Sunday, January 8, 2017

My 64 ~ Researching My Fourth Great Grandparents : John McCain and Jane Allison

My fourth great grandfather, John McCain, was born in Drumboe, Stranorlar Parish, County Donegal, Ireland, in about 1760. He is known to have had three brothers and a sister, although hardly anything is known about his parents.

My fourth great grandmother, Jane Allison, was born in about 1775, also in County Donegal.

John and Jane married in about 1798, in County Donegal. Five known children were born to the couple:

John, b. abt. 1800
William, b. 1802
James, b. abt. 1806
Andrew, b. 1807*
Jane, b. 1816

*my 3rd great grandfather

According to Hutchison:

"John and his family were farmers at Meenhoney, a hilly, bog-filled region about one mile northwest of Castlefin, Co. Donegal, bordering on Northern Ireland. It was one of the few Protestant counties in Ireland and also one of the poorest, as was typical if the northwestern region of Ireland."

Meenahoney Townland, County Donegal, Ireland
Old Building at Meenhoney

It wasn't until sons William, James, and Andrew emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, in the 1820s and 1830s, that the foundation of the McCain Family business enterprise was established. Brothers Andrew and James first arrived in Carleton County, New Brunswick, by the spring of 1823. All of the McCains obtained 100-acre land grants in the Florenceville area, where the "rolling hills, lush green valley, and meandering river" must have reminded them of their homeland in Meenahoney.

The industrious McCains began trading farm produce, and cultivated, in later generations, a huge Irish tradition ~ potato farming. The advent of large-scale potato farming, beginning in the 1920s, positioned the McCain families of Florenceville, New Brunswick, for the prosperous industry for which it is known to this day. 

Brothers Harrison, Wallace, Andrew, and Robert McCain, founders of McCain Foods Limited, are all second cousins, twice removed.

In the meantime, my fourth great grandparents, John and Jane McCain, both died around 1816 in County Donegal, Ireland, and their graves are unmarked and unknown.

Photo Credit:

Kenneth Allen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Kenneth Allen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Hutchison, Brian W. Descendants of John McCain from Stranorlar Parish, Co. Donegal, Ireland: Migrations to British North America and throughout Ireland, (c. 1760-2004). Nanaimo, BC: GEN-FIND Research Associates, 2005. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm researching my tree now and they were my 5th great grandparents! I grew up in Northern Maine and knew my great grand parents Ilda and Louis had potato farming connections, but had no idea I was descended for the McCains!