I started out in genealogy hoping to learn something about my ancestors after I came to realize I knew next to nothing about them.
I discovered that my line of McAdoo's (or 'McAdow' as it is sometimes spelled), came in the form of two brothers and their sister, who arrived at the port of Charleston, South Carolina, sometime during the second or third wave of the mass migrations of Scotch-Irish from the northern Irish province of Ulster to the American colonies between 1718 to 1750. According to family legend, they left Ulster searching for new lives in the colonies after their father re-married a woman they did not approve of (or maybe she sent them packing, who knows!).
The siblings eventually made their way to the then-western frontier of North Carolina and settled in the area near where the Guilford Courthouse would be built and defended from British General Cornwallis and his loyalist army. From Guilford County, they wove themselves and the fate of their descendants into the very fabric of American history. They fought and died in every American war, as patriots in the first one, and in the case of that so-called "civil" one, on both sides.
They pushed west with the frontier, some signed the Cumberland Compact and sailed aboard Colonel Donelson's Flotilla down the Holston River to settle Fort Nashborough in what would later become Tennessee.
Some migrated with their neighbors to take up land grants in Middle Tennessee earned on revolutionary war battlefields. The next generation pushed on further to the Republic of Texas and all points north and west in a never-ending quest for new opportunities and a better life.
There are other McAdoo families who arrived in America separately from those of my line, but I have little doubt that somewhere back in Ulster or in Scotland, there is a common connection and all the McAdoo/McAdow lines are related.
The life stories of most McAdoos are lost to history. Still, some of the more clever and resourceful McAdoos founded the breakaway Cumberland Presbyterian Church, built New York railroad empires, and served as senators, Confederate generals, Texas supreme court justices, and US cabinet secretaries. Heck, one even ran for President.
One of my favorite things about Wikitree is the Relationship Finder. History becomes much more interesting when you can personally relate to a specific person who experienced any historically significant event.
Once you have connected your profile to the main trunk of the global tree, the ability to see your deep ancestors is a hoot and a real eye-opener.
Who cares whether each one of the relationships that lead back to a historically significant ancestor will ultimately be 'proven' beyond any doubt?
It is arguably true because Wikitree has sufficient data to suggest that it is !
And to top it off, Wikitree can prepare a nice printable chart documenting the descent path.
If you are looking for a conversation starter the next time you meet with friends or family, take along a copy of your favorite relationship chart.
Link to the McAdoo One Name Study
Link to the McAdoo ONS Quick-Navigation Index Page
Link to the McAdoo ONS Bibliography of Reference Sources
Link to Useful Roman, Regnal, Julian Date Converters
Link to Useful Wikitree Utility Browser Extensions
Link to Useful Wikitree WT Apps