Monday, November 12, 2012

The Redshanks in Donegal and Tyrone

I am working on a supplement to the Laggans Redshanks book that will have an analysis of every Redshank man that appears in the 1630 muster roll for the Portlough Precinct in east Donegal.  Where possible, I will identify the point of origin in the Scottish Highlands of the man's surname. Most of the names come from two districts, Argyll and Lennox.  These lands where either Caimbeul lands or under the influence of Clann Chaimbeul's power Taoiseach, the Earl of Argyll.  Many families of Highland Scottish ancestry used alias, certain anglicised forms, of pet Gaelic names.  Many Highland Scottish families did  not use 'clan' surnames, but with research I have been able to link many of the Redshank surnames with their clan affiliation.  For example, in Donegal and Tyrone, the name Allen, McAllen, McKean, Duncan, etc., are linked to Clann Chaimbeul and these families point of origin is mid Argyll. 

The supplement will be out in a few weeks and available on the Ulster Heritage website and also available in an expanded version of  A Short History of the Laggan Redshanks, 1659-1630.  For men that have participated in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project this will provide insight into the ultimate point of origin of their families.  For example, if you have a DNA match to a surname or kinship group in Ulster, one can then look for the point of origin of that family on the 1630 muster roll.  An example, the Ulster Heritage Project has located some 'Ferguson' i.e. Mac Fearghusa families with links to the Laggans and DNA analysis has linked this family to the island of Mull in the Hebrides and the Clann Mhic Giolla Eáin.  This clan was indeed one of the main sources of Redshanks supplied by the fifth Earl of Argyll to the Ó Dónaill ruler and his wife, Iníon Dubh.  This allows these Ferguson families to not only confirm their Highland Scottish origins and to also have a very good idea of exactly where their family originated and when they migrated to Ulster.