Remember the line of Baltimore County, Maryland Murrays who insist that they are descended from a line of the Earls of Athol, that located in Tullibardine?He insisted on calling a piece of his land Athol, and he used a seal that belonged to a line of the Earls of Athol.He claimed he was born in Tullibardine.The Tullibardine line of the Earls of Alloa were actually based at Tullibardine.This man had the resources to end up with several moderate sized plantations and many slaves, and he owned books, which was remarkable enough, but the only known member of the family of the Earls of Athol to come to this country owned two counties and has I think a town named after him.The Earls of Athol were one of the most powerful noble families in Scotland.
My brother matches their Y DNA, with a common ancestor who lived around 1400, give or take a couple of hundred years.He closely matches a Virginia/ Tennessee Gower family, and this match is a complete mystery.Moreover that family has atleast two Y DNA lineages.The Smiths came immediately from Ireland but strongly appeared to be Scotch Irish.
My brother also matches the Y DNA of a Patterson family that definitively traces, by multiple lines that carry the Y DNA, to Alloa, Scotland, on the Firth Forth, 5 miles east of Stirling; they lived there in 1600.They also share common ancestry with my brother around 1400.
Tullibardine is eight miles from Alloa.It is also a little place, though there are many smaller communities nearby.
I think there is a good chance that this James Murray was really born near Tullibardine.
The general picture of this Y DNA is that it was carried to this part of Scotland around 1400.My brother belongs to a 1700 year old Y DNA cluster that is scattered around England, appearing very selectively within 10 miles, often 5, of former Roman forts or fortified cities, including the great fort at Chester, where the Saxons settled late.It also shows up twice along the middle Rhine, where most Roman legions that spent time in Britain also spent time.The Y DNA is haplogroup I1; it is Germanic.The Romans had large numbers of Germans serving as auxiliaries.Many of them were picked up on the Middle Rhine and transported to England, but this line could as easily be from any area where the Romans were getting German auxiliaries, such as the lower Rhine.Large powerful groups located there became Roman auxiliary units in England.One group of them eventually became the Franks, almost certainly after serving the Romans as auxiliaries and getting rich; they were still closely associated with Roman rulers in the 4th century, and the Franks had colonies on the middle Rhine, leading to linguistic and organizational clues that would loosely suggest that the Anglo-Saxons who colonized England were from the middle Rhine (they were not).
As importantly, the Y DNA of the Earls of Athol would not be combined to an eight mile area immediately northeast of Stirling.This line came from Flanders in the 12th century, and was given land in the next county north of Perthshire.Over the past 800 years, if they sowed one illegitimate bairn, the two counties immediately northeast of Stirling, should be covered with people bearing the Y DNA of the Earls of Athol, and it should also be thinly scattered around southern Scotland.This Y DNA is not.This Y DNA most likely showed up in the area a little bit later than the 12th century, and it seems to be confined to a very small geographical area just northeast of Stirling.
Understand that, unless it turns out that my Smiths were really Gowers, and the Y DNA lineage belongs to a Gower family who lived near Stirling (who think they migrated from Yorkshire within a couple of centuries of 1400), we’ll never find a paper trail for where my Smiths lived.However the two other surnames bearing closely related DNA appear to locate it to a very small area northeast of Stirling.
The Pattersons had just sunk into the coal mines in 1600; there is circumstantial evidence that they most likely had been peasant farmers immediately north of Alloa, who fell into misfortune, probably lost their land, and became servants of the owner of the first coal pits in Alloa.
My emigrant Smith ancestor was a penniless weaver, an indentured servant who, following Pennsylvania’s laws regarding indentured servants, became possessed of a piece of land nearby and supported his family at near poverty, and he apprenticed two of his sons to a stonemason in northern Maryland.
Jim Gower’s ancestors mysteriously turn up in the backwoods of Virginia in the mid 18th century.They became closely associated by marriage with the Robertson family and helped them found Nashville, Tennessee.The family used a naming pattern peculiar to prominent Virginia Gowers, who came from the English west midlands.I suspect they did the chameleon tendency that seems to run in this family group; Jim Gower and my brother share an ancestor who lived since 1600, and my Smith line are chameleons to this day.Two families that closely related should be similar in character.I suspect that this family just picked up traits that belonged to a more prominent family that wore their name.(James Murray may have done the same thing.)There is a clue that a Francis Gower belonged to their family, that too is an unusual name, and a Francis Gower lived near Stirling, Scotland, at one point.They think they came north with the Normans or some such thing, from Yorkshire, where the name Gower is allegedly common.Now, my Smiths, chameleons par excellence, went to Ireland, and there, people who wore any version of the name McGowan, tended to anglicize the name to “Smith”, because the Gaelic root Gow means Smith.This would not be appropriate in the case of the name Gower, the ancestral versions of which are Saxon and Norse for “good army”, and was brought to England by the Saxons and the Normans.
There has only been James Murray’s story telling to connect his line to Tullibardine, but I think that a family myth pointing at Tullibardine, and closely related Y DNA near Tullibardine, support thinking that this guy was born near Tullibardine.
Now, I suppose he could be the illegitimate offspring of the Earl of Tullibardine or whatever, if that line was the product of a nonpaternity event with a man who lived near Tullibardine – or near Stirling.Stirling was the medieval capital of Scotland.James VI/I of Scotland and his mother were raised in Alloa and the village next to it immediately to the east.
Otherwise this Y DNA supports thinking this is NOT the lineage of the Earls of Athol, but James Murray WAS born near Tullibardine.