Over the past 15 years tremendous strides have been taken regarding our knowledge of McGhee/Magee/McGee/McKee etc. family history. At the top of the list of developments might be the realization that all of these and numerous other surnames share a common origin, MacAodh, and that as recently as the 18th and 19th centuries which name was used by any particular family was in many cases an historical accident. We have found many instances in which one person is referred to by first one, then the other, sometimes in the same document. The frequency of interchanging use increased with the ages of the documents we reviewed.
However, much remains to be done. Although we now know the Irish place of origin of one group of McGees, the five brothers who came to America about 1745, we are still trying to connect those McGees to the John Macghee who died in Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1617. For an excellent discussion of this see posting #4007 in the McGee Family Forum, posted by Jerry McGee. There are also very strong indications that these McGees (McGhee in Tyrone) had McKee/Kee relatives in the Tyrone/Donegal border areas near Strabane. But we are not interested in only one group. Whatever and wherever your MacAodh interests lie we can probably help and will surely be interested in your findings.
We have made two trips to Ireland in the past two years but we are a small group. The thought is that if you would like to participate in this McGhee/McKee/Magee/McGee research we should combine our efforts and help all of us to progress even further and faster than we have so far.
If you are going to Ireland on a vacation or business trip why not make your trip even more rewarding by going to some of the wonderful facilities there and gathering information about your family? The facilities in both the Republic and Northern Ireland are great, the staffs are expert and very helpful and the experience of handling ancient documents cannot be matched. We can provide suggestions regarding documents or books you might review, guides to Irish family history research we have found useful and in many cases we can provide call numbers to make it even easier. We can also provide easy-to-use forms which could help you to extract information and share it when you return. The only stipulation is that you be willing to share the information you find upon your return. Even if you find nothing, we think you will enjoy the experience and we know that finding there is no relevant information in a particular set of documents is valuable in itself.
If this sounds interesting to you send me an e-mail and we will work something out. Bill
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