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McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:49 am
by calmac
I am researching a McLean family who came to Kintyre from Ireland about 1838.
Duncan (born 1785) was a carter and his wife Elizabeth (Betsy) McLachlan born 1801.
Dates are approximate.

In the 1841 census they lived at Fleming's land (see notes elsewhere on this forum). Their children were

Andrew born 1823
Catharine 1829
Hugh 1833
Elizabeth 1835 all in Ireland

Martha born 1838
Christian born 1840 both Argyllshire

Son Charles '20' was an agricultural labourer at Darloclan, home of Archibald Stewart, farmer

In later life, Charles and Hugh became fishermen. I have some information on Charles and his descendants, but very little on other family members.

It would be very useful to know which part of Ireland they came from.
Can anyone add anything?

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:06 pm
by calmac
some census information from my pencil notes:

1841 Darlochan, Home of Archibald and Mary Stewart.
Charles McLean born Campbeltown, labourer age 20

1851 LongRow, East Side

1861 Loarn Street
Marion 70 (possibly McConachy??)
Flora 37
Charles 30 born Ireland
John 9
Janet 7
Duncan 5
Charles 3
Marion 5 months

1871 Bolgam Street

Charles McLean 46
Flora Duncan 48 (Duncan is a variant of MacConachy?)
John 20
Duncan 15
Marrion 10
Flora 8
Archibald 6
Grace McConachy 33

1881 Lochend, McDonald's

Chas 50 fisherman
Flora 45
Archibald 17
Flora 19
Flora 7

1891 3 Wide close

Charles 70 labourer
Flora 73
Flora Miller 9
Malcolm Duffy 5

Charles Poor House speaks English and Gaelic

Duncan Mclean does not sound like an Irish name???

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:48 pm
by calmac
1861 censns Argylle Street, Campbeltown

Hugh McLean head 28 sailor born Argyllshire
Jean wife 29

Elizabeth 8
Robert 4
Catherine 2
Hugh 6m
Married to Jean Porter, died january 7th 1891 age 57

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:20 pm
by calmac
There is a puzzle here, as I have been unable to find any baptism or birth records for the Maclean children, including those born in Kintyre.

The only baptism I have found is of a Hugh Mclean at Glenravel RC in 1833; that might be a different family, since if it is so,
two generations later they married into a Church of Ireland family (Stewart) who had also moved to Kintyre.

It could equally be that the baptisms in Ireland are in registers which are not online or no longer exist.

In an age when everyone was baptised does anyone know where the Church of Ireland equivalent was in the 1830s?
Episcopal not Presbyterian?

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:03 pm
by lindaf
Might it be that the name Duncan given along with your Flora's name is either an added error or was actually her given middle name from a surname Duncan in her family? I would think it unlikely that Duncan has been given as a variation on McConachy.


Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:37 pm
by calmac
You may be right, but have a look at the Gaelic form of Macconachy.

Looks a lot like Mac Duncan, and I am sure I have read somewhere that it is a variant.

From 1901 census information I would doubt that my ancestors spoke much English

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:46 pm
by calmac

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:16 am
by lindaf
I'm sure all the children of Charles and Flora would have spoken English. I see that your family lived in Lorne Street in 1861. They would have attended the school in that same road. I'm sure it had been built by that time. Look it up and see what has happened to it more recently. Its been converted into a superb YHA Bunkhouse! I stayed in it on one of my visits and found it quite emotional as my McNaughton family had also lived in Lorne street in 1841. The Lorne Street houses no longer exist.

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am
by calmac
This may help to explain why I have not found Baptism records for the younger children.
Lorne Street Church was for gaelic speakers, and I think not Church of Scotland.

Does anyone know if the registers are still in existence?

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:54 pm
by lindaf
Might it be the younger children weren't actually baptised?
In England the Government required formal registration of a birth from about 1837 and a certificate of proof was given. So after that date there was no need to baptise, except for religious reasons.
But this didn't happen in Scotland until 1856. These Government records are held and certificates can purchased from "Scotlands People".

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:42 pm
by calmac
I was thinking particularly of Duncan and Betsy Maclean's children.

The older ones were born in Ireland, but I can find no trace of baptism or birth records for Martha born c 1838 or Christiana born about 1840. Curious.

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:45 pm
by duncanmclean1
Apologies for jumping in late on this thread but I think my name provides my excuse. One point made was that Duncan McLean doesn't sound like a Scots name which is true but it is a Gaelic name. If the source for the information was the 1841 Scottish census then is it not possible that the Scottish census enumerator Anglicised the Irish Gaelic name Donnchadh?

By the way, my own McLeans were at Aros in 1770 and then Campbeltown but I'm still trying to figure out where they came from. They left Kintyre for Paisley in the 1820s. In my efforts to track them down I've had my DNA tested and I now run the MacLean/MacLaine DNA project which has 500+ members from all over the world, including many with roots in Ireland. Check us out at and get back to me if you think DNA testing might help with your own research.

Duncan McLean

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:43 pm
by calmac
I wonder if any family members have tried this, and if so, what did you discover?

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:35 pm
by duncanmclean1
Good question calmac. We currently have 538 members in the MacLean/MacLaine DNA project but only a handful have so far been able to trace their ancestry back to Kintyre - not enough for any conclusions to be drawn yet I'm afraid. I'll perhaps post a summary of progress to date to this Forum, but under a new thread.

Re: McLean/Maclean from Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:16 pm
by lindaf
Hi Calmac
You may recall various correspondence we've had as I also have a McConachy line, but not it seems the same line as yours.
You ask above, was Duncan a variation on McConachy.
Interestingly I have the following.
My Gt Gt Gt Grandmother Catherine McConachy [b. 1798 Lossit Mill, father Alexander] had 3 daughters by Hector McNaughton one being Catherine b. 1836 who married Donald McArthur a baker in Campbeltown.
Catherine and Donald had several children of whom Archibald and Marion were both given the middle name of Duncanson.
It could of course be that Donald had a Duncan in his family, but I've not as yet been able to track his family.