History of the Name

Cuindlis (also Cuindles, Cuinlis, Cuindilis, Cuindlaes, and Cuindleas, later Coinleisc) is an Old Irish (Gaelic or Goidelic) name dating back to at least the 8th century in Ireland. The meaning is not absolutely certain. The first element in it seems to mean ‘head’ (Old Irish cuin[d], conn, cean[d], etc.1). The second element (Old Irish lis, leas, etc.2) can refer to several sorts of ‘enclosure’ (fortified or otherwise). An interpretation of the entire name is thus ‘Head of the enclosure’. This could indicate anything from ‘Owner of the cattle pen’ to ‘Lord of the fort’, depending on just what sort of enclosure was meant. Judging from the related place-names Kenles/Kells (Middle Irish Ceann Lios, ‘head[land] ring-fort/enclosure’) and Caherconlish (Modern Irish Cathair Chinn Lis, ‘Fort of the head[land] of the enclosure’), a fortification seems more likely, though there is no way of knowing for certain at this late a date. Given that the ‘head’ element in this sometimes also meant ‘headland, hill, promontory’, the name could also have meant ‘[from the] hill fort’. A meaning of ‘Head of the fortified church’ cannot be ruled out, since the earliest known bearer of this name was a monastic abbot. Nor can the more prosaic ‘Master of the cattle pen’, as cattle were vital to the medieval Irish economy; The Cattle-raid of Cooley is even an important part of the Irish mythological cycle. A completely alternative idea is that the first element in the name instead means ‘dog/hound’ or ‘wolf’, from Old Irish , as in the name of the legendary hero Cú Chulainn. For much more etymological detail, see the footnotes1, 2.

Derivatives of the name are attested in Scotland, most numerous in Galloway (Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire), later in Ayrshire, Glasgow (Lanarkshire), Renfrewshire, Dumfriesshire to some extent, and in the more easterly cities Edinburgh and Dundee; in Northern Ireland; and in the Republic of Ireland (especially in Donegal, Galway, North Tipperary, and Mayo) as what appears to be a family name as early as the 13th century, though not commonly recorded as one until the late 17th. As a given name, it dates to at least as early as the 8th century in Ireland.

Like other Gaelic names common to both Ireland and Scotland, Cuindlis and its variants were likely among those brought over when clans of the northeast Irish Scoti (Gaels) invaded western Pictland (now named Scotland after those settlers) and established the kingdom of Dál Riata during the 6th to 9th centuries (see “Timeline” page). According to Black (1946)3, the Gaelic patronymic forms like Mac Cuindlis would have first been used in Ireland. It is likely that the Irish Gaelic patronymic had been in use in Scotland since the beginning of Irish settlement there, since the given name dates to the same early period and patronymic names were the norm then. Family surnames arose much later, largely as a response to bureaucratization (tax collection, censuses, etc.). [Map: southern Scotland and the north of Ireland, showing the traditional counties of McCandlish/McCandless concentrations]
McCandlish/McCandless flow from SW Scotland to N Ireland
(detail; click image for larger map)15

Today, after the anglicization and later modifications of Gaelic names, there are many family names descended from Cuindlis/Cuindleas. The two most-frequent spellings are McCandless and McCandlish, with many sub-variants like Chandlish, McCandliss, McAndless, and McCanles. These are primarily of Scotland, especially Galloway, but also the north of Ireland (Ulster). The McCandless spelling dominates in Ulster, and seems to be historically confined to that province in Ireland into the 1890s10 (most numerous specifically in Belfast and the rest of Antrim, Derry/Londonderry (formerly Coleraine), Down, and Armagh, all in Northern Ireland; and Donegal in the Republic of Ireland). In at least one case, a genealogist found a McCandless family in Pennsylvania going back to McCandless in Northern Ireland and thence to McCandlish in Scotland7. Census evidence strongly indicates that McCandless is not native to Northern Ireland, but an import (probably originally as McCandlish) from Scotland by settlers; Scots had been coming to Ulster in fairly large numbers since the 13th century – many, many more during the 17th-century Plantation of Ulster. In the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses, McCandlesses and McCandlishes, almost entirely found in Ulster, were overwhelmingly Presbyterian (i.e., Scottish) and when not were usally Anglican (i.e. British), not Catholic (i.e. native Irish)14. A small number of Mc Candless had found their way south to Leitrim, Connacht (bordering Donegal and Fermanagh, Ulster)17.

The McCandlish spelling might be older, but is today less numerous than McCandless (in the United States by about a 1:10 ratio)5. The -ish version is mostly Scottish, -ess mostly Northern Irish, though with overlap in both directions. For example, the 1901 census data for Scotland showed 191 McCandlishes, mostly in Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Renfrewshire (west of Glasgow); and showed 52 McCandlesses, mostly in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Renfrewshire. By contrast, 1901–1911 data for Ireland demonstrated that McCandless was more favoured there, with 480–552 McCandlesses (almost entirely confined to Ulster counties Derry/Londonderry, Antrim, and Down, and Republic of Ireland county Donegal); versus just 8 McCandlishes (also in Antrim). Current surname distribution maps by country, world-wide: McCandlish versus McCandless.

[Map: west Ireland, showing the counties of Conlisk, Quinlish, etc. concentrations]
Conlisk, Quinlish, etc concentration in west Ireland,
mostly counties of Connacht province
(detail; click image for larger map)15
In the west-central Republic of Ireland, Conliss and Cunlish (or O’Conliss, etc.), most numerous in Galway16 and other parts of Connacht (Mayo especially, and Sligo, Roscommon, and Leitrim)4, represent a less common and more widely-separated branch, with its own sub-variants like Conlish and Conless. Another, somewhat later, Irish variant that survives is Quinlisk or Quinless (among a few other spellings, and which can also take an O’), mostly found in North Tipperary, Munster4, bordering on Galway; another probably later set are Conlisk, Cunlisk, and Quinlisk again, of County Mayo, also neighbouring Galway. By the beginning of the 20th century, some of these names had spread a little further, e.g. Conliss into Fermanagh, Ulster (bordering on Leitrim), and Quinlish, Quinlisk into Offaly (formerly King’s County), Leinster (bordering on Galway, Roscommon, and North Tipperary) 17.

Of these Irish variants, Quinlisk and then Conlisk are the most common. Some of the more obscure Irish variants (e.g. Quinlish) may now be extinct in Ireland itself and represented only in the diaspora.

These Irish names all appear to descend from a 14th-century Ó Cuindlis (later Ó Coinleisc) family of brehons – a learned class of judges, arbiters, and scholars – in Uí Mháine, a medieval kingdom in what today are counties Galway and Roscommon. Curiously, Coinleisc was sometimes anglicized to the etymologically unrelated name Grimes in west Mayo.

Most of the other name variations appear to be directly derived from McCandlish and McCandless. K-spelled variants like McKanless, McKanles, etc., have also occurred, but appear to be largely if not entirely extinct.

Notably, the spellings have been widely regarded as synonymous many times, with genealogies showing a McAndlish whose son goes by McCandless and whose daughter in turn is a McCandlish, as one example. As another, one record book in various volumes used the names McAndlish, Candlish, and M’Candlish interchangeably, for the same individuals just on different pages11. Another: A Patrick Mc Candless b. ca. 1684 in Wigtown had sons recorded as William Mc Candlish and George Mc Candish (with no “l”)19. This sort bleed-over does not appear to occur between the [O’]Quinlish/Conlisk versions and the [Mc]Candlish/[Mc]Candless variants.

Quinlish and similar spellings, which appear to be exclusively Irish, are actually closer to the original pronunciation of the Cuin[di]lis Gaelic spellings. The Cuin[di]lis and Cuindlaes spellings ended with a /ʃ/ (“sh”) sound, probably giving rise to the Quinlish, McCandlish, and similar versions. Cuindleas ended with an /s/ sound, and may have separately given rise to McCandless, Conliss, and their sub-variants, though there is also evidence of later shifting of McCandlish to McCandless directly. The versions ending in a /k/ sound, including Conlisk, Cun[d]lisk, and Quinlisk, clearly derive from the late Gaelic spelling Coinleisc.

There is no direct evidence of more than a coincidental etymological link between the west-Irish Conlisk/Quinlisk and the Scots-Irish McCandlish/McCandless families. It is unlikely that all of the Cuindlis/Cuindleas-derived names are familially related, even when the modern surname spelling matches. More than one person bearing Cuindlis or a variation on it as his given name could have led to patronymic and then family names – either different ones, e.g. McCandlish and McCandless coming from different ancestry, or even multiple instances of the exact same spelling. By way of comparison, the Irish surname Connolly has at least nine known origins in different, unrelated Irish Gaelic families6, without including similar names like Kinelly, etc. There were many cases of uncommon Gaelic names being “absorbed” by assimilation into more common ones (e.g. Kilkelly, Kehilly, and Keally into Kelly)20. Even the anglicized Scottish name Campbell, from Gaelic Cambeul, has occurred independently in Ireland, derived instead from Cathmhaoil/Cathmaill6, more often anglicized [Mc]Cawell21. At least we can be fairly certain that McCandlish, McCandless, Quinlisk, Conlisk and close variants all derive from essentially the same original Gaelic personal name.

All the individuals bearing these names apparently have been commoners, at least since the 19th century, as none appear in extant lists of the peerage and knightage12. At least one was at least ostensibly an armiger (had a coat of arms), however; see the “Heraldry” page for details.

The More Common Name Variants

[Image: Two Scottish sisters in their teens or thereabouts, relaxing on an Edinburgh lawn, one in wide-brimmed hat and black dress, the other in tartan skirt and ticked blouse.]
Sisters Mary & Margaret McCandlish,
Scotland, ca. 1845 (by Hill & Adamson9)

  • [Mc]An[d]lish
  • [Mc]An[d]les
  • [Mc]An[d]lis
  • [Mc]Can[d]lish
  • [Mc]Can[d]les
  • [Mc]Can[d]lis
  • [Mc]Can[d]las
  • [Mc]Can[d]leis
  • Chan[d]lish
  • Chan[d]less
  • [O’]Conlish
  • [O’]Conlisk
  • [O’]Conliss
  • [O’]Cun[d]lish
  • [O’]Quinlish
  • [O’]Quinlisk

There are over 90 different spellings. See the “Cuindlis Name Variants List” page for full details.

Clan Connections (or Lack Thereof)

Cuindlis with its derivatives in Scotland are family names rather than a clan name, as there is no McCandlish/McCandless/etc. clan. There is as yet no evidence that it ever was a clan (at least in the Highland sense), and it is primarily a Lowlands name since at least as early as the late 17th century3. There is no chief or other recognized family head. At this point, there is not even a family association/organization. If you would be interested in helping form one, please get in touch via the forum or the contact page.

Individual McCandlish families have at various times been associated through marriage with the MacGregors, Buchanans, Gordons, and possibly the Montroses and the MacArthur Campbells, ca. late 1600s to early 1700s onward, and potentially earlier to the beginnings of surnames in Scotland. However, McCandlish/McCandless is not regarded as a sept or cadet branch of these clans or any others.

For example, a MacGregor family historian contacted in the 1990s was unable to find any records indicating a strong link, only some marriages, including a 20th-century McCandlish who married a MacGregor and served as the Clan Gregor Society treasurer for several decades. Documentation of Buchanan, Gordon, Montrose, and Campbell connections is generally lacking, and found primarily as family-memory assertions in amateur and rather speculative American genealogies produced in the early 20th century. These may be memories of a family having been crofters on clan lands, or could conceivably represent closer connections the details of which were lost after the Jacobite Uprisings and the Highland Clearances (see the “Timeline” page). However, the uprisings were in 1715 and 1745, and the clearances from 1750 to 1860, which is all after the earliest attested McCandlishes in Lowland records appear.

As more and more period records are digitized and made searchable, any such clan connection (if legitimate) should eventually become provable.

Highlands History?

[Image: Woodcut showing militia in Highland dress at the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans.]
Highlanders in 1745
The documentary evidence available and examined so far firmly places McCandlish, among many other spellings, in the Lowlands, specifically Ayrshire and in Galloway (Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire, today part of the larger region now known as Dumfries and Galloway); and has McCandless and similar spellings primarily in Ulster (the north of Ireland). But these materials so far only go back to the late 17th century. Some genealogies report family memories of a western Highlands origin, and some are quite certain of it, e.g. that published in 1918 by Sarah Adeline McCandless7, and another more dubious volume published some time later by Charles E. McCandless Jr.13; both home in on Stirlingshire, more specifically either the Loch Lomond area or perhaps around Callander. See the “Unverified Claims” page for details. Some tentative DNA results (so far just from one McCandlish of Scotland) also suggest Stirlingshire ancestry; see the “Genetics” page for details. However, the census and other records so far are not putting McCandlishes in this area, perhaps because they relocated during the Highland Clearances.

A Scottish Highlands background is certainly plausible, as the Highland Clearances of 1750 to 1860 (or 1886, depending on definition) resulted in many Highlanders relocating south to Lowland areas (or leaving for further pastures, including Northern Ireland and the overseas colonies; see the “Timeline” page for details). This was incidentally the same overall time period in which family surnames came into more established use in Scotland, so we have records of McCandlishes (etc.) in and around Ayr and Kircudbright first appearing in the late 17th century (at least in surviving and published records) but much more frequently in the 18th. There is no proof that all these McCandlishes and related had always been there; many or most might well have been recent arrivals from the Highlands. It is presently unclear how to establish this, short of going to Scotland to do primary research on original parish and other records.

The name typically occurs with the Gaelic M[a]c on the front of it and is a name of Gaelic origin, but is mostly found (at least from the 17th century onward) in western Lowland areas. These are places that from Early Modern times were dominated by speakers of the Scots language (a close cousin of English or sometimes regarded as a dialect of it) and by names of Anglo-Saxon and sometimes Norman derivation, without M[a]c. This strongly suggests one of two possibilities: that the name moved to the Scots Lowlands from the Gaelic Highlands, probably a bit before and especially during the Clearances; or that it was already present in the western Lowlands (Ayr and Galloway) from the period of the regional Norse-Gaelic rulers from perhaps as early as the 9th century (when the region was wrested from a Brittonic kingdom, Strathclyde, with the Lords of Galloway ruling as minor kings from at least the early 11th century, and controlling parts of what today is southern Ayrshire). The area was not fully incorporated into the Kingdom of Scotland until the early 12th century under David I, with some independence retained until the reign of John Balliol in the late 13th century. The speaking of Gaelic also held out longer in Galloway (where it was used since at least the 5th century) than elsewhere in the Lowlands; Gaelic placenames were still being coined in Galloway in the 14th century, and the last native speakers of Gaelic in the region died around 1760, well into the period of McCandlish and other surnames developing from patronymic naming in the region. (For details on patronymic naming, see “Variants § Summary of Gaelic Patronymics”.)


[Image: Overlapping samples of McCandlish green, red, and arisaid grey tartan]
Selection of McCandlish tartans
Despite lack of a clan, there is a suite of McCandlish/McCandless tartans.

Full details on the tartans are available on the “Tartans” page.

In summary, they are proportionally based loosely on the Black Watch tartan, using colours inspired by the known McCandlish coat of arms. The main one is predominantly red, though it also exists in green and grey variants. The designs are recorded with both the Scottish Register of Tartans and the Scottish Tartans Authority. For kiltmaking, they are unlikely to be kept in stock by any woolen mills, but can be special-ordered from any reputable kiltmaker.

Like most family tartans and even some clan tartans, these date to modern times, though are more recent than most, being registered in 1992. Most clan tartans date to the early 19th to early 20th centuries, and many family tartans to the mid-to-late 20th century, along with district tartans, and Irish and other non-Scottish tartans. For more background, see the “Frequently Asked Questions” page.


[Image: McCandlish coat of arms with lion crest; see text for descriptive details.]
McCandlish coat of arms
with motto and lion crest
Known from reliable sources are at least one blazon (coat of arms), crest, and motto.

For details, see the “Heraldry” page.

The known McCandlish blazon features a hint at Highlands origin, in the form of a rowed galley of a type used in the Islands and the coastal Highlands, and mostly found in the heraldic devices of Highland clans. The crest features a fanciful green lion. These arms appear to have been unilaterally assumed in the early 19th century rather than royally granted.

Migration and Diaspora

[Image: McCandless shop-front on a street around the turn of the previous century.]
McCandless shop-front, ca. 1900, on Bath Terrace,
Moville, Donegal, where a number of McCandlesses
settled (by William Lawrence18)
Ian McCandless of Ireland estimated in the 1990s that there were perhaps 20,000 people with Cuindlis-derived names in the world – making the variants of this old Gaelic name fairly rare. The Cuindlis families are most numerous in Galloway (Scotland), Galway (Republic of Ireland), and Ulster (Northern Ireland), as well as the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in modern times.

  • Medieval Northern Ireland > Scotland
  • Scotland > Northern Ireland (the Plantation of Ulster)
  • West-central Ireland > Britain, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (colonial era to present)
  • Scotland > US, Canada, Australia, NZ, England, and N. Ireland again
  • N. Ireland > US, Canada, Australia, NZ, England, and back to Scotland again
  • Plus many instances of migration between the colonies (e.g. Canada > NZ, Aus. > US) – the invention of powered travel really stirred the pot, with all family lines, not just ours.

There was a lot of jumping back and forth across the Irish Sea. The name (at least the Mc forms) could be regarded as thoroughly Scots-Irish in the broad sense8, rather than either Scottish or Irish alone.

Many Jacobites also left Scotland and Ireland in the late 17th and early 18th centuries for the Catholic realms of France or Spain, but surviving records pertaining to them are mostly concerned with the upper class, and none have come to light that relate to Cuindlis-derived families.


1: From cond or conn, literally meaning ‘head’, which could also imply ‘headship’ or ‘supremacy’ (Sproule, David; “Origins of the Eoghnachta”; Eiru, no. 35; 1984; pp. 31–37). The word occurred in Old Irish as cuind, cuinn, ceand, cend, can[n], ceann, cenn, cind, cinn, cond, conn, and (probably an older form) conid. Some of these, including the last three along with cuin[d], could also more specifically mean ‘leader, chief, pre-eminent person, responsible or competent person’, which suggests its use in our name is a reference to a personal quality and not a topographic feature like ‘headland’. Examples of all of these (sometimes lenited as chinn, etc., and sometimes with prefixes or suffixes, depending on the grammar) in original Old Irish manuscripts are recorded and annotated here: “Search results: head”, Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL), 2019, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy; https://dil.ie/search?q=head, accessed 2022-05-13. To find all the references, search also on keyword “cuind“, and see the resulting entry for conn, which includes cuin[d]. Amusingly, cuind could also mean ‘bulge, protuberance, buttocks’, probably from a different origin. But it could also mean ‘intelligence, reason, good sense’, probably again from the ‘head’ root; the usage survives in Scottish Gaelic conn with the same meanings.

In Modern Irish, the word for ‘head’ is ceann or (as a modifier) cinn or (dative singular) cionn; it may be lenited as cheann, chinn. In Scottish Gaelic it is also ceann, genitive and plural cinn (lenited cheann, chinn), which can also signify ‘lid, roof’, or ‘end’. Manx Gaelic uses kione. Usage in the Old Irish sources shows that, in combining form, it could also refer to headlands, and it remains in this sense in many place-names. This pattern precisely matches the use of the cognate Welsh term pen[n] ‘head, chief, or top’: in Pendragon it indicates ‘chief dragon’, i.e. ‘leader of warriors, warlord’; and in placenames like Penmaenmawr, Penarth, Torpenhow, and Pen y Garn, it means ‘headland, top, hill, summit’; while in everday usage it simply means ‘head (body part)’. Cf. place-name in Cornish (closely related to Welsh) Penzance, from Pennsans ‘Holy Head[land]’. The same pattern of meanings is found for the ancient Gaulish cognate pennos. See: Delamarre, Xavier; Dictionnaire de la langue Gauloise; Paris: Editions Errance; 2003. Note also the derived Scottish Gaelic terms ceannas ‘superiority, rule, presidency’, ceannsal or ceannsgal ‘authority, rule, sway; subjugation, repression’, ceannardas or ceannbhair ‘leadership’, ceannsaich ‘to conquer, overcome, subdue, master, quell, repress, or tame’, ceannardach ‘commanding, imperious’, ceannsalach ‘commander’, and ceannasach ‘dominant, superior, ambitious, aspiring, absolute, authoritative, commanding, haughty, headstrong’. This last clearly illustrates the connection between the ‘head’ and ‘leader’ meanings, the head being seen as the seat of leadership, dominance, and ambition. A more precise Old Irish word for ‘headship, leadership, superiority, precedence’ was cennas (Modern Irish ceannas, which also connotes ‘command, authority’).

As a side point, the similarity of the Old Irish variant conid to German König and related Germanic words for ‘king’ (including English king itself) is purely coincidental. Those are from Proto-Germanic *kuningaz ‘king or leader’, literally ‘he of the family/kindred’, from *kunją ‘kin, family, clan’, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵenh₁- ‘to beget’ (also the origin of genealogy, generation, genitals, etc.). These are no relation to terms for ‘head’. Cognates of ceann/cond/cuind would be Latin caput; English (via Norman French) cap, captain, chief, chef, etc.; German Haupt (cf. English head); and so on. These are ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *kap-, *káput- ‘head’. On the Proto-Celtic side, PIE *kap- would have become something along the lines of *kapwen, later *kwenn[om] and *kwenno-, and eventually Old Irish cuin[d], cenn[d], etc. Renditions in Primitive Irish found in ogham script are qenu- and -cenni, with Gaulish counterparts recorded as penno-, -pennus, pennon, and the aforementioned pennos.

2: From Old Irish les or lis, also occuring as leas, liss, lios, lius, léis, and less. Depending on the sentence’s grammar, it might be modified into forms like leasa, lesa, lissa. Earlier versions include lisu, lissu, and lissiu. Examples of all of these in original Old Irish manuscripts are recorded and annotated here: “Search results: enclosure”, Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL), 2019, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy; https://dil.ie/search?q=enclosure, accessed 2023-09-07; at entry “2 les” (page-down with “Load More Results” to reach this entry).

Surviving cognates in Modern Irish are lias (genitive singular and nominative plural léis), ‘pen, cattle shelter’; and lios (gen. sing. leasa, pl. liosanna) ‘enclosed [ancient] dwelling’, ‘enclosed space’, ‘ring fort’, ‘fairy mound’, and some figurative uses including ‘halo, ring around’. (A divergent meaning, especially in stock phrases relating to advice, of ‘beneficial path or course of action or behavior’ is probably from an unrelated word leas meaning ‘benefit, personal interest, well-being, a good’.) The diminutive lisín is sometimes used in reference to cemeteries; lisín leanbh, literally ‘little enclosure for [the] child’, refers to a cemetery for unbaptized children. A cognate in modern Scottish Gaelic is lios (gen. sing. liosa, pl. liosan) ‘yard, garden, orchard, grove’ (also used more broadly in compounds to refer to enclosed yards, e.g. eug-lios ‘churchyard, cemetery’; and dùn-lios, dùn-lis, dùn-liosan, ‘castle or palace courtyard, palace, fort garden’, later ‘garrison’); at a smaller scale, faith-lios ‘wardrobe’, literally ‘apparel enclosure’. As lise or lisa (pl. lisan) it can mean ‘garden, orchard’ again, but much more generally also ‘house, habitation’, ‘palace, castle’, ‘court’, or ‘cattle pen’, depending on context.

3: Black, George F.; The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History; New York Public Library; 1946; pp. 131, 464.

4: MacLysaght, Edward; The Surnames of Ireland, 6th ed.; Dublin: Irish Academic Press; 1997 [1957]; pp. 35, 36, 252.

5: Hanks, Patrick (ed.); Dictionary of American Family Names, Vol. Two: G–N; Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press; 2003; p. 545. Using census data, Hanks found 2,068 McCandlesses versus 209 McCandlishes in the US in the available data.

6: “Christian Names and Surnames in Irish”; IrishIdentity.com; accessed 2021-11-11.

7: McCandless, Sarah Adeline; “Some Annals of the West Branch of the Highland Family of McCandlish-Buchanan”; A Ready Reference Sketch of Erin and Alban; Pittsburgh: self-published; 1918. Reprinted, Salem, Massachusetts: Higginson Book Co.; 2006; pp. 119–154. This work is based almost entirely on family interviews and letters as well as some correspondence with a N. Ir. clergyman, and makes some claims that cannot so far be verified by documentary research, and a few that are not tenable at all. See the “Unverified Claims page for details. However, at the time of its writing, its author was in communication with relatives in both Scotland and Northern Ireland and so is presumptively reliable on the particular point it is cited for here.

8: In the narrow sense, Scots-Irish or Scotch-Irish refers only to the Ulster Scots – Presbyterian families of Scotland who settled in Northern Ireland. In the broader sense, it refers to families of mixed or indeterminate Scottish and Irish provenance, and is basically synonymous with Gaelic as a demonym.

9: Hill, David Octavius; Adamson, Robert; “Mary McCandlish and Margaret Arkley née McCandlish”; Edinburgh; ca. 1843–1847; calotype, in the National Galleries of Scotland.

10: Matheson, Robert E.; Special Report on Surnames in Ireland; Dublin: HM Stationery Office; 1894; p. 57. Based on 1890 birth-record data, it shows all McCandless (and related spellings, like McCanless and McAndless) in Ulster, without being more specific. The other Irish forms of the name, like Conlisk and Quinlisk were too uncommon to rate entries in this book.

11: Paton, Henry; Register of Marriages for the Parish of Edinburgh, Vol. 35: 1701-1750; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society / James Skinner & Company; 1908; pp. 126, 333.
Grant, Francis J. (ed.); Register of Marriages of the City of Edinburgh , Vol. 53: 1751-1800; Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society / J. Skinner & Co.; 1922; pp. 445, 695.

12: E.g.:

  • Dod, Charles Roger; The Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland; London: Whittaker and Co.; 1844. And editions of 1854, 1855, 1856, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1872, 1904, 1905, 1908, 1920, 1921, and 1923.
  • Debrett’s Illustrated Peerage and Titles of Courtesy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; London: Dean & Son; 1876.
  • Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles; Armorial Families: A Complete Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage; Edinburgh: T.C. & E.C. Jack; 1895.
  • Debrett’s Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage; London: Dean & Son; 1903.
  • Paul, James Balfour; The Scots Peerage; Edinburgh: David Douglas; 1904.

13: McCandless, Charles E., Jr.; The McCandless Clan; High Point, North Carolina: self-published; undated, ca. 1950s.

14: Griffin, Barry; Irish Surname Maps for the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland, https://www.barrygriffin.com/surname-maps/irish/ (accessed 2023-03-11).

15: Image credits: Based on generic British Isles traditional-county borders map:
by Commons user “Visitor from Wikishire” of Wikishire.co.uk; based in part on previous maps by “Hogweard”, “Mabuska”, “NordNordWest”, and Maximilian Dörrbecker (“Chumwa”). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

3: Despite the anglicized name similarity, there is no particular connection between Galloway and Galway. The former is from Gall-Ghàidhealaibh, ‘Norse-Gaelic’; the latter from Gaillimh, of unknown meaning.

17: “Search”; Census.NationalArchives.ie; 2023; Dublin: National Archives of Ireland; http://census.nationalarchives.ie/search/ (accessed 2023-09-12). The particular entires of note were found in 1901 and 1911 census results.

18: Lawrence, William Mervin; of Dublin; bef. 1917. He retired in 1916, and was active from 1865, especially 1880–1915 when he travelled Ireland and amassed some 40,000 photographic plates. This image was found via HistoricalPictureArchive.com but is out of copyright and is public domain; almost certainly originally from the National Library of Ireland, which acquired his entire oeuvre of negatives in 1943.

19: Moore, Sheryl; “Patrick Mc Candless (abt. 1684)”; WikiTree; 2023; https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mc_Candless-3 (accessed 2023-09-22).

20: MacLysaght, Edward; More Irish Families; new, revised and enlarged ed.; 1996; Irish Academic Press; p. 10. This is a combined version of the original More Irish Families (1960) and Supplement to Irish Families (1964), with additional revisions.

21: Lynch, Anthony; “A Calendar of the Reassembled Register of John Bole, Archbishop of Armagh, 1457–71”; 1992; Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society‘ Vol. 15, No. 1; DOI: 10.2307/29742537; pp. 118, 136–137, 149, 163, 176. Provides various other spellings, including [Mc]Kathmaill, Kachmayll, Kamayll, Camayll, Camaill, etc.

Last modified 2024-05-19 by SMcCandlish.