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  1. #1
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    McCollough/McNeir

    First post on X marks!

    I've been doing ancestry research. I had always believed I had no Scottish ancestors, but was pretty excited to discover more than one direct ancestor with Scottish surnames. I pretty quickly hit brick walls though and can't currently trace them back to their original countries. Just wondering if anyone out there knows anything about the following names/clans/tartans etc. All of them in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania.

    - I have a GGG grandmother whose mother was a McNeir and who married a McCollough. My understanding is that the MacNair clan was located near Loch Lomond and a sept of MacFarlane. McCollough seems to come from SW Scotland (Galloway), And relates to clans Munro and Ross but also has a branch that was solo with their own tartan.

    -Also a direct ancestor with the name McBride

    I realize its a lot more complicated than just having a last name. I would love to be able to trace these names back to specific locations, but as I said...brick wall. Is there somewhere other than Ancestry.com where I could potentially trace the genealogy (especially for McCollough and McNeir)? Does anyone belong to these names/clans? Thanks in advance for your responses.


    Adam

  2. #2
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    One of the most common misunderstandings is that Tartans about families or surname. Tartan was originally regional and only later were they given names. They have names simply because we have to call them something.

    There is also the misconception that if you are of Scottish descent that you are somehow automatically part of a Clan. The truth is that the vast majority of Scots are not part of the Clan system which was from the Highlands or NW part of the country.

    So, regardless of surname, you follow the paper trail of your family back to a place. It is the place that is what makes the determination.

    It is also common to assume that you can do a genealogy via looking at your surname. But if you really think about it and go back just 5 generations you will find that you have 32 grandparents with 32 different names, perhaps from 32 different places.

    A genealogy is literally a paper chase. You collect an unbroken trail of documents. If at any time there is a break in the paper trail you do not yet have a genealogy.
    The world's largest genealogy research facility is in Salt Lake, UT. Perhaps contact them with the paper that you currently have. They may be able to point you in the right direction.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 5th October 19 at 02:07 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  4. #3
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    MacNeir is a form of MacNair (also Macnayer, Macnuir, Macnuyer). There were Macnairs in Wester Ross who are thought to derive their name from a Mac-Iain-uidhir, 'son of dun John'. There are Macnairs in Perthshire, from M'an-oighre, 'son of the heir' (but others suggest 'son of the smith' and/or 'the stranger's son'), some in Lennox (also sometimes called Weir, who are locally thought of as a sept of Macfarlane; the Cowal (Argyllshire) Macnairs are connected with the Macnaughtons as tenants; and the Perthshire MacNairs are probably a sept of the MacNabs.

    McCollough. You say: McCollough seems to come from SW Scotland (Galloway), And relates to clans Munro and Ross. Yes, there are many records of MacCulloughs in Galloway, and there were MacCulloughs in Aberdeenshire and Angus by the 15C and perhaps earlier. Three or four extended families of Ross-shire Maccullochs were dependents/followers of the Earls of Ross and at least one was dependent on the Munros of Evanton. The others may have been dependent on the Mackenzies.

    I realise this tells you a lot, but doesn't really help you along your way, alunger. It may even confuse you more.

    What is necessary is that you pick/choose from all of this ancestry generational bulk and choose your singular path.

    I suggest you settle on following your surname path, first, (is that Maccoullogh?) and try not to get side-tracked onto the 'married to' byway. In this thread you
    seem to be trying to find a Lowland or Highland connection to your ggg grandfather, who was a Maccullough (
    McCollough).

    Would you like us to help you more?

    Last edited by ThistleDown; 7th October 19 at 04:09 PM.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleDown View Post
    MacNeir is a form of MacNair (also Macnayer, Macnuir, Macnuyer). There were Macnairs in Wester Ross who are thought to derive their name from a Mac-Iain-uidhir, 'son of dun John'. There are Macnairs in Perthshire, from M'an-oighre, 'son of the heir' (but others suggest 'son of the smith' and/or 'the stranger's son'), some in Lennox (also sometimes called Weir, who are locally thought of as a sept of Macfarlane; the Cowal (Argyllshire) Macnairs are connected with the Macnaughtons as tenants; and the Perthshire MacNairs are probably a sept of the MacNabs.

    McCollough. You say: McCollough seems to come from SW Scotland (Galloway), And relates to clans Munro and Ross. Yes, there are many records of MacCulloughs in Galloway, and there were MacCulloughs in Aberdeenshire and Angus by the 15C and perhaps earlier. Three or four extended families of Ross-shire Maccullochs were dependents/followers of the Earls of Ross and at least one was dependent on the Munros of Evanton. The others may have been dependent on the Mackenzies.

    I realise this tells you a lot, but doesn't really help you along your way, alunger. It may even confuse you more.

    What is necessary is that you pick/choose from all of this ancestry generational bulk and choose your singular path.

    I suggest you settle on following your surname path, first, (is that Maccoullogh?) and try not to get side-tracked onto the 'married to' byway. In this thread you
    seem to be trying to find a Lowland or Highland connection to your ggg grandfather, who was a Maccullough (
    McCollough).

    Would you like us to help you more?

    Thank you! I definitely appreciate the info, and I'm also very open to more help from anyone who can offer more. It is a lot of bulk and I'm not sure if I know how to approach it or how to determine a singular path. I know that if I trace my own surname (Lunger) up through the paternal line It points to Germany/Austria. If that's all there is to it then I suppose my work is done, as there is no connection via paternal surname. But if the maternal connections bear any relevance then perhaps there is a connection yet to be discovered. I think at this point I'm just trying to determine if there is a Scottish connection at all. I would be curious about Highland/Lowland and other details, but not before a Scottish connection was established. I'm new to this as you most certainly have realized! Thanks again
    Last edited by ThistleDown; 7th October 19 at 04:08 PM.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by alunger View Post
    Thank you! I definitely appreciate the info, and I'm also very open to more help from anyone who can offer more. It is a lot of bulk and I'm not sure if I know how to approach it or how to determine a singular path. I know that if I trace my own surname (Lunger) up through the paternal line It points to Germany/Austria. If that's all there is to it then I suppose my work is done, as there is no connection via paternal surname. But if the maternal connections bear any relevance then perhaps there is a connection yet to be discovered. I think at this point I'm just trying to determine if there is a Scottish connection at all. I would be curious about Highland/Lowland and other details, but not before a Scottish connection was established. I'm new to this as you most certainly have realized! Thanks again
    My best advice is to trace your ancestry back until you come to the nearest Scottish surname that has a readily available tartan and an active clan association.

    There's not much distinction made here in the US over Highland vs. Lowland vs. Borders families.

    It's always a bonus if your selected "clan" has an active chief who serves as a rallying point for the family's heritage and history.

    What are the surnames of your four grandparents?
    Your great-grandparents?

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidlpope View Post
    My best advice is to trace your ancestry back until you come to the nearest Scottish surname that has a readily available tartan and an active clan association.

    There's not much distinction made here in the US over Highland vs. Lowland vs. Borders families.

    It's always a bonus if your selected "clan" has an active chief who serves as a rallying point for the family's heritage and history.

    What are the surnames of your four grandparents?
    Your great-grandparents?
    @davidlpope - thanks for the advice! Coincidentally for you and I, my grandmother's maiden name is Pope (her grandfather was Poparachney in the Ukraine) It is in her line that the McCollough name appears and I believe this is the earliest potential connection on my tree. Edwin C. McCollough is my 3rd great grandfather. It seems distant but it is interesting that my great grandmother knew him and I knew my great grandmother!

    The McNeir connection comes via Edwin McCollough's wife. Her mother was Charlotte McNeir. Of course both of these names end up being married out by the time I come around, but as I'm looking at it, I have McCollough and McNeir heritage funneling down through my 3rd great grandmother who was daughter of one and married to the other.

    I don't know if that helps clarify much but at the time it is all the detail I have. And maybe it's a stretch but it seemed worth investigating!

  9. #7
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    Keep Plugging away, Adam!

    For every question that you think you have answered when doing genealogical research, two more questions will arise. It's sort of like courtship....the chase is often more satisfying than the capture! :-)

    There will come a point when you might want to pursue two avenues of research to try to gain actual documentation. I would recommend that you take a look at:

    New England Historical Genealogical Society (www.americanancestors.org) since many of our Scots ancestors entered the U.S. through the original Massachusetts Bay Colonies, such records as might exist of their earliest days in the New World may well be located there.

    To do research in Scotland, try their Scottish National Archives at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

    Be prepared for some "interesting" twists and turns....in one of my own lines I found that a Captain Thomas Erskine Askey had led a company of militia in the state of Massachusetts during the American Revolution. He had arrived in New England as a young chap under a contract of Indentured Servitude. Turns out that this chap was actually born in Ireland under the name of Thomas Erskine. His nativity in Ireland was due to his father having been spirited away to the Emerald Isle by his grandfather to escape the wrath of the English crown following the "rising of 1715'" that the grandfather had played a rather significant role in from his own origins in Renfrewshire. It took several years to piece all of that together....but the two sources above were invaluable in the doing of it. It's out there somewhere, just waiting to be found....

    Good hunting!
    David

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