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Re: Madill family tree.
Posted by: Robertson Madill Date: August 20, 1999 at 09:38:28
In Reply to: Re: Madill family tree. by Rich Corbett of 263

There is also a compelling argument (not originated by me) that the name MADILL is one of many variants of what was originally MACDOWELL. Note the many variants which can be found currently and/or historically in Antrim, Cavan, Down, and Monaghan: Madill, Madole, Madoel, Madoell, Madule, Madowl ... there are several others all easily found in LDS IGI data. Rich's point about variant spellings is important: the name was spelled at the whim of the recording cleric/clerk.

For years I have had a tough time accepting the "name is French" theory given that my family are/were Ulster Scots through and through for many generations.

The name seems more probably from the Scots than the French, although the theory that they came "with William of Orange" is still defensible. Many units of Scots under William's control entered northern Ireland. Ideologically, they would have been considered reliable forces. That point in history being a generally bad time to be a Calvinist in France, many French officers fled France for employ by William's forces.

It's possible that this was the source of the widely retold (and corrupted?) family legend (myth?) that there were a number of French brothers who came with William's forces. Could it have been a number of Scots brothers who came with William's forces, under, coincidentally, French command?

Rich Corbett's lot in Monaghan/Cavan seems to be the origin of many Canadian Madills. Another, smaller, grouping (my family) is from the Ballymena area in Antrim and has/had descendants in the US and Lanarkshire in Scotland (the Scots link again). Both groups can be researched to roughly 1800 in these areas before the trail runs cold.

To add fuel to the speculation fire, the earliest recorded Madills in Ireland of which I am aware (per LDS IGI again) are Peter/Sarah MADUEL with two children christened in Londonderry c, 1684 and 1686. Another, larger, grouping are variously MADILLs, MADOLEs and MADOELs in Down from 1722 to 1786 with dates ranging inbetween. Descendants of the Monaghan bunch have a tough time before Benjamin et al went to Canada early 1800s. Likewise, for Antrim, I can't go any earlier than a Madill born in 1784, and I'm not certain the birth was in Antrim. After that, I'm stuck with early 1800s births in/near Ballymena. Could the Down bunch have split and headed simultaneously to Antrim and western Monaghan as the source of both groups?

Any substantiating or contradicting theories?

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