Saturday, January 31, 2015

Origin of the McCown Surname

The McCown surname is derived from Eoghainn.  Until St. Patrick preached the Gospels in the
5th century, the there was no Irish Gaelic language equivalent for the Hebrew name John.

They settled on Eoghainn (pronounced as Owen) as the Irish Gaelic equivalent of John.  Owen
is the root of the McCown surname using Mc preceeding Owen for McOwen.  There are several
other spelling variant of the surname both in Ireland and in Scotland.  For example, in the Nith
River Valley of Strathclyde, both McCowns and McGowans take their name from Owen the Bald,
King of Strathclyde in the 8th century.  This is the only instance I know of where McGowan is
used for McCown rather than the literal use of McanGabhan which means son of the smith or
metal worker.

Monday, January 26, 2015

McCown/Maguire Results

Dear Bill,
My head is swimming with Maguire history and DNA.  Maguire history, although convoluted, is not a challenge; the DNA aspect of your genealogical search is another matter.  Unless you have a background in this science, understanding genetic patterns and relationships is like trying to decipher Greek.  With that caveat, here is what I have
DNA testing shows that you, your cousin and Jim McKown are descendants of Donn Mor Maguire (AD1302), the first King of Fermanagh.  Donn Mor was a descendant of the Three Collas, descendants of Milesius of Spain, who defeated their cousins the Red Branch Knights of Ulidia.  Descendants of the Collas eventually joined with kindred and other unrelated families to found the Kingdom of Aighialla, which encompassed the counties of Fermanagh, Cavan and Monaghan.   In DNA terms, from what I have read, you, your cousin Sam and Jim McKown all belong to the Airghialla 2 Modal group, specifically L513 – P66+, and apparently are the only Maguires to belong to the P66+ category.
The Maguire clan history also tells us that the Maguires are related to the MacQuarrie family of Scotland, who come from an island near Mull.  This Scottish connection is not unusual, since many Scottish clans actually have Irish founders. The Mc Queen/McSweeny clan of Inishowen, Donegal are descended from Conn of the Hundred Battles, High King of Ireland, and the McKenzies (McKinneys) are descended from the Norman Fitzgeralds who were driven from Ireland into Scotland. Indeed, the Buchananns, whom you reference as a DNA match, are descendants of Anselan Buey Ocahan, son of the King of Ulster, who fled Ireland in 1016 and emigrated to Argyll in Western Scotland.
Bottom line: the Scottish names on your list of DNA connections may well have similar Irish bloodlines.  Some of the O’Neills disguised their names as Johnston after the English strongly urged the Gaels to anglicize their names.
Names like McMahon, McManus, McAuley, McDonald, Burns and Donohoe all appear to belong to the Kingdom of Airghialla, a loosely connected group of families which came to share the same geographical location.
Historically, the Insurrection of 1641 was led by the Maguire family.  As you and I know, Trinity College has a website which records the actual testimony of the English and Scottish settlers who described the atrocities committed against them by the Irish rebels.  In Fermanagh and elsewhere, Rory Maguire, son of Sir Conor Maguire of the senior branch of the Maguires, was considered the Captain of the Irish rebels.  I no longer have access to the Clogher Record, but I think I remember reading that Rory had married the widow of a prominent Fermanagh English undertaker, and had moved into her estate in, or near, the Barony of Lurg, Fermanagh.
We both know the1641 Deposition, which we previously discussed, stated that Capt Rory Maguire, Hugh mc Adeganny (the priest), Donagh oge, Brian Carragh, Redmond Maguire, and Pat and Cahill McChoen  all took part in a massacre at Magheraculmoney in Lurg.
In the 1642 Deposition of Alice Champyn, in the Barony of Clankelly, in the Manor of Castle Coole, she names Don Carragh Maguyre, gent, Edmund Carragh Maguyre of Annaharde, and Redmond McOwin Maguyre gent of Fermanagh as murderers of her husband.  Members of the Maguire family who survived execution by the English, were on the run and had good reason to drop their surname and assume the Christian name of an ancestor as their surname – perhaps becoming McCown.
In the Fermanagh Census 1669 for Lurg, we find: Edmund McCone (Culmaine) and Cuchonagh O’Kohan (Cluncagh).  Later, we find John McCone of Collcan as a 1788 poll elector, as well as McKown in Aghalucher, and McCown in Galoon.  There are also McCoens listed in Fermanagh in 1659.
Without further specific information, you’ll have to be content with the remarkable information which you have collected at this point in your journey.  You are a Maguire of the main royal line.  That’s quite an accomplishment!

Monday, December 22, 2014

McCown, Scots or Irish blog is back Again

This blog has been inactive since Nov 2013, but now I have regained control and plan to keep it
updated.  Some rascal stole my gmail account and I just recovered the account.

First, let me suggest that you do an online search for a paper called "The Tribe Within"  It deals with
the history of L513 and L21 which mainly occur in Northern Ireland and Scotland.  It deals with a
tribe called the Veneti which the Roman Empire pronounced as Weneti and this tribe is the progenitor of L513 and L21.  The Veneti designed and built the best boats of the time.  They had
high prows and were built of a particular variety of oak wood and they had leather sails all of which
made them able to withstand the fierce storms of the North Atlantic Ocean as well as rot which was
not the case with cedar wood at least in ships.  This paragraph uses terms that are familiar mostly
to men who have been tested by Family Tree DNA.  If you are a male and want to track your families
deep history these tests are an excellent place to start especially this week because the Y-DNA tests
are heavily discounted in price.

The Veneti were also the progenitors of the Dal Riata of Eastern Ulster.  Some of the Dal Riata
migrated to Scotland and controlled the western seaboard while the Picts controlled the rest of
Scotland.  The paper lists many surnames including McCown, McKown and McCowan as well as the
names of the several major septs of the Maguire clan plus many other surnames as well.

Many of us have been tested for the "Big Y Test" which tests for SNP's or deep subclades and for
STR's which show Y-DNA matches.  I have been tested to 12, 25, 37, 67 and 111 STR's which is
currently as high as these tests are offered.  Brad McGuire is the administrator of the Airghialla
Mag Uidhir (Maguire) group.  Airghialla was also known as the kingdom of Oriel and preceded the
earliest of the Maguire chiefs.  Brad is currently engaged in a project to shed more light on the history
of the Maguire's and I look forward to sharing the results of his project to you.

I also look forward to the next update to this blog.

Friday, November 22, 2013

At Last, More New Testing and Thrust

It seems that this blog is heavily dependent on a need for a great deal of
patience, money for new tests as they occur and a constant and abiding
hope for breaks in test results.  Family Tree DNA has just offered a new
test which they call the Big Y which has the potential for finding up to
10 million SNP's.  I invested a hefty sum for this test on 11-18-2013 to
find out more about how the three McCown/McKowns relate to the
Maguires of Co. Fermanagh.  The results are not expected before Feb.
2014 but what is hoped is that it will produce a closer time line between
us and the rest of the Maguire Sept.  This test will show our very deep
ancestry via Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP's) that show ancestry
before surnames came into common use in Ireland about 950 AD.

The three McCown/McKowns are closely related by markers which show
relatedness since surnames came into common use and specifically how
our SNP P66+ anchors SNP 513 which is shared by all of those related
to the Maguires  ties into this.  Our most recent find from William Roulston
of the Ulster Historical Association is that on 18 June 1611, pardons were
approved for the following men:  Edmond McGuire McOwen, gentleman of
Co. Tyrone, Patrick Grome McEdmond McOwen, Brian Magwire McOwen
and Terrence O'Neile.  At that time, native Irish were required by law to
stay on the land and Edmond petitioned for an amnesty in the event that
these men were forced off of their land at no fault of their own.

The FTDNATip tool which shows when a Most Recent Common Ancestor
lived and that year was 1622 AD.  That is very close to when the men listed
above were granted a pardon in 1611 AD.  At a guess, I would say that
there is an excellent chance that one of the men listed is an ancestor of

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Thrust in Maguire Genealogy and Y-DNA

As faithful readers (when a blog update becomes available know) this blog has been in
the doldrums since April 9, 2013.  In fact, I was somewhat surprised that it still exists
since it has been idle so long.  But at long last, Brad McGuire has added extra thrust to
this blog and some bright hope for the future.

First, an effort is being started to have a full Y-DNA Genome test performed and a
donor has been found to provide most of the funds to have this test performed.  Because
one of them is also a genetic distance of only four from the baseline of all of the members
of Brad's Airghialla Mag Uidhir (Maguire) FTDNA Group, Brad proposes that he be the
one to provide the Y-DNA sample to be used in this test.

Second, Charles Robert Maguire, can document his genealogy clear back to the brother
of the last ruling ruling prince of Fermanagh in the Junior line of Maguire.  His ancestor was
Lord Thomas Mor Maguire, 1400, brother to Hugh II, 1600.  It is not known to us if
Robert Charles Maguire of South Carolina is still living or not (he was in 2010) but we do
know that he had brothers and two sons. 

It is our hope to have one of this family fully tested to 111 markers and even perhaps to
be tested for the full Y-DNA Genome.  Great hope and expectations abound.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Rest of the Cormac and Maguire/McCown Story

My source has sent additional information that counters the last issue of this blog.  It seems
that the Eoghain(Owen) was not of the Maguire line but was an early progenitor of the
Ui O'hEoghain (modern Owens, O'Howens families) and none of those are DNA matches with
me.  I was really excited with the potential break through with my deep family history, but
now that I know more about that period, I am not particularly disappointed.  After all, what I
want is what actually applies to my McCown/Maguire connection and so the lack of
dejection.  Actually, it was a ray of hope in a generally grim research.  The O'hEoghains were
a family of church men and therefor would have been a welcome part of my family tree but
apparently they were closer to being of the O'Neill sept than the Maguire sept.  Now that the
decks have been cleared, I am still interested in the McChoens in the Barony of Lurg in
northern County Fermanagh as possibly being of my surname.

Dr. William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast, shows interest in them as
well, so that is a bit of encouragement.  I have read that very few Americans of American
descent have been able to locate others in Ireland who descend from the same ancestors but
a couple of them in my Maguire group have a record of their earliest known ancestor and where
he lived in Ireland.  My hope is that maybe some of these families can be found in the same
general area and thus my line might as well.