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!