Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2008-10 > 1224516802
Subject: Re: [S-I] Irish Protestants
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2008 15:33:22 +0000
Hi Linda, actually, where we live doesn't make us experts on the local surnames <grin>! So people in Scotland or Ireland are not any more likely to have a correct answer to your question about the origin of your name McKittrick than someone on a south sea island with what you need. That is informed information. Where you look for that is in a definitive book, meaning a work that others who are experts have declared, is likely to be right. This is important because there are many 'coffee table books' that may or may not be right. Usually they are not.
The definitive work on Ulster surnames is Bell "Book of Ulster Surnames'. It only covers the commonest names. Yours isn't there except for a mention in the context of another name. Then you turn to various Irish books. MacLysaght "The Surnames of Ireland" has it. Of course it could be Irish or Scots. Our ancestors often spoke Gaelic. They all used the same first names. They all got the same patrynomics. We're in a bad way <grin>.
Mac Kitterick was Mac Shitric, which derives from a Norse personal name. Its variants are found in the Oriel counties (Down, etc ... check the Internet) where Hanson is a synonym. The Scots variant is in Sligo. The Sh, when 'lenitated' in Irish or Scots Gaelic (usually, local dialects might differ) becomes and H, in case you are wondering. The name was Sitric, but is lenitated to sh, which becomes H, mainly to confuse descendants. Gaelic changes at the front of the word to indicate case, not at the end like Latin, English, French, German...... Really can throw you for a loop.
The fastest and cheapest way to find out where your ancestors came from is snag a male relative with the surname and order a 37 or 67 marker DNA kit from www.familytreedna.com . Send it in, having joined either the Ulster Heritage DNA or the Irish Heritage DNA project. When the results come in, if you joined the Irish DNA project, the admins will send you off to the right project.
With 1820 you will have little help from any church records. There are rarely RC records any earlier or Presbyterian. You don't specify the class of the people. If they were landed, perhaps you can find more information easily. Most likely they were not. Don't neglect county histories, etc. A book like Ryan "IRish Records" gives you many sources, most in libraries in the USA and LDS. Or check the Fianna website. The standard search is taught in Irish classes on genealogy: locate the townland of origin, from that you will learn the estate they lived on. Then look for estate records. They may or may not be named in them.
There's a lot of strategies you can use to do Irish genealogy. These need all to be learned, and are often too complicated to learn in an email. "A Genealogists' Guide to Discovering Irish Ancestors" and others can really help. Sometimes you can get help with one step on the Internet, but then you are stuck again, because....you've not learn how to do "The Craft"! Some of these books will tell you that it is almost impossible to trace your poorer type of Irish person before 1820. Impossible. People who believe this are not going to help you. They don't believe they can. So avoid them. Find someone who thinks he can help you.
Generally speaking you must find the county of origin in IReland here in the USA or wherever. There are no emigration records. No one recorded who was leaving. If you can't find 'a smoking gun' (10 foot tombstone saying "THEY CAME FROM LIMERICK, FOLKS" (these do happen!), or the county in a death record, you can construct a circumstantial case. Genealogists have been doing this for a long time. You got to know more to do it.
However these days there is a shortcut. DNA. Find a male relative with the surname and test him. Often people tell me they got none. Bullshit, I say. Do genealogy. Unless you know your grandfather's siblings had no males, your grandfather's father and his siblings had none, etc, etc, all the way back to immigration and down all the way to the represent, on all lines, you don't know.
Is this hard work? You betcha. You can do most of it on the INternet sitting at home. You will need a subscription to Ancestry. Or go to the library and use theirs free. You need the censuses, one way or the other.
In one case, the county of origin was given in a marriage record in PA. Limerick. There was a project underway to study the surname DNA. My client joined. I was pretty sure his ancestor was from Ardagh. There was a large group in Glin (on the estuary). You'd think he'd be related to them.
No. His DNA showed his ancestor had walked up the road from Kerry. Ardagh is on the road to Kerry. So that saved a lot of time and money. We could even try to find a match in Ardagh or for a man from Ardagh with his surname if we needed confirmation that I got the right birth record.
The DNA really helps. He's back to a point before Catholic records too. Hopefully some research
into estates in that area will tell us something. If the Limerick estate owner had estates in
Kerry -- the ancstor might have moved up from that other estate, for example. Without DNA,
we'd be looking in Glin and County Clare -- the wrong places. This surname does not have
a wide geographical dispersion, unlike McKetrick. It's all in the same general area, but still has
multiple origins. And the local oral history, that they came from Clare is, in some cases, wrong,
wrong, wrong. This remains true no matter how many hoary grandmothers tell you otherwise. The DNA evidence doesn't lie.
Just like now, anyone can name a kid Ivan (the terrible!). Doesn't mean the family was Russian.
Your ancestors could have ended up with a Norse derived surname, but it doesn't mean they
were Norse, Scots, or Irish. It just means at some point some one had that name. But the
DNA will tell you who they were way back when and even, where they came from a very short
time ago. For most of us researching in Ireland before 1820....it's our only hope because they
were not named in any records at all. It ain't like here where you are in censuses and tax
records, not to mention marriage and baptisms. Not so over there. Had to own land to be
taxed, or have a lease. Lots leased 'in rundale', as it is called, or were servants, or were the
sons of the lease holder . They are not named in tax records. Etc.....so you need to get the
DNA working for you.
NO comment on your Dolans <grin>. Dolan is not a common Ulster name. It moved north eastward over history, though (MacLysaght), and is an Ui Maine name. You may find you need DNA here too
as it is very common in some places. When you show up with names like this, genealogists flee in horror <grin>. They flee when they hear mine too....just too common. John Anderson? How may do you want found? Five? Maybe 200 <grin>? Arrgg...... You said they were Catholic. Then do not hesitate to move heaven and hell to find the earliest records. These may give the county of origin and the names of the parents in Ireland. These days you can possibly find all the Catholic records for that county indexed on the INternet free. You will pay to view the actual transcription. Limerick came on line the week I was resaerching the man in Limerick. For $20 we got his migrant ancestor's birth record in Ireland. In another case (Browns who married Browns...should be a law against that), they claimed they were Scots. No births or marriages or census appearances in Scotland for them. Got death record from Fayette Co for the mother. It gave her maiden name, the names of her parents an!
d the c
ounty of origin in .... Ireland. Used Tithe Applotment index to locate father in said county. He was gonzo in Griffiths (1850s). Having her maiden name, checked Scottish 1851 census for the mother's name. There was mother, widowed, living with daughter. Gone in 1861.
Why? Moved back to Ireland to marry Irish lad (named Adam Brown, of course). No marriage in
Scotland so I know they married in Ireland. Probably can find the marriage in County Down if you have lots of time and plenty of money. They migrated about 1870 and didn't want to be confused with the Irish, so they claimed they were Scots. They were ethnically Scots, all right, but they lived in Ireland most of the time! This shows you how important it is to hunt down the US records. Key. WIthout them, no ancestors.
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Linda Dolan <>
> Good morning/ afternoonfrom Texas,
> I have a question for those of you in Ireland especially N Ireland. Can you tell
> me if the name McKittrick is originally Scottish or Irish? I have tried looking
> at old records for the name in the Kildare area but can't find it much. I can
> find it in N.Ireland.
> I have a James McKittrick married to a Mary Butler (who's mother was a Curley ).
> They married c 1820 -30. the family was RC but I don't know if James was before
> the marriage.
> Butler and Curley aren't hard to find in the Dublin/Kildare area but mcKittrick
> Any insight or help appreciated.
> I was in Ireland in Sept '08 but the genealogists were on holiday also ! I'd
> come back in a minute if it were possible, I loved it there. I felt at home and
> even driving wasn't so hard to do. I was raised in SW Pa so the surrounding
> country side was familiar and beautiful. I love Dingle and Dingle bay.
> Thanks for your time,
> Linda Dolan
> ps can't find my Dolan;'s either.
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