The McCune One Name Study

As of 18th April 2019, the McCune One Name Study has officially begun taking place. 

Contents of Page:

  • About the Study

  • Etymological Notes

  • Notable McCunes

  • Maps

About the Study

The England and Wales ONS List ( claims that there are 253 people living in the UK with the surname McCune. It is ranked the 18,322nd most popular surname.

This page will be constantly updated with relation to the progress of the study.

NB: Though I intend for this to become a very large scale study of the McCune surname in the future, for now I am focussing on the McCune surname within the UK, Isle of Man, and Ireland; there is not, from my experience, a massive number of McCunes here. The name seems, somewhat bizarrely, much more prominent in the US, so that will be the subject of a future endeavour most likely. Please do get in touch if you have any information about a UK branch of the McCune family.

Within the United Kingdom, I am descendant of the McCunes in Yorkshire.


This website, created in December 2017, is just one facet of more than 7 years researching my family tree. This is how I share my passion for genealogy with the wider community. And how, hopefully, the wider community can share their passion with me.


The name McCune is one of great importance to me – after all, it is my surname! There is, however, due to its relative rarity, not a large amount on the name itself. Due to this, I have been working to gather together as much as I can on the McCune surname – and eventually turn it into a one-name study, when I have both the money and the sufficient resources. This website, therefore, functions both as a store of all my data, information and relevant links, and a way for me to expand the ‘McCune’ branches of my family tree to the extent that it is in other areas.

About the McCune surname

The surname McCune is predominantly derived from Irish ‘Mac Eogain’ in Connacht, and from ‘Mac Eoin’ in East Ulster. The ‘Mc-‘ prefix means ‘son’, and is found in both Irish and Scottish names; indeed, there is debate about where the ‘Mc-‘ in ‘McCune’ particularly comes from.

‘Eogain’ and ‘Eoin’ both denote ‘John’ or ‘Owen’; thus, ‘Mac Eoin’ (and, of course, the later ‘McCune’ as referred to here) can mean ‘son (of) John’ or ‘son (of) Owen’.

Etymological notes:

The Surnames of Scotland; Black, George F., 1962;

Black (1962) notes “”MACCUNE” (Also; Maccunn) of Gaelic* origin. An old surname in Galloway. [Listing replicated on]

Historical Instances: Gilcrist McKwnne granted a charter to Roland Kenedy (c1370-80). Donald Mackvne – 1497. John Makcune – Auchincheand, Galloway – 1535. John Makcune [different] – occupier of land of Balleballoch, Carrick – 1538. John M’Cune/M’Cunn – Craignesten [Dumfries] 1627. (See also MACKEON AND MACKUENN). Old: M’Cwne.

Etymology of MACKEON [Mackeown, Mackeowan, Mackewan, Mackewn etc.] seems to suggest pronunciation of [mækjuwʊn]. Also shows instances of Lanarkshire and Dumfries.

An interesting instance I found this listing discussed was in ‘THE COON FAMILY IN AMERICA’ [within ‘Stories for a Sunday Afternoon’] (Mires, 2014). Mires discusses that during “the time of the Civil War in Britain” (1642-1651), claiming that the “effects upon Scotland” have been “somewhat neglected”. After a description of Cromwell, Prince Charles and David Leslie’s involvements in the war, Mires discusses the appearance of ‘John Mackholme’ transported to Massachusetts on 11 November 1651 on board the ‘John and Sara’. This demonstrates the difficulty of finding McCune members and trees.


Notable McCunes

Adam McCune (novelist) (born 1985), American novelist

Alfred W. McCune (b. 1849), British-American railroad builder, mine owner, and Mormon

Barron Patterson McCune (1915–2008), United States federal judge

Debbie McCune Davis (b. 1951), American politician

Emma McCune (1964-1993), British foreign aid worker

Elizabeth Ann Claridge McCune (1852-1924), Mormon missionary

George M. McCune (1908-1948), co-developer of the McCune–Reischauer romanization system of the Korean language

Grant McCune (1943–2010), American special effects designer

Isaac McCune (1884–unknown), Canadian politician

James Allen McCune, Actor

James McCune Smith (1813-1865), First African American to hold a medical degree – (University of Glasgow)

Joshua McCune, Author – (not me!)

Keith McCune (b. 1955), American author

Lisa McCune (b. 1971), Australian actress

Robert McCune (b. 1979), American football player

Rolland D. McCune (b. 1934), American theologian

Sara Miller McCune (b. 1941) is the co-founder and Chair of SAGE Publications

Shannon Boyd-Bailey McCune (1913-1993), geographer and brother of George M. McCune

William McCune (1953–2011), American computer scientist

Other McCunes

McCune-Albright Syndrome

McCune-Reischauer Romanisation

McCune, Kansas

McCune Mansion, Utah (More recently, the Alfred McCune Home)

McCune Foundation, Pittsburgh

Joshua McCune – me!


world map
World Map showing known instances of ‘McCune’ from 1780 onwards
UK Map
Map showing known instances of ‘McCune’ within the UK, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man