Clan Makgill and the McGills- Background
Gill, MacGill, Magill, Makgill, McGill
With 14 tested members of our group now, it is apparents that our McGill heritage is divided into several main groups. Two of us know of our common descent from James McGill (died 1834). We match in 66 of 67 markers. The one mutation appears in 2% of Scots, and is known in the Western Isles on Lismore. This is a family claiming Scots origins. Kit #132572 seemsd to fall in with this group according to the most recent information.
The haplogroup R1b1b2a1b5b (other designations are being used; this one is used by FTDNA; the shorthand version is +M222)is found in Lowland Scotland, Western Scotland (the Inner Hebrides) and Northwest Ireland. It is the "Niall of the Nine Hostages" group.
The six members in Group 2 seem to fit a common Irish pattern. Five have 24 at 390, which predominates in Celtic-Irish and Ancient British ancestry and all six of their similar patterns could indicate origins in Northern Ireland. One (Group 3) is so far unique, having at 390 a 23, which can indicate a Nordic or North Baltic type.
Kits N52572 and 39847 are a clear match of close kinship, and they have been in contact with one another.
Of special interest is Kit 133329. The haplogroup E1b1b1 indicates deep European roots, with Mediterranean origins, and predominates all around the Mediterranean today. It also appears quite frequently in Wales.
A history of "Makgill of that Ilk," by Chief Donald of Clan Makgill in the 1950's, points to the origins of his family in Scotland, with antecedents coming from royal Irish Celtic stock 1000 years ago in the person of Jarl (Earl) Gilli of the Sudreys (Southern Isles on the west of Scotland) who married the daughter of the Norse Viking Jarl of the Orkneys.
It looks as if this paper story is true, that some of us do have deep Celtic roots (385a=11, 385b=13, 392=14, SNP M222), but more tests need to be returned. It would be very good to have some McGills in Scotland, especially from the family of our clan chief, who would take the test and further help identify our roots.
Those of us who test with SNP M222+ most likely descend from Niall of the Nine Hostages. There is a paper trail verified by this information (as well as by 385b=13, 392=14). It leads from Gilli through Fergus mac Earca to Niall and eventually to Conn of the Hundred Battles. Kenneth mac Alpin, the first king of a united Scotland, is a first cousin of this line, and St. Columba, who began his mission on Iona in AD 563, is a third cousin.
Earlier claims in some books that we were part (a "sept") of Clan Donald are now absolutely disproven by DNA evidence. Their haplogroup begins R1a, and ours R1b. But this was said already by our 12th Chief and two Lords Lyon! Both #44697 and #38423 are placed by the Ulster interest group in Mid Ulster, which would be consistent with descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages (lived cir. AD 400).
We have no data to link clearly #44697 and #38423 with descent from Colla Uais. In 25 markers, only 15 match. More research needs to be done on this "Founder's Theory."
According to the Irish Heritage DNA Project,the name McGill and its variant spellings appears in all parts of Ireland and the families have "many origins."
We are told by our late Chief that the spellings of our names do not matter -- we are all one family Makgill.
Updated 30 December 2009