From the President

Dear McCousins,

Hello to all from northeast Ohio, where leaves are just starting to change colors and nights are beginning to feel more like fall. Thoughts and prayers go out to our friends and cousins who live in Houston with recent massive rains and flooding, those who live in Florida and face the oncoming hurricane, and those in California or the Pacific Northwest and dealing with wildfires.

You may be wondering why you haven't yet heard anything about a clan gathering in 2018. I would love to post all the details here; unfortunately, that's not yet possible. The gathering committee has contacted and visited several sites as interesting locations for next year. After discussing a return to Raleigh-Durham, a conference center near Asheville NC, Memphis TN, and Hickory NC, your Board of Directors is leaning towards Memphis. Located in the extreme southwest corner of Tennessee, Memphis offers many things to do. It is, of course, famous for its music, its barbeque, and Elvis Presley's Graceland.

We had one solid offer from a hotel near the Memphis Airport; last week two more hotels presented viable proposals. Many concerns are weighed before the final selection of a gathering location. A few of these include easy access for driving and flying, convenient location for members, restaurant proximity, local attractions, meeting space, costs for sleeping rooms and other spaces, banquet options, availability of hospitality and genealogy rooms, and catering requirements.

Be assured that your Board will carefully review all options and advertise details at the earliest possible date. Watch our website, our Facebook page, and the next journal for much more detailed information on 2018 Clan McAlister Gathering. If you live in the tri-state TN-MS-AR area, we'd love to have you assist in planning the event. Contact chairman Sandra McCollum for details.

Last week, I attended the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogy Societies in Pittsburgh PA. As usual, a national conference draws top-name speakers and many vendors to display their wares and answer questions in the exhibit hall. A few of the more outstanding sessions addressed Ulster Scots in Pennsylvania, Completing Applications for Lineage Societies, Quaker Records in Pennsylvania, and many presentations on DNA. Other sessions discussed Using Metes and Bounds in Property Records, National Archives Resources, Finding Data in Military Pension Records, and Using Internet-based Resources. If you would like more details about the FGS program, I have a full syllabus and would be happy to share notes with you.

Cindy McAlister Bresson

BREAKING NEWS! - After two intense days of visiting six hotels, it appears that we have a winner for the 2018 Clan McAlister Gathering - the Holiday Inn Conference Center at Memphis, Tennessee. They've offered a rate of $99 per room (double or king), including two daily breakfast buffets. All four of us who visited agreed this offer was the best combination of location, price, and meeting space.

Only three miles from the Memphis Airport (with free shuttle), the hotel has easy access from I-240. The hotel restaurant serves three meals per day, and the Catfish Cabin is a short walk away, with other restaurants within a 2-3 mile drive. (Hotel shuttle will provide rides within a five-mile radius.) The dates we have selected for 2018 are August 10-12. This is the beginning of Elvis Week in Memphis; those of you who are Elvis fans might want to stay a few more days and join the party. Memphis offers a huge variety of visitor attractions. Many more details will be available in future journals and on the CMA website. Save the date, and stay tuned for more!




The Georgia McAllisters - Part IV
Savannah's Political Atmosphere

Thomas Gamble
Savannah, GA
© Savannah Morning News

Editor's Introduction — Following the third article in this series published in the spring issue of this journal, we continue with the fourth installment originally published in the Savannah Morning News on Sunday, 14 Dec 1930. We have edited this material to provide a more specific focus on Matthew Hall McAllister.


Savannah's Politics
was Full of
Heat and Bitterness

McAllister for Two Decades was a Leader of the Democracy of the City and State

Turned Down the Nomination of His Party for United States Senator When It Meant His Election - William H. Crawford Turned to Him to Help Secure a Vice Presidential Nomination by the Party in Massachusetts in 1830 - Chatham Split Into Warring Factions by Calhoun's Doctrines, With "Union" Men Denouncing the Opposition as "Serpent Candidates" - A Charming Georgia Woman Who Could Have Been Mistress of the White House.

Glimpses, here and there, are found of the political influence and activities of Matthew Hall McAllister, prior to and between the time of his leaving the state Senate in 1837, serving Savannah as mayor in 1837-39, and his nomination as the Democratic candidate for governor in 1845.

For instance, we find him early in 1838 writing to Governor William Schley, urging the appointment of John Elliott Ward as solicitor general of this circuit to succeed William H. Stiles afterwards congressman and minister to Austria. Stiles, it appears, declined to continue longer as solicitor general on the compensation then received. McAllister had introduced a bill to increase the fees of the office, which failed of passage. It is interesting to note that in his letter urging the appointment of Ward, Senator McAllister pointed out: "Its present income is no remuneration, and the office on its present footing serves only as an introduction for young men to their profession" - somewhat reminding one of a recent urge that a minor judicial office in Chatham was merely to be "an introduction for young men to their profession." Ward, he held, "from his talents, character and principles, will justify the confidence you will place in him." His colleagues in the Legislature approved of Ward's selection. Ward, who had studied law under McAllister and been admitted by a special act of the Legislature to practice before he was of age, was appointed, and as solicitor general began his brilliant public career when only twenty-two years old, no doubt the youngest man the Eastern Circuit ever had to fill that office. Soon after Robert M. Charlton retired from the Superior Court judgeship - to which he had been elected when but twenty-seven years old - resigning, Judge Clark tell us, because of its meager salary. Ward, who had held the solicitorship but two years, resigned for the same reason and they formed a notable law partnership.

Some years prior to this, when McAllister himself was but thirty years of age, one learns of his recognized position in the political life of his native state, and at the same time his probable influence North through family connections in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. At that time, 1830, William Harris Crawford was judge of the Northern circuit, after having served his country so brilliantly in the United States Senate, 1807-13, as minister to France, and as secretary of war under Madison, and secretary of the treasury under Monroe. Senator Benton, one of his ardent admirers, said of him that "Having the reputation of a great man, Crawford became greater as he was more closely approached. He compared favorably with the foremost. He was the dauntless foe of nullification and while he lived that heresy could not root in the patriotic soil of Georgia." He had been denied the presidency, as many believe, through a stroke of paralysis when his campaign was in progress, but had recovered sufficiently, as he felt, to once more enter the broader arena of national politics. In a letter dated November 29, 1830, General Edward Harden advised McAllister in this letter that he had received from Crawford a letter of which the following is an extract:

"Since my return home I have received a letter from George W. Erving, Esq., dated at Philadelphia, in which he says he has caused my name to be announced as a candidate for the vice presidency, and has enclosed me a Philadelphia paper in which this annunciation is contained. He also informs me that he has transmitted a copy of this paper to the Lt. Governor of Massachusetts, a relation of his, with a view that the nomination may be made by that state. You mentioned to me at Milledgeville that Mr. McAllister had said that he could contribute to have me nominated by that state (Mass.) to the office of vice president. As the office was not an object of desire to me I made no remark upon your observation. Now that my name has been announced, the case is materially altered. No man after he is announced for an office ought, or can feel perfectly indifferent to the result because his standing in the community will probably be affected by the result. If you will drop a hint to Mr. McAllister to aid and assist in the effort which Mr. Erving is making in Massachusetts at this time you will oblige me. Perhaps the unpleasant situation in which I was placed at Milledgeville may have made an unfavorable impression on Mr. McAllister's mind. I have not suffered any since I parted with you in Milledgeville. and my health is now as good as it has been all the year."

No one can question from this that Crawford felt the urge of the old political ambition, that with returning strength had come the nostalgia for the public life of Washington and a return to the scene of his former prominence and power-and with it an opportunity to more effectively display the governing hatred he now had for Calhoun. Crawford could never see with Calhoun's eyes that "nullification is the great conservation principle of Union." He had destroyed whatever prospects Calhoun had of succeeding Jackson in the presidency. No matter how much McAllister and his associates might differ with Crawford as to the United States Bank, or other public policies, they agreed with him as to this. The personal bitterness of Jackson, Calhoun and Crawford had their reflection in Chatham county politics.

(Styled following original article; Images from Wikimedia Commons)

The Erving to whom Harden referred in his letter to McAllister was Boston born. After serving as consul at London, as secretary of legation at Madrid, and as special minister to Denmark, he had been minister to Spain from 1814 to 1819. He enjoyed considerable influence in his home state. Only six years before this, in the presidential campaign of 1824, Crawford had received forty-one electoral votes from six states, despite the knowledge of his physical impairment, and had seen John Quincy Adams elected by the House of Representatives through the coalition of the Adams and Clay forces.

It was at this time Thomas Jefferson wrote Crawford that "What we have seen in the course of this election has very much dampened the confidence I had hitherto reposed in the discretion of my fellow citizens." Crawford is one of Georgia's towering figures of whom the country at large is today woefully ignorant. Historians have seemingly agreed to obscure him as much as possible, or at least to depreciate his abilities. Always an ardent State Rights man, he echoed the sentiments expressed in two toasts at a dinner tendered him at Milledgeville. "The United States: The best guarantee of her own sovereignty is a due regard to the sovereignty of the States, and The State of Georgia: Ever ready to shed her heart's blood in the cause of the Union. The charge of disaffection only merits her contempt." Calhoun's fine spun theories of nullification met with no acquiescence from him. "I hold," he declared, "that no state will stand justified in the sight of Heaven who shall resort to revolutionary means 'to change the existing order of things until it has exhausted all constitutional methods of obtaining redress."

Harden advised McAllister that he had been in Crawford's room in 1830 when the judge prepared for the assembled superior court judges of the state his "decision about jurisdiction in the Indian question," involving the state's right to hang an Indian convicted of murder in its courts and repudiating the right of the United States Supreme Court to intervene. This opinion, Harden said, was "written entirely by him, without any correction by him or anyone else, and his powerful mind remained unimpaired by the disease with which he had been so much afflicted." "This circumstance," he cautioned, "should not be mentioned in the annunciation (that is, the announcement for the vice-presidency) as it is a delicate question that may not be popular in New England. As to the reports of his (Crawford) being given to intoxication, it is untrue. I was with him in the same room for ten days and he only drank a Weak toddy daily, and told me that he never exceeded that quantity. The remains of the paralytic affection about him had given origin to those suggestions which in fact are without the least foundation." Ulrich Phillips in his "Georgia and State Rights," no doubt echoed the circulated opinion when he wrote: "Crawford was cordial and gracious, especially over his toddy, of which, like the typical Georgian of his day, he was very fond." One need not wonder what Crawford and other statesmen of that period, Democrat and Whig alike, would think of prohibition.

The plan for Massachusetts and Georgia to unite to make Crawford a vice presidential candidate - if there was anything beyond the mere suggestion - came to naught. Mr. Shipp informs me that in all the correspondence of the period examined by him he found no reference to this desire of Crawford to become a vice presidential candidate. Perhaps there was just a sudden flaming of the embers of old aspirations when the suggestion came from Massachusetts, a quick impulse on Crawford's part that he just as quickly permitted to die, realizing its utter futility in his physical condition. Death came suddenly to him four years later, a year after he had been a factor in bringing the "State Rights Party of Georgia" into being, its beliefs and policies, it is stated, being the first definite party platform ever issued by a political party in Georgia, the "Democratic" party coming into similar organized unity through its first national convention at Baltimore in 1832. But the incident as to the vice presidency is significant as showing appreciation of McAllister's broadening influence politically. The fact that President John Quincy Adams, immediately on his election, tendered the Treasury portfolio to Crawford, I am told, was later denied by Adams' son, but the original letter, reproduced by Shipp, confirms the story. Benton, in his "Thirty Years in the Senate," also referred to it, and said that if Crawford had accepted the cabinet of John Quincy Adams would have been the same as under Monroe, with the sole exceptions of Adams and Calhoun, elected president and vice president. It is interesting to recall that Martin Van Buren, who had in a sense managed Crawford's presidential campaign, was deeply enamored of the attractive daughter of Crawford and at one time there was an impression that those outstanding leaders of Georgia and New York politics might be drawn closer together by a family relationship. Van Buren was a widower, his wife having died in 1819. He was the dominating power in New York politics and recognized as one of the most astute politicians in the land. It seems unquestionable that this cultured and charming young Georgia woman could have been mistress of the White House, despite the fact that Van Buren's latest biographer says "No other woman ever filled the void in his affections."

In 1834, McAllister on the "Union and State Rights Rights" ticket defeated the popular Dr. James P. Screven on the "State Rights" ticket, by 288 votes, McAllister's legislative colleagues being W.W. Gordon, John Millen and George Shick. Judge Thomas U.P. Charlton came into this campaign with a letter setting forth that General James Jackson "lived and died a Unionist, in its present acceptance," and the voters were called on by McAllister and his fellow Unionists to decide between the "Stars and Stripes" and the "Snake."

To be continued . . .




Rev. Ambrose Blanchard McAlister (J12)
A Devoted Maine Preacher

Daniel L. MacAlister
Naples, FL

Rev. A. B. McAlister

Ambrose Blanchard McAlister was born on the 4th of September 1875, to Daniel McAlister and Genevieve "Jennie" Blanchard in Lovell, Oxford County, Maine. Ambrose was the second oldest of seven children, two of which died at a very young age. His older sister Dana lived well into her late 90s, and their younger brother Adelbert lived into his mid-80s. The Daniel McAlisters were fourth generation Oxford Countians who lived in either Lovell or Stoneham. Jennie's parents, Ambrose Blanchard and Julia Paquin, were both born in Canada and emigrated to the US in the early to mid-1800s. Jennie was born in Brattleboro, Vermont and was one of six children. Jennie's father was a farmer in Lovell.

A.B. and Flora Wheeler McAlister

Daniel supported his family first as a general laborer and later as a farmer. The McAlister name (with various spellings) was well known in that part of Maine, more than 60 Macs were named on the 1880 census. More than 100 are listed in the cemeteries around Lovell. Jennie died in 1917 at the age of 68 and Daniel in 1936 at the age of 87. Both are buried in the Lovell #4 Cemetery, as are Jennie's parents, Ambrose and Julia Blanchard. Ambrose B. McAlister attended high school at Fryeburg Academy. Just before the turn of the century Ambrose was employed as an apprentice shoemaker in South Paris, Maine where he met and started courting Flora Estelle Wheeler. Flora was born in South Paris and was four years younger than Ambrose. She and her family were devout Christians and members of the local Methodist Church. Eighteen year-old Flora and twenty-two year-old Ambrose were married on the 2nd of July 1898 in Lovell.

As the Maine Conference Annual of the Methodist Church wrote in their obituary of Rev. McAlister, "It was after his marriage that Brother McAlister felt an over-whelming desire to preach the 'unsearchable riches of Christ.' The young wife was his tower of strength and together they went to student pastorates in preparation for the ministry." Rev. McAlister attended Bates College and then Boston University School of Theology, according to the Methodist Conference. McAlister's early pastorates in Maine included Hartland, Stonington, Bucksport, and Dexter. Then came World War I, the Great War, and Rev. McAlister, or "Mac", as his fellow clergymen affectionately called him, volunteered for overseas work with the YMCA.

In the years between the Civil War and the Great War, the YMCA developed and provided programs and services that addressed both the temporal and spiritual needs of American service members. Within the armed forces, services like those offered by the YMCA were not fully developed to meet those needs and certain programs did not exist at all. The Great War marked a paradigm shift in the way military leaders conceptualized programs that address the human needs of their personnel. When war was declared in 1917, the YMCA volunteered its support immediately. President Wilson then quickly accepted it.

Rev. McAlister serving as a YMCA Chaplain in France during WWI.

The week of 29 1918, Rev. McAlister sailed for England and then on to France where he worked as a YMCA Chaplain in service to his country. The YMCA had assumed military responsibilities on a scale that had never been attempted by a community-based, nonprofit organization in the history of our nation and would never be matched again. During WWI, 35,000 volunteers attended to the spiritual and social needs of an armed force of 4.8 million troops. The YMCA performed 90% of all welfare work with American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Today, many of the programs, once provided by the YMCA, are institutionalized within each military service.

Upon his return to the States he accepted a position with the Methodist Southern Conference, but he longed to return to his home state and soon returned to the Maine Methodist Conference.

According to the Maine Methodist Conference Annual, "Brother McAlister will always be remembered for his careful preparation which marked all of his work from the pulpit of his churches. We will remember the warmth of his friendliness and the cheerful twinkle of his good humor."

Rev. McAlister served parishes in Presque Isle, Peak's Island, Portland, Saco and other Maine communities. He was, at times, considered controversial because he was somewhat ahead of his time. In one parish where the young men were hanging out in a pool hall rather than attending his regularly scheduled fellowship meetings, he installed a pool table in the basement of the church to keep them under his "wing."

Ambrose and Flora had five children, three girls and two boys. The eldest, Valerie, retired as a schoolteacher and later, with her husband John Cox, owned a gift shop in Bridgton, Maine. The next youngest girl, Eleanor, married Alverado Phinney, worked at the Pepperell Mill, and at the time of Rev. McAlister's death lived in Saco, Maine. When the Reverend died, Flora went to live with Eleanor until her death in 1951. Both Valerie and Eleanor, having lost their husbands, eventually moved to Athens, Alabama to live near their youngest sister and the baby of the family, Dorothy Nichols. Dot was married to Chester Nichols, Jr., an Alabama native. Valerie and Eleanor both died in 1986. Dorothy passed away in 2007.

Ambrose and Flora's five children: l to r: Valerie, Eleanor, Rexford, Lorimer, and Dorothy.

The oldest boy in the family was the Reverend's namesake, Ambrose Rexford. Rex, as he was called, and his younger brother Lorimer, or Lorie, were very close growing up. They changed the spelling of their last name (from "McAlister" to "MacAlister") as a protest to their father's "overly strict" Christian upbringing and rules. It was their way of rebelling. Rex MacAlister married Dorothy Rice and when she passed away, later married her sister, Edna. They moved to the southwest where he died in Arizona in 1992. Lorie MacAlister married Louise Chamberlin of Kennebunk and later moved to Florida where they lived until he died in 1970.

McAlister served his church faithfully for more than 40 years and retired in 1946. Reverend Ambrose Blanchard McAlister was "taken home" on January 25, 1950 in Portland, Maine. He is buried with his beloved Flora in the Hope Cemetery in Kennebunk, Maine.

Ambrose in his retirement and Ambrose's and Flora's gravestone.


Dan MacAlister is the grandson of Reverend A. B. McAlister and the son of Lorimer Wendell MacAlister. Photos are courtesy of the Nichols and MacAlister families.




Legacies: Clive Lynn
A Devoted Maine Preacher

Dyanne Fry Cortez
Austin, TX

Editor's Introduction - This interview with her father was submitted by Pam Lynn, whose article "Jane 'Jennet' McAlister" was published in the Dec 2012 issue of Mac-Alasdair Clan. Jane was a daughter of CMA Ancestral Line J07 progenitor John, and the Lynn family descended from Jane's marriage. The following interview with her father Clive Lynn, who passed away in 2015 at age 94, is taken from the September 1999 issue of The Good Life, a free magazine published in Austin, TX. The article was written by Dyanne Fry Cortez and is reproduced here with her permission.


Borger, Texas wasn't the first place Clive Lynn lived. But it's the first one he remembers.

Clive Lynn in a photo provided by his daughter Pam Lynn

"My father worked in the oil fields. He could build refineries. When there was a boom, his company moved there," says Lynn. "Borger was a flat prairie one day, and two weeks later had over 10,000 people. We moved there - I must have been five or six years old. It was a pretty wild town, they tell me." Something blew up in the oil fields "about every other week or two," and "if there was any law, nobody knew what it was." The Texas Rangers were called in to impose order, and Lynn's family moved on, following the oil to Del Rio, Pyote, Mirando City.

They lived in hastily built house, usually without indoor plumbing and sometimes without electricity. In the East Texas boom town of Overton, they lived in an Army-surplus tent. "I guess the thing that kept my mother together was that her family lived here in Austin," Lynn says. His grandfather, Louis Hausmann, had a grand old house "right on the corner of 46th Street and East Avenue. Every time we made a move, we would spend a month at my grandfather's. If we weren't moving, we'd usually come here in the summer."

His twenty-year military career sounds tame by comparison. Lynn joined the Army Air Corps at age eighteen, two years before World War II, and applied for aircraft mechanic training. The Army sent him to a school at Chanute Field, Illinois. Lynn did so well that he got orders to remain there as an instructor. This wasn't at all what he'd had in mind.

"I was sitting in the base movie theater the day they announced that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor," he says, wincing at the memory. He volunteered for overseas duty at every opportunity, but never left the United States until after the war - not even after he completed officers school in 1943. "I applied for B-29s. They sent me right back to a balmy training command in Liberal, Kansas," he says.

Lynn was married by that time. He met his wife, Gertrude Szymanski, while attending a factory school in Massachusetts and proposed on their third date.

In 1945, Lynn resigned from active duty and had a go at civilian life. The college he applied to had no space that year. A commercial airline offered him a job, not as a mechanic, but a mechanic's helper. "I could make more money if I went back to the service", Lynn decided. So he did - as an enlisted man.

Things got livelier this time. He escorted 1,400 prisoners of war on a slow boat home to Germany, served as flight engineer on a B-25 bomber doing aerial photography of Europe and the Middle East, and headed a maintenance facility for the Berlin airlift. He was stationed in Japan in 1951, fixing planes for the Korean War, when he received orders recalling him to active duty as an officer.

"I did everything in twenty-four hours. Discharged, recalled, commissioned, sworn in, and on a plane to the States," Lynn recalls. In the next decade, he learned all about nuclear weapons and attained the rank of major.

He retired to Austin in 1960, attended college, and spent the rest of his working years teaching math and physics at McCallum and Anderson High Schools.

"When I was nineteen and they made an instructor out of me at Chanute Field, that was the worst thing that could happen to me," he confesses. "But when you're thirty-nine or forty years of age, you know, school teaching looks pretty good."







Tales of the McCallister
Timberland Homesteads II.

Lula McCallister
Submitted by Joyce McCallister Amenta Schmidt
Doylestown, PA

Editor's Introduction - These family stories were submitted by CMA member Joyce Schmidt. Her cover note sets the stage for these wonderful tales of a homesteading McCallister tales: "I compiled and published this collection of stories of the McCallister homesteading in Drain, Douglas County, Oregon, written by my great aunt Lula McCallister. I am in the J04 line. My branch descends from Edward, fourth son of James McCallister, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, to Kentucky, Illinois, and then Oregon. This branch of the family is buried in Oregon. I did this as a gift to my father, Kenneth John McCallister, who instilled in me an interest in our lineage and or Scottish heritage."


Chapter 2


We made Wesley's place our rendezvous. Mother was with us now and she liked it better there, as it was most central. In fact, she liked it very much. But it was amusing how everybody thought we were not being good to her to take her with us.

Kenneth J. McCallister at age 21.
In the last issue, we printed the first chapter of these charming tales. We continue here with Chapter Two.

Her sister from Chicago came after her saying if we had to take her to the woods to live; she would take her home with her. But the joke of it was that when she came for her she liked it so much herself that she stayed too.

It was nice. We had the walls prepared with newspapers, trying to select the paper with no ads or large lettering. The floors were always as clean as we could make them and were covered with many home made rugs. Also a big fireplace and lots of windows with bright cretonne curtains.

We had five rooms there and many, many beds with homemade Quilts. All our visiting eastern relatives would always complement us on how cozy it was.

Our cousin from up in the valley came with a big load of vegetables and fruit, thinking we would be near starved out, but was surprised to find our garden almost as good as his. We had the advantage of irrigation.

Wesley at age 21.
Wesley had brought down the water in shake troughs from the small creek on the side of the mountain. We would dig ditches between the rows and everything grew as if by magic.

Mother's pride and joy were her flowers. She said she had never had enough water before. The hillsides were covered with rhododendrons or wild orange flowers, so with home grown, we had flowers everywhere.

Our supply of trout never grew less. Mother went fishing everyday. If she was not in the house, we knew where to find her. One day we were all frightened. We called and hunted in all her favorite fishing places. At last the dogs led us to her. She had found a very comfortable seat on a log with another log at her back and had gone to sleep. Her line was in the water with a drowned fish on the hook.

Mother's two hobbies were flowers and fishing, so you see why she was happy. God love her - I hope there is fishing and flowers in the Heaven where she is now.

Our Fawn Lillie

In the woods one day a fawn ran to Wesley. The dogs were after it and it seemed to think he was protection. He picked it up and as soon as it quit kicking he put it down and it followed him home.

It was so hungry it was easy to teach to drink from a bottle. The dogs and it were soon playing together.

We put a bell on it tied with a red rag. Strange dogs never ran her and hunters never shot her, although she roamed the hills at will.

She was a nuisance in a way, for she loved the garden and even knew when we planted and would follow the row and dig up the seed. That required a high picket fence to decide who would have the garden, Lillie or us. We had to hurry to get through the gate to get the mail, because if Lillie saw us, she would follow.

The thing I remember best about her was her incredible jumping. With apparently no effort she would rise in the air and over a gate or log or stream and on the other side, or she would come sailing down the hill almost as if she flew.

Another surprising thing was her love for tobacco. Having some visitors who had given her tobacco, we could not keep her from following them until they gave us the tobacco pouch to coax her home.

When we left the homesteads, Wesley gave her to a neighbor girl who promised to feed and care for her, but she would run away to the homesteads.

She was then shut in a deer park. The keeper said it made him heartsick to see how homesick she was. She wore a trail on the side nearest the homesteads trying to fmd a way out. He let her out one day and it took her only a few minutes to swim the river and start for home.

Dolly the Mare

The old mare and I had great times packing provisions up to my cabin. There seemed to be a certain hitch to packing a packsaddle, which I never got right. Anyway, old Dolly would swell up when I put the saddle on but as soon as we were well started she would become her natural size again. The saddle would turn and off came the pack. It contained eggs, butter, and other things that made a terrible mess. I would end up rescuing what I could from the mess and send the mare back home. This building of a homestead had it ups and downs.

Old Dolly was very wise when it came to a hill. She would stop and turn her head around until we all climbed out of the cart, but one, and wait for us at the top of the hill. Maybe it did look like a big load when five or six of us would be in the cart.

"Have you seen Dolly?" No one could remember seeing her for two days. It was not like her to stay away. She was afraid of the wild animals and always came home to her barn. We looked in the barn but she was not there. A search was started. I ran to the bluff wondering if she could have fallen off, I called being afraid to look down but no answering neigh. All the places where she usually fed were searched. We were frightened as Dolly was like one of the family.

What could have happened to her? It was a hot summer day and we were exhausted but kept up the search. If she was sick and down, some wild animals would make short work of her.

With the dog we went over the mountain and there we found her. Her front legs fastened between two logs. In her struggles to free herself she was fastened more firmly, for the logs lay closer together down the hill. She was almost gone. The flesh was all off of her fore legs and her face dripping with blood where the deer flies had stung her. She had no water for two days. We took heavy pries to get the logs apart, which loosened her legs. We carried her some water, washed her face and by slow work got her home. A vet dressed her legs and gave us instructions for her care and in a few months she was well.

One of our visitors at the homesteads was a train engineer from Roseburg. On his vacation he rented some high steppers from the livery stable and hitched them to a two-seated hack. He brought his family out in this for a visit.

Of all the medals he had as a fast but safe train engineer, his wife claims they were all eclipsed by that drive. She held a young baby in her arms or rather one arm, as she had to use the other for support. She claims that even the old stagecoaches never made better time. But she laughs about him looking at his watch and saying we are just crawling along.

We were expecting the happy event for Dolly, the horse. Twenty years is just right for a girl's first baby, but twenty years for a mare's first colt is cause for anxiety.

Wesley was at work and Dora was teaching at school. Mother was with me at my place. We worried all night about Dolly so at daylight I took the trail to Wesley's place to do the chores and see about her. Through the misty fog of the morning I saw her and her baby by her side. Something was wrong or at least I thought so. Its legs were too long. I soon had her in the barn, fed and made a nice bed for Pat, which I immediately named the colt.

Returning home, I told Mother of the colt and I thought it was deformed. Its legs were too long. She assured me they always looked that way. That colt sure was a nuisance. It had to have its dinner every half-hour. When we were going places in the cart it would run in front and throw its front legs around Dolly's neck like it was loving her, stopping Dolly so it could have its dinner. We wondered if the colt would ever repay us for the trouble it caused.

Right here, I must say he did, for Pat served us faithfully for thirty years as the best farm horse we ever owned. Even the colonel (for whom he was named) says "hats off to old Pat."

Mula the Cow

When Mula the cow had her first calf, she did not come home and I was delegated to find her. I had gone some distance with her baby but Mula would not start toward home.

I would make her go a short way and she would turn and go back. At last she got some distance ahead of me and I gave up. I was going back home for some help. In crossing the creek, I thought, what is the matter here.

The creek is running the wrong way. Then it dawned on me that the cow was right and I turned around.


The boys had seen some ducks in the pond near the river. Putting on their high gum boots and locking the dogs in the house (much to their disgust) they told us to get ready for a duck dinner.

"We will likely have a lot of them before the winter is over. I know how to clean them easily." Said Molly "I'll put on a kettle of water and melt a cake of paraffin in it. Scalding the ducks in this the feathers come off with no trouble at all."

"You can pick yours that way but I want to save the feathers." So when the ducks came in, I spread some papers on the table and began on the dry feathers. In a few minutes my hands were covered with lice, yes lice, would you believe it? - A bird that spends its life in the water and covered with lice.

Old Dead Snag

On the hill back of Wesley's house was an old dead snag. It had shed its bark years before. The rain and the wind and the sun had whitened it, and it towered up to the sky like some ancient obelisk or tombstone of ancient times.

Dora was milking old Mula by the high picket fence. I had called the chickens from the hen house to feed, when we heard a crack like a pistol, then another and another. The old snag was giving up and coming directly toward us.

Dora ran fast and I ran the other way, just as the tree crashed through the chicken house, laying it to the ground. The tip of the tree, about the size of your finger, hit old Mula across the back and broke across the fence. It paralyzed old Mula, for fifteen minutes she could not move.

This episode led to one of the most nerve testing times of my homestead experiences. After the tree had fallen, Wesley began at once to talk of the trees around my cabin. He said there were several trees that, in the case of wind, might fall and hit my house. I knew if they came down, I would have to help fell them. I began to say, let them be. Wesley said, do you want one to fall on your cabin like it did on the hen house? I thought I could stand anything better than that.

Next morning with the big saw and wedge, we went to work. First cutting holes in the side of the tree to insert the rails on which we were to stand, then under cut to insure the tree fell in the right way.

It made me dizzy to even think of standing on them. I remember they were about level with my head, out high because of the decrease in the size of the tree. I did the best I could, but Wesley would say every few minutes don't ride the saw. I would straighten up and try again, I would imagine I could hear the first crack before the saw was half through, and jump only to climb up again.

When Wesley finally called "timber!" I lost no time to jump, but run too. He tried to make them fall in the ravine. When they hit the bank, the butt end would fly up in the air thirty or forty feet with a most terrific crash and slide down the bank. It always seemed I held my heart in my throat, and then it would drop to the lowest depth of my stomach.

I think we had brought down three trees when Wesley saw how upset I was and said, he would get a man to help him.


Along the river's bank were many raccoons. Wesley soon adopted a baby 'coon,' or did it adopt him?

It was so soft and cuddly with its bug eyes, pointed nose and human-like hands. These hands were into everything. Every knothole, crack or crevice had to be searched.

As soon as Wesley sat down, she was all over him feeling every pocket. She was hunting for his pipe. When she found it she would clean out the bowl and taking the pipe ran away. She would play with it for hours.

She was very mischievous and would play pranks on Madge, the dog. She would coax him up on a sloping log, grab him around the neck and roll off. Because of her heavy fur, she was not hurt, but the dog would yelp.

But one time there was a joke on her. She was let run wild when up at my place, but every few hours she had to assure herself Wesley was there. In the night she would come to his bed and rub her hands over his face and go away satisfied. But one night Wesley had company, a man with a beard. When Fussy put her hands on his face, she screeched and jumped out the window.

Mother had some young chicks. Fussy believed that they were grown especially for 'coons.' She was chained to a tree then, but as soon as one would come within length of the chain she grabbed it. She had to have a wire pen.

It was fun to watch her eat. Everything had to be washed. We had to remove the water pan until her bread was eaten or she would wash it away. And when we'd lead her to the creek to do her own fishing, the crawfish she would catch had to be thoroughly washed.

She escaped from her cage one night and was gone for a week. She came limping back, her face all torn, and could not eat unless I fed her. I would dip my finger in some cream and she would lick it off.

Wesley gave her to the Portland zoo and when he would visit her there, she would remember him and express her delight by petting his hand.

The Big Dog Tracks

Carrying lunch to two men working on my barn, I felt as if I was being followed. I had to cross a deep and dark canyon. I told Wesley and he said they would go back with me. In the trail where the path was dusty they found big dog tracks and told me it must have been the timber wolf that had been seen in the vicinity. They are large and one of the most dreaded animals for a child or small person to meet - reminds me of the fairy tale of little red riding hood.

The Hawks

The hawks were on one of our paths. They would fly down right by the door and away with young fry. They seemed to have no fear of us.

Perhaps they were not used to seeing people. They would light on some limb, pick out a choice chick and fly away before we could get a gun.

I saw them several times have a real fight with the mother hen.

Dora and I saw one light nearby with a nice young fry and undertook to take it away from the hawk. It put up a good fight before it flew off. By winning the fight we had fried chicken for our dinner.

The Rattlers

Wesley worked for the neighbors while mother and I kept the home fires burning. Dora taught school just a mile from her place. There were some rattlesnakes seen near the schoolhouse and she was always afraid for the children.

A neighbor found their den and called for volunteers. They went before the snakes had come out in the spring and blasted them out. There were more than fifty of them. Although the snakes were dormant by their winter's sleep, they seemed to be awakened by the blast. The men had a great fight to be sure none got away. I was sure one had - I was looking for it always.

One day I found it in this way. One of the children and I were taking the short cut through the dusty pasture road. She was running ahead and I ran to catch her when I stumbled and fell headlong, arms out-stretched, my finger just missing what I thought was the lost rattler.

Jerking back, I saw it was a bull snake but I could not have been more startled had it bitten me. I was happy to have my mind taken off the snake by the child's call, "Come and see this bird, is it sick?"

It would drop its wings and run down the road, but I had been lured away before. It was a mother bird trying to lead us away from her babies. Looking closely we could see them under a leaf or shrub squatting close to the ground until the mother gave the all-clear sign. That was real courage to put her own life in danger to protect her young.

The Wildcat and the Turkeys

The turkey roost was on a limb of a big fir. It was at last thirty feet from the ground. I cannot yet see how a wildcat could kill and carry away a twelve-pound turkey.

Anyway another one was gone. That was one too many. We must catch the thief. With the aid of the dogs we located the carcass and there with gloves set a trap with the dead turkey for bait, covered our tracks and waited until morning. Sure enough we had the thief. A wildcat caught by its paw.

Wesley proposed that we keep her until her young ones came then we could collect a bounty on them too. Slipping a long pole through the trap we carried her home, put her in a strong box and pried off the trap. We then left her to moan and pry and fight for her freedom.

She would cry like a baby and scream like a woman. Never gave us a minute's rest. Long before morning we concluded it wasn't worth it and decided to kill her. But during the night she had pried off a board held by two nails and escaped.

When anyone says, "She's a wildcat," I understand what they mean. A few months afterward a hunter killed her, known by her broken paw. Maybe the babies, grown now, are still stealing turkeys.

Hazelnut Time

It was such fun to sit around the fireplace in the wintertime and have our popcorn and crack and eat hazelnuts.

Wesley came home from work one Friday night and told us of a place where we could each fill our sacks with nuts. Getting together a lunch we could make a picnic of it. Early next morning we started. There were six of us. For fear we might break down the cart we took turns riding.

"Isn't this the best patch of hazelnuts you ever saw?" Everybody said at once.

Wesley suggested that we each choose our own patch and have a nice race with the winning pair getting to ride all the way home. They all went to work in earnest. One of the children cried because the needles on the hulls stuck in her fingers, but Dora coaxed her by letting her crack nuts for the dogs. Soon the bags were nearly full and time for lunch, and how good it was! Some of Dora's famous biscuits, baked in a Dutch oven, honey or jam as you preferred, a pot of baked beans, and, as a special treat, lemonade. Soon after lunch we were on the way home with enough nuts for everybody and not begrudging a fair share for the dogs. I always insisted that everyone crack their own.

In a future issue:

Chapter 3 - Incidents We Still Laugh About




Pinpointing the McCollister (TJ01)
Paternal Ancestral Genetic Homelands

Tyrone Bowes
Submitted by Ronald McCollister
Illschwang, Germany

Editor's Introduction - This is the second interesting analysis of this type commissioned from Dr. Tyrone Bowes by one of our members. (See p. 16 of the spring 2017 issue for the earlier study.) We reprint it here with permission of Dr. Bowes. Please note that by so doing, we are not specifically endorsing this particular approach to genetic genealogy.



A simple painless commercial ancestral Y chromosome DNA test will potentially provide one with the names of many hundreds of individuals with whom one shares a common male ancestor, but what often perplexes people is how one can match individuals with many different surnames? The answer is quite simple. Roughly 1,000 years ago one's direct medieval male ancestor, the first for example to call himself 'Doherty' was living in close proximity to others with whom he was related but who inherited other surnames like Devlin, O'Donnell and McLaughlin. Given that 1,000 years have passed since paternally inherited surnames became common, there will be many descendants of those individuals some of whom will today undergo commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing. Hence the surnames of one's medieval ancestor's neighbours will be revealed in today's Y-DNA test results.

Early 19th century census data demonstrates that Irish and Scottish surnames could still be found concentrated in the areas from which they originated. One can therefore use census data to determine the origin of the surnames that appear in one's Y-DNA results, identifying an area common to all, and reveal ones 'Paternal Ancestral Genetic Homeland.' The genetic homeland is the small area (usually within a 5 mile radius) where one's ancestors lived for hundreds if not thousands of years. It is the area where one's ancestor first inherited his surname surrounded by relatives who inherited others. It is the area where ones ancestors left their mark in its placenames, its history, and in the DNA of its current inhabitants. Since modern science can pinpoint a paternal ancestral genetic homeland it can also be used to confirm it by DNA testing individuals from the pinpointed area.

Notes of caution!

1. In Ireland each of the estimated 1,500 distinct surnames had a single founding ancestor, that's an estimated 1,500 Adams from whom anyone with Irish ancestry can trace direct descent. But science has demonstrated that only 50% of individuals with a particular Irish surname will be related to the surnames founding ancestor (the surname Adam), the other 50% of males will have an association that has arisen as a result of what are called 'non-paternal events' usually a result of adoptions or maternal transfer of the surname. Since Scotland adopted a similar Clan based society these scientific findings can be applied to Scotland and people with Scottish paternal ancestry.

2. Often people are looking for their DNA results to trace back to a specific area. One must remember that the results typically reflect one's ancestor's neighbours from around 1,000 years ago. As a result, if one's Scottish ancestor was descended from a Gaelic Irish or Anglo-Saxon settler, Viking raider, or 12th Century Norman one's DNA results may reflect earlier Irish, English, Welsh, French, and possibly Scandinavian origin. One must approach this process with an open mind!

Interpreting the Y-DNA test results

To pinpoint a paternal ancestral genetic homeland one must first identify the surnames that appear as one's genetic matches, see Figure 1. Those surnames, particularly one's that recur throughout one's Y-DNA results will typically reflect the surnames of one's medieval ancestor's neighbours, see Figure 2.

The McCollister surname is a spelling variation of the more common 'MacAlister.' These spelling variations typically arise as one moves further from the place of origin. However, upon commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing the test subject did not match others individuals called MacAlister. This indicates that the test subject is not directly descended from an MacAlister-Adam; literally the first male ('Adam') to take the 'MacAlister' surname who lived approximately 1000 years ago when paternally inherited surnames became common. Rather, it indicates that the test subject's paternal ancestor acquired the MacAlister surname at some point after that surname first appeared (hence anytime within the last 1000 years). MacAlister is a surname which first appeared in Scotland and spread into neighbouring Ireland, this is reflected in the test subject's closest recurring genetic matches which are dominated by Irish and Scottish surnames, see Figures 1 & 2.

Figure 1: Snapshot of test subject McCollister's genetic surname matches at the 67 marker level as revealed in the Y-DNA database. The more Y-DNA markers two people share the more recent their shared paternal ancestor once lived. The McCollister (MacAlister) surname is associated with both Scotland and Ireland, a relationship which is reflected in the test subjects closest genetic matches which are dominated by Irish (green arrows) and Scottish (blue arrows) surnames. Purple arrows denote surnames which are associated with both Ireland and Scotland.

Figure 2: The test subject's closest recurring genetic surname matches reveal a paternal ancestral link with both Ireland and Scotland. The test subject's closest recurring genetic surname matches are dominated by surnames associated with both Ireland and Scotland. This is not uncommon and merely reflects the close relationship between both Countries the result of many population movements back and forth over many millennia. Coloured font denotes the ethnicity associated with each surname; Irish, Scottish, black font indicates multiple associated ethnicities. 1Members of the same close family recruited for DNA testing and excluded from further analysis.

The MacAlister Surname in Scotland and Ireland

Since farmers in early census data concentrated in the area where their surname first appeared or in the area where one's ancestors first settled, one can examine the distribution of farmers called MacAlister to estimate how many Scottish MacAlister Clans existed. Early census data reveals 3 main groups spread across Western Scotland; indicating the existence of potentially 3 unrelated 'MacAlister' Clans, see Figure 3. Each MacAlister Clan was potentially founded by an unrelated MacAlister-Adam. It is Mr. McCollister's closest genetic surname matches revealed by his Y-DNA test results, as a snapshot of his medieval male ancestors neighbours which can be used to pinpoint where his ancestors once. Those surnames will have arisen among a group of related males living in a very specific location. Plot where those surnames occur in early census data and one should reveal an area that is common to all.

Figure 3: Scottish MacAlister. An examination of the distribution of farmers called MacAlister in early census data reveals 3 main clusters and hence potentially 3 groups of genetically distinct MacAlisters each potentially founded by an unrelated MacAlister-Adam. The test subject's ancestor most likely acquired the MacAlister surname in one of the 3 locations within Scotland associated with that surname. Each surname has been placed on the map in the area where farmers with that surname concentrate in early census data.

The MacAlister surname is also found in Ireland where it is associated with both pre-plantation mercenary Scottish 'Gallowglass' settlement and later 17th Century (plantation) settlement. In contrast to the Protestant Planters, the descendants of Gallowglass MacAlisters remained overwhelmingly Catholic. An examination of the distribution of Catholic MacAlister farmers (heads of household) in 1901 reveals 3 main groups of Irish (pre-plantation) MacAlisters, see Figure 4. An examination of the Origenes databases revealed 2 placenames associated with the MacAlister surname, and a single castle that is historically associated with the Gallowglass MacAlisters in Ireland, see Figure 5.

Figure 4: Pre-Plantation Irish MacAlister. An examination of the distribution of Catholic farmers called McAlister in early census data reveals 3 main groups within Ireland. These McAlisters are the descendants of Scottish mercenaries known as 'Gallowglass' who left the west of Scotland and settled in Ireland between 1259AD and 1600AD. Each surname has been placed on the map in the area where farmers with that surname concentrate in early census data.

Figure 5: MacAlister castles and placenames. An examination of the Irish and Scottish Origenes databases revealed a single castle within Northeast Ireland which may have been associated with Gallowglass MacAlisters, in addition to 2 Scottish placenames that are possible references to the MacAlister surname.

Pinpointing the Genetic Homeland

The method of using genetic surname matches as revealed by commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing to pinpoint a paternal ancestral genetic homeland works by exploiting the link between the Y chromosome, surname and land; which are typically passed from father to son through the generations. In the absence of a link to the land the process becomes more challenging. The link with the land is greatest among the farming community and since farmers in Ireland and Scotland can still be found farming the land where their ancestor lived when he first inherited his surname, or where one's ancestor first settled within Ireland or Scotland, one can plot where farmers with the surnames that appear in one's Y-DNA results cluster and identify an area common to all. This means for example that upon Y-DNA testing a MacAlister from Argyllshire will be a genetic match to people with surnames like MacGilvray, MacInnis and MacLure; surnames associated with the Western Isles of Scotland. While in contrast a MacAlister from Stirlingshire will have genetic matches to people called MacGregor, Buchanan and Campbell; surnames associated with North Central Scotland. Hence, it is the test subject's genetic surname matches which will reveal where his paternal ancestors originated.

An examination of Mr. McCollister's Y-DNA results reveals that he carries the very ancient Irish M222 genetic marker. The M222 mutation arose in the Y chromosome of a single male who lived in Northwest Ireland thousands of years ago. The descendants of this M222-Adam proliferated and spread over much of Ireland and Scotland. Today the M222 genetic marker predominates in the male population of much of Ireland, see Figure 6. This ancient paternal ancestral link with Ireland is reflected in the test subject's closest Irish genetic surname matches which are overwhelmingly associated with Northwest Ireland including Doherty, O'Donnell, Gallagher and Quinn, see Figure 7. An examination of the Doherty, O'Donnell, Gallagher, Quinn and Devlin farming communities reveals that they occur in closest proximity to one another within County Donegal in the far Northwest of Ireland, see Figure 8.

Figure 6: The dominant Y-DNA genetic markers of Ireland. Extensive Y-DNA studies have revealed the predominant Y-DNA genetic groups found within Gaelic Ireland. They reveal a clear East/West and North/South divide in the genetic makeup of Gaelic Ireland. As a rule the further west one's Gaelic Irish ancestors are found the longer their association with Ireland. Those in the North of Ireland tend to have more recent evidence (in their commercial ancestral DNA test results) of links with Scotland. The test subject's M222 genetic marker dominates the Northwest of Ireland.

Figure 7: Surname distribution mapping confirms an ancestral origin with Northwest Ireland. The Doherty, O'Donnell. Gallagher and Quinn surnames appear among the test subject's closest and most frequent Irish genetic matches and surname distribution mapping reveals that they are common surnames which are particularly common in Northwest Ireland (red broken circle) where the test subject's M222 genetic marker reaches its highest density in the local population.

Figure 8: The test subject's closest Irish associated recurring genetic surname matches reveal a paternal ancestral link with County Donegal. Farmers with each surname still concentrate in the area where their surname first appeared. An examination of the distribution of Doherty, O'Donnell, Gallagher, Quinn and Devlin farmers which appear among the test subject's closest Irish-associated genetic matches reveals that they occur in closest proximity to one another in County Donegal in Northwest Ireland (red broken circle) where the M222 genetic marker reaches its highest concentration in the male population.

The Clan Territories of Northwest Ireland

Medieval Ireland was a patchwork of territories dominated by over 400 of the most notable Gaelic Irish Clans and Norman families. The Irish Origenes Clan Territories of Ireland Map was reconstructed based on the location of castles and towerhouses and their known historical link to a particular Clan or Family. An examination of Northwest Ireland as it appears on the map reveals an area dominated by Gaelic Irish and Scots Gallowglass Clans, see Figure 9. The map also reveals that the test subject's O'Doherty, O'Donnell and McLaughlin genetic relatives ruled much of this area for many hundreds of years, Figure 9. The O'Dohertys who dominated the Inishowen peninsula routinely appear as the most frequent genetic match in males who participate in commercial ancestral DNA testing and who carry the M222 Y-DNA genetic marker.

Figure 9: The Medieval Territories of Northwest Ireland are dominated by M222+ve Clans. An examination of Northwest Ireland as it appears on the Irish Origenes Clan Territories map reveals an area dominated by the notable O'Donnell, O'Doherty and McLaughlin Gaelic Irish Clans that appear as recurring M222+ve genetic matches to the test subject. The O'Dohertys who appear as the test subject's most numerous recurring genetic match dominated the Inishowen peninsula where they (O'Dohertys) reach their highest concentration in early census data.

Mr. McCollister's Irish Paternal Ancestral Genetic Homeland

The test subject's Y-DNA test results reveal that his Irish paternal ancestral genetic homeland lies in the farmland between Buncrana, Cardonagh and Lough Swilly in the far Northwest of Ireland, see Figure 10. It was there that his paternal ancestor lived when surnames first appeared within Ireland approximately 1000 years ago. His direct male ancestor lived in a tribal group surrounded by relatives who inherited surnames like O'Doherty, O'Donnell, Devlin, Quinn and McLaughlin. When one's ancestors have lived in an area long enough they typically leave evidence of their long ancestral links in the placenames and historical monuments one finds there. An examination of Inishowen and its surrounding area reveals castles and placenames associated with the O'Dohertys, O'Donnells, Devlins, Quinns and McLaughlins, see Figure 10. The test subject's genetic relatives will undoubtedly have left evidence of their ancestral links with this area in its history and in the DNA of the current inhabitants.

Figure 10: The test subject's Irish Paternal Ancestral Genetic Homeland. The test subject's Irish paternal ancestral genetic homeland (orange broken circle) lies in the farmland between the towns of Buncrana, Cardonagh and Lough Swilly on the Inishowen peninsula. It was there that many of the test subject's closest Irish-associated genetically matching surnames concentrate in early census data. In the surrounding area one finds references to the test subject's Irish genetic relatives in its many castles and placenames. The test subject's M222 genetic marker reaches its highest concentration in the male population that surrounds the historic structure of Aileach and that mutation first appeared in that area potentially many thousands of years ago. Mr. McCollister is a direct descendant of some of the first males to colonize Ireland after the last Ice Age.

The Expansion of M222+ve Inishowen Males throughout Ireland and Scotland

Commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing and extensive Y-DNA Case Studies at Irish Origenes have revealed areas beyond Inishowen shores where M222+ve males predominate in the local male population, particularly along Irelands west coast (Moy River valley), Southeast Ulster (between Carlingford and Strangford Loughs) and Southwest Scotland (Galloway). What is particularly notable is that the M222+ve males along the west coast of Ireland have acquired new surnames like Higgins and Halloran which are not associated with Inishowen, see Figure 11. Clues as to why these M222+ve Gaels began invading and colonising throughout Ireland and Scotland can be found in their origin; Donegal (Dun na nGall 'base or fort of the Foreigner') and the surnames they took with them like Gallagher (O Gallchobhair 'Foreign helper') who upon settling along the west coast of Ireland acquired surnames like Higgins ('Viking') and Halloran (O'hAllmhurain 'Pirate or Stranger from overseas'). Modern DNA science indicates that just after the appearance of surnames (1000AD) the M222+ve Gaels of Inishowen had formed an alliance with Scandinavian 'Vikings' and that Christian-Gael and Heathen-Gall had together raided and colonised throughout Ireland, an embarrassing alliance that has disappeared from Irish historical records. Research at Irish Origenes has also discovered at least one individual with recent Inishowen ancestry having Scandinavian DNA, evidence of Scandinavian contact with Inishowen.

Figure 11: The Hiberno-Norse Conquests and the spread of M222+ve males. At some point after the appearance of paternally inherited surnames within Ireland, and during Irelands Viking-Age, an alliance was formed between Inishowen Gaels and Vikings (1). These Inishowen Gaels and their Viking allies raided and settled along the west of Ireland and Southeast Ulster (2). They took with them their surnames and Y-DNA genetic markers which are found today in the areas they settled. Where they settled they acquired new surnames like Higgins, Halloran and Milligan. Some of the M222+ve males that settled in Southeast Ulster participated in the Conquest of Galloway in Southwest Scotland (3) where they acquired new 'Scottish' surnames like MacClelland and Cairns.

In about 1100AD Magnus Barelegs, the Viking King of Norway (1073-1103AD) arrived in Ireland and recruited an army of M222+ve Gaels for his conquest of Southwest Scotland and what later became known as Galloway ('land of the foreign Gael' the term used by the Scots to describe the colonising M222+ve Irish Gaels). Magnus was later murdered in County Down in mysterious circumstances and is buried near Downpatrick. Many of the medieval Scots Clans that dominated Southwest Scotland appear among the test subject's closest Scottish-associated recurring genetic matches, see Figure 12. These Scots Clans are the descendants of the Hiberno-Norse army led by Magnus Barelegs.

Figure 12: The M222+ve Medieval Clans and Families of Southwest Scotland. Southwest Scotland was dominated by a number of Clans of Gaelic Irish origin who appear among the test subject's closest recurring genetic matches (red arrows). These M222+ve Clans were descended from Gaelic Irish who conquered Galloway in about 1100AD, who brought with them their surnames and M222 genetic marker.

Evidence of a more recent Paternal Ancestral link with Scotland

An examination of the test subject's closest genetic surname matches reveals the Scottish-associated surnames McBride, Merryweather (an anglicised form of 'McWhirter') and Cairns, see Figure 1. An examination of the Scottish Origenes surnames of Scotland map which details where farmers with each Scottish surname concentrated in early census data reveals that MacBride and McWhirter are associated with the Isle of Arran and neighbouring Ayrshire respectively, see Figure 13. The MacBrides live side by side with Scottish MacAlisters together with farmers with Irish surnames like Kelly and Murphy, see Figure 13. Hence the Y-DNA results would appear to indicate that M222+ve males may have colonised the Isle of Arran after the conquest of Galloway. It is within the Isle of Arran that the test subject's direct male ancestor may have subsequently acquired the McAlister surname.

Figure 13: Tentative links with the MacAlisters of the Isle of Arran. An examination of the Isle of Arran reveals MacAlisters (red arrow) together with MacBrides (yellow arrow) who appear as a close recurring genetic match to the test subject, while in neighbouring Ayrshire one also finds MacWhirters (yellow arrow, anglicised 'Merryweather'). Scottish MacBrides and MacWhirters are exclusive to Southwest Scotland where the Irish M222 genetic marker is prevalent in the male population.

How to confirm the MacAlister Paternal Ancestral Genetic Homeland

Confirmation that the test subject's paternal ancestor originated in the area just north of Buncrana on the Inishowen peninsula will require the recruitment of farmers called Doherty from that area for commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing.

As more people participate in commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing closer genetic matches to surnames associated with the Isle of Arran should emerge and hence confirm that the test subject's M222+ve paternal ancestor settled there and acquired the MacAlister surname.




The Best in Today in Macalister History
The Battle of Worcester &
MacAlister Clan Centre Established

Lynn McAlister, MA, FSA Scot
CMA Historian

Wauconda, IL

Editor's Introduction – In September 2011, CMA Historian Lynn McAlister launched a online series entitled Today in Macalister History ( To this undertaking, she brought deep expertise earned through her graduate study in Scottish History at the University of Aberdeen and her election as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Due to other commitments, Lynn decided to put further installments on hold while giving this journal permission to reprint articles especially selected by her. For this issue, Lynn chose postings that appeared in 2012 and 2014.


The Battle of Worcester

First Posted on 3 Sep 2014

On the 3rd of September 1651, the Battle of Worcester was fought between the Royalist forces of Charles II, most of them Scots, and the Parliamentarian forces of Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army. Cromwell's forces outnumbered the Royalists by at least two to one. It was the final battle in Charles's attempt to retake his father's kingdom, and Charles's defeat marked the end of the civil wars that had been going on in England, Scotland, and Ireland for nearly a decade.

Until 1649, Scotland's political establishment had considered the English Parliamentarians their allies. Both parties sought to limit royal control: The Parliamentarians believed that the king should be subject to Parliament (or at least willing to work with it), and the Scottish Covenanters believed that he should be subject to God (by which they meant the Assembly of the Presbyterian kirk). However, when the Parliamentarians executed Charles I in January 1649, Scots of all political stripes were outraged. Charles was, after all, not only King of England - he was King of Scotland, too, and his Scottish subjects felt that England had no right to execute Scotland's king without a Scottish trial.

In response, the Scots proclaimed Charles's son, currently in exile on the Continent, King Charles II. Cromwell then gathered an army and marched into Scotland, where on 3 September 1650 - a year to the day before the Battle of Worcester - he defeated the Scots at Dunbar and took control of Edinburgh. The younger Charles was brought back to Scotland and crowned at Scone on New Year's Day, 1651. Like the later Stuart exiles, however, the new king intended to rule all of Britain, not just Scotland. Although his general, David Leslie, urged him to remain in Scotland, where he had the greatest support, Charles decided to take his army into England. Cromwell left part of his forces in Scotland and turned south in pursuit. The Royalists' march toward London was halted at Worcester.

Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester. (From Wikipedia Commons - originally published by Machell Stace.

Initially, the Royalists appeared to be getting the better of their enemies at the Battle of Worcester, but in the end Charles's army was utterly defeated. Malcolm Atkin, in his study of this battle, says that "2,000-4,000 Scots [were] killed in the battle. Many more were wounded and a considerable number of these must have died in the following days or weeks. Most of the survivors were captured." With the help of English sympathisers, Charles himself escaped, but few of the Scots who had fought for him ever made it home. Thousands of them were shipped to the colonies - Barbados, New England, and Virginia - and sold as indentured servants, among them at least three Macalisters who landed in Boston early in 1652. (Another three of this name were sent to Virginia a few months earlier, but it's possible they had been captured the previous year at Dunbar, which also produced many transportees. These are the earliest New World Macalisters on record.)

Macalisters at home, too, were affected by this defeat. After Worcester, Cromwell quickly conquered all of Scotland outside the Western Highlands. Scotland was declared a protectorate of England, and the government in London hoped to unite the two countries formally. Discontent among the Western clans (many of whom, as Episcopalians and Catholics, were excluded from the newly decreed religious toleration) and resistance to military occupation led to Glencairn's Rising (1654), but after that had been put down, Cromwell's General Monck "established a measure of law and order in the Highlands which had not been seen for centuries, enforcing it with the active co-operation of the clan chiefs. By offering them treaties of surrender to sign, Monck ... implicitly recognised their own authority over their clansmen, so bolstering their positions of power." In fact, in some ways the Highlanders were better off under Cromwell than they ever had been. Certainly the restoration in 1660 of Charles II "saw a return to widespread disorder."

Still, for nine years after the defeat at Worcester, Scotland was a conquered nation, subdued by a military presence and ruled directly from London.

© Lynn McAlister 2014


Macalister Clan Centre Established

First Posted on 19 Sep 2012

In September 1984, Angus Macalister of Glenbarr presented his home, Glenbarr Abbey, to the Macalister clan worldwide for use as a clan centre.

The Macalisters of Glenbarr descend from Ranald Mòr, a younger son of Angus vic Ean Dhù who was chief of the clan c. 1515. More directly, their ancestor was Ranald Macalister of Skerinish (1715-1762), factor to the MacDonalds of Kingsburgh in Skye. Ranald married Anne MacDonald, Kingsburgh's daughter, and together they had twelve children, although not all of them survived. The family is most famous for its role in sheltering Prince Charles Edward Stuart as he escaped after Culloden: Flora Macdonald (Anne's future sister-in-law) brought him to Skye disguised as her maid; he stayed in the Macalisters' home and left the following morning wearing one of Ranald's kilts

But the family's later adventures were also impressive. One of their sons, Norman, became the governor of Prince of Wales Island (now Penang). Another, Alexander, purchased the Strathaird estate in Skye (his daughter Janet married into the dispossessed Tarbert line), and Keith purchased the initial properties from which his brother Matthew would build up the Glenbarr estate. Later generations were prominent in the East India Company and in law, and they played a key role in colonising New South Wales. Two of them died in shipwrecks.

The Abbey, built by Ranald's son Matthew (and completed in the 1840s by Matthew's son Keith), is on the Glenbarr estate in western Kintyre. Glenbarr itself was purchased bit by bit during the early 19th century; it includes most of the lands that once made up the Loup estate. It is the last property in Kintyre to be owned by one of the clan's leading families. (Nearby Torrisdale Castle was owned by the Strathaird family, but it was sold by them in the late 19th century. The current owners are an unrelated family called Macalister Hall.) By 1843, Keith Macalister was the only heritor in Killean & Kilkenzie parish who lived on his property year-round rather than leaving it to the care of factors.

Angus Macalister died in 2007. Today as he wished Glenbarr Abbey serves as a clan centre, and Macalisters come from all over the world to learn about their history and celebrate their heritage.

© Lynn McAlister 2012


Postscript – Susan and I had the honor and pleasure of staying at Glenbarr Abbey overnight in June 2004. Driving down the peaceful A83 highway along the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula heading from Tarbert to Campbeltown, one finds a modest turnoff with the sign indicating "Glenbarr." After another couple of turns along country lanes, the Abbey itself - the MacAlister Clan Centre - abruptly comes into memorable view over a hedgerow as our cover for this issue shows.

We were the only guests of Angus and Jean that night, and they were wonderful hosts who gave us thorough tours of the mansion and grounds. Angus did the house; Jean showed us the grounds, including the Barr Water, a highly fishable salmon stream in season.

Glenbarr Abbey is a large property that today is in financial jeopardy. All McAlisters should consider making a contribution toward its preservation. Visit for details.

The Editor

Report from the Genealogy Committee
Frank McAlister, Robert C. McAllister
Jeanne Bowman & Cynthia Bresson

CMA Genealogy Committee

Approaching 100,000 McAlister Descendants!

In the last issue of the journal we announced that we are on the brink of surpassing 100,000 McAlister descendants in our genealogy database, and challenged CMA members to contribute their genealogy to the Genealogy Committee if you haven't done so already. As a reminder, the CMA will provide a free two-year membership to the member who provides new information that puts us over the 100,000 threshold! Submissions will be processed in the order they are received by the Committee (email address above). Don't wait – contact us today!

New and Merged Ancestral Lines

New Line: D24 – Duncan McAlester. Duncan McAlester is considered the founder of the D24 line. He married Margaret McAlester in Campbeltown, Scotland on 30 Jun 1750. They probably were second or third cousins. They had three children that we know of between 1750 and 1756: John, Ronald and Mary. Of the three, Ronald is the only one for whom we have further records, and the D24 line flows from him.

Ronald McAlaster was born in August 1755, and he married Janet Cordiner in 1775. Ronald was a church sexton (caretaker of a church and its graveyard). The D24 line includes more than 350 descendants – right up to the present day – of three of Ronald and Janet's six children, all born in Campbeltown between 1777 and 1792: John, Ronald and William. Although their surname spellings were different across various records, the most common was McAlister.

Duncan McAlester's (and John, Ronald and William's) descendants are known today to live in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and yes, still in Scotland! The first of the line to emigrate to the USA was Isabella McKerral (b. 1849) – the daughter and tenth child of Janet McAlister (b. 1805) and Angus McKerral. Isabella was born in Campbeltown in 1849. She and her husband Duncan Fowler arrived in the US in 1880 and settled in Michigan where they were farmers. Their daughter Jessie Fowler, born in 1885, was the first person in the D24 line who we unquestionably know to have been born in the US.

The first D24 immigrant to Canada was Williamina McCoag – the daughter of Janet McAlister. Williamina and her husband William Stewart went to Canada in 1907 after being married in Scotland the same year.

Also noteworthy were the five daughters of James McAlister (b. 1895) - a Glasgow and Belfast shipbuilder who worked on the Titanic. The five young ladies all emigrated from Glasgow to Toronto over an eleven-year period between 1946 and 1957. The first to move was war bride Jean McAlister, who married Canadian Air Force serviceman Ken Gillespie in Glasgow in December 1944. Daughters Margaret and Diane arrived in 1948, and Rena the following year, and each met and married a Canadian within the next four years. Fifth sister Chris married in Scotland and had two sons there, and they emigrated as a family in 1957. Their brother John McAlister arrived with his wife and two children in 1966.

Thanks go to new CMA member Erik Riswick ( for submitting the above narrative description and providing his genealogy that established the D24 line.

New Line: D25 – Donald McAlister. Kathleen Metcalfe of Anchorage, AK (mailto:teenyray@ is searching for the origins of her McAlister ancestors based on the oral history that the family was originally from the Isle of Arran. At this point she has traced her family back to New Brunswick, Canada as she describes below.

Kathleen provided some wonderful photographs of her adventurous family, and she reports the following: "When we started we only really knew that our grandfather was James Kerr McAlister and his parents were Peter and Caroline (Kane or Kean) and that they were from Vancouver. Through a friend (and we found Peter and Caroline McAlister on Canadian Census data in Vancouver and from there, linked them to Donald McAlister in New Brunswick.

"D25 Donald McAlister appears on the 1861 Canadian Census in Durham, Restigouche Co., New Brunswick. He is listed as a farmer, is 34 years old and married to Mary Kerr with four young children including Peter McAlister who is three years old. The family is found at this location in New Brunswick until in 1891. Donald and Mary died in Vancouver (1888 and 1890). By 1891, their son Peter is married to Caroline Kean. In 1901, Peter is listed as a Customs Officer and a Presbyterian with six children: Walter, Edward, Lorne, James K, Ronald "Archie" and Peter McAlister.

"According to my aunt Caroline (McAlister) Gullufsen, Lorne was the first of the sons to migrate north and was a Customs Officer at Lake Bennett near Carcross in the Yukon Territory. Brother Walter followed; he is described as a very nice quiet fellow who was an outdoorsman. Walter is listed as a miner on ship manifests and on a census data. James K. followed arriving in Skagway during the spring of 1914. He got work as a longshoreman there but soon found work on a small mail/freight boat as a purser and was described as being 'good with numbers."

James K. McAlister married Helen "Nellie" Flynn in 1918. Their daughter Caroline was born in Skagway 1919 and shortly afterward the family moved to Juneau, Alaska. James K. McAlister was a territorial auditor for Alaska. My mother and her sisters were born there and most of the family remains in Alaska today.

Peter & Caroline McAlister family with six boys L-R: Ronald, Lorne, Walter, Edward, James K, and son Peter in front.

L-R: unidentified couple, man with hand on cheek is James Kerr McAlister, to his left (blurry) Kathleen McAlister, blurry girls Marilyn and Patricia McAlister, Walter McAlister, unidentified couple. Helen (Flynn) McAlister front. Taken at Christmas time in their Juneau, Alaska family home. (Photos provided by Kathleen Metcalfe).

New Line: W33 – William McAllister. The little information we have for William McAllister is that he married Ellen McCaullaugh/McAuley. We know of two children of this couple, Mary (b. 1843) and William, both born in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Marcus Millet of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ( descends from Mary and provided a GEDCOM of his McAllister ancestors and also some interesting family history that was passed down to him which is presented below.

The first member of the (McAllister) family to take up residence in the Eastern Townships of Quebec was Uncle John McAuley who left Belfast, Ireland in 1860. After debarking at Quebec City he left for Stanstead in an ox-cart (see depiction of a pioneer ox-cart on the HBC building in Edmonton, Alberta). It was the only means of travel to that section of the country.

Mary McAllister migrated from Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland, and arrived at Quebec City in August 1864. Steam ship was more prevalent at the time of her voyage. She was accompanied by her brother, William McAllister. From Quebec City they journeyed to Compton using the old Grand Trunk Railway in operation since two years. In 1864, Mary McAllister moved to Sherbrooke to live for the rest of her life.

On 11 Nov 1867 Michael Millet and Mary McAllister married. Of this marriage came a family of nine children, six sons and three daughters. In 1871, they purchased land in what was a dense forest traversed by an American Indian trail. They were about the third family to settle, and the Indians still camped in close proximity on the shores of the river Magog. After the land was cleared their home was built on what is today the corner of Prospect Street and Argyle Avenue.

Michael and Mary McAllister Millet (Photos courtesy of Phillip Moore).

When Mary passed away on October 31st, 1932, at the age of 90 years of age, she was one of the pioneers of the North Ward. During the 68 years she lived at Sherbrooke (1864-1932), she had witnessed its growth from a tiny hamlet to a thriving city. Two children remained in the family home. Miss Mary Alice Millet died April 23, 1953. Richard Henry Millet continued to live in the old home until 1960. The W33 line shows 39 descendant records.

Ancestral Line Updates

Update on J02 – John McAlister. New member Phillip Moore of North Little Rock, AR ( sent a GEDCOM file of his research into the J02 line which led to more than 70 new descendants in the J02-1-6 James Richard McAlister branch of the family who generally went by the name Richard. Richard was born 1828 in Holmes Co., MS, married Malinda Jane Musick in 1849, and died 1852 in Van Buren Co., AR. We know of only one child of this couple, David Jackson McAlister (b. 1850 in Shake Rag Community near Clinton, Van Buren Co., Arkansas) so he accounts for all of the new descendants identified by Phillip.

After Richard died in 1852 Malinda then married William H McKinney in 1854. On the 1860 Census Malinda, 28, now a McKinney, and David Jackson McCallister, 10, are living with Malinda's and William's first three children. David married Margaret Morgan 16 Aug 1868 (Arkansas County Marriages Index-Van Buren). When Malinda and William McKinney died in 1870 the children were split up and three are living with David and Margaret on the 1870 Census (one other with the related Griggs family, and two with the Hutcheson family). By the 1880 Census, David and Margaret had three of their own children.

The J02 Line Coordinator is J. A. McAlister of Lonoke, AR and a charter Member of CMA. In communicating with J.A. regarding this update to the J02 line he provided some interesting recollections which are shared below.

Shortly after the 1993 CMA Gathering, my first cousins, Rae Perry, Lois Hartwick and my wife visited with Ira Wayland McAlister. There is a long story about meeting Ira Wayland and two of sons, Richard and Raymond. I did not get a chance to get the lineage from Richard before he died. Raymond lives in FL. Raymond did take the Y-DNA 37 test, and we match.

Wm. (Bill) McAlister J02-1-8 died in the Civil War. Before he died he had three children. His widow Celia Potts married John Manuel. The daughter of Wm. (Bill) McAlister and Celia Potts, Catherine Dicy, married John Manuel's son, Phillip Manuel. Shirley and I attend the Manuel Reunion most every year.

Phillip adds to J.A.'s oral history with the following memory: "We knew Ira Wayland McAlister as 'Uncle Mack.' He had been to my parents' home a number of times. I know I've met Richard and Raymond, but my recollection is hazy. I recall my mother seemed fond of them and would always discuss them in one breath as 'Richard and Raymond.' Uncle Mack would sometimes visit during celebratory occasions and was comfortable just hanging around for hours."

There are now 1,823 J02 records in the CMA Database.




Family Tree DNA
McAlister Project Report

Nancy Hudson, Jeanne Bowman & J A McAlister

FTDNA McAlister Project Administrators

We have 14 new members to our McAlister project since last quarter, bringing our membership up to 279 members. We have also seen an increase in the number of additional DNA tests ordered this quarter. New orders include Y-DNA tests, BigY, mtDNA, and Family Finder. Currently, results from 19 new tests are pending. I have created an Excel Spreadsheet to show the tests ordered in the project to date and you will find it at the bottom of this document.

Autosomal Tests (Family Finder)

The FTDNA autosomal test is known as Family Finder. A number of McAlister's who are members of Clan McAlister of America have tested with other companies such as 23 and Me and We have two criteria for joining the McAlister Project; namely, your surname is McAlister (in one of the many spellings) or you are a member of Clan McAlister of America. If you have tested with another company, please consider joining our project and uploading your results to FTDNA. The transfer is free, but FTDNA does charge $19.00 to unlock all the features they offer. Here is the link that explains step-by-step what you need to do to transfer your results:

Here are the instructions taken from the FTDNA web site for Autosomal Transfers:

If you or a family member have previously tested your autosomal DNA at 23andMe or AncestryDNA, you can transfer your results to FT DNA by uploading your raw data file. After transferring your file, your autosomal data is uploaded to our database, one of the world's largest genetic genealogy databases.

When you transfer, for free, you will receive a list of your autosomal matches from our database and have access to our Family Finder - Matrix, which allows you to select and compare the autosomal DNA relationship between up to ten of your matches at one time. After transferring, you can unlock all Family Finder features, which include the Chromosome Browser, myOrigins, and ancientOrigins for only $19.

Please note that you can only transfer the following file versions: 23andMe V3, 23andMe V4, AncestryDNA V1, AncestryDNA V2

To transfer your autosomal DNA results if you are a new customer and do not yet have a Family Tree DNA kit:

  1. On the Family Tree DNA homepage, in the upper-left corner, click DNA Tests to display the drop-down menu.
  2. On the drop-down menu, click Autosomal Transfer and you are then directed to the autosomal DNA transfer page.
  3. Complete the fields by entering the first and last name, email address, and gender of the person whose data you are transferring.
  4. After entering this information, click Join Today. Note that upon clicking Join Today, you are agreeing to FTDNA's Terms of Service. You are then directed to the upload page.
  5. On the upload page, click browse file to browse to the autosomal DNA results file you want to upload, or drag and drop the file on the boxed area. The file will start uploading. Note that this could take several minutes. Once uploaded, the name of the file you uploaded will be displayed in the boxed area.
  6. On your dashboard, in the Family Finder section, you can click Matches to see your matches or click Matrix to compare the relationship between your matches. You will need to sign the Release Form before you can proceed to review your matches or access the Matrix. Note that you can sign the release form electronically or you can sign at a later time.

    On the welcome page, your kit number is displayed. It is important to keep this kit number for your records. You will need this number to sign in to your kit in the future. Also, an email will be sent to the email you entered on the transfer page. This email will contain the password for your kit sign in.

  7. Click Go to MyFTDNA to go to your kit's dashboard.

Beneficiary Information

We would like to stress the importance of identifying a beneficiary for your FTDNA account. Currently, only 92 kits in the project have specified a beneficiary. The Excel Spreadsheet included in this article shows the status of whether there is a beneficiary listed for each kit.

The Beneficiary Information page is where you can enter and update the information of your kit's beneficiary. This is the person who will be granted control of your myFTDNA account, your DNA test results, and any stored DNA sample in the event of your death. After they contact us, they will gain complete control of the kit and will be authorized to order additional tests with any DNA that may remain in stock.

This page asks you for the beneficiary's name, phone number and email address

Once you have entered and saved this information, a link to a printable form will be available. Note that because the form uses the information on your Contact Information page, you should update that page before proceeding. If you would like a hard copy of this to include in your will or with your other legal documents, click the Printable Form link. This will take you to the form. Verify your information, print it, and have it notarized.

You will also find a copy of this form on page 69 of the summer 2017 issue of this journal that you can fill out by hand.

To access your Beneficiary Information page:

  1. Sign in to your myFTDNA account.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the page, click on your name/kit number, and click Account Settings from the drop-down menu. -Or- In the upper-left corner of the page, click on myFTDNA, and click Account Settings from the slide-out menu.
  3. On the Account Settings page, click the Beneficiary Information tab. The Beneficiary Information page is displayed.
McAlister Project Member Status

The participation status of the 279 participants in the FTDNA McAlister Project is summarized in the table accessible here, which will open in a separate browser window. Having such broad participation is great, but there are options that can be purchased that can potentially enhance your personal knowledge regarding DNA matches and more in-depth understanding of your origins.

We encourage to locate your Kit # and see your current status in regards to these options.

Table code: a blank entry means that you originally purchased that test and your results are available. The symbol Φ indicates a test ordered but not batched while a B shows a test that has been batched with no results. An X indicates a potential test that has not been ordered.

Submitted by Nancy S. Hudson




Query Editors Report
Robert C. McAllister & Jeanne Bowman

Query Editors

Genealogical queries to CMA are handled by our Query Editors through on-line submissions to Each query is carefully researched against the CMA database, and often also against other resources, before the reply is made. Please let the Query Editors know if you have any additional information to pass along regarding this issue's queries.

We begin this issue's queries with a significant update on the 29 Dec 2016 query from Laura Waddle, that appears on p. 70 of the summer issue. Laura was looking "for more information on Ann McAllister born approximately 1801-1804 in Adair County Kentucky. She married Peter Bryant 13th of February 1821 in Adair, CO. . ." Query Editor Robert McAllister promptly identified her family line as CMA's JL03. After returning from several months' sojourn in Scotland, Robert added more information and forwarded Laura's query to James McCallister, coordinator of the JL03 line. We pick up from there with James' input.

Response from James McCallister: I am writing in response to a copy of an email I received from Robert C. McAllister to you, regarding Ann McCallister Bryant of Adair Co., KY.

A couple years ago I did some research into the Bryant family because some evidence indicates that my ancestor was John McCallister, Sr. of Adair Co. The household of John McCallister, Sr. was three houses away from the John Bryant family in the 1820 Adair County Census. Three of the McCallister children were Ann, John, Jr., and Samuel.

John Jr. and his family moved away from Adair Co. in 1832 and disappeared from history while Samuel. My earliest McCallister ancestor is William Robert McCallister who first appeared in Gibson Co., IN in 1845. I have found documentation that he said that he was born in Adair Co., KY in 1825. I have shown that he was not a son of Samuel. John Jr. had a son of the correct age to have been William however, I can find no record to show that John Jr. was William's father.

There was a John McClister in the Russell Co. Census of 1830. (Russell Co. had been created out of an eastern part of Adair Co. on 14 Dec 1825) However, this family was not in Adair Co. at the time of William's birth in 1825. There could have been other McCallister families who were only in Adair Co. at the time of William's birth and were not there at the time of any census.

If I could find where John Jr. went after leaving Kentucky perhaps there is documentation that would prove whether or not John Jr. was the father of William McCallister. Since families often traveled together, perhaps the McCallister and Bryant families came to Kentucky in the same group. When some of the children left Kentucky, perhaps they traveled together. This led me to investigate where the Bryant children went when they left the state.

John Bryant, the father of John and Peter, was born on 1 Jan 1760 at King William Parish, Cumberland, VA. The first record of John Bryant in the Glen's Fork area was an ad that appeared in 1803 advertising for the return of a stray to John Briant. A delinquent tax list of Wayne Co, KY in 1804 contained an entry: "John Briant – removed to Adair Co."

John and Elizabeth had eight children when they arrived in the Glen's Fork area:

Born after arriving in Adair County were:

John Bryant purchased 100 acres from John Mellinger and wife Peggy. [According to a posting from Brenda Bryant Venaas on 5 Oct 2001, titled "History Old Bryant."] Peggy's maiden name was Margaret DeMoss. John Bryant's son George W. married Sarah DeMoss and his daughter Rachel married Peter DeMoss.

Michael C. Watson wrote that there were two listings for John Bryant in the 1802 tax list for Adair Co. One entry was for 100 acres and one for 170 acres. [An Adair County Kentucky History, Vol. 2, p. 587.] Watson also wrote that the first Adair Co. grand jury empaneled in July of 1802 contained Peter DeMoss and John Bryant. [An Adair County Kentucky History, Vol. 1, p. 53.]

There was another John Bryant who was born in 1762 in Buckingham Co., VA. He married Judy Winfrey and was listed in the 1795 Militia of Green Co, KY. He also appeared on the 1800 tax list in Green Co. (Adair Co. was created from part on Green on 11 Dec 1801.) This John Bryant left Adair Co. before 1810 to move to Tennessee and then on the Alabama. Some sources state that the John Bryant who died in Adair Co. was married to Elizabeth Hardin. No evidence has ever surfaced to substantiate this claim. [Source: email from Brenda Bryant Venaas on 29 Jan 2001] See the following website for more information on this:

There is no record that John Bryant, (father of Ann) ever served in the Revolutionary War. He did not receive a land grant, and his widow did not apply for a pension. They had a retarded daughter, Sarah; no one applied for a pension on her behalf. This John Bryant is not on the 1840 Veteran's list. [A posting from Brenda on 5 Oct 2001, titled "History Old Bryant."]

Some researchers have decided that the surname Bryan and Bryant refer to the same family. Their ancestor chart has John Bryant (1768-1841) being the father of the John and Peter Bryant, who married Ann and Hannah McCallister. They claim that John Sr. was the son of Capt. William Bryan and Mary Boone. This claim is false as John, the son of William Bryan and Mary Boone, died in Dec 1779, at age 11 of illness. When William Bryan died in 1780 he left nothing to John because John had died within the previous year. See his will at:

On 30 Jan 1816, John McAllister, Jr. married Sally (Sarah) Smith, daughter of William Smith. They were married by a person named Waggener. [Adair County Kentucky Marriage Records 1802-1840, p. 53, compiled by Adair County Genealogical Society, 1998. (name spelled McAllister)]

On 17 Jan 1821, Hannah McAllister married John Bryant. On 13 Feb 1821, Ann McAllister married Peter Bryant. They were married by the same Waggener. [Adair Co. KY Marriage Records 1802-1840, p. 72.]

These three, John Jr., Hannah, and Ann were all children of John McAllister, Sr.

The source of the following is Bryants and Hardwicks of Adair by Aaron E. Pyles, p. 65, found at Adair Co. Library. Although published, some of the information may not be accurate and should be verified by other sources.

The children of Peter and Ann Bryant were:

  1. Alexander, b. 25 Nov. 1821, died 4 Sep 1873
  2. Charles "Squire" Bryant b. 27 Oct 1823 in Adair Co., KY., d. 29 Jun 1903 in Louisville
  3. Margaret Ann, b. 17 Oct 1827, d. after 1887
  4. David, b. 1829
  5. Daniel, b. 1832
  6. Elizabeth, b. 1834, d. 1902 in Russell Co., KY
  7. Peter M., b. 1836
  8. John M., b. 1840
  9. Sarah, b. 1844

Several of these children left Kentucky. John and Hannah spent some time in Indiana between 1830 and 1840 but the Adair census shows that they had returned to Adair by then. George moved to Morgan County Indiana and died there in about 1845. Alexander and wife Elizabeth Allen appear in the 1840 census in Perry county, Indiana. I have found nothing to indicate that Ann and Peter ever left Adair County.

I hope that you find some of this information useful, or at least interesting. If you ever find any information about Ann having any contact with her brother John after 1832, please share it with me.


Query of 25 Feb 2017 from Lisa Mason, I am seeking to confirm whether my ancestors are part of the McAllister Clan of Scotland. I have records that go back generations for Patrick McAllister who was born on 30 May 1816 in Bonhill, Dumbarton, Scotland and died 26 Nov 1891 in the same location. Any help confirming this family is part of the clan is appreciated.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you very much for your posting on the Clan McAlister of America Query page.

Your question is a good one. Membership in Clan McAlister of America (a non-profit corporation) is simply a matter of joining and paying modest annual dues. Another version of the question might assume that in past times, i.e., prior to the mid-1800s, there was some sort of "official" requirement or "membership list" for belonging to The McAllister Clan in Scotland. Nothing of the sort ever happened.

Clans were loose associations formed for mutual protection. The Highlands were wild and lawless (as we understand the term today) and protection was needed from raiders, from the crown (especially prior to ~1650) and from other clans. Biological relations, although common, were not necessarily required for clan membership. There was no secret handshake. It was much more tribal. Looking back from the 21st century, we tend to generalize but at the time, on the ground, things were much more complex. For instance, a McAllister living in Kintyre in 1795 was likely considered to be a clansman but his allegiance may have been to a completely different group of McAllisters than your Patrick in Dumbarton.

So, your Patrick, as a McAllister, was definitely eligible to be considered a clansman. Whether or not he actually considered himself part of a clan, or participated in raids or battles, is a separate question altogether. I hope this helps.

Reply from Lisa: Robert, thank you for your response. I have been away from home traveling out West also. My genealogy information is all on so I am attaching a GEDCOM download. The McAllister lineage begins with my grandfather Patrick McAllister, b. 1898 back to Patrick McAllister b. 1816 in Dumbarton, Scotland. Is this lineage anywhere in your database already? Do you have information further back than Patrick McAllister b. in 1816?

Response from R.C. McAllister: That was quick! Yes, I have received your GEDCOM and your membership payment. I do confirm that the only portion of the GEDCOM file that is of interest to CMA is the McAllister line, which seems to start with Patrick who married Catherine Glen down to John Thaddeus McAllister.

I have searched the CMA computer database and am unable to locate any family members listed in your GEDCOM. I will forward these data to our Database Manager committee and they will likely constitute a brand new family line. That said, since you are the one most knowledgeable about this family, would you like to be the Line Coordinator? (see I'll keep you posted.

I must say that five successive generations of men all named Patrick must have been a genealogical nightmare for you to track down. I've seen other examples of Scottish naming patterns where, for instance, John's first born is named Angus, whose first born is named John whose firstborn is named Angus, etc., etc. But this is the first one I've seen where the given name is repeated steadily for five generations!

Reply from Lisa: Thank you for confirming only deceased people are added to the database. There are actually six Patrick McAllister generations starting with the generation you stated below thru Patrick McAllister, b. 6 Apr 1924 and d. 17 Nov 2016. Patrick who died last November never knew of the family lineage so did not name his son Patrick, nor did his son. However, Patrick's grandson named his child Patrick a couple years ago after I shared the family history. Most of the family history in Scotland was researched in person by my Mom's cousin on a long trip to Scotland in the 1980s. Yes, I can be the line coordinator.


Query of 11 Mar 2017 from Kimberly Nicole Ellison, I've Been studying my grandfather who was orphaned at a young age. We found that his father's side of the family comes from Scotland.

The grandfather who came from Scotland was John Ellyson, b. 1570 Avondale, Lanarkshire, Scotland; d. 1660 Archers Hope, James City Co., VA. He married Ellin Hamilton, b. 1575 Avondale, Lanarkshire, Scotland; d. 1650 Archers Hope, James City Co., VA. They had one child, Robert Ellyson, b. 7 Sep 1589 at Newton Reigny, Cumberland, England; d. 1656 in Virginia.

John Ellyson's father is, Sir James Alison, Baron Alison of Avondale, b. 1550 Avondale, Lanarkshire, Scotland; d. 1620 Avondale. He married Lady Jean Wilson, Baroness Alison, b. 1544 Avondale; d. 1635 Avondale. They had two children other than John Ellyson, Criston Allison, b. 1579 Fife, Scotland; d. 1611 Fife and John Elison Ellyson, 1585-1660 b. Avondale; d. Archers Hope.

Sir James Alison father was John Alexander Ellison 1515-1570, b. 1515 Loupe, Argyll, Scotland; d. 1570 Avondale.

John Alexander Ellison's father was Alexander, Lord Isles MacAlister 1395-1481, b. Kintyre, Argyll, Scotland; d. Kintyre.

Would that make us part of the MacAlister clan even though our last name got changed to Ellison?

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you for your query and family history. Do you have any documentation to confirm your relationship to the people listed in your query? The reason I ask is that there is a huge gap in the dates as shown and you living in the 21st century.

For example, the time between a person's birth and their children's birth averages between 20 and 25 years, especially before 1800. Therefore, assuming you are, say, 60 years old and were born in 1957, your father's birth would have been about 1937, your grandfather's birth about 1912, your grandfather's father's birth about 1887 and your grandfather's grandfather's birth about 1862. (If you are less than 60, that 1862 date moves forward accordingly.)

So you see, there is no way your grandfather's grandfather was born anywhere near any of the dates in your message. Please clarify this and I'll be happy to review it again.


Query of 22 Mar 2017 from Jeffrey McAllister, My name is Jeffrey Arthur McAllister, b. 7 Jul 1978 in Tulare, CA. My wife is Carlena Katrice Norris McAllister.

My parents are Steven Allen McAllister, b. 1956 in Tulare, CA and Kimberley L. McAllister b. 1959, Fresno, CA.

My paternal grandparents are James Wheaton McAllister (possibly born Wheaton James McAllister and name changed by enlistment in the US Navy) and Katie McAllister. Their other children are Beth McAllister-Holmes and Donald McAllister

Paternal great-grandparents are Roy McAllister and Marie McAllister late of Lindsey, CA. Their other son is Ernie McAllister.

This is as far back as I can trace at this time due to a falling out with family over the Race of my wife and children.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you for the additional information. Census records after 1940 are still sealed. Consequently, I am only able to research pre-1940 events which would likely include James Wheaton McAllister's birth.

That said, do you know where and when James Wheaton McAllister was born and lived? Do you know Katie's maiden name? If they have died, you can request copies of their death certificates which will include additional useful information such as maiden name for Katie and a birthplace and date for Roy.

I ask these questions because the only James McAllisters, married to Katie, that I have found so far, were all born prior to 1900 or in England. Assuming your sequence of generations is correct, the James I found could not be your grandfather.

You mentioned race. I also have a mixed race family and can sympathize with you. Please send more info. I look forward to hearing from you.

Reply from Jeff: My grandmother's maiden name is Sellers. My grandfather was born October 10th still trying to get the year but he is in his 80s. Both are still alive and living in Tulare, CA. I believe they both grew up in Lindsey, CA. I will send any further information when I discover it.

Further information, Grandfather was born October 10 1928 in Missouri.

Reply from R.C. McAllister: We have been searching both our records and the Federal Census records for matches with your family. With the help of my colleague, Jeanne Bowman, we have found even more ancestors of yours. We have found that Leroy (Roy) McAllister's father was Thomas A. McAllister and we're pretty sure Thomas' father was named John Marshall McAllister. We are not done searching but wanted to alert you to the latest finds in case it agrees with other information you may have. We'll send more as it becomes available.


Query of 25 Mar 2017 from Linda Pillow, Looking for information on the parents of Neil McAllister, b. 1693 in the Colony of Pennsylvania; d. 5 Dec 1757 in Derry Township, Westmoreland, Colony of Pennsylvania. Married Jane in 1717. Believe he had a son, John McAllister, b. in 1720 in Chester, Colony of Pennsylvania; d. 11 Jul 1768 in Orange, Colony of North Carolina. John and Neil are both listed in an 1877 letter from Rev. E. F. Rockwell, D.D. to Rev William A. West. This source is from the Presbyterian Historical Society.

I am wondering about the parents of Neil McAllister, when did they come to the US and from where? Wonder also why they left Ireland and circumstances of that trip.

I am traveling to Ireland in May and curious about where the McAllisters originated.

Thank you so much for your assistance.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you very much for your posting on the Clan McAlister of America Query page. Good news. I have searched the CMA computer database and have located your line. Neil is the (oldest known) progenitor of the N06 line. There are 1155 records in this family line and over 500 pages of supporting documents.

Following is a summary of the 2013 merger between the J25 line (now retired) and N06.

Merger: J25 – Joseph McCallister – Merges into N06 – Neil McAllister.

J.A. McAlister, coordinator of the J25 line, provided documents that demonstrated that J25 Joseph McAlister was the great-grandson of the N06 progenitor. J.A. explains: In the "Glenn Raleigh Genealogy" you will find the transcribed Will of Michael Robinson. Michael had two daughters, Catherine and Margaret. Margaret married James McAllister (N06-2-3). They had a child, Joseph McAlister (J25).

Catherine married James Moore and they had a child Elizabeth "Betsy" Moore, which is referenced in the "Warren" family document. Joseph McAlister (J25) married his cousin Elizabeth "Betsy" Moore. So, Joseph McAlister (J25) connects in the N06 line as a child of James McAllister at (N06-2-3). J.A. also submitted some GEDCOM files that expanded the descendants of the N06 line, which previously had very few identified descendants (17) for a line dating back to the mid-1700s. From these GEDCOMs we were able to expand the following branches:

N06-2-1 Margaret McAllister, b. 1741 in PA; m. Andrew Patton, Sr.; d. 1808 in Orange Co., NC.

N06-2-2 Sarah McAllister, b. abt. 1745 in Lancaster Co., PA; m. Joseph Thompson; d. 1 Sep 1831 in Orange Co., NC.

N06-2-A Jane McAllister, b. abt. 1769 in NC; married three times; bur. Antioch Cemetery, Bethlehem Twp., Clark Co., IN.

The history of N06 Neil McAllister's family – including sons James, John, and Neil, Jr. – is the subject of an extensive article in the September 1996 issue of the Mac-Alasdair Clan. The article is a reprint of a portion of an excellent genealogy published in the book Thomas Thompson and Ann Finney of Colonial Pennsylvania and North Carolina by Jane Gray Buchanan. Jane graciously agreed to the republication in our journal. A brief summary drawn from that text follows.

The earliest known member of our McAllister family is Neil. Other members of the family of his generation have not been identified with certainty, but it is possible that Archibald McAllister (d. 1768, Cumberland Co., PA) was a relative. Land warranted to Archibald McAllister (A04 progenitor) in Lancaster Co., PA on 6 June 1737, as well as a tract he had received earlier, lay not far from that claimed by Neil McAllister. Many of Archibald's descendants remained in Pennsylvania, played prominent roles in the early history of that state and are generously documented. Perhaps further research will clarify the relationship, if any, to Neil.

On 25 Oct. 1738, Thomas Penn signed the warrant issued to "Neal McCalister" for 230 acres "situated on Conewago Creek in Donegal Township (Lancaster Co.) settled by Peter Haristones nine years ago," for which he agreed to pay fifteen pounds ten shillings for each hundred acres.

Neil was a member of Rev. John Roan's Presbyterian congregation in Lancaster, verified by the record of his contributions over the time period of 12 Nov 1745 through 6 May 1757. His will is dated 26 Dec 1751. Although his death did not occur until almost six years later, his health at the time of the writing must have been poor. The document is in the handwriting of Robert Mordah, one of the witnesses. No wife is mentioned; his "plantation" is bequeathed to Neil, likely the youngest of his sons. The three sons migrated from Lancaster Co., PA to Orange Co., NC in the 1750s and 1760s. We know of no other children by Neil.

An important point is that the CMA does not attempt to be the final authority on genealogy matters, especially individual lines. That function is for the Line Coordinators who are (obviously) most familiar and knowledgeable on their particular line. The CMA's function is to be the central data repository and to provide cross links between the various lines whenever possible. The CMA provides the "space" or forum while the actual folks involved provide the detailed knowledge.


Query of 3 Apr 2017 from Richard L. McAllister, CMA Line A01 – Just wondering, who was the first McAllister (any spelling) to arrive in this country?

Response from R.C. McAllister: Great question. If you learn the answer, please share it with us. That said, there are records of McAllisters in the western hemisphere shortly after the Pilgrims arrived ca. 1620.

Reply from Richard: Well, from Clan records, am I to assume that Angus, arriving in 1718 is the earliest on our records?

Reply from R.C. McAllister: Your assumption may be correct, but given the gaps in the available data, I'm unable to say with any certainty. The records for many immigrant McAllisters (any spelling) are incomplete and often do not say when they arrived. That said, what is the direction of this inquiry? In other words, assuming one does know the earliest McAllister in the western hemisphere or in the CMA records, how would that inform us about our genealogy?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Response from Cindy Bresson: There were a couple of Macs very early in New England (mid-1600s), transported as prisoners for fighting on the wrong side of the British king. Those are the earliest mention I have seen, but very possibly there could be others. There's an article in the spring 2017 CMA journal about some early McAllisters in upstate New York. Hope you & Peggy are well. Have been trying to talk my dad into a visit to WV, but he's had some serious health problems this winter. He's on the mend now.


Query of 3 Apr 2017 from Amy Webb, William McAllister, b. 4 Aug 1796 in Campbell Co., VA, d. 28 Sep 1854 in Warren, KY. Father: James Garland McAllister, b. abt. 1755 in Campbell Co., VA; d. abt. Mar 1823 in Logan County, KY. Mother: Winifred Allen, b. 12 Nov 1756 in Spotsylvania, VA; d. abt. 1831 in Simpson, KY. Wife: Elizabeth M. Cook, b. 26 Aug 1802 in Spotsylvania, VA; d. 21 Mar 1878 in Logan Co., KY.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you very much for your posting on the Clan McAlister of America Query page. I'm a bit confused by the format of your query and the fact that you don't actually ask any question(s).

Nevertheless, I think you are asking about James Garland McAllister, b. abt. 1755 in Campbell Co., VA. Please let me know if that is correct.

Meanwhile, assuming that is correct, I have found your line in the CMA computer database. The progenitor was W15 William McAllister d. 1764/1765 in Louisa Co., VA, m. Elizabeth Garland d. bef. 1764.

Their fourth child (of 8) was W15-4 James McAllister, d. 1784 Louisa Co., VA, m. Winifred Allen abt. 1783. She was b. 12 Nov 1756, d. 13 Aug 1831 in Spotsylvania Co., VA. Winifred may well have been a second or third wife. We show no children for them.

Reply from Amy Webb: I apologize about the confusion. I'm trying to find out if/how I tie into the McAlister Clan and when the line came over from Scotland. I was given some information from a distant cousin who is now deceased.

The "last" McAllister listed in my family would be my 3x great-grandmother, Martha Ann McAllister, b. 1 Nov 1826 in Bowling Green, KY and died 10 Jul 1899 in Allen, IN. She married John Durham Hail on 14 Aug 1843. I have Martha's parents as William McAllister and Elizabeth M. Cook.

If James Garland McAlester and Winifred Allen didn't have any children, do you know who William McAllister's parents were? My cousin had James and Winifred listed.

Reply from R.C. McAllister: You weren't kidding about confusing. Your new information does not overlap the previous information. I wish you had shared all your info at one time, but based on your new information, here is what I found.

BTW, I have copied the J60 line coordinator, Juanita Bray at on this message. She may have more recent information.

I have highlighted the lineage that agrees with the new data you supplied.

J60 James McAllister b. Abt 1720/1727 in Scotland, d. Campbell Co, VA, m. Jain (Jane?) Culley (no additional data) per J60 Coordinator: Bob Law, Nashville, TN in Aug 1999. Their children were:

J60-1 George McAllister d. 1818.

J60-2 Mary McAllister, b. Aug 1749, d.14 Sep 1821 Campbell Co, VA, m. John Steele Helm abt. 1776, b. 14 Aug 1741 Middlesex Co., NJ, d. 20 Apr 1826 Campbell Co., VA. John was a Lt. of militia from Bedford Co., VA in Rev. War.

J60-3 John M. McAllister b. 20 Nov 1751 N. Hampton Co., PA d.1 Apr 1821 Campbell Co., VA ?? m. Elizabeth McReynolds on 30 Jan 1784, b. 15 Dec 1752, d. 2 Mar 1836 Northampton Co, PA.

J60-4 James McAllister d. bef. 1835 Logan Co., KY ? m. Mary Steele b. 30 Mar 1759.

J60-5 Nancy McAllister.

J60-6 Sally McAllister d. 1838 Butler Co., KY.

The children of James and Mary Steele McAllister were:

J60-4-1 Elizabeth McAllister b. abt. 1785 VA d. aft. 1860 VA m. Samuel Thompson 27 Dec 1802.

J60-4-2 Jane McAllister m. Leonard White 30 Sep 1816.

J60-4-3 William McAllister b. 4 Aug 1796 d. 28 Sep 1851 m. Elizabeth M. Cook b. 24 Mar 1819 Elizabeth and William's children:

J60-4-3-1 Susan M. McAllister b. abt. 1838.

J60-4-3-2 Harriett C. McAllister b. abt. 1840.

J60-4-3-3 George W. McAllister b. abt. 1843.

There may have been more children.

Response from Juanita Bray: I have gone through all that I have and I'm unable to find any further information on your William McAllister. My line is through his uncle, John McAllister who married Elizabeth McReynolds. William's father was John's brother James. I did find, however, correspondence from Patricia Healy who had done a great deal of research on this family trying to tie her William into it. She sent me some information concerning John McAllister and his father and mother. She asks that if I turn up any additional information about a William McAllister, to contact her. This correspondence was six years ago, but if you would like to try to contact her, the address that I have is I just talked to her and she will be glad to help any way that she can.

Reply from R.C. McAllister: I've been doing this type of genealogical research for many years. I've also been thinking more about your situation for a while and here are my conclusions.

Basing our searches on your late cousin's data and your own statement about your "3x great grandmother" has produced confusing, inconsistent results. Neither of those data sets include any sources nor do they include any known (to me) trace to you. In other words, the CMA does not have any way to check the accuracy of either your cousin's data or your '3x great grandmother' statement. Consequently, here is what I suggest.

Starting with your parent who you think is descended from a McAllister and working back one generation at a time, send for copies of their birth and death certificates. Those certificates contain the names of their respective parents and place of birth. Doing this back to the late 19th or early 20th century is relatively easy although it may take a while for copies to come from the various municipal offices. Using those data, make a complete tree including birth date, death date, spouse's name, any children's names, locations (be specific) back as far as you can. Yeah, genealogy takes effort but so does any worthwhile endeavor. When you have gone back as far as you can, copy/scan the original documents and send both the documents and tree to us. That will give us a "real" starting place rather than the possibly mythical names and dates we have searched so far.

I hope this helps and look forward to hearing from you.


Query of 3 Apr 2017 from Sandra Lister, I am trying to figure out if I am related to the McAlister family. My grandfather name was Benjamin Lister, died in Michigan in 1954. His family was originally from Scotland according to oral history.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you very much for your posting on the Clan McAlister of America Query page. Yours is an atypical Query. Unfortunately, there is insufficient information to make any connections at this time.

That said, you can apply for a copy of his death certificate which usually lists the birthplace and parent's names. If Benjamin's father was born in the US, you can also get his birth and death certificates which will move you back another generation. If you find a McAlister (any spelling) in the histories, please share all the data and I'll be happy to search our records.

Genealogy takes effort. We do have a "Getting Started" page on the CMA web site at that will should provide some guidelines. Good luck and please stay in touch.


Query of 4 Apr 2017 from Robert Alexander, Where in Scotland did J01 John come from? Generally, many McAlisters around Anderson, SC seem related, and I have not seen a reference to their Scottish origin.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you very much for your posting on the Clan McAlister of America Query page. "The J01 line was among the first family lines created in the CMA Database, and was mentioned in the first issue of the CMA Journal. It was named for John McAlister, born between 1816 and 1820, who lived in the Pickens District of SC. He married Melinda Massey, and we know of six children from the family. The J01 Line Coordinator, Myran Morgan (descendants., submitted a GEDCOM file to update the line. Myran's research led to a substantial update to the line, growing it from 79 descendant records to 364. Note that of the six children of J01, we are still searching for descendants for some of them."

Although the above excerpt from our archive does not mention Scotland per se, we do know from many other sources that the name McAlister (any spelling) originates from western Scotland, most notably around Argyll and the western islands. McAlister records are especially confusing, in part due to the ravages of time and also in part due to the Scottish custom of naming the first born son after the paternal grandfather. According to some sources, something like 90% of McAlister men in Argyll in the 1700s shared fewer than 12 given names. Consequently, determining J01-John's exact parentage is simply not possible with the current data available. Nevertheless, the name McAllister is clearly of Scottish origin and not English or something else. I hope this helps.


Query of 23 Apr 2017 from Rev. Dr. Raymond J. Ambrozaitis, mailto:ambrozr@ My wife's dad is a McAllister and he has been told a variety of possible reasons for the use of two l's in the name. Most research I have done simply refers the spelling with two l's to the spelling with a single L. Dad (Thomas Edward McAllister) now suffers from Alzheimer's, and I would dearly like to superficially know some more about his heritage when we speak of his family. His family must have been early arrivals to the US as his mother was Cherokee and had actually been sold several times so it is an interesting background he comes from. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you very much for your posting on the Clan McAlister of America Query page. If you want specific information about Mr Thomas Edward McAllister's family history, we need to identify to which of more than 300 individual family lines in our database he belongs.

Unfortunately, with no additional information in your query, there is insufficient information to perform an effective family search. When we perform a search, we try to find a unique name, such as the wife's maiden name, in the Query to use as a search spec. Searching for common names like George, John or McAlister (any spelling) is hopeless. There are simply too many matches to sort through. Please review the section " For More Effective Queries" on

Don't get hung up on the exact spelling of McAllister. Standardized spelling only became widespread in the very late 1800s. I've personally seen a will from the early 1800s in the testator's own hand where he spelled his own name three different ways on a single page.

I've also seen significant spelling errors in the original census records. My paternal grandmother, with whom I was personally acquainted, had a very heavy Texas accent. Her real name was Sallie but one census record clearly records it as "Zal." I can just see some poor Yankee census taker standing on her doorstep, trying to decipher her words.


Query of 27 Apr 2017 from D. Mike Epperson, Andrew Alexander b. 1770/71, lived in New York City, d. 11 Mar 1815 in Union, Washington Co., OH.

Andrew's son – John Alexander b. 1798 in New York, NY, d. 01 May 1873 in Lowell, Washington Co., OH.

John's son – Francis Marion Alexander b. 12 Sep 1829 in Lowell, OH, d. 22 Apr 1911 in Ottawa, Franklin Co., KS.

Francis' son – Harry Clifford Alexander b. 22 Jun 1865 in Marietta, Washington Co., OH, d. 22 Oct 1957 probably in Anderson, MO.

Harry's son – Leonard Marion Alexander b. 02 Jan 1902 in Noel, McDonald Co., MO, d. 02 Jun 1982 in Nixa, Christian Co., MO.

Leonard's son – Jamie Dean Alexander b. 26 Jul 1927 in Anderson, MO, d. 21 Sep 1992 in OR.

Jamie's son – me Dennis Michael (Mike) Epperson (took my step father's surname), b. 26 Nov 1944 in Anderson, MO.

I am membership chair for the Clan MacAlister Society and am sending in my membership today for your group. I live in Aptos, CA and would be interested in meetings that you may have in North Central California. Thank you for volunteering.

Response from R.C. McAllister: Alas, the Clan McAlister of America (CMA) does not maintain genealogical information about any sept other than ones spelled with a variation of McAllister. We do not include the McAlister septs, like Alexander, Allison, Sanders, etc. due to both lack of manpower and the ever-present question about whether or not a particular family line is actually related to a McAlister (any spelling) line. At some time in the future, we may add the Alexanders of Menstrie since they not a sept but are a cadet house in the MacAlasdair Clan line.

That said, please try contacting the Clan MacAlister Society Genealogy Committee Chairman, Bob Alexander, at:, if you haven't already done so. Good luck and please let me know how you make out.


Query of 29 Apr 2017 from Pamela Lynn, Way back in 2012, you published my Query in the Dec journal issue. You confirmed that my ancestors Jannet McAlester and her husband Magnus Cowan are in the database under J07 John W. McAlester; I was subsequently able to provide additional information about descendants.

Also included in your Response were comments to the effect that CMA has extensive data about Jannet's brother Angus, a descendants chart not in the database, and data about Flora her sister. You also mentioned photocopies of John W's bible and Ann's inventory from 1785 (John and Ann being Jannet's parents). So now, five years later, I am wondering, can you somehow share that additional information about Jannet's family?

Response from R.C. McAllister: Thank you for your note. I'm happy to share what we have on J07. The first file, J07.pdf, is the content of all paper files submitted to CMA over the years. Some of the copies are not really clear but it is the best we have.

The second file, J07-line.pdf, lists all known J07 members. Note that it takes two pages to print information on each person, so you will have to match the records together. It is probably easiest to do this using the line numbers in the left column. Also, be aware that some information – especially in the "Where", "Remarks", and "Sources" columns – may be truncated due to space limitation. This information is complete in the database, but we have to limit the printout or it takes a lot of paper. The "M#" Column designates the marriage number. I hope this helps. If you find errors, typos, etc., please let us know so we can make corrections.
















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