Meagher, Magher, Maher, Mahar, Marr Surname Project
First, a summary of the varied interests in this project as of the beginning of 2012. There are 23 YDNA members of our project. Six of those 23 also have tested for mtDNA. Their results are in the mtDNA Results under the Paternal Meagher group. In contrast, there is a Maternal Meagher group in the mtDNA Results which includes three members who have joined the surname project because of their mtDNA connection. Four members of our project have received results for, or else recently ordered, the Family Finder test: one is a YDNA member, one is a Maternal Meagher mtDNA member, and two are, so far at least, Family Finder results only.
What other people in this project have been doing may be of interest for current members or for someone considering joining our project. But the original purpose of the project, and the continuing primary emphasis, is on the YDNA results. The remaining discussion on this page is about those YDNA results.
For the latest developments, please skip the next two paragraphs on this page. For links to background material, please continue with the next few paragraphs. There is a supplemental website for our group with additional discussions of our results. Some of those supplemental pages are old (historical, from a few years ago), but still relevant. For example, it is of interest to compare our R1b1a2 results with the modal values for the R1b group, and for the Atlantic Modal Haplotype as it was originally defined. For that historical background, see this page at the supplemental website.
As expected, the Haplogroup for most of our YDNA results is R1b, specifically R1b1a2 (i.e., R-M269, either confirmed or predicted by FTDNA). The remainder of our results are in Haplogroup I, with two of our members in subgroup I1 and one in subgroup I2. I is the second most common Haplogroup in the British Isles, with most of those I's being I1. The I Haplogroup is expected to be relatively rare (about 10 percent) among Irish with Gaelic surnames, such as Meagher. The previous discussion about I haplogroups at the supplemental site remains valid.
Our project has a variable number of subgroups of R1b1a2, along with the two I subgroups, one for I1 and one for I2. If you look at the colorized results, each subgroup has modal values automatically generated for that subgroup. The individual results then are shaded based on their departure from the modal value for that subgroup.
In recent years we have learned that the modal values for R1b, for R1b1a2, and for R1b1a2a1a1b4 (that is, R-L21) are virtually identical, and these in turn basically match the modal values for our R1b1a2 group. The one exception for our group is DYS390, where we have a distinct modal value of 25, not 24. Those members of our group who are R-M269 (confirmed or predicted) and who have not yet tested for L21 are combined in a single subgroup with those who are confirmed positive for L21. If we ever get a negative L21 result for that subgroup, it would be very interesting. For Ireland as a whole there are a number of subgroups of R-L21 that have been found to be well defined by unique SNP or STR markers. Until recently, none of those fit our results, as discussed for R1b for our group at the supplemental website. Things have changed though with the new SNP marker DF21. Three of our members have tested positive for DF21. It's not yet clear how widespread DF21 will turn out to be, only that it is downstream from L21. The fact that the Éile Carroll geographical project has several members positive for DF21 is interesting, as that clan is closely related to the Meaghers. For more discussion of the significance of DF21 for our project, and speculation about the relationship with Éile Carroll, please see this page at the supplemental website.
Someone who has not closely followed recent developments may be bewildered by the listings for our R haplogroup members' YSNP results. While reading this discussion of our YSNP results it may help to also be looking at the latest ISOGG tree for Haplogroup R and its subclades. Consider the two latest YSNP results for our members, kit numbers 24434 and 50174. Kit 24434 was encouraged by his group administrator to gamble, guessing that he would be DF21+, and to test for that SNP only. His test result confirmed that he is DF21+, and so he is automatically also L21+ (an upstream marker). But as currently set up, that fact only gets into FTDNA's system with the deep clade test. So the deep clade test has been ordered for him, and eventually his haplogroup and shorthand will match the other confirmed R-L21 members of our group (confirmed when they took their deep clade test, some of them several years ago). Kit 50174 in his recent test took the more conservative route, first ordering the deep clade test. With his deep clade test FTDNA in effect gambled, guessing that he would be L21+. Having confirmed that he is L21+, there was no need for FTDNA to test for P312, M269, or any of the other upstream or parallel branches. Being L21+ automatically means that you would be positive for the upstream markers, and negative for the parallel markers. The remaining SNP's for Kit 50174, besides L21, are all downstream from L21. But they are only those currently included in FTDNA's deep clade test. The ISOGG tree, which includes new insight developed over the past year, includes many more SNP's, including DF21. Those additional SNP's are not currently included in FTDNA's deep clade test, and can only be currently ordered under the advanced tests.