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We regret the passing of William McReynolds, founding Administrator of the McReynolds Surname DNA Project
(The project will welcome a new Administrator or Co-Administrator volunteer)
According to McReynolds family tradition three MacRannald brothers immigrated from Scotland into Ireland before 1689. One of these brothers was Johne MacRannald b 1665 or 1672 Sc d 1760 IR. According to Benjamine S. McReynolds, Johns' nephew, writing in 1823... "Legend has it that that John could speak the Scotch language better than English. As a young man he enlisted in the British Army and was sent to Ireland where he is said to have participated in the defence of the city of Londonderry during the famous siege in 1689. A story is told that he gave one of his fellow defenders a beating for allowing a rat they could have eaten to escape". Later, he is said to have left the army and migrated to County Tyrone with his two younger brothers. They settled near Charlemont and Moy. In 1703 he married Mary Preston, born in 1683 the daughter of Thomas Preston. They made their residence at Cloghog, County Tyrone. It was the first McReynolds home in the area and was constructed shortly after their marriage. Fire gutted the building in the latter part of the last century. John and Mary had three sons, James, Benjamin and Oliver. Mary died on Jul.15, 1713, at the young age of 30 and there is a gravestone inscription about 15 feet from the front door of the Clonoe parish church which reads:
``Here lyeth the body of Mary Preston, wife of John McCrannels, who departed this life July 15, 1713, aged thirty years; also Thomas Preston who departed this life January 11, 1705, aged 78 years.''
After Mary's death John moved to the townland of Coash in the parish of Killyman. He was married for a second time on Jun.18, 1714, to a Quaker, Elizabeth Shepherd the daughter of Solomon Shepherd, at the Quaker meeting house at Grange near Moy. It is said that the Quaker Church and ``Old Grange House'' are still standing. Other marriages in the Quaker records from this period include those of Patrick, Susannah and James McRannell or McReynolds and they may have been John's close relatives. John and Elizabeth had four surviving children, Joseph, Elizabeth, James and Robert. John and Elizabeth lived about two miles from Dungannon. By this time John had accumulated considerable wealth having large farms and two mills, one in Killyman parish and the other in Clonoe parish. For some unknown reason the marriage failed and, in 1737, Elizabeth and her four children emigrated to the United States where they settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died at an old age in the home of her son James in Appomattox County, Virginia. Perhaps because of his advanced age (he was 72) John remained in Ireland and lived with his children by his first wife. He died at a ripe old age at the home of a grandson in Stewartstown and is buried in Ballyclog parish cemetery.
The purpose of this project is to determine the relationship of the descendants of sons Benjamine, James and Oliver from his first marriage and sons Joseph and James, of his second marriage, who emmigrated to the US in 1737. It is belived, currently, there are some 8000 McReynolds in the US and most descend from one of these two brothers. A third brother Robert died soon after arrival in America therefore, it is not believed he had any descendants to enumerate. A secondary purpose of this project will be to establish descendants from the other brothers of John MacRannald who may have descendants left in Ireland. The names of these brothers is not known but is believed to be Oliver and Roland. In order to determine connections to our rootstock in Scotland, it is believed that name will include McCrindles around Girvan in Ayrshire, Scotland. All with the surname McCrindle are welcome to participate in this project.