My earliest ancestor identified so far is John McLaughlin, who enlisted in the Rev War Continental Army in February of 1776, in Bedford Co (Liberty City), VA.In his pension application and his later probate file, it was clear that he and his wife spelled their surname, with care, as McLaughlin.
Their children, however departed from that spelling, also on purpose.My 3rd great grandfather spelled it as McGlothlen, which his descendants have continued to this day.I have a copy of his signature.His brother spelled his surname, very deliberately, as McGlothlin and that spelling has also continued.His sisters are mixed.Some continued the McLaughlin spelling and one used the McGlothlen spelling.From that family we have a written history that identifies their origin as Irish.
The only way to determine if they were indeed the Irish Irish McLaughlins or the Scotts-Irish McGlothlins is to continue to try to peel back the onionskin of history, specifically looking for the parents of Rev War veteran John McLaughlin. John was born about 1754 in Virginia and died on 17 July 1828 in Lafayette Co, Missouri.His wife's given name was Sarah.
I've been researching the VA McGlothlens of the 1700 to 1780 time period for some time but have a lot more data to research.All I have to do is to try to outlast the time it takes to do the research.
Good Hunting, Don McGlothlen, McGlothlen Family Historian