Those Wonderful, Intelligent Irish Genes - Thank You, Ireland

General John Alexander McClernand, born May 30, 1812, Kentucky, self- educated lawyer at age 20 and private in Blackhawk War with Abraham Lincoln as his Captain. Son of Dr. John, immigrant from Antrim, Ireland and Fatima Cummins (her ancestors were part of the Jamestown Colony). At age 24 he was a Democratic politician serving as a representative in Congress before the Civil War and as a subordinate commander to Ulysses Grant during the war. In November 1842, McClernand married Sarah Dunlap of Jacksonville, Illinois, a close friend of Mary Todd Lincoln. He resigned from the army due to health issues on November 30, 1864. Following the assassination of Lincoln the following year, McClernand played a visible role in the late president's funeral proceedings. In 1870, he was elected circuit judge of the Sangamon District of Illinois and remained in the post for three years before resuming his law practice. Still prominent in politics, McClernand presided over the 1876 Democratic National Convention. He later died on September 20, 1900, in Springfield, IL.

John and Sarah's son, Edward John McClernand, b1848, was notable as a U.S. Army Brigadier General in the Indian Wars and later in the Philippines, and awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor.

So, in researching this surname, I do not find a Sept, nor in any record have I or anyone else have been able to determine his ancestry past his parents. Taking Mc to mean son of and left with Clernand -the closest I can figure is perhaps Larnon from the Sept files. Anybody???

(For his brilliant military career, consult Wikipedia.)

Views: 340

Tags: American Civil War, Antrim, United States

Comment by Gerry Regan on August 1, 2014 at 9:52am

Interesting quest, Dee. Are there any descendants around?

Comment by Dee Notaro on August 2, 2014 at 3:48am

sent to you privately as inconclusive

Comment by John W. Hurley on August 4, 2014 at 8:37pm

Dee with a name like John Alexander and his father being a doctor and them settling in the South, and being from Ulster, I would think that he was Ulster-Scots. Therefore the family would not be included in any of the Seanchasof the old Irish Septs as they (the Ulster-Scots) are really not Irish in the true sense of the word. They do have Gaelic rooted names but these have been altered as the ancestors they came from usually left the Highlands of Scotland, and married into the English families of the Lowlands (who were called the "Scots" by the other English who did not live along the border). It's all very confusing but this is why to this day most of the Ulster-Scots do not consider themselves Irish or "Celtic" but English and British.

Comment by Dee Notaro on August 5, 2014 at 4:11am

That will help a lot for those in my classes to reconsider where to search. I sometimes take them aback when I tell them they are not really Irish per say. They also don't take 

kindly to being Scottish when they have thought they are Irish all their lives. LOL - Thank you for your input.

Comment by John W. Hurley on August 5, 2014 at 12:34pm

I'm sure. I'm not trying to be mean it's just....they themselves, the Scots-Irish or Ulster-Scots, are the ones asserting that they are not Irish, not me. And there is debate among their community about it. What's interesting is that in Gaelic culture you have both streams of thought, one that you must be genetically Gaelic in order to "qualify" for being Irish and the second that if you speak Irish and fight for Gaelic culture (like so any of the Norman lords later did) that you are Irish.

Dee I didn't know you taught about Irish genealogy, that's great. Apologies if I came off like I was lecturing, I'm sure you know all of this already, I was just trying to help. 

Comment by Dee Notaro on August 5, 2014 at 12:58pm

I have learned not to ever take anything that a person says about their heritage and family history as not so. I can only point out what I know. If people believe they are descended from George Washington - sometimes nothing will sway them....not even DNA. I welcome all comments - everything is learning. I also think there are some arguments- not only Irish-Scots but in other parts of the world - that will NEVER be settled in our lifetime. The arguments will just go on and on.

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