Perhaps someone may be able to review & correct or confirm the assumed facts in the following family "story" sent to me by descendants of one of the Carnahan family lines in America. I would like to know if there are documentary resources which confirm any parts of this. Thanks.
The earliest connected ancestors of our line of Carnahans we believe is William Carnahan, who on Sept. 2nd 1476 became a burgress (sp?) of the guild of Fleashers of Aberdeen, Scotland. He was licensed to the trade of what we call a butcher. One of his son, William Carnochane was a farmer and a tenant under the Maxwells of Kelton, Kirchudbrightshire. A son of his William Carnoquhan was licensed to marry Marian Aull, a widow of Thomas McCormick in Caryk, Aryshire, Scotland. His son, James Careghan was born in 1540 and on May 3rd 1574 married Mareono Kinny or Kinnair daughter of John Kinnair a family of importance whose name appears in various writs of the time.
About this time it appears that three clans, all somehow related (Carnochan, Carnaghan and Carnathan united for their mutual protection. They lived on the North Ireland coast and in Scotland. During the Great Reformation they followed the Calvinistic faith under the leadership of James Alexander Carnahan. They did battle with Mary Tudor around the time of 1553 to 1558. In the last year of her reign their leader was killed and their goods and land was confiscated by the crown. Of those who survived and escaped there are traces of two branches that took refuge in Scotland. One settling near Dunfriere and becoming weavers, the other at Aberdeen, becoming stone masons owning large rock quarries. This may be where the name Baille Mackarnaghan or Micharnaghan comes from. This means the son of the man where there was apile of stones in his field (son-stone-field).
This family line gets kind of confused here, but some of the Carnahan heritage is listed below. One of sons of James Careghan and Mareono Kinny is Andro Carnaghan. He was born about 1575 and inherited his father's land in Caryk, It appears that he was also a "smith", this could be the rock smith from the quarry. He married a Margaret Kennedy prior to 1603. From this point it appears that a son, William Caragan was born around 1600. He was the first member of the family to whom a special appellation of gentleman applied. The term indicated that he was a land owner of significance. He married Mareon a daughter of Herbert Maxwell of Kirconnell. It is not clear if this is the same Maxwell family that 200 years prior had married into the line but the area of Scotland is the same. She died, evidently in childbirth about a year later 1623 and William married his second wife in February 1640 who was Margaret Orr. They had a son named James who was born in Auchincairn, Kirchudbrightshire in 1643. James inherited all of the land, and then went to Legeniel (sp?), County Antrim, Ireland on Oct 14,1687. He died on August 14, 1718. In 1702 Queen Anne decreed that only members of the Established Church of England could vote. This along with high land rent encouraged some of the Carnahans to go with William Penn to the US. It appears that one of the sons of James above was James Alexander Carnahan. He had fourteen sons, three of which came to the US in 1700s settling in Cumberland Valley. The three were James, Hugh, and John.