viernes, 17 de diciembre de 2010

Armagh branch: Moses, John, Benjamin, Robert McKinley 1720-1750

Following on from my discovery of Moses McKinley and his marriage in 1722 to Elizabeth Greenwater in New Castle DE in 1722 I have been trying to work though his origins and his descendants. This lead to working out which other McKinley's were in the immediate area during the first half of the 18th century. Land certificate records have one John McKinley getting 100 acres certified in Cecil County DE in 1748: this has proved to be the start of a rich vein of information. Cecil County borders New Castle and southern Pennsylvania. The certificate was set out with two other individuals: Benjamin McKinley and James Cathey.

Searching in Google Books for John McKinley references I happened across an edition of the Stewart Family records which mentioned a land transaction of 1771. In this transaction "William Stewart of New Castle, Delaware, entered into agreement with Benjamin McKinley of Frederick County, to purchase part of a tract of land...which belonged to the estate of John McKinley, deceased..." One of those "eureka!" moments. Next question was to ascertain relationship of John to Benjamin: father or brother?. Another search and other document cites one Ebenezer McKinley as being administrator to the estate of Benjamin McKinley on Dec 30th 1782. Of Ebenezer we have more substantial records: that he married one Elizabeth Good and that they had four sons: the eldest being Benjamin. Thus assuming the usual Scotch naming system, this seems to confirm that Ebenezer was son of Benjamin who in turn seems more likely to have been son of John, rather than brother.

John McKinley, in that initial land cert of 1748, named his tract of land "Drum Greena". This suggests he had come from a townland in Ireland of a similar name, most probably Drumgreenagh of Drumcreenagh. Google Maps obliged, throwing up two Drumgreenagh's both of which are in Country Armagh. A quick search in RootsWeb also revealed a John Cathey from Co Armagh as having been in the US by 1739 and as having come from County Monaghan (which adjoins Armagh). Still on my search of McKinleys in the Delaware area, I made a quick search for Moses McKinley "Armagh": bingo! two Moses McKinleys appear in Tythe records a century later in the Armagh area, along with five other McKinley families.

So do we have a McKinley family group that came over from Armagh in the 1730's and settle in the southern Pennsylvania / New Castle / Cecil County area. It seems likely: we have John McKinley from Drumgreenagh (7 miles S/W of Armagh Town); we have Moses McKinley getting married in 1722 in New Castle and the highly unusual name of Moses recurring still a century later in the adjoining townlands of Ballygorman and Ballydogherty in County Armagh some 12 miles S/E of Armagh and 15m east of Drumgreenagh.

Adding to the reason for supposing these two McKinleys (brothers or father and son?) to have come from Armagh, is the migration of a famous family of Presbyterian preachers from Armagh to Chester Co PA in 1734 with a group of other families: I am talking of the Finley family who were to have three preacher sons of considerable fame: Samuel, James and Andrew. The parents, Michael Finley and Anne O'Neill arrived into Chester County in late September 1734 from the parish of Mullaghbrack, Co Armagh. Mullaghbrack being 14 miles from Drumgreenagh.

In the State of Delaware a Scotch-Irish area kown as New Munster had been carved out early on by the Alexander family from Armagh. In 1746 members of this family and other Presbyterian Scotch-Irish from New Munster headed of into the wilds of North Carolina to settle in Mecklenburg County. Here in Mecklenburg we have the family of Robert McKinley (c1708-1775) appearing. This makes it very likely that Robert was of the same family grouping as Moses, John and Benjamin: a supposition made more weighty by the fact we have a Moses McKinley being born in North Carolina in 1798 (died Fayette Co TN 1879).

So far so good: But now let us see if we can make ties with two other eminent McKinley's of those times: Jane McKinley who married David Logan (of Lurgan Co Armagh) and Governor John McKinly of Delaware. Logan/McKinley family lore holds that Jane was sister of John: so if we leave that particular issue to one side for a moment, let's see if Jane can link in to our Armagh branch of the family.

Most commentators suggest that David and Jane were married in Ireland; some suggest David as being a brother of Penn's secretary James Logan (not the case); also they assert that Benjamin Logan (the famous frontiersman and General in the revolutionary war) had been named after his maternal grandfather. Let us sort out David Logan first. He came from Lurgan, County Armagh and he was likely related in some way to Penn's wealthy stalwart secretary James Logan. But we know from English records that James had but one brother, William. there is clear evidence that David Logan had a family and a wife before he married Jane McKinley. His children by his first wife (Martha Dudgeon) were William and Mary, who had been born in Ireland. the naming of the first son William, suggests to me that David was therefore nephew of James. Clearly Martha dies and next we have James Logan and wife Jane testifying to proof of importation in the Orange County Court House on 22nd May 1740. They were self-imported, which means either they had sufficient funds to pay for their own voyage or someone else had (a wealthy uncle in the form of James Logan, perhaps). A daughter Margaret is born in 1741 and then Benjamin McKinley Logan in May 1743. Given that David already has or had an elder son called after his own father, then it is logical that the next son is called after the maternal grandfather. LDS records state that the eldest son William died some time prior to 1749. Whether Jane and David married in Ireland or in Pennsylvania prior to the move across the state line to Delaware is not known; but my bet is they met in Pennsylvania. What we do know is that both Jane McKinley and John McKinley were born in the north of Ireland.

If young Benjamin was Jane's first-born is suggests that she was born around 1720 and we know that Govr John McKinley was born in 1721. However is also means that it is impossible that Benjamin McKinley of Cecil County, Delaware was her father, but also suggests that it is very possible that they were first cousins. To summarise: in Armagh there were three brothers born in the late 1600's called Moses, John and Benjamin. Moses we know was in Delaware by 1721 because he married in New Castle in 1722. He was a well-respected senior member of the Presbyterian community because by 1732 he is an Elder. Benjamin may or may not have come with him; if he did come he certainly perished early on (a very natural hazard in those days). John, the father of "Delaware" Benjamin, dies sometime around 1770. So certainly Moses and John are of the same generation. "Irish" Benjamin has two children: Jane, later wife of David Logan, and her brother John McKinly, both born in the early 1720's and would have been direct first cousin contempories of Benjamin McKinley of Delaware. Robert McKinley is also of this generation and likely origin via either Moses or John.

To add to the murk, there are two other McKinley's just a State away at that same time: namely Samuel and Matthew. Samuel McKinley

miércoles, 17 de noviembre de 2010

Latest Updates

First Americans - 14th December 2010
First arrivals c 1720 Boston, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

First Americans

First things first: now way was David the Weaver, son of "James the Trooper", first to hit the shores of the New World as per the majority of genealogies. As far as I can make out we have three to four waves of McKinley immigration in the first half of the 18th Century, ie pre 1750. In the following entry I will set out the names and dates and try to work out where these individuals came from. But before that it is important to highlight just how the Irish migration worked and for that I refer to "Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and New England" by Charles Knowles Bolton (Boston 1910). see link

Prior to 1718 the vast majority of Irish that emigrated to the New World were Quakers that left the Armagh and Waterford areas and went to Pennsylvania. Bolton estimates, citing various sources, that by that date there were fewer than 500-600 Irish in the New World colonies. But in 1718 six ships reached New England from Derry, Coleraine, Belfast and Dublin, bring with them a number of young men and women to be assigned as servants to merchants and families in Boston. Along with these came the earliest Presbyterian groups, following on from the arrival into New England of two Ulster Presbyterian preachers three years earlier: the Rev William Homes, of Strabane (Co. Tyrone) settled on Martha's Vineyard and his brother-in-law the Rev Thomas Craighead settled just across on the mainland at Fall River. These two had sent back favourable reports and had lobbied locally to bring new colonists from Ireland.

More or less at the same time (1719 to be precise) the Ulster Scots started to arrive into Delaware and Pennsylvanie. The main port of entry was New Castle, which by that time was already a bustling town. The newcomers pushed north soon gained sufficient number and settlement to obtain a formal name for their first settlement on the western banks of the Susquehanna River up at current day Harrisburg: the name of that settlement was Donegal. Soon enough nearby to Donegal came, Derry and Toboyne. Seems to me pretty clear as to where those early Presbyterians came from!

The First Wave c1720s-30s

Delaware: Moses McKinley marries local widow Elizabeth Greenwater in New Castle 22nd Aug 1722. Where did Moses come from; not a notion. Where did he end up? Looks like we have another Moses McKinley fifty years later in North Carolina (not the Carburrus line). The name is sufficiently un-McKinley'ish to assume a link.

Pennsylvania: Matthew McKinley is named as administrator of Samuel McKinley in the latter's will of 1728, in Chester County PA. Typically this means that Samuel was in-extremis. But later that same year we have (another?) Samuel McKinley witnessing a will in the same county. The next McKinley to appear in Chester County gives us a bit of a break-through: in 1735 Patrick McKinley married Elenor Galbraith, daughter of James Galbraith. Galbraith had been one of the main forces behind the founding of Donegal and the family came from Newtown Cunningham, just 15 miles to the west of Londonderry. Patrick dies within the next ten years and his widow married one Benjamin Glas, but that first marriage produced three McKinley children:John, Joseph and Janet.

Boston: William MacKinley marries local widow Lydia Pomroy 1722. We than have in 1733 Lydiah Mekinly marrying a certain Youth Young in Boston on Dec 20th 1733. I take this to mean that William had passed away and the merry widow moved on to the aptly named third husband. By that time two more McKinley's had arrived in Boston as there are marriage records of Duncan McKinley marrying Mary Frost in October 1730 and John McKinly marrying Tersy Frayr the following year.

Last in in the 1730's, as far as I have found, was John McKinley (arrived 1736) who fathered Robert McKinley who in turn was sent as a ten year'old to live with his uncle in Chester, New Hampshire. This John had travelled over with a group including Robert Craige, Allen Templeton and John Orr: as my notes below show, this group looks as if it came from North Antrim. John and wife Ann stayed in Boston, but I suspect both parents died given that Robert McKinley (born Boston 1736) was sent up to his uncle at the age of 10 and subsequently became his heir. Clearly the eldest son of John being called Robert, suggests that this was the name of John's father.

From whence had they hailed?
Few Scotsmen emigrated to the US in the first half of the 18th century and post the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden in 1745 most fled to France and Spain if they fled at all. The main Scottish emigration only gathered steam in the latter part of the 17th century. Thus there is a high probability that all of these McKinleys were Scots-Irish. This begs the question as to just who was in Ireland at those times. We know that prior to the 1660's the bulk of the Irish McKinleys were in the Donegal, Londonderry, Tyrone area, then came the second wave into the North Antrim area. These two groups are are seeding ground for the New World settlers. Names now come into play as one assumes that they maintained in this period the old Scottish method of first sons being names after the paternal grand-father, first daughter, paternal-grandmother etc. In Antrim the relevant names we have are a number of Daniel's and an occasional John and William. In Donegal the men-at-arms of the 1630's went by the names of John (four of them), Robert (two of them), Duncan, Fyndley, Thomas and James. By the time of the 1665 Hearth Money roll we have the name Patrick McKinley appearing alongside Fyndley in Taghboyne (place name of the third Scotch Irish settlement on the Suquehanna River in Pennsylvania). A generation later the name Samuel starts to appear in the Londonderry family. Both Duncan and Robert, as first names, remained resolutely west-Ulster rather than east-Ulster (ie Antrim), suggesting that John, who stayed in Boston where Duncan, John and William were already based, also hailed from the Donegal line.
So it seems to me that this first wave of McKinley's hailed from the families of the first settlers into Ulster.

martes, 5 de octubre de 2010

President McKinley and James "the Trooper"

As anyone who has started searching through the genealogy websites for McKinley's will know, there is mile upon mile of text referring to an ancestor of the late President McKinley, who's son emigrated from Ireland to the US, thereby launching the line that culminated with the assasinated 25th PoTUS. The story goes that one James McKinley left Scotland for Ireland in 1690 to work as a guide for the Williamite forces in their fight against the Jacobins, which culminated in the Battle of the Boyne and the end of King James II's regal ambitions. Having done his job well, the youngster was given lands in North Antrim, in Dervock, and went on to father four sons, two of whom emigrated to the US in the early 1720's or thereabouts. The sweet part of this story is that the person who put it all together was a commercial genealogist from Chicago (Edward A Claypool) upon McKinley's election as President. Not only therefore did young James "the Trooper" fight for the Protestant cause, but his bloodline was link to no lesser figure that Duncan MacDuff - he that finally put an end to that well-known villain Macbeth! Nice story.

Not that any of this really matters, but the real James the Trooper was someone very different and what follows is my best shot at sorting out who he was. It may also serve to remove the road block that nearly all US McKinley have i trying to trace their ancestry back to Ireland: because details of James the Trooper, based in Antrim are non-existent. To put it simply, they are all looking in the wrong field.

Why "James the Trooper" couldn't have been the one Claypool suggests.

You can find Claypool's tome in Google Books (The Scotch Ancestors of William McKinley). The relevant bit for this discussion is McKinley's number 21 through 27 i.e. from Findla Mór through to David the Weaver (ie the first US member of the family). I am going to assume that most readers know the outline of who was who, and go straight for the facts. Findla Mór existed and is a known historical figure. A giant of a man, he was a famed warrior of the sixteenth century, being killed on the battlefield of Pinkie Cleugh when a cannon ball in the midriff tore the royal standard bearer in half on September 10th 1547: he was aged sixty. He indeed was the first of the McKinley's, being granted that right basically for his feats of arms. His father was one Donald Farquharson, a lesser chief of the clan Farquharson (Invercauld line). So far as I know, the line from Findla Mór (aka great Finlay) does go back up through to Macduff, certainly the Farquharson family trees always have it thus.

Getting back to our royal standard bearer and father of the McKinley clan, Claypool has him marrying twice and fathering at least eleven sons. More recent and critical research by the Farquharson family suggests a different and more trustworthy story. Findlay indeed married twice: by his first wife (Margaret reid) he had a son William, who went on to become the 2nd laird of Invercauld, but it seems that this William had no male heirs, just a daughter called Janet. By his second wife Beatrix Gordon (Claypool has her surname as Gardyn, which is a bit mortifying if one is a Scots Gordon!) he had no less than six sons and four daughters, so we do get to the notion of eleven children. Only the names of the boys have come down through history and dates are very few and far between. the eldest son, James seems to have died in his childhood, next was Donald, who inherited James's property. Third Robert who for some reason becomes the third laird of Invercauld (suggesting William of the first marriage didn't last much after the arrival of his one and only daughter). Then come Lachlan, George and Finlay, plus four girls. Son number three, Robert, has dates c1540-1590 and married one Marjorie.

Now, Mr Claypool's artwork suggests that Finlay had a son called William McKinley who settled in a farmstead called "The Annie" near Callendar in Perthshire. This William is deemed to have died during the reign of James VIth i.e. between 1603 and 1625. William is deemed to have had four sons: John, Donald, Thomas and Son #4. The eldest son John then fathered three boys, Donald, James and John, with James being our Irishman James "the Trooper". But in fact William had no sons and the first John that I can find is a generation later, being the son of Robert, 3rd laird. Finally I have always had a problem with the story that James "the Trooper" came over aged twenty to Ireland and was hired as a guide to King William's army. A scout, maybe, but a guide denotes knowledge of the land and of the routes, which a twenty year old immigrant would be unlikely to have had.

Continuing for a moment with the notion that James indeed was a successful guide to William's army and was paid with land in Antrim (common method of payment in those days). It is commonly assumed that his first son was born in Dervock, Antrim in 1708. Of the four sons two stayed in Ireland (William and Donald) and two left for the New World (David and James). SO what traces of them can be found in the local records? The closes national record is a national survey taken of Protestant householders in 1740 (the remaining two boys would have been in their mid-thirties). Dervock is in North Antrim, in the parish of Derrykeighan and the Barony of Dunluce Lower. In that census we find one McKinley household: that of Widow McKinla. Two other McKinley's are registered in North Antrim, these are Joh (I assume John) in the parish of Billy (just to the north of Dervock) and ffrans (Francis?) in Ballyshrane. So indeed we do possibly have two brothers who stayed behind, and definately a mother. James "the Trooper" having popped his clogs by then.

Conclusion #1: A McKinley family did exist in the vicinity of Dervock some forty years later, with quite possibly James's widow being listed as householder.

Are there any other candidates for James "the Trooper"?

Yes and candidates that fit the bill of being guides and fit the bill with family members of similar names. But before delving into this a couple of pointers. The heirs to Finlay Mór would have had a certain fame and a name, but they didn't have any land. If Finlay indeed had eleven children they would have been a hungry mob, and with such a famous father one has to assume that the younger sons would have followed their father's footsteps in soldiering. Another point to underline is that with the surname of McKinley effectively being created by and for Findla Mór there would't have been that many of them, even two or three generations later (although clearly the founding father did his utmost too populate).

So it is that we come across no less that eight McKinley's all working as men at arms and new immigrants in Donegal in the 1630's. As a reminder Findla Mór's sons were William (died without male heir), then James (also died young), Donald, Robert (who lived 1540-1590), Lachlan, George and Finlay. The Muster Rolls of Donegal name Robert, ffyndley and John as being men at arms for the Duke of Lennox; Duncan, for Sir John Cunningham; another John for the Duke of Annandale; and two more John's and a Robert. Two items to note: we have a Finlay McKinlay present in Ireland in 1630, probably arriving sometime after 1610 (dating of the landgrants) and a Robert; secondly, there are an awful lot of John's. Claypool has one John McKinley as being father to James the Trooper. Maybe there were more John's than just the son of Robert, the third laird. To be listed in muster rolls one had to be of eighteen years or older, thus the notion of one of these John's possibly fathering James "the Trooper" is a distinct possibility.

Of this brood I would add one final point at this stage: church records for St Columb's Derry have one John McKinley marrying Margaret Deveny on 26th November 1657. Assuming a fertile marriage there may well have been a resulting James born in the 1660's who might have learnt the tools of his trade and the lay of the land from his father. Certainly there is a far stronger argument for a second generation Irish McKinly being hired as a guide, rather than a twenty year old fresh out of Perthshire!

martes, 6 de julio de 2010

The War of the Three Kingdoms

No examination of these forefathers can be made without having a thorough understanding of the times in which they lived. In the twenty five years which stretch from the initial proof given by the Muster Rolls to the proof offered by the Hearth Money Tax, Ireland was a war torn country. The only new immigrants were soldiers, and those soldiers were almost entirely English.

The war of the three kingdoms can be divided into four phases: the initial Irish Rebellion of 1641; the first English Civil War of 1642 and its implications and consequences in Ireland; Cromwell's arrival and the ethnic cleansing that ensued; and finally the demobilsation of the English Army in 1655, the replantation of Leinster, Munster and Ulster, and the misery of Connaught. As will be seen our McKinley man-at-arms were in the thick of the conflicts the whole way through: God help them.

Phase One: The Irish Rebellion of 1641

It was only a matter of time: since the flight of the Earls the plantation of Ulster had meant dispossession for the bulk of native Irish. As ever in Ireland, what started as one thing ended as another. Thus what initially started as a bloody uprising to take back confiscated land and goods from what were seen as English usurpers actually ended up with the self-same Irish cause taking the English Royalist cause in favour of Charles 1st in the English Civil War. Thus in Ireland the Protestants in fact were split into three factions: those that sided with the Irish Catholic Confederacy and backed the King against the Parliamentarians; those that backed the Parliamentarians; and those Scots that proclaimed the Covenanter cause, i.e. the new Presbyterians.

The Rebellion started on the evening of 22nd October 1641 with uprisings in most of the main towns across the country that were outside of the Dublin Pale. Many Protestants were put to the knife and rumours of massacres spread like wild-fire. Certainly there was a serious blood-bath, but from what I can dig out of the annals, massacres were seldom much above a couple of dozen eople being put to the sword in any one town: definately a "light" level of massacre compared to what the response would be. Soon the Confederates essentially ruled much of the country and help was called for by the local protestant population, with meesangers being sent off to plea for assistance to the King in Westminster. It has to be said that the initial focus of the Rebellion was against the English settlers and the Scots were left in peace for the first month or so; but with derry on the doorstep of the Laggan, that non-interference soon came to an end.

But up in north-west Ulster, two brothers with a sturdy track record of fighting in the 30 year War in Europe, had started to build and train a local army as soon as rumours started about a possible rebellion. The two Stewart brothers, Sir William and Sir Robert had fought as soldiers of fortune under the Kings of Sweden and of Denmark and later for King James. They recruited a local army (regiment) from volunteers: those volunteers being from the Muster Rolls of 1830. Thus was brn what was to become known as the Laggan Army (the Laggan being the fertile lands to the southwest of Londonderry and whose commercial centre was Raphoe). Thus all of our McKinley's can be assumed to have joined the Laggan Army. The instructions were that the brothers were 'to raise two regiments, consisting of officers who were worthy and gallant gentlemen, and two troops of horses'.

Sir William Stewart had initially gone to Ireland in 1608 as a Captain, under the direct orders of the Scottish Parliament, in command of a company of Scottish troops, whose role was to defend the Scottish planters and ensure that they were formed into an effective militia. One assume he was the man behind the Muster Rolls. He was knighted in 1613 and made a Baronet in 1623 being titled Baron Stewart of Ramelton. By 1610 he was able to muster 1000 armed men in Donegal and by 1614 2000 men. Sir William and Sir Robert were well connected from the outset, being nephews of Lord Ochiltree, who was First Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the King, ie one of the King's most trusted men. As early undertakers themselves, Sir William was based at Ballylawan and Sir Robert in Ramelton. Sir William's eldest son was further ennobled in 1641 taking the titles Viscount Mountjoy and Earls of Blessington. Robert's branch didn't do too badly either, becoming Earls of Londonderry under George III.

The Lagganeers were surrounded by hostile forces and managed not only to fight them back out of the immediate Laggan area, but recaptured and liberated the principal castles of western Ulster, which had been under seige or taken by the Confederates. The leader of the opposition, Sir Phelim O'Neill decided that the absence of the Protestant defenders from their own stronghold of the Laggan was an oportunity not to be missed and he set off to pillage Raphoe. The Lagganeers got word of the plan, chased the Confederates and defeated their army near Castlederg. Sir Phelim was bloodied and frustrated and made two more attempts to gain the Laggan. Finally in the following year, backed up by the MacDonnell Clan he gathered a huge army and marched on Raphoe. The two armies met at Glenmaquin, some three miles to the north west of Raphoe in the heart of the Laggan. I quote local historian Gerald Wallace. "On the 15th June, the Irish army crossed into the barony of Raphoe. The Laggan forces fell back according to a plan to entice the Irish army into territory which was home ground for the Laggan forces. On the 16th of June the Laggan forces closed the distance between themselves and the insurgents to half a mile and stood to arms all night. Dawn found the two armies drawn up in the townland of Glenmaquin where there is a stream still called 'The Battle Burn'. Each army pitched on the slope of a hill with a valley between them. The Irish army made no move to attack. The Stewarts, realising their inferiority, in numbers were unwilling to give their advantageous position on the hill. The Laggan forces resorted to a strategy that was well known to them as professional soldiers, a number of horsemen and musketeers were sent out to fire on the Irish army and to incite them to attack. The Irish army thinking that their opponents were about to attack, slowly advanced to meet them. The Lagganeers were victorious, although 500 of their soldiers were killed."

The Laggan Army, despite being considerably smaller than the regiments of the Confederate Catholic Army, had two major benefits: they were trained and led by professionals; and they were desperate. Help was a long way away and would be a long time coming. After the Battle of Glenmaquin the Army was maintained and essentially kept the peace in the area.

Life became more complicated in late 1642 and early in '43 with the arrival of a Scottish Covenanter army who's treatment of Catholic prisoners of war and of the local Catholic population was fairly barbarous adding to the bitterness already caused by the killings and massacres carried out on both side in 1641. It is estimates that something like 10% of the British settler population were killed during this early period: some 12,000 men, women and childen. But that is across the entirety of the country: in Ulster the toll was probably close to one third of the protestant population. In this period Donegal was relatively speaking a haven of tranquility, thanks to the Stewart brothers and their Lagganeers.

As of early 1642 the bulk of the country was under the control of the Catholic Federation, with only those centres with a high percentage of settlers managing to stave them off: namely Dublin, Cork, Carrickfergus and Derry. Charles 1st sent over a sizeable English army to suppress the rebels and as stated above the Scottish Parliament sent troops over as well. But the English Parliament didn't trust the King's intentions fearing that what he was trying to do was to bring the rebels around to backing him against Parliament. Thus the English tropps were soon withdrawn. By that stage two thirds of the country was under confederate control and a third (Ulster, Dublin and Cork) under British rule with their garrisons and troops skirmishing regularly with the rebels.

Phase Two. The English Civil War

Students of English history will know that by August of 1642 the political situation in England has decayed into open Civil War, with Charles 1st taking Nottingham, Stafford and Shrewsbury with a few thousand Royalist cavalry and the Parliamentarians responding by raising a considerable army. the two sides finally collided and the first pitched battle of the English Civil War took place at Edgehill on 23rd October 1642.

For the next few years Ireland was a sideplay to the English civil war, with skirmishes and pillaging being the name of the game. Our Lagganeers would have been kept busy keeping the Confederates out of the north, working in parallel to the Covenanter regiments. But their allegiance was an uneasy one. The Covenanters were first generation Presbyterians and highly evangelical in the sense of wanting all to join their religion. The Lagganeers and specifically their officers and leaders were of the old religion and hence Royalist.

Not an easy situation and made all the more difficult when in 1649 Charles 1st was finally beheaded and his exiled son, Charles II signed a treaty with the Catholic Confederates and the English Royalists promising self-rule to the Irish and full rights to Catholics once he was restored to the throne. Royalist Troops were dispatch to Ireland and the Catholic Confederate Tropps came under their control, although led by the Irish James Butler Earl of Ormonde. The plan being to build up strength in Ireland to launch a full invasion of England from the Emerald Isle. This meant that our gallant Lagganeers were now allied and included in the Royalist cause.

The Royalist and Confederate Army gathered outside of Dublin in late July, ready to attack the sole Parliamentarian outpost left in Ireland - Dublin. But Colonel Michael Jones of the Roundheads (Parliamentarians) launched a suprise attack on the Royalists, and won a resounding victory and leaving the Royalists incapable of mounting another attack for various months. On Augst the 15th the English Parliamentarians landed fifteen ship loads of soldiers and equipment into Dublin plus their General, one Oliver Cromwell; and two days later his son-in-law Henry Ireton landed another thirty five ship loads and the history Irleand changed forever.

Phase Three: Cromwell and ethnic cleansing

Background - why bother?

Quite simply, my mother is a McKinley and knows little as to the origins of her family beyond who her grandparents were. She knew that the family had been in the Kilglass / Easky area ofCounty Sligo (Ireland) for various generations, where they had been tenant farmers; and that she thought they had come directly from Scotland. Some photographs taken by a cousin of family tombstones at Kilglass Church piqued my interest and a few years later I find myself with a couple of notebooks jammed full of McKinleys in New Zealand, in Australia, in America and Canada, in the UK;...and pitifully few still in Sligo.
What to do with all the knowledge gained? The genealogy websites are ferociously complicated and tend to be US centric, so why not a humble blog, tracing my own voyage of discovery?
To tempt the patient reader: the first Governor of Delaware; the first pilot to circumnavigate the globe; various revolutionaries and plain tear-aways; and by dubious footwork, maybe even a President of the USA. And that is just the menfolk. Women get treated miserably in genealogy: for a start they change their name upon marriage and also the mortality rate for young mothers was dreadful; but despite all that there are various matriarchs that shine through (..and more than a few that eloped). And if there are any of you called Elinor, or Eleanor, have a straight line back to the time that King Charles fellow had his head chopped off.
So here goes