Diffusion of Clan Iain Mhoir
Upon the fall of their chief some of the clansmen were put to death, some were transported and others fled to Ireland or the mainland of Scotland. By an edict of King Charles I, "the mountain savages called McConnell" as he rudely described them, were forbidden to own land in their native country. Many of the McConnells settled in Renfrewshire, Dumfriesshire and Galloway. In the latter place they merged with the Gordons. Here we find many of them at the time of the Restoration in 1662 when Charles II ascended the throne. Episcopacy was restored and Presbyterian ministers who would not conform were ejected and their places taken by "curates" although the church services continued to be carried on much as formerly. Riots took place and we frequently find the name of McConnell mentioned among the participants.
The appearance of the name is too frequent to be recited here. Some of that name joined in the futile march to Edinburgh in 1666 and were slaughtered on Rullion Green.
The McConnells in common with other Covenanters refused all indulgences and, driven to desperation by the sternness of Sheriff Cleverhouse, in 1679 again resorted to arms. They were victorious in Drumclog but defeated at Bothwell Brig. Many Covenanters were put to death without trial. In 1685 five Covenanters were shot on Kirkconnell Moor. In 1931 six thousand persons appeared at this lonely spot for a conventicle held in memory of these men. Many who were not executed were imprisoned or transported to the West Indies to be sold as slaves. Many fled to foreign parts and there was thus a further disperson of the McConnells.
Some of the McConnells from Galloway became quite prosperous in later times. Their coats of arms indicate that these Galloway McConnells were descended from the ancient house of Dunnyveg. For instance, the coat of arms of Henry McConnel, (1801 to 1871) shows the royal Stewart lion, the hand grasping the "cross crosslet" and the boat, all of which appear on the coat of arms of that ancient house. The coat of arms of James Cecil Irving McConnell, who is still living in England, shows the same devices. Both of these are descended from the Galloway family. This would indicate beyond doubt that the Galloway McConnells are descended from the ancient house of Dunnyveg.
Reverend E.W.J. McConnel with most intelligent and laborious application, has traced the descent of the Galloway McConnells through this obscure period. In 1931 he published the result of his work in the form of a booklet. It is too long to incorporate in a sketch of this character. I take pleasure in presenting a copy of this booklet to your historical society [one in Fulton County, PA] where such persons as are interested may have access to it [it was lost]. It is one of three copies in America. [If anyone knows where to find any copies, send an e-mail to email@example.com.]