This is an extended essay. It is not complete, the work is ongoing in fits and starts. It contains three parts.
The first part is a genealogy and genetic forensics in searching for my male ancestral line. It centers on our emigrant ancestor John McNeill (1680-1765) who emigrated to the American colonies in 1722 and his father Daniel McNeill (1630-1684) who was born and died in Coleraine, Ulster, Northern Ireland.
The second part is a personal memoir from the circumstances around my birth and personal history, up until the birth of my son Benjamin.
The third part takes up the issue of evolution, human groups, stories and praxis in general, our practical activity that has resulted from and results in a lineage. It is meant to indicate the various ways of how a past and a present can be understood, in a truthful way.
To my emigrant ancestor
Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather John McNeill
I am of a healthy long lived race,
and our minds improve with age.
- William Butler Yeats
Being an old race, an early ancestor of the McNeill was asked by Noah to accompany him on his ark. Our ancestor replied: "Thank ye, but The McNeill has a boat of his own".
Indeed, the McNeill has a tall tale of his own as well, though not the one we may have thought he had.
- Origins and Descendants, names, places, and peoples
- Ancestral Lands, genetic genealogy and history
- Interlude: We have a Match - Open letter re: matching on Y-DNA markers
- Families and Livelihood, the Seven Kingdoms to Ulster
- Ulster Scots, history of the Ulster Plantations
- Interlude: Antifragility and Scottish Clan Mottos
- America, descent in a New Land
- Asia, migration in the 21st century
- Return to the ancestral
- Postscript: Language, ancient and modern