McCain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The surname McCain originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Cathain" or "Mac Cathain."

Early Origins of the McCain family

The surname McCain was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster. At one time, the areas was named O'Cahan Country.

Important Dates for the McCain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCain research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1196, 1617, 1641, 1644 and 1819 are included under the topic Early McCain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCain Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname McCain are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Keane, Kane, Kayne, Keaney, Keny, Keyne, O'Kane, O'Keane, O'Cahan, Cahan, Kean, O'Cain, McCloskey, McCluskey, McClaskey and many more.

Early Notables of the McCain family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Ruaidri Dall Ó Catháin ( fl. late 16th/early 17th century), an Irish harper and composer; and Echlin O'Kane, one of the most famous of all Irish Harpists. Manus O'Cahan's Regiment of Foot was a body of soldiers, many of who had fought in Europe in the early years of the Thirty Years War. McColla, and a cousin by marriage, Manus O'Cahan, were thrown together...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCain migration to the United States

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McCain family relocated to North American shores quite early:

McCain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McCain, aged 18, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • James McCain, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828 [1]
  • Robert McCain, aged 27, who arrived in Alabama in 1858 [1]

McCain migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCain Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas McCain, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1839
  • Mr. John McCain, aged 22 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Eliza" departing from the port of Glasgow, Scotland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [2]
  • Ms. Maria McCain who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Goliah" departing 21st May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 18th July 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • Mr. Patrick McCain who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "George" departing 13th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [3]

McCain migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McCain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George McCain, (b. 1860), aged 20, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Marlborough" arriving in Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1880 [4]
  • Mr. James McCain, (b. 1862), aged 18, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Marlborough" arriving in Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1880 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCain (post 1700)

  • John Sidney McCain III (1936-2018), United States Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, and U.S. Senator, Republican Party 2008 presidential candidate
  • Jerry "Boogie" McCain (1930-2012), American electric blues harmonica player
  • Meghan Marguerite McCain (b. 1984), American columnist and author, daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain
  • Edwin McCain (b. 1970), American singer-songwriter and musician
  • Scott McCain (b. 1958), American former professional tennis player
  • Brigadier-General William Alexander McCain (1878-1960), American Commanding Officer Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot, Pennsylvania (1934-1942) [5]
  • Admiral John S. McCain Sr. (1884-1945), American Navy officer who in 1942 commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign
  • Frances Lee McCain (b. 1944), American actress
  • Allison D. McCain, Canadian Chairman of McCain Foods
  • Wallace F. McCain CC, ONB (1930-2011), Canadian co-founder of McCain Foods in New Brunswick, Canada
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 42)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 86)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) William McCain. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/McCain/William_Alexander/USA.html
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