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Airgialla Mag Uidhir

  • 245 members

About us

This project is for all variants of the surnames that make up The Mag Uidhir line, traditionally located in Airghialla/Breifne regions included the Maguires, McMahon, MacKernans, MacAuleys, O’Cassidys, O’Corrigans, MacManuses, Breens/Byrnes, and Gurrys, as well as others!  Legend and some "historical documents" say that the Maguire's were descended from the Three Collas, this appears to be valid for Airghialla I STR pattern men.  Another legend and other "historical documents" point toward a Leinster origin, where the tribe was forced to head NW to find their own place around Lough Erne, this appears to be valid for Airghialla II STR pattern men. If you are DYS 425 = 0, ie: Colla Pattern, then I highly recommend joining the 425 Null Project (more info found here  DNA of the Three Collas )

By using y-DNA testing as a tool with our traditional genealogy research, the project will attempt to connect today's Mag Uidhir lineages, find related family, and hopefully discover where these lineages originated. The project hopes to be able to break through the brick walls created by lack of paper records etc. To that end, a Y-67 level test is required with the Y-111 level including R Deep Clade SNP testing or Big Y 700 being preferred. Additionally, DYS464x testing is beneficial.

A person’s y-DNA is passed down the male line, from father, to son, to grandson, to great-grandson, etc. with very little change over many generations. A participant must therefore be a male on the Mag Uidhir (or variant) line, or a line that you have genealogical evidence of being originally a Mag Uidhir (or variant) male line. i.e. through a name change, adoption, etc. Female Mag Uidhirs can ask a father, brother, grandfather, uncle, cousin or nephew etc. to test, to represent your particular family line.

The project is hoping this will be of interest and help to fellow researchers and interested family members of Mag Uidhir (and variants).
Please visit the Airghialla Mag Uidhir Regional/Surname DNA Project website: Uidhir

History is tricky.  We rely upon written stories, carved headstones, family lore and public records to search for "our path to truth". 

My thanks to Bill McCown (deceased) for initiating contact with Gail and her amazing research.

Abigail Leibell, nee Coane, is descended from the O'Neills and the O'Donnells.   and is currently in the Republic
of Ireland in Dublin doing research on her own family.  She graciously offered to do some research on my line
and asked me to send a list of names associated with mine.  I did that taking the names from my Y-DNA matches at 67 markers.

I was tempted to use an outrageous subject title but decided to let her own words carry the message.  Not all
of those receiving copies will agree with what she says, but be aware that I got some of the same information
from Dr. William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation.  He did a search of names which included some
form of McCown and some form of Maguire in every individual on the his list.

Personally, I am quite encouraged by her words and by his and I believe that my cousin Sam McCown and a more distant relative, James CharlesMcKown, will be as well.

That said, please scroll down to read what Gail says herself and her caveats as well.

August 18, 2014.


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 anothe rmatter.  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 found:

DNA testing shows that you, your cousin  McKown are descendants of Donn Mor Maguire (AD1302), the first King of Fermanagh. According to known genalogies, 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 Airghialla,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 {Note: No Y DNA relation} to the MacQuarrie family of Scotland, who come from an island near Mull (Note: Isle of Ulva}.  This Scottish connection is not unusual, since many Scottish clans actually have Irish founders. The McQueen/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 o fAnselan Buey Ocahan, son of the King of Ulster, who fled Ireland in1016 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 geographic 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(thepriest), 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!

Warmest wishes,

Abigail C Leibell