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  1. #1
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    MacDonell of Antrim question

    Since clan membership is based largely on geography and/or allegiance to a chieftain, who would be a member of MacDonell of Antrim? Anyone whose ancestors lived in Antrim at the time of the clan system?

    Iím not asking for myself, Iím simply curious how the system would be applied to territory in Ireland.

  2. #2
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    McDonnells didn't control Antrim, they controlled a smallish coastal strip made up of several glens. They were part of a larger region that included Islay where the Clan seat was and Kintyre, both in Scotland. Look up MacDonald of Dunnyveg. The biggest family in Antrim at the time were the O'Neills. One of the reasons the clan was at war so often is that the English tried to remove them directly and/or play the Irish against them because they didn't like having a region so close to their lands in Ireland that were subjects of the Scottish crown.
    The McDonnells are not related to the O'Donnells of nearby Donegal who come from a Domhnall of the O'Neill.

    It raises the question though why the Scots Gaels didn't use O'. The Irish used clann in a similar way but favoured O' over Mac so it seems there was some difference in culture. The O'Neill clan of Clannaboy for example: Clann Aodh Buidhe - clan of blond Hugh.
    Last edited by Damion; 8th November 17 at 02:34 PM.

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Damion For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damion View Post
    McDonnells didn't control Antrim, they controlled a smallish coastal strip made up of several glens. They were part of a larger region that included Islay where the Clan seat was and Kintyre, both in Scotland. Look up MacDonald of Dunnyveg. The biggest family in Antrim at the time were the O'Neills. One of the reasons the clan was at war so often is that the English tried to remove them directly and/or play the Irish against them because they didn't like having a region so close to their lands in Ireland that were subjects of the Scottish crown.
    The McDonnells are not related to the O'Donnells of nearby Donegal who come from a Domhnall of the O'Neill.

    It raises the question though why the Scots Gaels didn't use O'. The Irish used clann in a similar way but favoured O' over Mac so it seems there was some difference in culture. The O'Neill clan of Clannaboy for example: Clann Aodh Buidhe - clan of blond Hugh.
    Would that mean that there are very few people who could claim to be of that branch outside of the family and retainers of the MacDonnells who controlled and ran that narrow strip of glens?
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  5. #4
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    My knowledge is limited to before the English conquered the region and brought in planters from Britain. I don't know what the McDonnells did during the Elizabethan period, civil war etc. I have a distant McDonnell ancestor from Antrim myself, this one left Ireland in the 1840s but I know very little about them or their ancestors.
    Essentially Celtic Ireland ceased after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Much of the nobility fled and while Irish was spoken by the majority for at least another 150 years, it became a language of the poor.

  6. #5
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    Our Scottish Whites were Presbyterian Ministers in Antrim Not Clan run really.

    Though I am sure families lived near each other in towns.. Most were escaping for religious reasons. Children could not be christened, marriages not allowed in that religion in Scotland. Some were killed, married in forest Convenors gatherings with guards to guard the ministers. It was forbidden to be Presbyterian in Scotland and they moved to Antrim County Ireland. Do you know what county your family was in? Maybe others from your county might know of other MacDonells in that area and the towns they lived? The Clans were in Scotland but a lot of the Clan members especially who would not follow the English religion of that time would hide out in Northern Ireland. If you couldn't christen your children, there was fear their children would not go to heaven if they died and of course Weddings needed to performed to be legit. Really sad times I am finding out the fear and the wars and killings. Kind of why America allowed for many religions because of all the wars. The US separated out into the Colonies by religion. Quakers in Delaware, Presbyterian Protestants later in North Carolina etc. They even sorted land grants moving westward by state to keep the same religions together in the US.. No Antrim was religious based pretty much I think, not Clan though like I said I am sure families including Clan Families lived near each other.. That is why I was aksing did you know what city in the County of Antrim your family was? But Clans were mixed up pretty much and found refuge in church and similar religions instead of Clans in Ireland. Though I am sure with hundreds of years of Clan wars.. some were still at it in Ireland lol
    While there's leaves in the forest, and foam on the river, MacGregor Despite them will flourish forever! Sir Walter Scott

  7. #6
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    As I said, I do not actually have any Antrim ancestry (that I am aware of).

    This thread really came about after seeing a photo of the chiefs of clan donald and wondering about the earl of Antrim and whether he had a clan tartan of his own. Upon reading about him and his clan branch’s history I wondered who would qualify as a member of his clan. It seems that the MacDonnells of Antrim were far more influential at one point in their history (which I guess could be said of all the MacDonald clans).

    I believe the earl of Antrim was wearing a kilt in Macdonald of the isles in the photo I saw.
    Last edited by FossilHunter; 2nd March 18 at 09:12 AM.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGrandma View Post
    It was forbidden to be Presbyterian in Scotland
    Where on earth did you hear that and how do you suppose that the Presbyterian church managed to survive?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Where on earth did you hear that and how do you suppose that the Presbyterian church managed to survive?
    In the stories from The Killing Times in Scotland. I am talking about certain time periods in Scotland.. Not right now lol Some stories they sent them to countries all over the world some were killed.. This Captain Douglas was well known for Killing and whipping etc.. Chopping heads off in front of others to get the others to talk, etc.

    There are many, Here is one where I was researching George White from Kilmarnock area of Scotland. Loads of names in these files and you can search the names off to the side of this document which helps find ancesters etc.. Found him saying he was living in Galston it is right next to Kilmarnock My Whites in Kilmarnock and Lesmahagow. They both Georges were sent to Barbados, They wrote the Queen and escaped their 7 years in Barbados and came back to Great Britain. It is most likely why right after that we found our relatives in Northern England hiding out as they knew the Georges in that area that were captured. This is just on of the pages with many stories. though this story is not gruesome with my family line, other pages and stories are horrid.. I have just bookmarked this page for my reference this story. Have fun searching lol The English were crazy and if you did not accept the Kings English and you were Presbyterian or Catholic.. sheez! Ruthless! There were many religious wars and battles! https://drmarkjardine.wordpress.com/...-burn-in-1687/

    It is why in America they chose to send people to the colonies by their religion, they were horrible times.. all North Carolina and South Carolina was Presbyterian/Protestant, Virginia was church of England, Pennsylvania was Quaker, Maryland was Catholic, New England Pilgrims etc.. When they started issuing land out into the other states they had certain states go to others like Tennessee was given to those from North Carolina Presbyterian at that time.. they kept religious groups together for the most part to help prevent the religious wars.. as America allowed all religious groups.. but somewhat divided.. they tried years ago to prevent what went on in England and Ireland and other countries for years! Ireland IRA is still fighting with England and Northern Ireland! All our laws were studied to Unite all religions etc.

    Here is one copy pasted for "MacGregor" during the Proscription when their "Name" Was outlawed.. This is just a name.. Those who did not follow the Kings English were dealt with pretty much in such horrible manners!

    " Under the Proscriptive Acts of Clan Gregor, which came into force on the 3rd of April 1603 the name MacGregor (was) "altogidder abolished" and bearing the MacGregor name was punishable by death.
    "MacGregor women were branded and their children were given to other families. MacGregors couldn't travel in groups of more than two and couldn't cut meat with a blade. The men were executed, the women were stripped bare, branded, and whipped through the streets, and women and children were sold into slavery for Britain's new colonies in North America. MacGregors were denied food, water and shelter. They were denied the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, marriage, and last rites. They were hunted with dogs like vermin. And MacGregor heads could be sold to the government to attain pardon for thievery and murder. It was a license to kill...."

    See my quote below each post, While there's leaves in the forests, and foam on the river, MacGregor Despite them will flourish forever! Sir Walter Scott wrote about the Gregors.. Hiding, Some kept their names and went North into the forests, some Northern Ireland into the mists (Flowers of The Mist) their Children are known as as they changed their names and went to different areas than those who refused to change their name splitting up the Clan! Killings of men because of religion or yes even for MacGregors/Gregors by name.. was well known back in those days!

    They survived by holding ceremonies in the forests and burns, they survived with gathering of soldiers (Presbyterian ministers would promise moms their sons would learn to read, each would be given a bible and each would read daily and go to church on Sunday. Those days, not many knew how to read, and being taught from the bible was even better. They were very religious. So Armies were built. Convenors had armed guards. and Battles were fought for religious reasons. Clans vs Clans, Religion Vs Religion.. Jacobite Catholics Vs Presbyterians.. Goodness knows, America was not going to be this way.. T

    They kept their religion by sheer Blade, hiding in the forests, moving to Northern Ireland, and some were taken to North America, Australia, Barbados etc as Slaves for 7 years. Once their 7 years were up they were free to go. The original Slaves of the US were English, Scottish and Irish all either being killed or put into slavery for religious reasons! That is how they survived!
    Last edited by MacGrandma; 2nd March 18 at 04:06 PM.
    While there's leaves in the forest, and foam on the river, MacGregor Despite them will flourish forever! Sir Walter Scott

  10. #9
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    Chiefs of MacGregor were also in Antrim

    The chiefs of MacGregor John Gregg and William Gregg were Barons and owned a Barony in Glenarm Antrim Ireland.

    Quote Originally Posted by FossilHunter View Post
    As I said, I do not actually have any Antrim ancestry (that I am aware of).

    This thread really came about after seeing a photo of the chiefs of clan donald and wondering about the earl of Antrim and whether he had a clan tartan of his own. Upon reading about him and his clan branchís history I wondered who would qualify as a member of his clan. It seems that the MacDonnells of Antrim were far more influential at one point in their history (which I guess could be said of all the MacDonald clans).

    I believe the earl of Antrim was wearing a kilt in Macdonald of the isles in the photo I saw.
    "About John (MacGregor) Gregg
    John Gregg was born about 1576 in Argyleshire, Scotland, and died about 1644 in Country Antrim, Ireland. He received a Silver Cane from King James 1 for assisting in the removal of the Greggs from Scotland to Country Antrim, Ulster about 1618.King James visited Scotland for the second time in 1617 after which whole communities of various clans were transported to Ulster. Among them were many Greggs from the Clan Gregor. Their leader, John, evidently descended from the next to the oldest son of Black John of the Coat of Mail. He settled his people in the Barony of Glenarm, County Antrim on the northeast coast of Ireland."
    While there's leaves in the forest, and foam on the river, MacGregor Despite them will flourish forever! Sir Walter Scott

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGrandma View Post
    The chiefs of MacGregor John Gregg and William Gregg were Barons and owned a Barony in Glenarm Antrim Ireland.



    "About John (MacGregor) Gregg
    John Gregg was born about 1576 in Argyleshire, Scotland, and died about 1644 in Country Antrim, Ireland. He received a Silver Cane from King James 1 for assisting in the removal of the Greggs from Scotland to Country Antrim, Ulster about 1618.King James visited Scotland for the second time in 1617 after which whole communities of various clans were transported to Ulster. Among them were many Greggs from the Clan Gregor. Their leader, John, evidently descended from the next to the oldest son of Black John of the Coat of Mail. He settled his people in the Barony of Glenarm, County Antrim on the northeast coast of Ireland."
    Thatís interesting as Glenarm castle is the current home of the 9th earl of Antrim, Alexander McDonnell.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

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