~ Editorís note (5 November 2006):
††††††††††† Please note that none of the below article has been verified by the editor through primary sources.† Efforts have been made to contact the author of this piece without success and much of it has been put in doubt by other researchers of the MacEachan name.† I will leave this page posted here with this caveat.† And I challenge anyone willing to do the research to report on the claims made in this article.† I will post here on this page research, claims and rebuttals by anyone with an interest in a full vetting of the topic.† The first posts come from David John Kerr:
†††††††††††††††††† I just wanted to write to you to alert you of the problems with using the "MacEachain coat of
arms" section (but also to say i really enjoyed the rest of your wonderfully researched website).† But hereís
the unpleasant bit....I think you have already recorded some skeptical comments in the relevant webpage
so these comments probably wont be a complete surprise to you.
††††††††††††††††††† Firstly there is no Clan McCaughan.... it's "Chief" was never validated by any known council of
chiefs or Official Heraldic organizations of the Governments of England,
has no authority to claim it without any evidence of a date of the granting of the title & the body which
granted it.† The stated orders of knighthood are not recognized orders of the British or Irish states,
monarchy or Government and are in effect "Masonic, pseudo-Masonic & Knights Templar fraternities
awards...they are not awards of nobility...
††††††††††††††††††† The description of the heraldic elements is completely wrong and therefore cannot be relied
on.† Please see any book on heraldic devices to de-bunk the claims in the description section.† The
symbol of the red hand is actually the symbol used by O'Neils of Ulster although it has subsequently been
used by many organizations and official bodies as well as by some noble families with documented
issues of grants from the official herald of the relevant country(these are always a government department
not a private institution).
††††††††††††††††††† In addition the "documentation" showing origin to "Pictish kings" etc has never been provided
and the only references are unrelated to genealogies and circumstantial at best, in addition the historical
elements of the description are so full of errors that not child in primary school would even make them(I
am Irish but i was educated in
††††††††††††††††††† Also this listed claimant John was never the head of the Anglican church in
list of these people who are all well known personages in the Anglican church and have all been
listed...his name appears nowhere in the official Anglican websites of
††††††††††††††††††† I am not aware of any organization called Heraldry of Ireland which has the right to grant arms
to individuals that is the sole responsibility of the Office of Chief Herald located in
absorbed by The college of arms http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/.† The Lord Lyon has no right to grant
arms to families outside of
responsible for verifying the titles and arms of the claimant. I notice this was never applied for and that
alone raises suspicions.† All these facts can easily be checked by consulting the official
websites/contacting the appropriate Heraldic authority in
I think your website is wonderful but please donít taint it by association with the poorly researched claims
of the MacEachain website.
done some checking on some of the claims presented by the author, but was unable to verify any of it. For
checked on her claim that John was the head of the Anglican church in
find no evidence of this. To review her sources, I have attempted to contact the website's author,
Minniebell McKaighan Perkins or anyone listed as a contact on her website but have never received a
Some of my questions for her were quite pointed, so my emails may have been
comments are well received and do not come as a surprise.
voiced my skepticism regarding the so-called Coat of Arms and our membership in Clan MacEachan,
whatever that may be. Hopefully by doing so, I have steered my audience away from the notion that there's
any official recognition of the Kaighins (specifically) being members of Clan MacEachan. The question I
posed, which is what I'm assuming prompted your email, was meant to initiate exactly this dialogue. So I
would like to post your dissent to my site with your permission along with any future correspondence
us on the subject.
I donít have any vendetta against the people running the website but I feel strongly that if someone takes it
upon themselves to be a source of information for others then they should at least provide authenticated,
referenced data and not mislead people through inaccuracies or by hearsay and presenting
unsubstantiated "facts" as truth.
Unfortunately, if anyone were to raise a debate on the subject in the message board of that website then it
is highly likely that they would receive abuse, as strangely people express strong opinions based on what
they want to hear rather than examining the evidence...I have seen the same thing happen over the
"MacCarthy Mor" scandal where an allegedly false claimant to the ancient title convinced even the experts
that he was the person he was claiming to be, then after he was dropped by all the Official bodies and his
claims rejected he still had a large US following who refused to acknowledge the situation and continued
using their bogus "titles and honours" received from this man, and they attacked anyone daring to state
the true facts.† I donít think the McCaughan website or people are as extreme but they appear to be "owing
an allegiance" to a bogus clan chief of a non existent clan and claiming all surnames which sound similar
to the core name as "septs" without any regard to history.
I think you are doing a wonderful job, please keep it up.
Just to let you know my interest in the matter is due to researching one of my family lines who were
McCahans then McCaughans in Armoy, I am still verifying information given to me by another careful
researcher which seems to indicate that my family were actually O'Cahans (but i want to look at the
original sources in the Public records Office in N.I. before confirming if this is the case)..When i tried to
gain more information from the McCaughan website i was given a load of drivel about "welcome to the
clan"...since my surname (which is not McCaughan) is an actual recognized clan i found that comment
very funny, if i was interested in all the phony clan stuff then i wouldnít have far to go, i just need to look at
my surname and then buy into the tartan tourist nonsense.
If you require any information or help then i will be happy to provide it, i can also provide links to the
relevant organizations etc...
thanks for replying
Hi David John,
I think the author of that site would have done herself a service by at least presenting the documentation
that "Chevelier" MacCaughan allegedly used for his research so her audience could examine this. It's
actually disappointing to me to find someone who has put so much effort into researching the
MacEachain name and put out bogus information as fact. This body of work may discourage someone
else from beginning legitimate research, thinking that the work has already been done. I want research
recognized and blessed by a relevant authority that I can reference when someone asks me about the
MacEachan link. Unfortunately there is none out there that I know of other than that website.
As for the Kaighins, there is documented proof that the name Kaighin (which is phonetically
pronounced Kack'n in the
MacEachan and it's phonetic equivalents. That all Kaighins on the
single MacEachan remains unproven. There is speculation (although ample circumstantial evidence
exists) that the first MacEachans (or phonetic equivalents) came to the island in 1098 from
where that name was common.
Just thought I would update you with the ongoing McCaughan saga: I tried to get a response from the
McCaughan website where I offered my services to help clear up the mistakes in the "history" sections,
but as of yet I have received no replies, nor has anyone answered my questions in the guestbook, the
original message is attached below
The sole purpose of offering my help was to help establish some serious research instead of the
spurious self-serving tripe of "Chevalier McCaughan" I read the report about this man, I know the
ballycastle area very well, I travel home a lot to it and I cant see how the local garage owner with no
"noble" ancestry managed to acquire a French noble title which has been granted for about 200 years, I
also did a bit more research into the knighthoods, they are pseudo-Masonic/Templar "knighthoods" not
the official variety presented by the British crown, I really am thinking of creating a website based on solid
research and basically refuting the alleged claims of the McCaughan "clan"† [Click here]
Thursday 09/14/2006 7:30:10am†
Referred By: Just Surfed In
Comments: Hi I really liked the site, great idea trying to tie people together and thanks for all your hard
Unfortunately on the downside the "history" contains many historical mistakes and doesnít match the
history i was taught in School & University or during my studies in the
insulting because i really appreciate your great website and all your hard work/devotion which is very
inspiring, I would be happy to discuss offline with you the errors and provide references to the many
available Historical books on the subject which would eliminate them from your published history and
otherwise excellent website. I am really impressed and in awe of the amount of progress many people
have made in their family trees.
For the record I am not a McCaughan I am already a member of a different Scottish Clan with several
chiefs (too many) recognized by the Lord Lyon/Royal court & listed in DeBretts, Who's Who & burkes
peerage etc, so I am afraid i wont be running out and buying the McCaughan tartan:-)as part of my family
research I tried to find McCaughans in all those records of the aristocracy as well as with the Scottish
Standing council of chiefs but apparently they say that there has never been a clan chief or a clan named
McCaughan which left me confused, does anyone know why they would say that? surely if the
McCaughans are a clan then they would have a clan chief who registered/matriculated his grant of arms
with the Lord Lyon(the only legal & Official herald for
the past it would be with the
Government), or after 1922 in the Republic with the Chief Herald's office which is part
ok back to what ive learned about my family line which were McCahan/McCaughans, The available
evidence from early parish records & estate papers points to them being originally O'Cahans.
My grt grt Grandmother Nancy McCaughan married Henry Hamill, she was a childrenís nurse and he was
a farm labourer, both their Fathers were Farmers in Armoy (Archibald McCaughan & Alexander Hamill),
there was an Archibald McCaughan in the Griffths Valuation for this time at Cromaghs and one died there,
This family in Armoy who are also registered in the 1803 census link into another larger family group who
in turn are documented through c of i records and estate records back to the coast area, other records Iíve
seen seem to indicate links to the O'Cahans of Dunseverick and i will be double-checking the source
documents in PRONI to see if this is true.
Does anyone else link into this line? I hope to do more solid research when i return home to
break later this year.
I hope someone could help answer my questions about McCaughans being a clan and if they really have
ever had a chief, maybe we can have an open discussion on the roots of the name and it's history,†
Hopefully it wont spark any major conflicts and we will all be winners, do we have a discussion board for
The following is excerpted from Cuz of Sorts, North American Descendants of Gaelic Clan MacEachain
Compiled by Minniebell McKaughan Perkins
The full text can be found at
HEADS OF CLAN MacEACHAIN
The following is a report, in part, from Chevalier John Alexander McCaughan to the Lords of Lyon Court:
The genealogy of this family
has not been fully researched and firmly documented for the years prior to 1150
A.D., this primarily because of the evident scarcity of Public Records for some
GILLICHRIST MacEACHAIN/MacCAUGHAN, the lst Historical Representative, 17th Traditional Head of the
Name and Family. The first Feudal Baron and Laird Barone
of McCaughan and 5th MacEachain
CONALL, or RONALD McCAUGHAN, succeeded his father
as 2nd Feudal Barone and Laird Barone
of McCaughan. Early in the 13th century, it is apparent that his family
branched out and spread over into the
43rd JOHN ALEXANDER McCAUGHAN (9), Esquire, KH, LGH, FAS, FAS Scot, BS., 43rd
traditional Representative, 26th historical Head and 10th Head of McCaughan's of Ballyverdagh. Born
at Ballyverdagh, nr. Ballycastle,
(1) ELIZABETH MAUREEN
The following is taken from a report the late Chevelier John Alexander McCaughan, 43rd "Head of the house of McCaughan" prepared for the Heraldry of Ireland on the different ways he found the early families spelling our name in Scotland, Isle of Man, Ireland, and later in Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia. All stemming from the original Gaelic name "MacEachain". He felt they didn't keep all these spellings. Soon after the clans were broken up, a lot of the men were not educated and about the only place where their name was required was on church records. If you couldn't read or write, it was left to the church clerk to spell it like it sounded to him. This accounting for the Irish Gaelic spelling of the "Horse Lord" McQuuichin.
Auchanson -- McCaughin -- McGeaghan -- McCaughan (Galloway 1100) -- McGachen -- Cahanson -- McCaughan (Manx 1200) -- McGaychin -- Cackeon (Manx 1418) -- McCaghan -- McCaughern -- Caighan (Manx 1643-1745) -- McCahen (Ireland 1650) -- McCahan -- McKahan -- McKaighan (Manx 1200) -- McKeighan --Cagen (Manx 1630) -- McCaughran -- Kaighan (Ireland 1700) -- Kaighan (Manx 1611) -- McEachain (Galloway 1100) -- McKahon -- McKeechan -- MacGachan -- McGagen -- McKeuchane -- MakGachane -- McGachand -- McKechan -- MacAychin -- McGaichan -- McKeuchane -- McAchin -- McGauchane -- McKaghan -- Mcakeon -- McGaughan -- McKachan -- Mccachan -- McGeachan -- McKaychin -- McGathan -- McCaghan (Galloway 1150) -- McGahan (Ireland 1700) -- McQuuichin (1528)
It will be noticed from the above that some members of the family living on the Isle of Man have since 1418 A. D. dropped the prefix "Mac" entirely.
Time and distance does
not permit us to fully research and determine when a branch of the family
extended into the
The following is excerpted from The McCaughans of Scotland and Ireland
by John Alexander McCaughan Esquire, KH, LGH, FAS, FAS Scot, BS., 43rd traditional Representative, 26th historical Head and 10th Head of McCaughan's of Ballyverdagh
The full text can be found at
The McCaughans of
The family name McCaughan (pronounched Me Cachan in the old lands; as Me Cawhan in the Americans) is found variously recorded in public and private documents since the eleventh century, and with C, K, and G, of which C predominates, and is the Anglicized phoenetic rendering of their Gaelic surname MacEachain, meaning the "son of Eachain".
Before the twelfth
century, the family had branched out and spread over into the
The family name being so early associated with Mann, many Manx historians refer to it as a Celtic patronymic of purely native origin, and we do know that many descendents of the Manx family came to Northern Ireland early in the 1700's and for some time, retained their mode of the spelling of the name.
Submissions, corrections or suggestions kindly
received by the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org