Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Choctaw County Connections and Hance McCain

There are several co-lateral lines of McCains that settled in the late 1830s Choctaw County, Mississippi.  Most have been thoroughly researched. This post is about one that, as fate had it, was one of the last McCain lines in the county to be researched.  Several events happened to allow me to piece together their story; the fact that this line participated in the McCain Family DNA project being the most important factor, but then also, I was emailed data by researchers that allowed me to proceed with the knowledge from the DNA testing that I was correct with the fundamentals.  That is very important in genealogy and family history.

I am going to present this is 'story' form rather than a genealogical format, as the dryness of the later is something I avoid.  I will present a resonable history of the descendants of Hance Hamilton McCain, born 1763, in the Marsh Creek Settlement, Pennsylvania Colony.  It was his children and grandchildren poured into Choctaw County when the unfortunate Choctaws were ushered out by a harsh, but perhaps wise in many ways, Andrew Jackson.  The world is a mysterious place and it is wise many times not to judge others. 

The sons, grandsons, and in-laws of Hance Hamilton McCain moved to Choctaw County Mississippi in the mid to late 1830s.  Hance had three children that lived into adulthood that we know of; they are Sarah Lishman née McCain,  and William Hance McCain, John McCain.  

Sarah McCain was born 1801 and married James Lishman who was born in Stirling Scotland.  James lived next door to the Hance McCain and several of his sons in Fayette County Alabama.  They must have moved as a group as they also lived next to each other in Choctaw County Mississippi.  They were living with their son Elijah in the 1850s census near Lodi in Choctaw County.

William Hance McCain is well documented as he tends to show up in the US census.  William was born circa 1800-1801.  He married Mary Taylor on 22 January 1824.   When he moved to Choctaw County, Mississippi, he lived beside his sister Sarah Lishman née McCain. 

Children of William Hance McCain and Mary Taylor.
1. George McCain 1820-22
2. Charles McCain born circa 1825 in Alabama married Sarah (lived in Choctaw County 1850)
3. John W McCain born circa 1826 (lived in Choctaw County)
4. William Henry McCain born circa 1830 in Alabama) married Dorothy Cassells
5. Sarah McCain (probably born 1831, she shows up in her brother Charles house in the 1850 census).
6. Nancy Belle McCain 1835
7. Eliza McCain 1840

 John McCain was born in Alabama circa 1802 to 1805 and he died in Alabama prior to 1838.  His wife was forenamed Mahala and she remarried a Frenchman named George Brooks after John's passing. 
 Children of John and Mahala McCain:
John McCain
Pleasant McCain
Mary McCain
Nancy McCain
Amanda McCain

John's remarried widow settled in the Greensboro area of Choctaw County and had two of John McCain's sons living with them; John and Pleasant.  Both men served in Standford's Battery in the 1st Mississippi Light Artillery during the War.  John McCain's daughters were Mary, Nancy, and Amanda, and all three lived in the Brooks home.  They can be found in the US census 1850 through 1870.

The older son John was born circa 1831 and married Mary Turnbow on 14 October 1852.  Several members of the Turnbow family are buried in their McCain cemetery near Tomnolen, Mississippi.  John McCain and Mary lived in the Greensboro area of Choctaw County next to to his cousins and brothers.  John and Pleasant McCain's War records are stunning.  They were in the big battles of the western theatre to the bitter end and fought well.  Their first engagement was Shiloh. Many of John's McCains are still in that part of Mississippi.  As for Pleasant McCain I have not found any of them yet, but many, many, McCains and their in-laws migrated to Texas just after the war to escape the harsh oppressive rule of Reconstruction, which was particularly brutal in Mississippi. 

Now with all family history there are mysterious and things that can be deduced.  Many of the McCains above served in the 1st Mississippi Cavalry Reserve, in Company K.  Now there is a C W McCain (Charles), a William McCain (William Henry), a John McCain (John W McCain)... all can be linked to the family of William Hance McCain, his sons that is, but there is also a Levi McCain with them, who was age 41 years old and born circa 1823/24.   Levi is not a common Choctaw McCain forename, but it does show up in one line of them.  Charles had a son named Levi born in 1849, so I take the name was in his mind, I speculate that Levi is close relation, either another son of William Hance McCain or a son of his brother John.  I would bet a considerable sum on it.   My guess would be it was the oldest son of William Hance McCain and that is why Charles names his son Levi.  

Next update I will post some data on the two of the sons of William Hance McCain, i.e. John W McCain and William Henry McCain. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The Choctaw County McCains

Leslie Gordon McCain with his son, myself, Barry Reid McCain. My Dad has that 'McCain' look to him. He is a WW II veteran and served in the Pacific theatre and worked for many years for the United Gas Pipe Line company. We are all native Mississippians, but my Dad's job took us to northern Lousiana, so I actually grew up in there, but spent a lot of time on my grandfathers' farms in Mississippi.

Here a photo of Leslie Gordon McCain's father, Leslie Harris McCain, with his mother, sister and niece picking cotton circa 1905/1910. They lived just east of Carrollton MS in what is now Montgomery, County. I call this family the Choctaw County McCains, because when they settled in Mississippi in the 1830s they lived first in Choctaw County. Choctaw County was divided in the late 1800s with new counties being created and this group had families in Carroll, Webster, and Montgomery Counties. The Choctaw McCains are cousins to the Teoc McCains, both families came into Mississippi as the Choctaw Indian lands were opened to settlement.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

McCains and Gaelic Society

One of the harder things to communicate about the McCains is their place within Gaelic society, of how they looked, their physical culture, etc. This is because of Hollywood and it reliance upon Victorian concepts of Gaels, and Victorian development of the stage Irishman or stage Highlander. Hollywood and the media in general picked up these themes to the extent that much of the modern concepts of what is Irish or Scottish or Gaelic, comes not from anything remotely real, but dates to some very silly Victorian era concepts.

While I do not have the time today write a decent article on this subject, I did want to post the illustration to the left as I thought it communicated so well the Gaelic World that the McCains did live in, the real Gaelic world.

The illustration is done by Angus McBride, noted illustrator of history books, especially those dealing in military history. I like the illustration as in it you see several times of Gaels that you would have normally seen together including the Gallóglaigh class of the McCains.

My son sent me the illustration and I am not sure which Angus McBride book it is from, but it looks to be a gathering of Gaels landing at Dunluce Castle in north Antrim. You can spot the Gallóglaigh in the foreground with the long saffron coloured leine that comes down to his lower calf. You can see the Irish lord, probably a Mac Dónaill, with his red cape looking down on the off-loading of perhaps Spainish wine. Irish and Argyll Gaels are also in the illustration, an obvious Highlander with his belted plaid, then some Irish Gaelis in saffron shirts (i.e. the leine) that are shorted and not a 'fashionable' as is the Gallóglaigh one. The dress of the Gallóglaigh is very much like that of the Irish lord, as his status in Gaelic society was high. If you click on the illustration it will bring up a larger version.

If you would like to know what a McCain would have looked like, he would be dressed in the long saffron coloured leine down at the water's edge, with the brown plaid around his shoulders. That very easily could have been 'an Mac Eáin' or the head of the McCain family in Antrim circa mid 1500s.

Barry R McCain (c) 2008