Can your DNA (Genes) BE THE Answer to breaking down Irish Ancestry Research “Brick-Walls” ??
DNA in Irish Ancestry Research — the newest data available and the finding of the Irish South Modal Haplotype.
IRISH DNA and Irish SURNAMES:
The South Irish Haplogroup is an exciting group looking into the deep Ancestry of South Irish and as compared to Surnames (as it is organized by Surname of the DNA sample) —
Please note this is NOT particular to South Sligo Irish — but South Irish in General, so as Sligo is in the NWest of Ireland, most would not use it for Research into Sligo area Families ! However, it is becoming a useful tool for Us and We wanted to pass on the information on DNA Testing in General and this new Data.
Men have Y-DNA and it is passed from Father to Son for centuries, mostly unchanged.
The Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-M222 was initially thought to mark the descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages . It is carried by nearly 20% of the men in Donegal today, presumed descendants of the fabled 5th-century warlord –Niall of the Nine Hostages .
R1b-M222 is particularly common among those with some purported Uí Néill surnames such as Gallagher, Boyle, Doherty and O’Donnell, though not most of the O’Neills themselves. Among the Connachta, supposed Descendants of the brothers of Niall.3 However wider testing has revealed that Donegal is not the hotspot for R1b-M222. The highest concentrations have been found in Belfast, in North-Eastern Ireland (44%), and Mayo in Western Ireland (43%). This is very interesting research for anyone with Ancestors from these areas !
Below are a few links in this area of Y-DNA research with particular interest of those who have Ancestors in the area (and presumably if they had lived in the area for a long time, migh be included in our DNA).
Surname records are limited in Ireland to (generally) the paper records noted throughout the Web Site, the Census and Griifth’s Valuation being the largest — with the advent and Study of Y-DNA, this is a new area for us and it is exciting for Irish Ancestry Research — both Amature doing family research and the Pros — in a long time ! So much possible one can not only watch and wait — We can be intimately involved and help move this forward — as DNA testing is available to everyone today and basic Y-DNA tests can be done for as little as $100 – but please wait till “sales” are in place at the Family Tree DNA site, and you can sign up to be notified !
IF you have elderly male Relatives that are blood relatives, you might want to quickly order a Swab (for the inside of the Cheek) to have their DNA tested and preserved — in fact it is smart for anyone with Elderly relatives, if they are willing, to have these tests done quickly. It is best they be given some information on the tests and let them digest the ideas (as they are surely new to them and they might not understand the power of being able to go back 1000s of years in Ancestry by simply swabbing their cheek cells…not painful at all, and some places just want some spit). By doing so you will be able to preserve all their DNA for testing and find out in short order (test results take about a month from our experience) their breakdown of DNA and if others on these sites have registered — YES you can literally find lost “family members” through DNA testing !
We will be adding many more links, articles, and Data in the Future, as this area of Irish research develops.
One of the most exciting groups of researchers for Us in NW Ireland, is oddly, the L-21 Haplotype. Related is The South Irish Modal Haplotype -below is a link to this ongoing research.
Some other Web Sites of interest( after a QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH) ARE the below and will be updated as time permits):
DNA Data and Records:
The above is data for the:
R1b-CTS4466 Plus – Y-DNA:
A Irish Ancestral Journal link, below:
Briefly, as with any Irish Ancestry research, Irish DNA research is a new subject with less than a Hard Subject to follow, but the U’Niels differ from the South Irish:
Surnames in Ireland:
IRELAND was one of the first countries to adopt hereditary surnames, many of which were devised during the reign of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, who fell defending Ireland from the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 AD.
Many of these names began as patronyms to define a son from his father or grandson from his grandfather. Thus, the reason for the common prefixes found on Irish surnames. Mac, sometimes written Mc, is the Gaelic word for “son” and was attached to the father’s name or trade. O is a word all by itself, signifying “grandson” when attached to a grandfather’s name or trade. The apostrophe that usually follows the O actually comes from a misunderstanding by English-speaking clerks in Elizabethan time, who interpreted it as a form of the word “of.”
The Norman invasion of the late 12th century marked the beginning of more than 700 years of direct English and, later, British involvement in Ireland. Before then, Septs or “Groups” in an Area, were the common lineages (such as the Eoghanacht lineages).
Before this for 700 years, in Ireland , changing from Septs to Surnames was a long, slow process as the iniotal attempt, those planted by England became “more Irish than the Irish” and little control was had by the English Crown outside “the Pale” (essentially Dublin).
As Septs were the “unit” of communities before this, and Tanistry was the local Law the English Crown changes only came slooowly – as the process of submission of the Gaelic Chiefs was often used for local political games — only until later did the use of Surname become common, and even then, changes were as simple as a person making the decision to change their name, or a misinterpretation when arrving in a New Country (and the wish to “fit in”) so until most recently in the 1950s and so on, it was relatively easy to change one’s Surname — but this is usually not the case for Our Purposes in South Sligo area —
With the English Law of “Primogeniture” was the Family Surname usually followed the Male line through time ! Which is great for those of IUs researching back as far as possible (but bear in mind, most of the spelling must be ignored and any similar spelling must be considered as a possibility as then, spelling was often only as good as the person writing it down, and even then, some were not spelled the same every time it was written down, and also many were not literate.
Different lineages go down from time to the earliest we know, such as the Eoghanacht lineages:
Generally many of Us researching our Ancestors from Ireland, including South Sligo, We eventually run into the well known “Brick Walls” mainly because of the lack of written records, Many of Us do not become interested in our Ancestry until later in life, and often after the Elders” generally GrandParents, or Great GrandParents – We therefore loose the most important information or data – firsthand knowledge of their Parents — and We end up searching the Gov. records, or BMDs (in Ireland “B” or Birth is often substituted with Baptism as it was mostly recorded only after decree in 1864…but many Roman Catholic Churches were keeping records before then (as in England the Census started every ten years from 1801) so those Who traveled, like many knew that records were kept in England of Census (or BMD s) some 53 years before Ireland was required by law to do so, thus many, like in Sligo were started in the 1840s.
with all, or most We can find of the records for Ireland. Although most are listed here on the FREE RESEARCH LIST 1 and 2, and it is updated as much as possible, the newest way to TRY to get past the lack of Ireland’s Census and other records, many are turning to DNA testing.
Problem with this is that We do not have the DNA of the Ancestors We seek and have no way of every getting it – but We also carry most of these DNA Genes in Us, or if you are female and have a Male Relative, you can seek them out to test for Y-DNA tests which go from Father, to Son through the Centuries with little, if any, changes (and when it did change it is a marker along the way that is significant).
For those in South Sligo the Irish Modal Type (IMH) on Family Tree DNA, and several Irish (and other) Researcher’s are using DNA to dig deep (like 1000s of years back) into Ancestry.
Although at the present time the sample are too small to make recent time discoveries (like your Great GF or Mother) if more and more people test and make the Anonymous DNA data available to the researchers (note that it can be set to NOT use Surnames, and only numbers are used to Identify the sources) unless you want surname included, which sometimes helps.
If you want to do this you can get tests from any number of companies, but the one making the biggest advances of Family Tree DNA (no connection between us) and the Irish DNA Projects — several arew trac king the South Irish Modal Haplotype as well as others like the O’Niels who “brought” St. Patrick to Ireland !!
Many exciting discoveries are going to happen, but the need for more Irish DNA is acute — both from Ireland and Irish Ancestors Worldwide (including Irish from the USA)! So, do some research into these and look to the exciting work of the South Irish L221
It is up to every person who has their DNA tested how the data is used, or compared to others — so you can keep it as private as YOU WANT or you can let them compare it to others in this area and this makes the research move alone much faster. It is like most Ancestry research best to keep living people off the”lists” but they can also just add a Number instead of the name of the DNA person whom it came from and also have several other means to assure of privacy — as this is THE CODE we are all made of, so it is very., VERY, important — but so is research. We will be posting more on the research into the South Irish Modal Haplotype soon, (sometime in Sept. or October 2014).
An exciting group is looking into
We also would like to hear from anyone in these testing groups, or other closely related ones *(like Munster Irish DNA) that are using DNA test to zero in on those coming to, or from South Sligo, as the L21 has linked the Ancestors From Spain and most of Western Europe as being from this Haplotype (but it is not the only one) and those descended from them…..it is a great time to get your DNA profile and if you want to jopin these groups you are free to or not to (BUT the more that test and compare, the more data they have, and many of the DNA testing sites if you wish, will compare it to others in their database and tell you if they have tested any “relatives” — most are 4th or later cousins, but some people have found relatives they NEVER KNEW and this is one of the most exciting research areas today !! Please email us at
if you have any information !!!!!!