivray
> material since this is the area where I am studying the highland Kennedys and I
> come across the name a lot. It seems to be much more localised than Cowan.
> Iain, you haven't given your opinion on who you think the M222 Kennedys
> were in the FTDNA Project. I presume you think they're Scotttish, possibly
> from Lochaber? And not from Galloway?
> A version of Kennedy history I see quoted fequently says:
> "The Clan Kennedy is said to originate from a branch of the Celtic Lords
> of Galloway and they are associated with the Carrick district of Ayrshire in
> the far south-west of Scotland. John Kennedy of Dunure and Cassillis
> married the heiress of the Carrick earls. " [from Electric Scotland]
> A theory posted on this site by a Brian Kennedy seems the best explanation
> Note from _Brian Kennedy_ (mailto:)
> I have a theory for you concerning the origin of the Kennedies. I have
> posted this postulation with the Kennedy Society of North America also. (I'm
> in the States) For all of my life people have questioned how my name could
> be Scottish in origin when most think it to be exclusively Irish. Therefore,
> I have done some independent study on the subject.
> All the histories of the Kennedy name in Scotland have focused on early
> manuscripts that spell the name with a "K". Their conclusions briefly are
> that the name originated in Southwestern Scotland (Carrick) around 1200 AD.
> However, all of these histories ignore the 10th Century "Book of Deer".
> (which is now in Cambridge University, reportedly looted by the English during
> the Scottish Wars of Independence!) This Latin folio has early 12th Century
> Gaelic notes added to the spaces besides the columns and at the end.
> These Gaelic notes in the Book of Deer describe the founding of a
> Monastery in present day Aberdeenshire by Saint Drostan and Columba. It also
> annotates land grants in the area during the reign of David I (1124-1153). The
> document is notable as the oldest existing example of Gaelic written in
> Scotland (except for stone inscriptions) and is in Old Irish and an early form
> of Scots Gaelic.
> Among the land owners in that place and time was one Cormac mac Cennedig.
> (Cennedig was apparently Cormac's father's given name as mac means "son
> It is well known that the Irish Annals call the high king Brian Boru;
> Brian mac Cennetig as Cennetig was Brian's father's name. The Annals also
> mention other Cennetigs seemingly unrelated to the Dal Cais tribe of Brian Boru
> and his ilk.
> The two are identical names as Scots Gaelic often uses a "d" where the
> Irish has a "t".
> It is clearly evident to me that the given name Cennetig or Cennedig was
> quite common in Gaelic speaking areas during the middle ages (as were names
> like Donnchadh or Muiredach) and accounts for its arising independently as
> a surname in the forms "MacKennedy" or "MacCennetig" all over this Gaelic
> cultural matrix from Moray to Munster.
> So now when people ask me how can Kennedy be a Scottish name I can reply
> confidently that it was a common given name that arose as a surname in
> diverse areas of both Gaelic speaking Scotland and Ireland during the middle
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