Saturday, September 25, 2010

Visit with William Roulston

As mentioned before, William Roulston met with Sandy and with me along with John Cunningham in Ballymena, near Belfast, the night before we started home from Ireland.

One of the most important contributers to the meeting was Patrick MacAuley, no Patrick wasn't there in person, but the full weight of his words and research were there with us, because, among the papers I considered of particular interest I took with me was Pat's email regarding possible McCown family lines. In his own words:

1. "I first looked up the deposition by Alice Campion which mentions Redmond McOwen Maguire. I checked the Geinealaige Fearmanach and found Raimon mac Eoghan MacUihdir - see entry GF 225. I see that he was in the Sept descended from Donnach Ceallaigh Maguire, so "mac Owen" would probably only have been a one-generation patronymic. His lineage was Reamin mac Eoghan mac Eamon mac Gilla Duff mac Donnach Ceallaigh mac Tomas Oge, who was Maguire Chief d. 1480.

2. I also looked up the Robert fflack deposition. He mentions an atrocity that occurred in the Barony of Lurg and specifically names 30 Irish rebels, of whom 12 are surnamed Magwyre. Among the remainder are Patrick mc Choen and Cahal mc Choen, both of the Parish of Maheracoolmuney in the Barony of Lurg. In the context of Robert Flack's 1641 deposition, McChoen is being used as a hereditary surname.

My conclusion is that Redmond MacOwen Maguire is not a strong prospect. But the "mc Choen"s are a very good lead, especially since an Edward McCone was in Lurg in the 1660s. The reprisals to the 1641 massacres were very vicious and sweeping, and any McChoens who were suspected would have been killed if they did not flee. When did your ancestors arrive in America?"

Pat's account of the McChoens in the Barony of Lurg especially caught William Roulston's attention and I expect to hear more on this subject in the near future.
Unfortunately, we don't know when our line arrived in America. We may be getting closer to an answer in this regard, because James Charles McKown's line was in Virginia in 1785 and ours was in South Carolina in 1790/92. I ran the FTDNATip test
to find the percentage of probability of our having a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) how many generations ago.

With Sam, the number of generations ago and the percentages are Gen 9 is 60.90%,
Gen 10 is 75.85% and Gen 11 is 85.19%. With Jim it is Gen 9 50.89%, Gen 10 it is
66.30% and at Gen 11 it is 77.18%. Using a factor from Barry McCain and Joseph Donohoe (55% to 85%)would indicate an MRCA for both of those men with me as recently as 10 generations ago and perhaps 11 generatations ago. That in turn would indicate that our MRCA'S would have been 250 to 275 years ago (1760-1735).

I further stipulated that the MRCA could not have been within 8 generations ago.

All of this lines up nicely with the years of birth of our earliest known ancestors.
So, I would expect that if our earliest known ancestors were the first born of their families in America that their fathers would have arrived in America around 1750. Admittedly this is just speculation but it could be useful in trying to answer Pat's question as to when our families left Ireland or arrived in America.

One of the fascinating aspects of genealogical speculation is knowing not only the most likely dates but also the names of our earliest ancestors in America.

Pat also mentioned Edward McCone in the Barony of Lurg, Fermanagh, in 1660. While in either Kinawley or Cavan, we viewed the grave of one John McCone in a cemetery largely populated with McCauleys and McManuses. That could be another clue that McCones of whatever spelling were living closely with those great Maguire related families. That and $2.50 might get you a cup of coffee.

The fair Coane had already mentioned the Barony of Lurg as having some McCone families. Pat has mentioned that he doubts that McCauley's were that far north, but they were certainly near Castle Monea which is pretty far north for the McCauley homeland.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First, the Good News

Sandy and I are home again and then there is the other stuff. We haven't been able to pay the tour guide because I cannot fathom Paypal, practically all of our pictures of the trip have been lost, we are sick as dogs and thoroughly worn out and everything that we needed to do had we been home still needs to be done.

Now that we are all on the same page, the highlights of the trip included marvelous work by our esteemed tour guide, host and friend (at least if I can work it out with Paypal). It was some of the best money we ever spent to have John Cunningham as our tour guide. There is no doubt whatsoever that we saw many more things of interest due to John's deep and abiding love for ferMannah (Fermanagh) and his knowledge of what to see when time is short than had we chosen to rent and drive a car. Someone has to be aware of the meaning of what is being seen and interpreting it. In my opinion, had we survived renting a car and driving it in a way that would be understood by other drivers, out trip would not have been anywhere near as informative and productive had we not had John's interpretive explanations.

John not only knows his subjects in great depth, but he explains it so that it is easily understood. John doesn't lead safaris. All his work is done in a Renault turbo charged diesel passenger car which has a maximum capacity of 3 big fat fellers. Every where we went
there were people who knew and liked John. He is the only man I know who would send his wife along to chaperone his daughter and an 80 year old man. Now, I consider that an extreme measure to make your clients feel young again.

We visited every county in Northern Ireland, UK, plus Counties Cavan, Leitrim, and Donegal. We visited or drove through every parish in Fermanagh, visited and walked through two castles and saw more castles as well. We saw the island where Robert the Bruce watched the spider fail at finishing his web and finally succdeeding. We had our picture taken in front of Enniskillen Castle, visited Devenish Island with it's religious ruins dating back to 650 AD. Saw Connemara ponies at the Hamilton Castle ruin in Monea and saw Sorley Boy MacDonald's castle, the Giant's Causeway, visited several Catholic and Church of Ireland churches and cemeteries as well as Holy Wells. Then on the second day--
just kidding, but John works all day every day and makes sure that his clients get their moneys worth even if it kills them. I will continue this post when I am sufficiently recovered.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Five Nights Sleeping in an Irish Pub

Never frequenting bars, saloons or pubs, I confess to you freely that we plan to sleep five nights at Mahoon's Fiddlestone Pub and Guesthouse in Belleek, Fermanagh. As business names go, we also plan to have dinner in Belfast at The Barking Dog. Fortunately for me, the good brethren at the local Methodist church never read my blog.

The closer we get to leaving home next Wednesday, there is more stuff that remains to be done before the trip than we realized. Yesterday, was very warm in California's Central Valley. We had stopped for lunch in Merced, named after El Rio de Nuestra Senora de Merced. On restarting the car there was a sound like a fully revved up Harley Davidson motorcycle with no muffler but with a giant megaphone tailpipe. It turned out that the noise came from the fan motor that sends warm or cold air to the passenger compartment of my car.

The Ford dealer retrieved some insulation material and the remains of a very dead mouse from the fan motor housing. This also involved a lot of driving time from Merced to Modesto, waiting for the repair and then making up time for things we needed to buy in preparation for the trip to Fermanagh.

The fair Coane has asked me to say hello to a mountain or her behalf in Donegal amd tour guide John Cunningham has to give two talks on the morning of the 11th so we will go along with him and visit parts of the Sperrin Mountains as well. The alternative was to spend an entire day at the museum in Enniskillen Castle. We do expect to spend some time there, but not a whole day.

You have all taken long trips before so you know the drill and the hassle and hopefully some good times as well.