Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2000-12 > 0977376574
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Cowan family
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 21:29:34 -0800
It seems at one time there wer COWANs on the list so bheck the
COWAN is in there -- another Ulster surname from Antrim, Down,
and Armagh. Can be Scottish or Irish. It's common in the lowlands
of Scotland. They became confused with the Colquhouns there. Then
you have the Cowans of FIfe. In the highlands in Argyll you have
some, whose name comes from St Comgan (we all remember him of
course --Mac Gille Chomhghain -- son of the servant of St Comgan.
However it is also the modern form, along with MacCowan, for an old
Co Armagh name MacCone or MacCoan. Gaelic Mac Comhdhain. Especially
common in the Banbridge area. It was also confused with MacKeown.
Also you have a Tyrone name MacIlhone (see Woods, he says) and
the Connaght name Coyne.
If your family is from Armagh, most likely they are Irish.
MacNALLY and MacAnally are common in Connacht and Uslter, common
in Armagh and Monaghan. Two Gaelic origins. First is Mac an Fhailghigh
from failgheach or "a poor man", but most in Ulster are from Mac Con
Uladh or son of the hound of Ulster. This would be old Ulidia.
You've been to Navan fort????
Later history has obscured the earlier. According to more modern
scholarship, like Roger Blaney's book on Presbyterians and the
Irish language, in 17th century Ulster there was not a clear
separation between Irish and Scot. Many more Scots spoke Gaelic,
just like the Irish. They could converse together. The religious
divide as not then as extreme as some would like us to beleive.
Some isolated areas had only a priest or only a Presbyterian
minister. In those cases, everyone would take the children to be
baptised to the same minister. So in some south west Antrim parishes,
Blaney claims the whole population became Presbyterian (and th en
constructed Scottish roots for themselves). The established church
showed no interest in converting the Catholics, not even in the
Commonwealth period. To convert the Irish you had to speak Irish
and y ou had to translate the Bible. The only Protetants who spoke
Irish were Scots. There were Presbyterian congregations who required
Gaelic speaking ministers, like the congregation in Dundalk (not far
from Armagh). The first Presbyterian minister in Bushmills, Antrim,
was an Irishman named O Quin. The English stopped the Presbyterians
from ministering in Irish to the Irish by outlawing the use of Irish.
The only thing worse than having them Catholic would have been to
have them made into Presbyterians by the Scots!!!!