Dear Family and Friends,
Following the recent wedding of my daughter, Bryony, to Chris Fost on July 15th 2006 I felt it would be a good time to set up our "McStay Home Page".
Family and friends attended the wedding from various parts of North America, Europe, South America and the Middle East so we had the chance for a family reunion. This was particularly gratifying as my parents generation of McStays were able to get together for the first time in a number of years.
As to the Family History and Tree. I started working on it nearly 10 years ago gathering information from a variety of sources. As access to records on the Internet grew I was able to greatly expand the scope of the research through census data, births, weddings and deaths records, etc. The Scotish and English records were particularly helpfull.
In addition to the internet I have also obtained input directly from Family members. A great addition to this was made by the west coast McStays/Reiersons/Spragues/Del Vecchios who attended the wedding and provided background information on the western part of the Clan. In particular Aunt Rosemary and some of my cousins visited Scotland last year and made contact with Grandmother's family in Strathpeffer. We were therefore able to greatly increase the information we had on the MacLeod/Cameron side of the family and Grandmothers siblings.
The Tree now contains over 500 persons from McStays through to MacLeods and Camerons et al in Scotland and Sinnots and Grahams in Ireland. On my Mothers side we have Mays, Dennys and many more. Through marriage we have Baylis, Pettipas, Powleys and other extended family.
The Tree is a work in progress and I am continuing to try to extend it further back in time from the late 1700's that we have on the McStay/MacLeod and Cameron side. I also need to add in further data from my Wife, Michelle's, family who have previously traced their tree back to 1644 when their family first arrived in Acadia.
On the McStay origins in Ireland things are somewhat difficult as most of the records were destroyed when the Dublin Records Office was burnt down in the civil war of the 1920's. This having been said we have already received considerable support from the Ulster Historical Foundation who have traced the family back to Ballynahinch in Co Down from the early 1800s. We will next see if we can go a wee bitty further back than that.
Before closing it may also be relevant to note the origin of the name "McStay". As best as my research has found "McStay" is the simplified anglised version of "Son of Ó Maoilstéighe". Per the Dublin Irish Times - "Surname Dictionary MacStay
Quite numerous: Down-Armagh. Ir. Ó Maoilstéighe. An ecclesiastical family of Down. MacStea
rare: Armagh etc. See Mac Stay. Mod. Ó Maoilsté. Ó Maoilstéige
Mac Stay: líon beag: an Dún-Ard Mhacha. Clann eaglasta i nDroim Mór, an Dún, tráth." Or in other words "The children of the church people from the fortress hill". Fairly close to what Grandfather said was the meaning "Son of a Hermit"!
I have accumulated a lot more information than is shown on the Tree so please contact me should you have any queries.
In the meantime to all friends and family:
"May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er lea' yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be".
The above, in translation, reads:
"May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your grain store with a tear drop in its eye.
May you always stay hale and hearty until you are old enough to die.
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be".
John Cameron McStay