Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coane/McCown Controversy

It never occurred to me that this blog and all four of it's occasional readers would ever encounter controversy. This one is serious because Reader Coane has done her own research while I have relied on
the talents of founder and administrator, Barry McCain of the FTDNA Ulster Heritage Group, http://www.ulsterheritage.com/. The debate, in which I took a solid stand, is a work in progress.

In earlier searches, it seemed that Cowan was derived from O'Cadhain, and that my McCown surname was absolutely not, but rather from Eoghain or Eoin. That turned out to be wretched excess, because said Barry, has now pointed out that there are few absolutes in Irish surnames and the fair Coane has some ground on which to stand after all. If you, for want of anything worthwhile to do, delve in old installments of this blog you will find mention of the name O'hEoghain.

Barry had suggested that this family were connected to the Maguires as ereneghs, a religious occupation. It had been found that at least one of these was surnamed MachEoghain. The O'hEoghains have some anglicized surnames such as O'Howens and Owens. The thought was this was the connection of, not only my Y-DNA but also connected my surname to the Maguires.

The fair Coane felt that I had gone too far in taking such a firm stand on something that I have fewer qualifications than she does. After all, she can actually read obscure, ancient Gaelic documents and Barry has backed off of his stand that there was absolutely no chance that there could be a connection between the surnames O'Cadhain and McCown. Rather than settle the issue with swords or pistols, the genteel means of settling such a dispute is to find an O'Cadhain with Maguire DNA. Alas and alack, the fair Coane has no known male Coane champion to enter the lists and take the FTDNA Y-DNA tests. So, I appeal to all four of you readers to try to come of with such a champion surnamed Cowan, Coane, Coen or Koen to take the test.

My interest in this is that in my line, we have been called McQuown, when gggf Lawrence McCown married Sally McCrae in the Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, Washington County, VA in January 1815, and McCown when their sons were born and later when a census taker listed gggf Lawrence as McCowen, his son, William as McCown, and his second son, Eli as McKeown in the metropolis of Berrylick, Butler County, KY in 1850. All other records are generally (no absolutes here) consistent with the McCown spelling, although in my working career, coworkers found it easier just to call me Megowan.

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