Share This:

I found a few ancestry hints on my mom's side of the family, The last link I found was that John McCollum (born 1781) married Anne McKay (the spelling can be off), It has John being born in Carnmoney parish. I was told one of them came from Scotland, They would be my Great Great Great Grandparents!  My 88 year pld mom insists that the McCollum's are from Scotland. Is there anyway to figure this out? Or is Anne McKay's family from Scotland? Where are they from?  We have been to Ireland twice but never to Antrim. 



Saturday 9th April 2022, 06:19PM

Message Board Replies

  • MPRogers,

    It's probably worth explaining that a significant proportion of the whole population of Co Antrim originated in Scotland. (At the closest point it’s just 10 miles away). So finding that your ancestor came from there would not be surprising. Indeed it might almost be surprising if they didn’t.

    Birth registration didn’t start in Ireland till 1864. Prior to that you need to search church records for a baptism. Not all churches have records for the 1700s and you need to bear that in mind. And not all surviving records are on-line. Many trees on Ancestry seem to be built on Ancestry hints, many of which are not correct. If someone has been searching on Ancestry and similar sites and finds just one apparent birth in 1781, it doesn't mean there were no others. Very few churches in Antrim have records for the 1700s. Do not assume your family came from Carnmoney based on Ancestry hints alone. Do you have documents that give Carnmoney as their place of origin? Carnmoney happens to be one of the few parishes in Co. Antrim that does have records for the 1700s. Carnmoney Church of Ireland has records from 1788 onwards. Carnmoney Presbyterian has records from 1708 onwards.  What denomination were your family? (Presbyterian by the way is another indication of Scottish ancestry).

    There are copies of Carnmoney Church of Ireland and Presbyterian records in PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast. Personal visit required to view them. They may also be on some pay to view sites such as rootsireland

    Possibly DNA testing may be a way of matching with others who have additional information about where the family originate. Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society is running an Ulster DNA project in conjunction with FTDNA and can offer testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).

    McKay is also a Scottish name so no surprises if both lines of the family originate there.

    They are likely to have come from Scotland in the 1600s, either as part of the Plantation or of the many other migrations during that century. Many sources indicate that something like 200,000 Scots settled in Ireland in the 1600s (being something like 20% of the entire population of Scotland).

    If you want some authoritative studies explaining the background to the Scottish migration to Ireland, I can suggest some to read.

    In Ireland your ancestors are called Ulster-Scots. In north America, Scotch-Irish.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 9th April 2022, 09:21PM