Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2010-04 > 1272495591

Subject: Re: [S-I] Mitchell, Scotch/Irish New York to Michigan
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 18:59:51 EDT


I don't think the chances are good of finding much about them. I have a
John Ellis that married a Mary Quinn, from the early 1700's. It looks like
John may have been born in MD, of English or Welch parent's. His mother was a
Clarke. Mary Quinn's father was Henry, but it doesn't say where he was
born. Somehow they married in Rowen County, NC, but John died in York, SC.
Did they have a large Scotch-Irish population there?

Bonnie O'Neil

In a message dated 4/28/2010 3:42:30 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,

Hi Bonnie,

There are no Scotch Irish names, alas. Every single one of them is
something else, like American names. That's because just as most Americans came
here from somewhere else, excepting a few Indians (who had no surnames),
Ireland was a place to go to and so many people went there. In Ulster natives
had no surnames until the English imposed them on them in the early 1600s.
Though there were no laws stating that you had to keep the one your father
used. Still aren't! (In the rest of Ireland, under English rule centuries
earlier, the Statutes of Kilkenny in the 14th century (or so...) forced Irish
living u nder English control to take a surname).

There are people who think you can tell someone's religion by their
surname, but these people are often wrong. Individuals have religions and can
change them at will. Surnames are inherited (and can be changed at will too).
So when a young man of one religion marries a woman of another, some kind
of compromise is made. Perhaps the children are raised in a different
religion than the father's. If he was an Irish Catholic and the children were
raied Protestant -- voila! You have a 'Scotch Irish" surname.

I think you are probably trying to figure out where to find them.

ELLIS is an English surname, found in Dublin (where Irish people were not
allowed to live at one time) as early as 1281, says MacLysaght. It is not
identified with any particular region of Ireland and is commonest in
Leinster and Ulster. Bell in "Book of Ulster Surnames" has more information on the
Ulster surname. He discusses it in the context of Elliott, as a variant.
He notes Ellis is very common in Antrim. Says most in Ulster arrived in the
post Plantation period. This name will not help you locate them in Ireland.
It's important to recall that many Irish did leave from other parts of
Ireland as well as Ulster in the colonial period.

QUINN is one of the 20 most common names in Ireland, found everywhere. It
is commonest in Ulster. It is the most common name in Tyrone and one of the
first 10 in Armagh. Though the 11th most common in Monaghan in 1890 by
1970 it was the 57th suggesting much emigration. The O'Quinns of Tyrone were
an important sept of Cenel Eoghain, closely related to the O'Hagans, thus
O'Neills. Other septs include an O'Quinn group from the person name Conn,
based in northern Antrim, Clare and Longford. Bell indicates by custom the
Catholics use QUINN and Protestant QUIN. Although this must be recent, since
without public schools or much educational opportunities in a language that
had not set fixed spelling for surnames, who could spell a surname???

Other problems: at the start of the 20th century Quinn was used
interchangably with Cunnea in Donegal, with MacConaghy and Queen in Monaghan, and
Quenn in Armagh city, and Whin and Whinn in southeast Down.

So the Quin would appear to be Irish, most likely. Neither name is a clue
to where they were from. This is often the case. Once you figure out where
they are from then local history may tell you the history of the instance
of the surname there, where your ancestors came from.

DNA probably would ID the quadrant of Ireland that they came from as well.
By finding a match to a man with a known location in Ireland, you could
assume yours came from nearby.

Religion can be a great help, or rather, some religions can be. For
example surnames associated with small groups like the Quakers and the Reformed
Presbyterians are significant. There were only a few groups in Ireland, so
knowing your ancestors were members of these groups limits you to those
locations and suggests studying their history may also turn up information.
Some of the surnames in the RP groups have been stable for 300 years.

But don't be misled. I seem to recall someone once posting to the list who
couldn't find any records for their family in a county in Ireland. However
their ancestors were Protestant. Someone on the list knew that there were
many people with the su rname in the county -- but they were Catholic. So
someone changed religion. don't let this be a cause for you to fail to find

Best of luck!

Linda Merle
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 5:47:32 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [S-I] Mitchell, Scotch/Irish New York to Michigan


Can you tell me if the Ellis or Quinn family names are Scotch-Irish? If
where in Ireland do they show up?

Bonnie O'Neil

In a message dated 3/9/2010 3:27:10 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,

Hi Bill, I haven't googled recently so I can't tell you what there is on
line for the RP church in Wilkinsburg.

The RP Seminary library is just up the road apiece. I don't know what they
got either since when I visited
there last I hadn't revisited the will of my ancestor (collected by mother
and sister) and as a result of a lot
of learning, realized that the witness to the will was now known to me. I
guess I should go back.


----- Original Message -----
From: "William McKinney" <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 2:26:46 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [S-I] Mitchell, Scotch/Irish New York to Michigan

Howdy Linda,

Just curious. Are there any accounts on line relating to the Reformed
Presbyterian Church in Wilkinsburg. That's where my McKinneys ended up
selling their Braddocks Field farm to Andrew Carnegie for his steel works.

Bill McKinney
In Erie (which, yes, got precious little snow this year compared to last)

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2010 5:11 PM
Subject: Re: [S-I] Mitchell, Scotch/Irish New York to Michigan

Hi Richard,

This doesn't quite make sense to me:
>My FTDNA, (67 Y Markers Tested), shows overwhelming Scotch and Irish
ancestry with Irish being slightly higher than Scotch.

Thats not how Y DNA results are reported (in any useful fashion). Are you
refering to the familytreedna page of Recent Ancestral Origins? That's not
accurate at all. It just sees where people that match you (who have
come from. A lot don't list origins and some are wrong.

Go with your haplogroup. The haplogroup is of course fuzzy too for a
reasons: We don't know where they originated (though the scientists have
theories -- which change every two years) and who cares -- we want to know
where your immediate ancestors were living. If you turn up NW Irish, you
assume they were in Ulster or nearby areas of Scotland -- ie it gives you
some clues.

What's the haplogroup? And who do you match to? You may find matches with
surname because surnames are fairly recent, but they're a clue. If you
us a few of
them, maybe we can tell from the surnames where they might have come from,
unless it was
Glasgow....same surnames in parts of Glasgow as in northern Ireland
so many
went over.

The point is though that these are statistical and your unique history is
unique and not based on statistics. You use the statistics to figure out
where the best places are to search.

You don't have enough info to search in Scotland. You need to follow
back through the censuses as far as you can. You might find him living as
child in a household with his parents. Anyway the census work will give
an approximate date of birth. Then censuses also tell you where he was
-- what state. You should also try to find an obit for him and see if you
can view the actual death record, not a death certificate. This is
on the state he died in. What state did he die in?

You also need to gather all his siblings, their dates of birth and where
they were born
from the censuses. These are clues, esp. ones born in Scotland. There are
plenty of James Mitchells there, but with the names of children and maybe
spouse, you can narrow it down. Since he was born in the USA and his
in Scotland probably his father was in the USA at the time of his birth
you can trace him backwards in the censuses. Then you look for a
naturalization record. If he was in the USA in 1812, if he was not
naturalized he should be listed as an alien. the book is in Ancestry. You
want to search for a naturalization record for the father and then first
papers. The first papers are more likely to nail down his origins. However
the people who stood for him are critical people. Like in the case of a
client of mine whose ancstors claimed to be Scots, the men who stood for
when he naturalized were both first generation Irish. They didn't randomly
go somewhere in the USA -- they went to where other people from the family
and/or village went. It's called c!
hain migration. So you always look up those guys in the censuses and see
what you can learn about them. They are clues.

Similarly, one of the sons of the Rev. John Black, who also became a
minister, witnessed the
will of a Kelly ancestor of mine. Why? He died north of the Allegheny and
this man's church
was in Wilkinsburg. Because of some previous tie, that's why. There were
Kellys associated
with the Reformed Presbyterian church in Wilkinsburg but so far I've not
found the origins
of mine -- but it is an important clue to where they were before they
manifested in Indiana
Twp (Allegheny Co).

>I apologise to any of those who I may have offended on the list,

Actually I did more offending than you today. You didn't offend anyone at

Good luck!

Linda Merle

To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
quotes in the subject and the body of the message

To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
quotes in the subject
and the body of the message

To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
quotes in the subject
and the body of the message

To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject
and the body of the message

To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject
and the body of the message

This thread: