The First Bain was John ‘Ban’ Mackay who dropped the MacKay surname and moved to Olrig in Caithness with his mother (around 1435) after the battle of Drumnacoub in which his father Neil Neilson MacKay was killed.
After he settled in Caithness, John married in 1436 and they had four sons which I will now refer to as the original Bain brothers. They were;
John Bain born 1437
William Bain born 1438
Alexander Bain born 1440
Donald Bain born 1443
John Bain MacKay died in 1452. His descendants became known as the Caithness Bains.
If legend is true, then his sons went on to become the progenitors of the Clan Bain and it is from here that all Bains are descendant and from where Clan Bain began.
The following quote from the Clan MacKay Association of Canada backs up this theory and providers further information as to where each of the sons settled.
JOHN BAIN: born 1437, progenitor of the Bain families in Caithness and Haddingtonshire. WILLIAM BAIN: born 1438, progenitor of the Bain families of Clyth. ALEXANDER BAIN: born 1440, progenitor of the Baynes of Tulloch and Dingwall. DONALD BAIN: born 1443, settled in Galloway.
The descendants of John Bain Mackay are often referred to as the “Clan Bain” as there are references to a Chief of the “Caithness Bains”.
Source: Clan Mackay Association of Canada
With each of the brothers having numerous children or issue as referred to in times gone past and with over 5 centuries since the birth of original four Bain brothers (the sons of John Bain MacKay) there could be more than 20 generations each with numerous siblings/offspring and therefore masses of potential Bain relatives.
In addition to the family multiplying at knots over time. Due to events past there has been considerable migration & emigration which has seen the clan spread further afield to places such as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Of course as well as those that went there were those that stayed put in our native Scottish Highlands and those that stayed in Scotland but migrated to other areas such as our line who firstly went to Inverness then Glasgow before settling in Paisley.
Fortunately there are some historical documents and evidence on the Clan Bain origins and some documented family trees which makes the task a little less daunting. However the majority of this relates to the eldest child and their descendants and so forth. This means that there is a lot of missing information and in each generation lots of siblings and their related families out there just waiting to be found and connected.
It is my goal to connect the Bain families worldwide and share the knowledge and heritage of our ancestors .
Firstly I aim to find out which one of the original four Bain brothers our line descends from.
Eventually I would love to find the descendants of all four brothers but this is something I need help with due to the sheer volume and lack of data prior to the 18th century. .
Are you a descendant of Clan Bain? Can you link your family line to one of the brothers?
If you are a Bain descendant and have any details on your line which could help with this, please get in touch.