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Why This Page?

Thanks for stopping by! I figure 99% of the people stopping by will be bored silly, because this really is a trivial page but.....

I'm on Facebook and LinkedIn so no longer have a general web page. This particular page is neat because I bought the McGing.org domain name and that's cool, at least to me. So this page is being set up to be a McGing magnet and maybe a few other things. I’ve been doing my family history since 1985 and this web page first went up in the late 1990s. (You should see what it looked like - take a peek, it ain't pretty) So while some of the questions I asked have been fully or partially answered, I’ve kept this page largely untouched because it reminds me of just how much work and time has been spent on this.

Plus it helps answer a ton of questions and lets people search and find out stuff, freeing me from a lot of emails. Did you notice the search bar up there? You can search this site.

Anyway, I'm told I ramble. In 1985, I was thinking that anyone with a name as rare as McGing would find that most of the McGing’s he runs into are related in some way. But until recently, I’d have been wrong. Until recently, all the ones who track me down are not related (based on making your typical family tree and linking up with records.) So many families, yet so many saying “Nope, not a relation.” Go figure! So what started out as a effort to document my family turned into an effort to document the McGings of the world with a view to proving or disproving that we are indeed actual cousins. And what has changed since 1985 is DNA testing. Which supports the hypothesis of all being related even when the records don’t exist to make the link.

So this is a McGing magnet page. If you are a McGing, or used to be one or have a relation who was or is one, drop me a line or send me an email and we'll see if we can find out just where we all come from. If I get any responses, I can publish whatever people contribute and share various tidbits.


Latest Updates

May 24, 2020 - Been keeping the family tree here updated. Also, the tree at Ancestry may be a bit different. It's hard keeping both in synch. I also updated things with Village Names which has 2 new maps that come from the County Mayo Library and which show the village names. You get a sense of the land when you track families over geography.

February 13, 2020 - A tip of the hat to Michael Hambly. He's a dna related cousin, exactly how is a mystery being actively explored. And an internet pioneer with "Mayo on the Move". He has a site called "Ireland Roots" that is worth exploring. He also advised me of a web site glitch that I've fixed, making the site more secure.

January 25, 2020 - Found a very distant "cousin" on my dad's dna test with a family in Scotland, whose ancestry involves "Gings". I had fleshed out that line of McGings but was stuck in that I could not connect that line with anyone in the lines I've linked by DNA or records. But now with this dna test saying dad and this lady are 6th cousins, I can make the changes needed to get this line of McGings onto the main tree. Which I did.

January 1, 2020 - Well, I just redid the whole website. It's done in CSS and updated HTML and should now work on tablets and phones. Or maybe not, in places. It's going to be a work in progress as I tinker with reformatting data and tinkering with code. So if you run into issues, use Contact Me contact form.

As far as family history goes, I'm doing the usual records tweaking, looking for family matches on 23andMe, Ancestry, FTDNA and MyHeritage. As well as Gedmatch. I remain convinced that County Mayo based McGinn and Ging are all McGings, and that McGing is essentially a unique Co Mayo McGinn surname variant. But because of Mayo records issues, DNA is often the onlyway to make links. And even then the links may be hard to figure out due to the ways families intermarried, so many Joyces in folks family trees and inability to distinguish females well in the records. I do have to note the exceptions to this - the 1911 Irish Census shows 3 families using McGinn who are in Westport, One is a man born in Armagh, so he's likely a "Real" McGinn. Others were born in Galway, where a soldier named McGinn married a local girl. They are likely "real" McGinns as well. (It'd be interesting to see if any are DNA cousins.....) So there are exceptions to this rule, but the exceptions help prove the rule, I think. I have kept a running record of these updates, and you can find it here and on the drop down What's New menu.


Have you done a DNA test?

I’m going to ask everyone who has an interest in this genealogy who has had a DNA test to please consider putting you test results online at gedmatch.com. It’s free and helps research tremendously.


Briefly, each of the testing companies gives you results, but only with people who have tested with them. There are 4 or more major DNA testing companies, but if someone tests at company A but you tested at company F, you won’t know about that possible match. What Gedmatch does is provide a place where people pool their test results across these companies, all in one common pool. And it has a bunch of free (and paid) tools if you are interested in getting deeper into this.

But the more people put their data there, the better we can figure out the dna linkages, which for Irish genealogy, is important due to the poor paper records. So I ask anyone who has tested, even if you didn’t put a family tree on Ancestry, for example, to put the data on Gedmatch and triple the number of people who can match against you. The Gedmatch IDs of my family are listed below.

Also, lease check out if you are an X-match or not on your test. If you are, look at my page on DNA X-Matches


Who Am I?

My name is John McGing and my immediate ancestry is as follows:

Mother was Sarah Collins, born in Shanvallycahill, in the Cappaghaduff district, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo. Her father was John Collins of Shanvallycahill, her mother was Bridgit Conoboy. She came from a large family, some of whom are still in Tourmakeady, while the rest went to England or to the US, mainly in Chicago, Il. THere are a few other Collins families in Mayo, but family lore says they are not related. There was a Collins family nearby in Maamtrasna, but again, my family says they are not related (at least via Collins).

Father is John McGing, born in Churchfield, in the Cappaghaduff district, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo. His father was Thomas McGing of Churchfield, his mother was Bridget Donoghue. He also came from a large family, all of whom live in the States, again mainly in Chicago, except for one sister who lived in Dublin and one who lived in Tourmakeady.

Both are from places right on Loch Mask.

Here's a map of Mayo - We're from around Tourmakeady, which you can see is on the shores of Loch Mask in South Mayo.

Here is a much larger, older map of Mayo, circa 1890. Surprisingly, the home place, in Churchfield, was in Galway, until it was given to Mayo in a border change in 1898 - 1899 (meaning people need to check both Galway and Mayo records…)

Using documentation, my father’s people were originally from a townland called Arderry, as Great Great Grandfather Patrick is found in the 1818 rent rolls of Lord Sligo as a renter there, along with a Bryan McGing who I believe is likely a brother. There were a few McGings in Dublin in the late 1700s.

I love both sides of my family, but my dad’s side remembered more of their history than my mom’s. It’s a common situation, where the family honestly doesn’t know much about their ancestors, and the stories either weren’t told or never shared. That’s my issue on the Collin’s side. No real information about Great grandfather or further back. So it’s not with any ill intent I don’t have more on my maternal side, it’s simply I cannot find much. But I am always looking and want to flesh out that part of the tree. However, it does seem that we have a boatload of Joyces on both paternal and maternal sides.


DNA Overview

I've tested autosomal dna at 23andme, Ancestry, FTDNA, MyHeritage and Living DNA. I've done Y-111, Big Y and the MtDNA. I have had many of my family tested and we are on Gedmatch.

My Gedmatch number is DK7908780. Other family tested as well are on Gedmatch and I can provide those numbers as needed (due to the controversies with Gedmatch recently, I opted to take those down but email me). My Y-DNA haplogroup is R-FT80635. My mtDNA haplogroup is T1a1.

I have to say that due to the state of Irish records for County Mayo, it is virtually impossible to document relatives 4th level and back. Even 3rd is tough, but when folks show up as 5th cousins, it's going to be almost impossible to document. But if the DNA says it is a link, we can build trees that reflect that possiblilities.

IMPORTANT! I have found that my Irish research tapers out at 2rd great grandparents, beyond that is lore, assumption and conjecture. That means cousins 4th or higher have to have better data than I do or have done some research themselves. I share with anyone but if DNA testing says we are 4th or 5th cousins, unless you have some records research of your own, it's very unlikely that I have anything either. Just saying up front. Please do check out my family tree, look for connections, but just don’t be surprised if I don’t have them already.

Also, County Mayo is brimming with endogamy - intermarriage. For example, my mom and dad are third(ish) cousins. My dad's father and mother were also third(ish) cousins. My dad's sister May's husband is a third(ish) cousin to her. There is a McGing family I am dna related to via my mom's people and not via McGing (so far). The point is, it's not an exaggeration to say that you could be distantly related to a big section of that part of the county if you have all 4 sets of grandparents from the area. It is exasperating.

McGing Family Fan Chart

Surname/Gedcom/Family Tree Data

McGing. Did the Chinese meet a Scotsman? Sorry, but have heard it a lot. It’s an unusual name and History of the Surname is interesting. And if you are really interested in what I've found, I'm making available a redacted version of the genealogical data I've gathered. Write me if you'd like to discuss getting access to this information. Due to concerns about privacy, I ask you write so we can discuss what you're looking for.

Understand, the data is always being changed and there are always mistakes and misunderstandings. I've named people odd names because I know a first name only, or a last name only or I only know they had 11 kids, 6 boys and 5 girls, things like that. This data has been secured from searching the internet, especially genealogical sites, contacts with other McGings, the sharing of data by others who have done their own research (and to whom we are all indebted) and searches of things like the LDS files. Where possible it is sourced, but see my note at the bottom of this page. I believe that we are indeed likely all to be cousins but it is only documented via DNA.

In addition, I've found a LOT of information in places that you'd not expect, and in order to preserve it, I've put it into an Adobe Acrobat file that you can find here. I've also listed some things I just didn't know where to put, so they are listed there. It's worth checking.

I’ve since created an offline datastore of pictures and pdf files of things like census, birth records, military records and more. It’s simply too large to put online, as the size would incur costs. But my point is I do have a lot of McGing documents identified and stored. If you are serious, please email me and I can make these available to you.

Must point out that I keep a family tree here that is always up to date. I have trees on Ancestry, Family Search, Geni, MyHeritage and Findmypast but the one here is always the most recent. If you missed the link at the upper left hand of each page, here it is again - McGing Family Tree.


Who Are These People?

When I was in Ireland, I found a whole nest of McGing’s in Westport, but it seems the connection with them was distant, if at all. It was kind of disconcerting to get a calendar from John McGing's place, which was a service station, as I recall. (Which is odd, come to think of it. The name is exceedingly rare, yet 2 groups of families with the same rare surname grow up near each other yet aren't related? What's up with that?)

Same applies in the States. My dad was confused with another John McGing who was in the Army at the same time he was, and they ended up living not far from each other on Chicago's NorthWest side. The other family even had a number of kids with the same names as my siblings. Yet we also never met. There's a boatload of McGing’s in and around Chicago, but the majority of them are not related to my side of the family. [I do have to say that I have now actually corresponded with some of those "other" McGing’s and it's neat to finally do so!]

And the Cleveland Ohio McGing’s all seem to be related to the Westport McGing’s, but not to me (they say). The Cincinnati Ohio McGing’s are related (1st cousins) and have the McGing Irish Dance School. The ones in Florida seem to be Cleveland McGing’s who have gone south. Then there is the odd one or two living in NY, Virginia, places like that that no one can seem to place. My mother told me we have McGing related cousins in Montana, they use McGinn. Color me confused. And I found McGinn cousins (via DNA) just outside Philadelphia. So I have found the folks who went to Montana, but it was back in the day. (But again, the name McGing in English does translate to McGinn, so such usage isn’t unexpected. In fact, I say with authority if you are a McGinn with Co Mayo roots, you are a McGing originally.

And what's with this Scottish connection anyway? There are McGing’s in Scotland, it seems we went there to work the fields, but why Stirling Scotland and why stay? What was so much better there that kept some McGing’s from returning to Ireland? (Seems the Irish were migrant labor for Scottish farms, the folks traveled to where the work was.)

Gerry McGing from Trim sent some very interesting information that I have made available here. We may now have a lead on where in the North to look for more McGing roots! It looks like they emigrated from Armagh to Mayo. Or not, if what Paul MacCotter says is true. Obviously this needs more investigation. Does anyone have family stories about where their families came from?

I guess I see two areas where we could connect yet have difficulty. My Gr Gr Grandfather had to have siblings, yet I know nothing about him and his family. Could we be related through one of his brothers? Or could we be related through one of his sons? A couple of them had a LOT of boys, yet I've nothing on them. These seem to me to be the biggest area that would pay off in detecting this elusive family link.

One of the many bright spots in the family claim to fame is my 1st cousin is Mick Lally who was an Irish actor (played "Miley" on Glenroe on RTE, was a regular on "Ballykissangel," played in "Circle of Friends" as Minnie Drivers dad, and was in the great movie "The Secret of Roan Inish" as the grandfather) His mom (RIP) is my dad's sister (May Lally, who was a great contributor to the Tourmakeady "Waterfall") and before he died, he was a favorite at Maire Lukes. Another is the fact that my family has a history with Irish dance, in that my cousin Mary (already noted) and my cousin Jimmy (now a lawyer and ex-judge) taught/teach Irish dance. While Jimmy doesn't do it anymore, his ex-partner Mark Howard does.

My research has shown that the spelling of the name takes many forms; McGing, McGinn, McCinn, Ging, Ginn and other odd spellings. And the Gaelic is McGinn but the English is McGing, so the mixed use does make sense.

One other interesting fact is that if you put "McGing" into a search engine, you get a lot of hits. It used to be a toss-up between me and Dr. Brian McGing at Trinity as to whose name is found most often, but his references are starting to really mount up but the links for my cousin Mary, who owns an Irish dance school, have really started to overshadow us all!

But in the end, as I say , in my DNA analysis section here the case is strong that all McGings are indeed related


Tetrasomy 18p

Besides my family, my other abiding interest is the rare genetic syndrome my son has. The section below explains a bit and links you to my pages about the syndrome. Perhaps one reason I've developed this abiding interest in where I have come from is knowing that my son will not have any children. My daughter will live her life and I don't mean to sound like I'm ignoring her; on the contrary, she's very precious to me. But I realize that my "line" is ending, at least as it goes forward carrying the McGing surname. But he's a great lad, and so I'd be neglectful if I didn't drop this in here.

The Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society

This is a link to the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society. My son Sean has a genetic condition called tetrasomy 18p which is very rare. The Registry is a great support group and is an organization always looking for assistance. For anyone in the US who can contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign, look for them as a recipient group or check them out and contact them directly.

In addition, if you are in the US and participate in the United Way, be aware that although the Registry isn't a direct participant in the UW, you can use the "Donor Direct" option to specify the Registry for your gift. For anyone outside the US, please contact the Registry in San Antonio (using the link above).

Seriously, this isn't like Jerry's Kids or March of Dimes stuff, where there is a lot of publicity and people throw money at them. Nope, these conditions are rare and virtually unknown and there's been little research done on them. Please keep them in mind when considering any charitable contributions.


Sincere Thanks and Notice

I'd be remiss if I did not give full credit and approbation to the many people whose work has been so important in doing this research. I've been lucky to be able to build on the shoulders of many fine people whose hard work they willingly shared. There is Sr. Helen, Carl "MacMan", Mary Chervenak, Elaine O'Malley, Michael McGing, Pam Burg, Tom Kenny, Jackie Filippone, Nicola Batmaz, Mary Duffy, Jean Baun, Patrick Connolly, Jim McGinn and others. If you find anything of value in these pages, their contributions were indeed a major part of it.

And a special thanks to all of you who have done DNA tests because it’s the only way to figure this stuff out J My sincere thanks

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out what may or may not be obvious. And that is this: I am not a professional genealogist, and a lot of the material I have here has not been sourced to original documents. I have tried whenever possible to give a source, including family history, whenever I could, but as I've been told, your work isn't done until you have checked the original sources. That doesn't mean that everything here is worthless; that's certainly not true! Everything here is as accurate as I can make it, but things I typed in myself from sources may indeed have typos. Sources I link to may have errors. But that doesn't make their value any less, it just means you really need to check things out where possible using original source documents. As I get a look at original documents myself I'll update entries to reflect that fact.