I wish history had been taught differently when I was a child.
History was dry and boring and consisted of rote memorization of dates of disconnected events. At least, those events were entirely disconnected from me. It would only be years later that I understood their relevance and that many of those events were NOT disconnected from me. My ancestors took part in or many times suffered from those events.
Some of those events directly affect the me I’ve become – where I was born – which was predicated on which ancestors immigrated, and when. All of the circumstances of today were built on the decisions of our ancestors in the past, and their decisions revolved around those dry and boring events, like war, pestilence and famine…for starters…that were anything but dry and boring if you were living through them.
I needed a different perspective, so I am very glad to see that Lance McNeill has written a children’s book about Niall of the Nine Hostages, a man who is also my ancestor.
Lance sent me the following press release:
DNA Discovery Inspires Fully Illustrated Children’s Book about Irish King, Niall of the Nine Hostages
Austin, Texas March 7, 2016:
Niall and the Stone of Destiny is the first ever fully-illustrated children’s book about the journey of renowned Celtic High King, Niall of the Nine Hostages.
Inspired by his Family Tree DNA test results linking him to Niall, author Lance MacNeill embarked upon months of research to uncover the legend of King Niall. Combining the historical evidence with Celtic mythology and a bit of MacNeill’s own imagination, Niall and the Stone of Destiny was conceived. The book will be available in both e-book and hardcover formats. You can reserve your copy of Niall and the Stone of Destiny now on Kickstarter.
For more than 1,500 years, the story of King Niall was thought to be pure Celtic mythology. According to legend, Niall was born in the late fourth century AD and reigned as the High King of Ireland until sometime in the early fifth century. In 2006, an article was published by a research team at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Their research provided DNA evidence that a common lineage from the Irish Dynasty UÍ Néill, which translated literally means “descendants of Niall,” did in fact originate sometime during the fifth Century AD. They also estimate that nearly 3 million people worldwide are likely descended from Niall. Surnames commonly believed to be linked with the Niall’s family tree include the following: Donnelly, McLoughlin, McManus, Connor, Gormley, McMenamin, Flynn, O’Rourke, Devlin, Hynes, McCaul, McGovern, Molloy, O’Kane, Quinn, Cannon, Bradley, Egan, O’Reilly, Mc(Kee), Campbell, O’Gallagher, O’Boyle, O’Doherty, O’Donnell, O’Neill and MacNeill.
Figure 1: Surnames Commonly Believed to be Linked to Niall of the Nine Hostages
With this discovery, Niall is being propelled from the annals of folklore into the books of Irish history.
MacNeill says, “My hope is that this story captures the interest of the next young generation of Niall’s descendants and engages them in their Irish heritage and genealogy.” The book is great for all ages to enjoy, especially for children ages 6 – 10. To learn more, visit the book’s Facebook page or support the Kickstarter project.
Contact: Lance McNeill
As you can see, Lance’s book has been written, but not yet published. Lance sent me a sample page.
Lance is funding the publication of this book through Kickstarter.
I have never worked with Kickstarter before, so I needed to know how it works before pledging funds. According to Kickstarter, the credit cards of the people who pledge are not charged until the funding goal is reached. If the project goal is not reached, then no one is charged. If the funding goal is reached, then Lance will publish the book.
Here’s what Lance has to say about risks and challenges:
This isn’t my first rodeo. I authored and self-published the Comprehensive Crowdfunding Guide on Amazon.com two years ago, so I understand the process of editing, printing and self-publishing.
I’m also mitigating risk with a lean approach to this project. The story of Niall is really 3 times longer than this first book, but by breaking the story up into an iterative series, I can keep overall costs down and receive much needed feedback from early adopters. I’m aiming for a limited printing run of 200 books for this launch, a realistic and achievable goal. I’ve done the research on printing and shipping costs and have certainty that if the funding goal is reached, I will have sufficient funding to deliver as promised.
To learn more about me and the successful projects I’ve been a part of, please visit my LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lancejmcneill
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are various options, and the e-version is as little as $3. I would personally want the hardcover version for $20. In my family, this would be an heirloom item because we are descendants of Niall of the 9 Hostages, along with a couple of million other cousins!
The Rest of the Story
Now, for the rest of the story – I descend from the Reverend George McNiel from Wilkes County, NC. One of my cousins has tested to represent my McNiel line. I checked my cousins results as I was writing this article, and guess who appears in his match list. None other than Lance McNeill, previously unknown to me, but who I now know is my 6th cousin once removed, also descending from the good Reverend. So, you can bet that I’ll be ordering one of these books for my granddaughters and one for myself too! I hope he’ll autograph them!
The world gets smaller every day with DNA!