Friday, November 25, 2011

Donnchadh Mór Mac Eáin

burial stone of Donnchadh Mór Mac Eáin of Kilmichael Glassary Argyll

Y Chromosome DNA testing is providing a way to research Redshank families.  One such case is that of Donnchadh Mór Mac Eáin, who was a local lord in the parish of Kilmichael Glassry in mid Argyll circa 1460s through 1515 AD.   He was the head of the House of Dunamuck and was a son of Ailean Mac Eáin Mhic Lachlainn, the taoiseach and seneschal of extensive lands in the parish.   The House of Donnchadh Mór Mac Eáin, was one of four houses of the Mac Lachlainn clan of Kilmichael Glassary established by the sons Ailean Mac Eáin. The four houses in the aggregate were called the Mac Lachlainns of Dunadd.

The Mac Lachlinns of Dunadds, while part of the greate Clann Mhic Lachlainn structure, increasingly became allied to the Caimbeul clan in the late 1400s and throughout the 1500s.  Donnchadh Mór Mac Eáin served as an official for the Giolla Easpuig Caimbuel, the 4th Earl of Argyll.  His descendants also served as tacsmen, baliffs, and captains for the 5th and 6th Earls of Argyll.  

The movement of Redshanks to Ulster were controlled by the Earls of Argyll.  In Donegal Redshanks became to settle, rather than return after the campaign season, by the mid 1500s.  DNA results located the descendants of the Mac Lachlainns of Dunadd that had moved to Taughboyne Parish, Donegal.

Argyll Redshanks in the thousands relocated there beginning in the late summer of 1569 as part of Caimbeul plans and ambitions in west Ulster.  Notably the marriage of Fionnuala Nic Dhónaill, popularly called Iníon Dhubh, to Aodh Mac Manus Ó Dónaill in August of 1569.  She was the cousin of the 5th Earl of Argyll and many Caimbeul Redshank accompanied her to Donegal.  Iníon Dhubh had her main house at Mongalvin, just south of St Johnston.  Her Redshanks settled in the six or so miles between Porthall and  Carrigans.  This allowed them to control the two ports on the Foyle River at St Johnston and Carrigans.  

The Redshank community thrived and their descendants are still very numerous in the area.  

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