Maureen (Mojo) McCreight of Ontario, Canada, wrote in April, 1998:

These are the McCreights

Source of my Information:

In the 1960ies my father, Charles Clifford McCreight of Belfast/Bangor N. Ireland, took up the hobby of genealogy, and with rolls of wall paper and string started to trace back the family name. In 1966 he wrote to as many McCs as he could obtain from telephone directories, which included many Americans.

One of the replies he received was from a James  Edward (Jim) McC from Michigan, who was also studying the family tree. I visited them in 1968 while on holiday from Ireland before Dad died in December. The following summer his daughter Suzanne came to visit us in Ireland, and she brought back Dad's work for James. He subsequently published a book called "These are the McCreights" in 1971, which he dedicated to Dad. Jim died in 1992.

Neither James's family, nor our own, have the time or the interest to continue the work that they started at this time.  However, I can share with you any reference there may  be to your branch of the family if you give me some details. There are over 3,000 names in the book.

Jim became a Mormon, and a copy of the McC Book has been achieved in Salt Lake City. Information from the book may be obtained by contacting your local Mormon church. I am not sure if this information is available on the Net.

Origin of the McCreight Name:

The only recorded dates show that the surname existed before the 13th century, & that a coat of arms was evident prior to 1483 when the College of Arms was established, and when records were first kept. So maybe this gives us the "right to bear arms" of the genuine kind! McC was an uncommon personal name of an Irish Donegal family, whose head was a Coarb (or church trustee) of St Daveough on the shores of Lough Derg. There is some mention of a family seat, and a castle on Lough Erne. Our motto is - Salus in fide or Salvation be faith.

The next known record of the name is in 1674 in the parish of Dalry in the south west of Scotland, where lands were exchanged. These lands were at one time part of the Gordon estates. The Gordons took a leading part in the religious struggles of the 17th century, and many local people went to Northern Ireland to escape persecution, and to take advantage of the lands being offered as part of the Ulster Plantation, or in other words the foundation of a British colony in Ulster.

There was always a good deal of movement across the narrow strip of Irish Sea that separates the western lowlands of Scotland from eastern Ulster. Some claim that Scotland was first conquered by a war-like people from Ulster, who gave the country its name - but don't tell a Scot that! We might start another war! However, as far as the Ulster plantation goes, it seems possible that the lands which were confiscated from the Irish were only handed over to more Irish returning from Scotland - who knows! Anyway, you can get a feel for the Irish/Scottish connection. I suppose it depended on the religious flavour of the century which country one lived in.

The surname McC is mentioned in "The Surnames of Scotland" by George F Blake PhD as one of the "Mac" names common in Galloway before 1770. It may be a variant of McCreath, which is one of the septs of the Scottish can MacRae (Gaelic = MacRath). The 'correct' pronunciation of name (by its spelling) would seem to be with the sound 'a' as in McCrate, rather than with an 'i' as in McCrite. However that is only from my  view-point, as all the American McCs that I have met so far pronounce it as McCrite. My brother John even went so far as to get a personalized car licence plate as "MCCR8" - maximum of 6 characters in Ontario at the time.

A Family Sails for America:

The vast majority (2,500) of the names in the Book can trace their ancestry directly back to David McC, who sailed from Belfast on the 29th October 1772 on the ship "Pennsylvania Farmer", which arrived in Charleston SC about 28th of December, just missing the port of the Boston Tea Party by a few miles and a year. Sailing with David were his wife Mary, his sons William, James, David Jr, Mathew (?) and John (?), and two daughters Martha and ???, William's wife and 5 children, and James's wife and 4 children, David's wife and child - 22 in all.

On the 6th of January 1773 records show that the South Carolina council made grants of land to David (150 acres), William (100 acres), James (100 acres) and David Jr (150 acres), at Jackson's Creek parish of Mark in Camden District - they being included in a list of those who were able to pay. So maybe David made a killing on his Ulster property!

David and his family were not the only McCs to sail for the New World about this time. James traced his roots back to Anthony, who was born in Ireland or Scotland about 1710, and  arrived in America about 1741 (before David who arrived in 1772), and settled in Hanover Pa.  Quinton sailed from Ireland on the ship "Brittania" and arrived in Charleston in Jan 1773. Another William born about 1746 in Scotland or Ireland was allocated 400 acres in Union District S.C.. William John was born in 1831 in Ireland and moved to Toledo Ohio about 1888. While another James McC was born in Ireland in 1826, and died in Ontario Canada. Not included in the Book is some of the Canadian family, which was traced back by Caitrin McCreacht (legal name change from McCreight in 1982) to a Thomas McC who emigrated to Canada about 1860. Her study has about 100 names, and we are in contact.

How the American Family Grew:

As this note is geared for those of you who are on the Internet, and myself being now a Canadian, having emigrated from Belfast/Bangor in 1975, I will tell you a little about David's early days in America. He arrived just over two years before the Revolutionary War. The Scots-Irish being in general opposition to the British government, it is not surprising that the three sons - William, James and David Jr -  were soon in Washington's army. In his will David leaves a great coat to his son John, and a blue coat to his son Mathew. Mathew was born about 1752 and sailed with the rest of the family in 1772. He settled in Fairfield SC and had 2 sons and 3 daughters. This is all that is known of John and Mathew.

William had another son William Jr who was born in Winnsboro SC in 1774, so he had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. David died when he was only 12, but the other 3 sons - Robert, John and William Jr each had 9 children! His house was burnt down during the Revolutionary War. There is some question as to when he died.

James was the most prolific, having 17 children, 3 born to his 1st wife, 7 by his 2nd wife Sally, and 7 born to his 3rd wife Betsy. 9 of his sons had off-spring, giving him 45 grand-children, to say nothing of the 5 surviving daughters! Having lived for a while on his 100 acres in Camden, James later moved to Indiana County Pa.

David Jr had (only) 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls, and 35 grand-children, including those born to his daughters. From Camden they moved to Bath County Ky in 1802 by covered wagon, and then on to Tranquility Ohio. There is a cemetery there where quite a number of the David Jr descendants are buried.

So, although David Senior did not populate America single-handedly, it can be seen that his seed gave birth to many of the McCs now living there. He had at least 27 grand-children, and over 100 great-grand-children. David died in 1799 at the age of 90 and was buried in Camden SC where he settled after he arrived from Ireland.
 
 

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