Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.

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Twigs to Trees


Twigs to Trees

June, 2021

Mary Helen Haines


Welcome to summer; although it still feels like a very wet spring here in Texas.  With the worst part of Covid 19 behind us, it feels good to begin going out to movies, gyms, and restaurants.  Some of the Scottish games are beginning to happen, but it will probably be next year before they are fully up and running.

In the interim, I have been working on McFarland lines that have been mixed together in various ancestry trees.  Most recently, I have been digging into records in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. There are two family lines in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania; Fayette and Greene counties, as well as Monongalia County in West Virginia. Then separately there are two other McFarland lines in Moore and Lee counties in North Carolina.

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Twigs to Trees

March, 2021

Mary Helen Haines


This year has certainly been one for the ages! I hope you are beginning to get your Covid vaccines; my family now has done so. Just as soon as my daughter received her first dose, the polar vortex hit Texas and turned our state into a frigid wasteland for several days. I don’t think I have ever been this cold, and certainly not in my own house. But, as quick as it blew in, it moved on, and we went from minus two degrees to 81 degrees in one week.

As I keep mentioning, Y-DNA testing has been a boon to genealogy. Before we had this tool, we had to rely on a lot of guesswork to make connections. It was easy to assume that if there was a cluster of McFarlands in a county, they must be related.  Now, we know differently. If you are a male, and want to learn more about your deep lineage please take the plunge and do (at the minimum) the 37 marker test to trace your male surname lineage. Only FTDNA hosts the male Y tests, and the MacFarlane Project there is the place to start. You can also do the Family Finder test to make connections on your mother’s side for several generations. That test is open to both men and women. We currently have over 1200 members.

When I retired from high school teaching in 2000 I delved into genealogy research. Back then, the best method to research was to go to the county records office where your ancestor had lived, then search the index and go through their deed records, court records, and probate records. That still is an option, and you can find some gems tucked away that have not been photographed and digitized yet.

In 1999, the Church of Latter Day Saints started their  site where members could upload their family trees and you could search the catalog to order microfilm records the church had gathered over the years. In order to see the records, you went to a local family history library, search their catalog, pay, and order the films to be sent to the location. You would have to be physically present to view the films and were limited to the hours the local site was open. I did most of my research that way, and then was dismayed when they stopped sending out microfilms several years ago as they transitioned to the fully digital records they have today.  However, the wait was worth it. Now, most of the records have been digitized, and it is wonderful. Just about everything is available, for free, and you can use it from the comfort of your own home.  I have just spent the past month researching the deeds, tax lists, and other records for McFarlands in Kentucky and Tennessee.

So, if you haven’t done so already, go to and Create Account (it is free). Once your account is created, you can create a family tree if you want, but that is not necessary. If you want to do research using primary sources (deeds, probate, marriage, tax lists, etc.); here are the steps.  Look at the choices at the top of the page. Go to Search, click to see the pull-down menu. Go to Catalog to open up a new window. In the Search By window, click Place, and type in the name of the county you wish to research. The order goes:  country, state or province, county. For example: United States, Kentucky, Whitley. Click the button Online so only digital records will show up. Once you hit Search, then all the microfilms they have digitized will appear. Here is an example of what you would see.

I always start with Taxation records so I can find out which years the person I am researching appeared in this county. Also, taxation records often list how much acreage was owned. Then, once I clicked on Taxation, I am shown that there are two sets available, one for 1819-1875, and another 1879-1892. When I open up Tax Books for 1819-1879, I can see there are three films to look through. Click on the camera icon on the far right under Format, to open the images on your computer. If the camera icon has a key next to it, it means they are still in the process of digitizing, and it is not currently available. 

Once you find records you can use, download them to your computer so you will have easy access when you need them. If you have started a tree on the FamilySearch site you can attach it to the person you are researching. Or, if you save it to your computer, you can attach it to any genealogy program you are currently using.

Here is the 1830 tax list for Whitley County showing Duncan, James, and Joseph McFarland.

Happy hunting!

Following this column is a short article about the different McFarland families that located in Kentucky in the late 1700s and early 1800s. We have many CMW members who descend from various Kentucky McFarlands.

Now to member genealogies submitted and researched this quarter:

MACFARLANE: Stephen James Macfarlane; Douglas James Macfarlane (London, England to Ontario, Canada), James Macfarlane (England to Canada), James Macfarlane, born 1856 in Lanarkshire, Scotland, married to Margaret Bell, died sometime after 1939, probably London), Alexander Mcfarlane, born 1823 in Glasgow, married to Elizabeth Millar in 1844 in Stirlingshire. DNA has not been done yet, and research is still continuing.

MCFARLANE: Elizabeth Nisco: Dorothy Douglas (NY), Leroy Irving Douglas (NY), James H. Douglas (NY), Margaret McFarlane, born 1829 in Strathblane, Stirlingshire Scotland, married to David Douglas, emigrated to US in 1854, died in Albany, New York in 1903. Research is still continuing.

MCFARLAND: Margaret David Hart; William North Davis, Jr. (Massachusetts), William North Davis (Maine to Mass.), Mary Louise McFarland (Maine to Mass), William North McFarland (Maine), William McFarland (Maine), Samuel McFarland, born abt. 1750, married to Elizabeth McKechnie in 1783 in Winslow, Kennebec, Maine, died abt. 1803 in Kennebec, Maine, Thomas McFarland, 1727-1789, married to Lydia, John McFarland, born abt. 1800, married to Lydia, arrived in what is today Boothbay Maine in the 1730s, died 1773 in Boothbay.) Autosomal DNA shows possible connections to the McFarlands of Worcester, Massachusetts. Research is still continuing.

The next entry is part of a very large group of McFarlands, but a previously unknown connection.

MCFARLAND: Sami Warden Lepre; Thomas Davis Warden (TX to CA), Juandell Josephine Davis (TX), Luther Frederick Davis (TN to NM), Harriet Jane Snodgrass (TN), Jane McFarland, born 1818 in Jefferson County TN, married to Russell Snodgrass), John McFarland, born 1780 in VA, married to Jane McNutt in Jefferson County, TN, died 1851 in Jefferson Co. TN), Robert McFarland, born 1759 in NC, died 1823 in Jefferson County, TN, Robert McFarland, born 1730 in PA, died abt. 1798 in KY, John McFarland (b. 1708 in northern Ireland, married to Mary Montgomery, died abt. 1785 probably in TN, Robert McFarland, born abt. 1675 in northern Ireland, married to Jennett, died 1751 in Lancaster County, PA.

Also from this line:

MCFARLAND: Karen McFarland Burke: James Calvin McFarland (TX to AZ), Arthur Powell McF. (Indian Territory (OK) to AZ), William Horace McF. (MO to TX), Horatio Harris McF. (MO to Indian Territory), Arthur McF. (NC to MO), John McF. (VA to MO), John McF. (PA to NC), John McFarland (b. 1708 in northern Ireland, married to Mary Montgomery, died abt. 1785 probably in TN, Robert McFarland, born abt. 1675 in northern Ireland, married to Jennett, died 1751 in Lancaster County, PA.


As always, we look forward to working with you.

The CMW Genealogy Committee:

Mary Helen Haines: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andrew Macfarlane: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Chevalier Terrance Gach MacFarlane: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Peter E. McFarland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Twigs to Trees

December, 2020

Mary Helen Haines


I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday season this year, since there is very little we can do except relax. I personally have had the opportunity to read many books and watch lots of Netflix movies.  We also have been busy with the MacFarlane DNA project and receiving new results as more of our members received the results of their Big Y700 analysis.

In December 2018 and March 2019 I gave updates to our findings in the MacFarlane Project concerning the two largest groups of testers: the R-DF63 group ( and the   R-L1335/S530 group ( Today, I will concentrate on the largest groups of testers who have completed the Big Y700 and submitted their results to Alex Williamson’s Big Tree for secondary analysis. Of course, we all would like to understand how these SNPs relate to time periods. The currently accepted rate for a new SNP to appear is at an 82 year average. However, this is just an average and a multitude of things (birth order, age of parent) can cause the 82 year average to be different. For our purposes here, I will use the 82 average and begin with a known mutation that occurred in 1739 AD and work my way backwards in time. These are not absolutes, but at least it is a place to start.

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