John McCarthy – Computer Scientist

19 Sep

Most of us, from birth, have been on a continual course to obtain more intelligence.  A high IQ is not only a way to feed oneself – but also a pretty good way to let others know how intelligent you are. Just be careful, bragging about a high IQ may require you to prove it.

In any case there was a man who apparently became so full of smart that he ran out of smarts to what was he to do?  Lesser men would remain at that level, full of smarts..enjoying the station of reaching their intellectual capacity…not John McCarthy!

John McCarthy invented more “smarts”. That is right, in 1955, being plum full of smarts, John McCarthy coined the term “Artificial Intelligence” and he was just getting started…by the summer of 1956 gave birth to a new field of research science.  He developed the LISP programming language in 1960, to give others the power to create artificial intelligence. At MIT he fostered the idea of computer time sharing, which became very popular in the main frame computer world and  has been given new birth in today’s Cloud computing systems.  Amazingly he even developed new types of logical thought and processing tools used by every computer programmer today. Reviewing his life long work, there are few computer scientists that were as influential as John…and of course perhaps non as brilliant.

For his work he would receive the Turing Award, 1988 Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, and the 1990 National Medal of Science in Mathematical, Statistical, and Computational Sciences. I am also pretty sure he may have won a few high school science fairs and managed an “A” or two in his high school math classes.

John died in 2011. But before he did it is likely he may have programmed his brain into one of those time share computers at Stanford University. I say this because he still maintains his web page…and it is still under construction.

Andrew C. McCarthy – This one is still alive

30 Jul

I have noticed in my short span of time since I created this blog that I have focused on personalities of the Name that are deceased. In the spirit of also promoting and advancing the Clan in the present and future I bring to you Andrew McCarthy…

Andrew was formally educated at Columbia University and New York Law school. Andrew may not have chosen arms to wage war against our enemies, as tradition dictates, but he has waged war in a different capacity.

Andrew was an assistant to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. This position allowed him to lead the prosecution team against the terrorists of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He also helped to prosecute other terrorists that bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (yes, we have an embassy there).

I think we can all understand the problem with prosecuting our enemies in courts of law when the proper venue for that is the battlefield. But Andrew did what he could with the capacities given to him and would latter publicly state this position himself.

In today’s world we often find our greatest enemy is our own lack of clarity in thought, a wrong sense of right and wrong, and a lack of understanding due to a dearth in lessons that history should have taught us. Andrew now provides some of that clarity and some of those lessons. Presently he is a columnist for the National Review and has written several books.

Purchase his books and read his column. You will find some well presented insight.

Lia Fail and the Quest for the Stone of Destiny

20 Jun

Recently the “Stone of Destiny” has made the news because somebody decided to take hammer to it for reasons only known to the perpetrator. However, I suspect it was to perhaps garner some supernatural power that this person believes may be inherent in the stone.  Of course, the problem is that this person got the wrong stone.

The Standing Stone

The Standing Stone on top of Tara Hill in County Meath Ireland is mistakenly assumed to be Lia Fail, the stone of Destiny, that the Irish High Kings and the Kings descended from Milesius were coronated over.  The shadows of time have caused this confusion but a proper account of history shows that there is only one Stone of Destiny and that it currently resides in Scotland and is still used to coronate the Monarchs that came from those still extant lines.  The Standing Stone is no doubt ancient, but far from a coronation stone it had different purposes and was used by the Tuatha Dé Danann before the Celtic invasion of the Milesians. Previous to the mid-1800s this stone was laying in one of the ringed ditches on Tara. But that is another story and the proof of this is not the purpose of this article.

I thought since this news piece has brought the subject to the forefront, I might enlighten my readers as to what this has to do with the Clan MacCarthy.

The Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone resides in Blarney castle and can be used as physical evidence of the fraud perpetrated by Robert the Bruce.  Legends surround it, but the truth of the matter is actually very important even to this day.

Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, resided in Blarney Castle during the period in focus. Across the North Channel the Scots were having a dispute (a war) with the English. In 1314 Robert had spent some time gearing up for battle against the English he knew might come; as he was laying siege to Sterling Castle and the English were not pleased. To evict the Scottish squatters around his precious castle, the English King Edward had raised a sizable army (almost 20,000 soldiers) and were coming to cause havoc upon the Scots.

Robert had a problem though.  He didn’t have enough men to take on 20,000 battle hardened Englishmen bent on pillage and destruction. But he did have a friend in Ireland. Robert had previously made acquaintance with Cormac. A deal was struck between the two. Cormac would supply 4000 Irish soldiers and in return he required the Stone of Destiny, Lia Fail.  Robert the Bruce accepted and gladly received the 4000 Irish soldiers. Now victory would be assured because 1 Irish soldier is like having 10 regular soldiers. Robert now had a great number superiority as the Irish contribution alone would be the equivalent of 40,000 men – against the 20,000 Edward had. Robert also had a few troops of his own – so this battle against Edward should have been a cake walk.  And…it was! The battle of Bannockburn was fought over two days on the 24th and 25th of June in 1314. It was a complete Scottish victory and strengthened Robert the Bruce significantly. The Scots would eventually gain their independence 10 years later.

So, the battle won, Robert the Bruce delivered “a stone” to Cormac some years later. Now news may not have traveled as fast in the 13th and 14th centuries as it does now, but it could not have escaped Cormac’s knowledge that the Stone had already been taken by King Edward in 1296. Cormac must have assumed the Stone would be recaptured or returned to Scotland somehow in order for Robert the Bruce to make good on his word. Indeed there was an effort to get the Stone back from England as the Treaty of Northampton in 1328 required. However the Treaty was never honored. Never-the-less, Robert the Bruce did eventually deliver a stone to Cormac which he claimed to be the Stone of Destiny. But it wasn’t the the true Lia Fail…it was another stone and for whatever reason Cormac did not know that! He and his progeny for years did not realize the fraud; the stone they were given was eventually installed in the top of the Keep in Blarney Castle.

Many may be wondering why on earth Cormac would want a stone and give 4000 soldiers for it. Well, the details of that is yet another story. But essentially it is because he knew the Stone the Scots had in their possession was the real Lia fail and that it had, at the very least, symbolic power and rich history having to do with Kings and Rights of power dating back to antiquity.

Making Good Robert’s Indiscretions

So we come back to the fraud and the importance of that fraud.  Robert the Bruce made a deal with Cormac; who as a King and a Chief of the Clan was also a type of proxy for the whole MacCarthy clan.  The MacCarthy clan is still extant today and so is Lia Fail. It sits in Scotland today.  Therefore, to make good the deal, the Scottish ought to give us Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny (the Stone of Scone) or…perhaps they need to provide us the equivalent of 4000 Irish soldiers (40,000 Scottish soldiers).

We would rather have the stone as per the original deal, but we will take the soldiers as well.

Furthering the Science of Genetics

4 Jun

What would the McCarty’s have to do with Genetics?  You would not have to be a quick study to see that we have some of the best genetics ever gifted by the hand of providence.  However there is more to it than just that.

The entire field of modern genetics and molecular biology rests upon the shoulders of three men:  Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty.  In the Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment they demonstrated that it was DNA that contained the hereditary material (genes). Previous to this, it was thought that proteins must have contained such information.  DNA was not given much thought and was thought by many to be some sort of support structure to the cell.

Maclyn’s contribution to science did not end there though. His work with rheumatic fever helped to bring better understanding to the disease but also detect and diagnose it. The methods he developed for testing is standard medical practice today.

Macyln McCarty’s life was full of many other notable achievements and can be found here.

As for further reading on his chief contribution to science, it is best to get it from him, his memoir can be found here.

Memorial Day Honors: Joseph Jeremiah McCarthy

22 May

The Medal of Honor…

…the highest award for valor that a soldier in the United States armed forces can receive. Since its inception the United States has had a population of more or less of 554 million people. 3459 medals have been awarded, making the chances of you receiving one: 1 in 160,161…as if any of the awards were obtained by chance.

Of course we all know that these awards were not earned by some chance circumstance. These men  joined the Armed Forces knowing full well that they might meet challenges and tests that might maim them or kill them. None of them fully understood how they would be tested and that to pass their tests they would need uncommon Valor. None of them really knew how they might react when faced with perilous circumstances…yet the fear of unknown, the fear of the possibility of failure and of being branded a coward by your countrymen did not cause these men to choose lesser professions. Perhaps none of them knew they even had such Valor within them. Many would sincerely and humbly profess that they have no such character. Yet their actions reveal it. A child is known by his actions; likewise, men are known for theirs.

Now, being members of the fighting race and of royal lineage, it is also not just mere chance that the MacCarthy Clan would also have one of our own standing in the ranks of Medal of Honor recipients, so this Memorial day weekend we honor:

Joseph Jeremiah McCarthy

After his service in WW II, he also served in Korea. Joseph spent the rest of his days working for the Chicago Fire Department. He died in 1996 and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Billy The Kid: William Henry McCarty, Jr.

16 May

It has been said, and rightly so, that Ireland’s greatest export is its people.  No doubt this is true. When you look at the contributions of the Irish people to the Nations of the world it is no doubt that they unmistakably burn brighter in proportion to those people of other nations.

Sometimes though the brightness hurts the eyes of those around them…for those accustomed to the dark anyway.

The American West…a land yet untamed in the 1800s.  For America to fulfill her destiny in the world the West had to be brought to heel.  Who could tame such a land?

Well, the Celtic people brought the first civility to the wild untamed lands of the European continent before they settled in Ireland. There could be no better people to take on the American West – but how to get them out of Ireland? For Ireland was the perfect place for such a people. It is the most beautiful of all lands, and yet an island. The small island of Ireland serves a few purposes. It prevented the Celtic people from obtaining too many resources and it was such a nice home that they would not want to leave. If just one of those two things were not true it is a sure thing that they would have taken over the whole world!  So again, how to get enough them out of Ireland to tame the American West so a home could be built for people of weaker constitutions?

Enter – the potato famines of the 1800s. When there is too little to eat, well it might be a good idea to go searching for food elsewhere….and this, it is believed, is what brought a young family to Ireland that would produce one of the greatest legends of the American West: Billy The Kid.

His Legend continues to grow today and is recounted in comics, books, tv shows and movies.

A few misguided people will argue that Billy the Kid was an Outlaw and part of the lawless and uncivilized West. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, Billy was rough, ruthless when he had to be – and that is just the type of man needed to stick fork in the eye of the corrupt officials of Lincoln County in the New Mexico Territory; and corrupt officials are worse than the untamed wilderness.

The facts of the story spell out a  man worthy of tribute. And what of those lesser men whom he engaged in battle?

Well they would never have been in any story told, if they had not been illuminated by the light of,  a McCarty…

William Henry McCarty Jr.     Known to the world as:

Billy The Kid.

Book review: The MacCarthys of Munster by The MacCarthy Mor (Samuel Trant McCarthy)

15 May

The version of The MacCarthys of Munster that is usually obtained is a nicely bound facsimile edition of Samuel’s original book accompanied by a Commentary by the controversial Terence Francis MacCarthy.

The full controversy surrounding Terence can be found elsewhere. However, It is important to point out that the scholarship in Terence’s commentary is generally sound with notable exception of his misdeeds in regards to inserting himself into the Sliocht Cormaic of Dunguile sept of the MacCarthy dynasty.

It is also important to note that Terence, in an effort to promote himself, appears to be unnecessarily harsh in his assessment of Samuel’s scholarship.

In any case, this book is a must read for all descendants of the Name.

The first chapter provides a brief overview of the early history of the the ancestry of the MacCarthys and from where their blood line originated. The book begins with King Milesius of Spain (himself a descendant of Zerah of Judah) , his sons Heber and Heremon,  and from the Heber line we come to Olioll Olum who had Eoghan Mor (from whom the Eoghanachts derive their name) and then the line continues down the centuries to Aodh Duff who had two sons: Failbe Flann (the Father of the MacCarthys) and Finghin (the father of the O’ Sullivans). History shows  the MacCarthy Clan, though the younger of the two sons of Aodh Duff, was the dominant Clan and is to be considered the head family of the the Eoghanachts and thus the head family of the House of Heber.

The following chapters follow the history of the MacCarthy family, their kingdoms, property and details on the various septs that developed from it. Included are several illustrations, some genealogical information regarding the various septs mentioned, historical records, and a list of Authorities used to compile the book.

The book can be ordered from Abe Books.

Book Review: The McCartys of the Northern Neck, 350 Years of a Virginia Family by William M. McCarty, M.D. and Kathleen Much

30 Apr

Where Joseph O’Brien left off in covering the family of Dennis McCarty in his book The McCarthys in Early American History, William McCarty, in this book takes over. The McCartys of the Northern Neck serves as the standard for genealogical histories in both quality of and thoroughness of research as well as presentation.

This book is 600 pages long and hard bound with every care given to make this book not just an accurate record but an interesting read.

The book begins with some background information and some history to help orient the reader into the age just before the American revolution. From this one can gain insight not just into who came from who – but into their lives and accomplishments.

William also provides a wealth of insight into how genealogical research is done. If one were desiring to take a course in genealogical research, reading this book alone may suffice in providing the desired knowledge.

This family of McCartys was prominent in Virginia and intermarried, or had close relationships, with many of the First Families of America, including the Washingtons, Balls, and Lees among others.

This book can be ordered directly from Kathleen Much. She can be contacted at much.bookdr AT

I am unsure as to how many copies are left, so if you are the least bit inclined to get one, I would do so quickly.

Genealogical Research Guide

23 Apr

The past few years I have been doing some genealogical research on the different branches of my family.  For those new to this endeavor I thought I would share some of the things I learned along the way to help you.

Ask your Relatives

First and foremost, if you are even thinking about doing this for your family, start today. The older members of your family likely contain a great deal of history and knowledge that will not be in any records.  Additionally, they may have hard copies of records and photographs that you may never obtain if you wait too long.

When asking relatives for information be sure to ask at least for the following:

  1. Their real full name.
  2. Their real full names of all the relatives they know and nicknames they may have had.
  3. Where they were from, where they may have lived.
  4. How many spouses they had and who they were.
  5. Where relatives may have died and been buried.
  6. If there were any children that died at a young age.

These questions, among others need to be asked for each person as the answers to these questions can often be key pieces of information when tying together sparse records.

Of course you may run into relatives that, for whatever reason, are hesitant to provide such information. If this is the case, then perhaps they might reconsider at some point. But to make your search faster and more complete it is best to start with what collective knowledge your own family already has.

Write It Down and Fill in the Gaps

After you obtain this information it is important obviously to write it down and then record it using a service such as There are other sites out there but I have found, at least in the United States, that offers the best user interface and the largest compilation of records to assist you beyond what you may gather from family members.

Another excellent resource that may be of use is  This site allows you to search for the grave sites of family members and even provides pictures of the tombstones. This can save countless  hours of time and money trying to verify or discover certain vague records.

Of course, others unknown to you may also have information about your family or you may have information that can help others.  Some of the best forums for this type of the GenForums. For the McCarty there are these: MacCarthy, McCarthy, and McCarty among others.

Family Genealogy Books

Many times you may find that somebody in your family has already done much of this research or even published books on the family name. These books are real time savers. As you reach out to your family, ask if this has been done and get a copy – before they too disappear.

If you are fortunate to belong to a famous family you may have found that others have already made histories or books that may be of help. I will be doing book reviews on these in time, but here is a small list of books for the McCarty’s:

The McCarthy in Early American History by Michael Joseph O’Brien

The McCartys of the Northern Neck, 350 Years of a Virginia Family by William McCarty and Kathleen Much

McCartys of Virginia by Clara S. McCarty

Gaps too Wide?…Get a DNA Test.

Another way to help bridge a gap that may not be possible any other way is by DNA testing.  For the McCartys you would do this here at the McCarthy Group Project.  Even if you don’t think you require it, you should join the project anyway as it may help others and even allow you to discover relations heretofore unknown to you.

County and Court House Records

To track down some branches of your family you may have to visit the County Court or Clerk houses where they may have lived. Many of these counties have not yet computerized and made available their records to the different genealogy sites. If you make your way to these court houses be sure to not only look at the birth records, but marriage, divorce and property records. These records sometimes contain more information that you expect. So if you are unsure as to how to search for a person in the multiple record sets a court house may have – ask. Each court house experience can be quite different.

Book Review: The McCarthys In Early American History by Michael Joseph O’Brien

19 Apr

O’Brien meticulously scoured the records available to him at the time, before the age of computers, and provides a great detail of information that may be valuable to genealogical researchers. This is notable since some of this information may have been lost in fires or accidental destruction of the records before they were put on microfiche or digitized.

The records O’Brien presents cover early McCarthys in Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, Louisiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

O’Brien also gives a brief review of where the McCarthys came from and why many of them came to America. Notably due to being exiled in an attempt by the British to break the power of the McCarthys in Ireland.

Unlike other genealogical record books however, O’Brien uses these records to tell the story of the immense contribution,  that the Irish in general, and that the McCarthy’s in specific, made to the formation and expansion of the United States. A subtle thread can be realized after reading the book; Though the McCarthys were driven out of the land they helped to rule for a millennia, even with no one leader, the McCarthys were able to leverage their divine gifts of war to help defeat the British in the Americas and thus to help give birth to the Greatest nation to ever exist.

Originally Published in 1921 it has been republished by Nabu Public Domain Reprints.

This book can be purchased from  Amazon or Abe Books. The full text is also available online at