Early Toberhead McCool Genealogy

For identification purposes, I've arbitrarily labeled our McCool line the "Toberhead McCool" family. I use the term to refer to all descendants of John McCoole Sr., born about 1645 in Ireland or Scotland, as well as any other lines that are confirmed to be related to his descendants through y-DNA testing. If we identify other McCool lines through our research, we'll label them accordingly.

Thanks to extensive traditional genealogical research by family member Thomas Eugene "Gene" McCool, Tommy McCoole, and many, many more, we have a fairly good understanding of our earliest McCool ancestors. While much of it is based on original source records in Ireland and colonial America, that information is scanty and some of the conclusions are based on informed speculation. I'd love to hear alternative arguments based on original source records. Some of the details about which son goes with which father will undoubtedly change as we continue to learn more, but here's my understanding of the latest research as of September 2017.

This page will evolve as we learn more. Corrections, additions and questions are very welcome at .

Scotland to Ireland

The source of much of this early McCool information are several research reports by Irish genealogists, commissioned by McCool family members.

Our earliest known ancestor was probably Archbold McCull, born about 1610 in Scotland. He emigrated to Ireland as part of The Plantation of Ulster, probably in the early to mid 1630s. We don't know if he remained in Ireland during the 1641 troubles or if he returned to Scotland. He is thought to have had at least one son, John McCoole Sr., born about 1645 in Ireland or Scotland. Most/all American McCools are believed to descend from John. He probably had a second son, Archibald McCoole, but nothing is yet known about him.

Our McCool ancestors, like many families of the time, followed the practice of primogeniture: all of the family's lands were left to the firstborn legitimate son. The firstborn son was also given his grandfather's first name.

John McCoole Sr spent most/all of his life in Ireland. He's believed to have had two sons by his first wife (unknown), plus five sons and two daughters by his second wife, Olivia.

Hillmount at Toberhead

By the early 1670s, John McCoole had purchased a farm in Toberhead townland, in the civil parish of Maghera, in the barony of Loughinsholin, in the county of Londonderry, and province of Ulster. The Hillmount farm stayed in the McCool family for generations; the original buildings still exist.

John Sr. appears to have married late. We don't know the name of his first wife, but she may have been born about 1665 (perhaps 20 years after John). They're believed to have had two sons, Archibald and John Jr. John Sr. had another five sons and two daughters by his second wife, Olivia.

John Sr.'s eldest son, Archibald, was the second owner of Toberhead; his five brothers all emigrated to America. John's daughter Sarah remained in Ireland and married Danield Backhouse. Her sister Jane remained in Ireland and probably married Arthur Wilson / Willson.

Early McCool Tree

Based on the best information available in early 2019, this is the likely tree of our early McCool lines. Generation three is fairly certain; there's much discussion about generation four. Click on the image to expand; click again to zoom in:

I plan to add links to biographies of all of John McCoole Sr.'s children and grandchildren from this page...eventually.


Are we related?

Here are the GEDmatch Kit #s for my father and mother:

GI: A909282
CL: A216073

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