Lost Nation, Iowa
The McAndrew clan, raised in Lost Nation, Iowa, began with the family of Philip Eugene McAndrews and Jane (Jen) Bernadette McGonagle. From that union came 10 children. The McAndrew ancestors came from County Mayo, Ireland.
In 1984, several cousins, the grandchildren of Philip and Jane, collaborated to gather all the descendants of the McAndrews of Lost Nation for their first family reunion, hosted in Ankeny, a central location in Iowa. That turned out to be so much fun that the clan decided to repeat it in three years, again in Ankeny. Consensus at reunion #2 was that three years was too long to wait, so from then on it was decided to do a reunion every two years. Hosting responsibilities were then passed around to the family of each of the children of Philip and Jane. Approximately 120 family members gather each time. Many descendants still live in the Midwest, but some live on the East Coast and others on the West Coast, so a reunion can involve some serious travel for some family members, depending on who is hosting and where the reunion will take place.
Counting Philip and Jane as generation #1, a fifth generation is now emerging. If everyone appeared for the reunion, there would be well over 200 members. The fun and enjoyment that the clan has at reunions is so memorable that it is common for friends of family members to join the celebration.
"MacAndrews, of Norman origin, are a branch of the Barretts of Bac, Co. Mayo. They became practically an Irish sept, having a well defined territory on the eastern side of Lough Conn. So numerous were they in the seventeenth century that they occupy half a column of the large page index of the Mayo Book of Survey and Distribution. They appear in it also under the synonym FitzAndrew. Not so numerous now, they are still concentrated in Co. Mayo and all the sixteen Mac Andrew births registered in 1890 were in that county: the 1864-1866 registers reveal an almost similar position at that time. Up to the end of the seventeenth century the name was also well known in Co. Kerry. In 1597 three Mac Andrews of that county were attainted, in 1622 we meet a MacAndrew of Ardfert, and their association with that part of the country is testified by the place-name Baflymacandrew in the Tralee area. They were presumably a branch of the Fitzgeralds who have since resumed their original patronymic. At one time MacAindréis, anglicized MacAndrew, was adopted as a Gaelic patronymic by the Scottish family of Ross; their descendants appear to have resumed the surname Ross, which is numerous in Ireland, especially in Ulster; of the 90 Ross births registered in 1866, 70 were in that province and in 1890 the proportion is much the same. The only county outside Ulster with any considerable number is Cork."