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Subject: Re: [S-I] Native Irish McLains?
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 21:47:35 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Christopher, it's possible your McClains came as soldier/settlers too. Perhaps they came by way of Antrim and the McDonalds or direct from Dunfriess or elsewhere.

I totally agree with you that, based on the surnames alone, this period was not as black and white as many would like to believe.

Loughinsholin, etc -- that was the heart of the old O'Neill kingdom, well defended by forest (hacked down by the English) and mountains (they couldn't do much about them). Depending on your point of view it was either the heart of darkness or of light. It was completely lost during the 1641 Rising -- all settlers were slaughtered or run off.

So as you can see they were either Irish or good soldiers, this much we know <grin>.

The r1b1c7 list at rootsweb might be able to assist with DNA analysis. I'm assuming M22 plus?? Also the admin of the Ulster Heritage DNA project could assist, but whether he has the time or not, I donno. He certainly knows the DNA of the Irish of central Ulster. Might be able to sort out the McDonalds from the Irish. Maybe!!

Me mother was a McDonald (ancestors from Antrim), me dad was a Campbell (ancestors surnamed Ure from Scotland).....they fought a lot but enjoyed every minute of it.

Linda Merle

----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Beal" <>
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 11:34:57 AM
Subject: Re: [S-I] Native Irish McLains?

Thanks everyone for your insight!

The John McClane in 1630 was on the vintners proportion of land near
Bellaghy. There does seem to be a small proportion of Scots (Gillaspick,
Campbell, McHale, McGildress and Stuart) appearing on the muster list as
well. I recently got the Ulster army lists and all of the McLains I found
were mustered in Antrim/Down/Donegal (8 of them named John) except for one,
and there were also plenty of Irish surnames in these regiments also so I
learned this time period wasn't as "black and white" as history has made it
out to be.

One name sticks out as a possiblity: a Thomas Maklane in the Londonderry
garrison mustered in 1643. In the Dumfries parish registers, Gilbert has
sons "Andro", "Elisoune", "Cristian", and "Thomas" being the last baptism
in 1610 before the family disappears from that area. The Andrew McLane of
Tullinisken (Tyrone) parish names a son John in 1667 St. Columb's

I definitely need to learn more about Loughinsholin in the 1630s, most of
what I read sounds like what was spoken by Bagenal :* “then the most
inaccessible corner of mountains, woods and bogs in Ulster, formed the main
O’Neill stronghold for cattle and other possessions in time of danger, and
an ultimate refuge for Ulster rebels."* Also stated referencing the 1641
rebellion I found *"after the rebellion, there were not as much as eight
people in Loughinsholin for years afterward"* which I figured meant

I'm currently reading Leyburn's "The Scotch-Irish: A social history"
which is incredibly infomative and he tells about the natives always
willing to pay the higher rent rather than give up their attachment to
their ancestral homeland. This brings to mind the McLains in the
Loughinsholin area from the 1620s to the late 18th century, but it could
just be these are the leases they could afford and the land they became
attached to.

I've put together a phylogenic tree of my dna matches and it seems our
lines all cross circa 1600-1650 in Ulster as they are part of the later
diaspora to America and all their surnames are spelled

On Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM, <> wrote:

> Hi Christopher,
> Probably if these men were on a muster roll in the early 1600s they were
> not believed to be Irish by their landlords. If you read up on the
> Plantation (start with Hanna "The Scotch Irish"), you will encounter the
> conditions undertakers had to meet. They included that the undertaker
> settle a certain number of British on the estate and be able to put men in
> the field to defend it with arms. They were also required to evict the
> Irish. They had to be Protestant and their tenants were supposed to be as
> well. They were required to build an English style house (a bawn). etc. etc.
> I'm recalling from memory here, so I could be wrong on the details in some
> small ways so do your own research. You get what you pay for and this is
> free.
> Two key points to recall here: 1: they were supposed to evict the Irish.
> Key point 2: no one ever follows the law exactly. Not now and not then.
> Some didn't fulfill the conditions and some did.
> Some Scots undertakers were Catholic and seeded their estates with Scots
> Catholic tenants. Some did nothing. Most didn't evict their Irish tenants
> or at least not all of them. Why? Because they needed them. They needed
> them to run the estate and to bring in the harvest. No harvest meant
> famine. Oddly enough, Brits die from lack of food as fast as Irish, so they
> tried to avoid famine. In many locations eating required the labor of Irish
> people.
> This is a generality and it is generally true. The further east you were
> in Ulster, the more Scots and the less dependency on Irish. This is also a
> generality. It's important to also recall that Antrim and Down were NOT
> SETTLED UNDER THESE LAWS. That's right. They were private plantations --
> already 'done' by the time the Earls sailed off. So the rules don't apply.
> The Antrim estate of the McDonalds comprised highland (Catholic) Scots of
> various degrees of assimilation into Ireland. Ie the McDonalds had been
> there from the mid 1500s. Several generations may have lived there for
> generations. Some were newer. Randal McD. was required to settle lowland
> Protestant farmers amongst his highlanders and so he did. Most of the Irish
> who were there in 1550 were there in 1700 and later. Some were displaced,
> all were 'downsized'. Down I have less info about. As usual the Irish were
> pushed onto bad farming land -- highlands and bog. They were there today if
> you drive around the Mts. of Mourne.
> On the McDonald estate the problem in 1630 would be figuring out who was
> Irish and who was not. The highlanders spoke Gaelic and were Catholic like
> the Irish. Frankly, loyality to the McDonalds were probably far more
> important than who your father was. Of course people assimilated, one way
> or another.
> Moving west to your area, the further west you go in Ulster, at any time,
> the fewer settlers and the more Irish you had. The higher you go the same
> is true because even Scots farmers can't grow much on rocks.
> Generally a man on a muster list in 1630 would not be Irish. They didn't
> much like arming Irish because they tended to use the weapon against the
> British. Just 11 years after 1630 the Irish would rise up, weapons or not,
> and slaughter almost all the settlers. So they were right to fear. This is
> not to say that the man hadn't manage to assimilate in British. The upper
> classes probably did so the fastest because they were granted estates and
> so had a lot to lose in an uprising.
> So you'll have to research the specifics of Loughinsholin at that time to
> determine what estate he lived in and how well off he was and what happened
> there during the settling of the Plantation and later on in 1641 and 2. Are
> there names on the Muster lists of 1642, for example? Those are filmed and
> the FHL. In this case the men were mustered to fight off a rebellion. So if
> they're on them, most likely they were trusted (unless they were spies or
> defected after mustering -- this occurred).
> It's important to understand that ethnicity is learned. Most of us have
> the ability to learn. Ethnicity in the early 1600s in Ulster was very
> fluid. There were many ethnicities. Now we look back and ask: PRotestant or
> Catholic? Irish or Scots? Not like that then. If you doubt me read a few
> history books. Bardon in his long history of Ulster details various stories
> of ethnic confusion in 1642 and later -- as when apparently some tenants of
> the McDonalds were slaughtered by Monroe. Why? they spoke Gaelic. McDonald
> was not out in rebellion. Unfortunately Monroe's army was Campbell -- the
> old enemy from Scotland. They were probably slaughtered for being
> McDonalds. Even Scots politics was involved.
> What I am saying is additional research is required if you want to
> approach the truth. Due to the paucity of records, you may never know if he
> was a gallowglass (and by 1630 assimilated into the Irish nation) or a
> Scots newcomer. Don't much matter. If your ancestors were in Ulster that
> long and if you could trace them and all their wives' ancestors, you would
> find every kind of person in Ulster. Many many more Irish gals than Irish
> lads in Ulster after the defeat of the O'Neills. Lots of British soldiers
> and settlers with no one to love.
> One thing to do is continue to collect DNA matches. You should find
> (eventually) some matches in your area of Ireland, but you should be able
> also to ID Scots 'near matches' or even matches. If those are in the
> western Isles and western Scotland, you can assume they were either
> gallowglass or McDonalds. If Dumfries, lowlanders. Unfortunately some
> lowland clans did migrate to the lowlands, making it more difficult. If
> only God had pasted them all in place!!
> In any case the history of the area should be of interest to you because
> most likely, who ever was suffering was somehow related to you as was their
> oppressor.
> Determining exactly where they were living also helps. Some townlands were
> full of Irish. In the early days Irish were not allowed to live in the
> towns (for the same reason no one wanted Apaches inside the fort). If they
> lived on a townland that was part of a church estate, that was full of
> Irish surnames, most likely Irish. The church was not required to evict
> Irish, so it provided shelter (such as it was) to many. It's not hard to
> spot one of these in the estate records. Some of the churchlands were
> leased for very long periods (hundred years, etc), so it can be confusing
> determining the history of a townland. Since people did need to get the
> harvest in to avoid starving, the lessee, in one case I researched, and I
> suspect, most cases, were happy to have additional tenants.
> What I can tell you about Dungannon and surrounds is that is mountainous
> land and there were always lots of Irish there. It was difficult to attract
> Scots or English (much was an English plantation). However many very Scots
> towns grew up and many have detailed histories. In one case (Magherafelt?)
> a history detailed everyone living in it, but no Irish. Blocks of Irish
> were just indicated "Irish". Very distressing if you wanted to know which
> Irish! The FHL has a huge collection of town, congregational, and parish
> histories.
> Maybe someone has some additional insights?
> Hope this helps,
> Linda Merle
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christopher Beal" <>
> To:
> Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:31:10 AM
> Subject: [S-I] Native Irish McLains?
> With a lot of luck and joint research with some DNA matches, I've been
> able to trace my McLain line back to Ulster pre-1700. For a long time I
> thought they were planters from Scotland but after exchanging emails with
> Linda Merle, it seems they could have been native Irish. I did a little
> more research and I'll add my findings. I was lucky enough to find the
> family of brothers in 1660s parish records at St. Columb's in Londonderry
> baptizing their children, these same men also appear on Tyrone's hearth
> rolls in 1663 around Dungannnon (John McOlane, Andrew McClean, John
> Mickline, Neall McLeane, and Patrick McGlaine). Londonderry's records
> seems to add 2 more brothers/cousins: Archibald and William.
> Comparing the hearth rolls with the 1740 householders index, these exact
> names repeat very much in Loughinsholin and the descendants of these
> McLains seem to populate Magherafelt, Tamlaght O'Crilly, Kilrea,
> Desertmartin, Kilcronaghan, Maghera, and Kellelagh through that period of
> time. The only records I found earlier than these are the following:
> 1630 muster roll: John McClane, on Henry Conway's estate in Loughinsholin,
> Londonderry
> Summonisters roll: "Gilbert McCleene of Clogher" mentioned in Tyrone's
> rolls in 1626.
> Would I be correct in assuming that John McClane is an Irish tenant on
> the Londonderry plantation? Through all the turmoil of the 1600s, it seems
> this family stays in Loughinsholin. I've read that Shane O'Neill's
> gallowglass in 1560 were the Macleans of Duart who ventured to Ulster when
> Shane married the cheiftain's daughter. They opposed Hugh O'Neil the Earl
> of Tyrone as they were kinsmen to the MacShanes (Shane O'Neill's sons) and
> had become powerful and influential people in Tir Eoghain, and eventually
> known as "McEllanes". The "census of the fews", a 1602 pardon list from
> Armagh gives the names of 2 kerns under Henry O'Neill: Owen Og McElane and
> Allen McElane.
> It looks like evidence mounts for them to be considered native Irish but
> then I come across things that throw me off like this Scottish baptismal:
> *"Andro McKlein, father: Gilbert McKlein, Mar. 19, 1606, Dumfries"*
> obviously two names that fit the above family and I'm not sure whether to
> take it as coincidence or not.
> Any input would be greatly appreciated, Thank you!
> Chris Beal
> *
> *
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* "If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my
flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region and
make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to
British tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger."

- General George Washington, 1778

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