Over a good number years I have focused primarily on Highland Argyllshire Livingstone/Livingston research but have also come into contact with Livingstons whose family information links their Livingston ancestry to lowland Scotland. Y DNA testing has helped to begin to shed new light on the ancestral origins of most of the Livingstone/Livingston families that resided in 18th and 19th Century Argyllshire. Most of these Argyllshire LIvingstons were descended from those of Clan Maclea or Maconlea who by the mid 18th century refer to themselves in the Argyllshire Parish records as Livingstone or Livingston. Much less however is known about the lowland Livingstons in nearby South Western Scotland who resided in the 17th century and earlier in Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire according to some surviving records. Some of these Livingston families of Ayrshire or Dumfriesshire probably settled in Ulster, Ireland in the 1600's and later some of descendants of the these Livingston families probably settled in America in the first half of the 1700's. It is known that South Western Scotland and Ayrshire in particular was the source of a significant number of the Scottish families that settled in County Down, Antrim and the other six counties in the North of Ireland. One Livingston family whose roots were with lowland Livingstons that settled in County Down in the early 1600's was a Y DNA match with other Livingstons whose families settled in Ulster and interestedly relatively closely matched with a number of McDowells some of whom have Ulster connections. It is commonly known that a number of MacDowells of Ulster were descended from MacDowells whose were connected to old "Galloway" MacDowell Clan that resided in the 1600's and was historically rooted in Southwestern Scotland a number of whom in the 1600's were residing in the Dumfriesshire and Ayrshire area. Whatever the ancestral connection the ancient Celtic Galloway gaelic speaking MacDowall Clan shared with some Livingston families that resided also in South Western Scotland the Y DNA results of their Match group clearly suggests they share the same early origins in South Western Scotland. Their SNP results would also no doubt be quite similar I would think also.
Y DNA testing of those of old Livingston families with more recent roots to Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire, Scotland of South Western lowland Scotland would definitely help better confirm linkage with some of those Livingston families in Ulster who ancestors settled there in the 1600's and whom I suspect may share similar Y DNA results.
One of the more interesting things I discovered regarding the settlement of Livingstons of Southwestern Scotland settling in Ulster is the possibility that one or more Livingston families along with some families of South Western Scotland origin likely that of Ayrshire or Dumfriesshire may have in the early 1600's settled in nearby Southern Argyllshire specifically Southern Islay It may be not coincidence that the earliest recording of a Livingston family in the 18th century Church of Scotland is in the 1720's in the Isle of Islay Southern Argyllshire Church of Scotland parish records. I understand that some families of South Western Scotland origin were encouraged to settle on the nearby Isle of Islay instead of nearby Ulster but unfortunately there does not seem to have been much research on this that I can find. Most encouraging and interesting one Y DNA group with matches of Livingstons of both Ulster and Islay Livingston family origins seems to confirm the possibility of shared ancestral origins possibly in 17th century Ulster. The lack of research into settlement of Southern Argyllshire by families of lowland South Western Scotland however is unfortunate, but hopefully I can find some information from Isle of Islay sources in the future. In any event the close Y DNA matches with some Ulster Livingstons with some of nearby Islay Argyll origin who resided there in the 1700's and 1800's is interesting in light of what is known or suspected regarding the migrations that took in place in the early 1600's from South Western Scotland.
PUBLIC Forum for general discussion on the DNA Project. The DNA project includes both Highland and lowland Livingston/es as well as MacLeas and other related names. Please do NOT post private information to this Forum.
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