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Byrne/Burns, etc.

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Are you a member of the Byrne/Burns, etc. project?
David Byrne David Byrne
December 30 @ 7:24pm
I have just received my ydna profile and I think that I added it to this group. My earliest known Byrne ancestor was a John Byrne who had a son Joseph Patrick Byrne who was born in 1860 in Higham Ferrers, Northampton, England. The family history that my father had was that my ancestor came to England to build railroads - a Navvy perhaps? Each successive generation worked for the railroads up to my grandfather John Owen Byrne who was an engineer. He also served in WWI in the Yorkshire Regiment - The Green Howards. My father was born in York and instead of the railroad chose the army and entered the Royal Horse Artillery and served until 1947. He then emigrated to the USA where I was born. Unfortunately the Ydna did not show any specific matches at the higher levels but did show a few possibilities with lower levels but going back as many as 20-24 generations. We have no knowledge of where in Ireland our ancestors came from and that is my goal with this project. David John Byrne
David Byrne
April 27 @ 1:44pm
With new information from old U.K. Census reports we now know that my ancestor came from Kildare, Ireland sometime around 1845.
David Byrne
August 9 @ 9:26pm
My earliest ancestor is also a John Byrne (1780-1846). Heand his family ended up in Quebec, possibly with a land grant after serving as a sergeant in the British Army. I don't know where he was born but family lore has him from the Wicklow area. John and his wife Bridget Doran had at least 6 children John, Patrick, George, Hugh, Ellen and Lucy. Some of his children were born in Ireland, and some in Canada. You can look at my tree on Ancestrydotcom / kapnkid140.
Anthony Burns Anthony Burns has a question!
May 20 @ 6:12am
Dear Administrators, I am fortunate to be in haplogroup I2, which is a relatively short list of kits in the Byrne/Burns project DNA results chart. I am one of 15 kits that has been put in group 19 which is labelled “Haplogroup I2a2a>M223 (Isles-Scots)>L126”. Of the 15 of us, 6 have a terminal SNP of I-M223 which does not tell us much. 3 of us are I-Y4751 which also does not tell us much – there are a lot of branches under I-Y4751 and Y-Full has estimated the TMRCA of Y4751 to be 1550 ypd. 2 are I-Y100052, 1 is I-FT73077 and I and one other are I-Y63570. Y100052, FT73077 and I-Y63570 are all SNPs under I-Y4751. The 14 of us are all positive to L126 which is Isles-Scots. All 14 of us have the value of 0 for STR marker SYS425, which I understand is typical of most Isles descendants. This leaves the 15th individual, kit 589794 who has a terminal SNP of I-FT65793. I do not believe that he is Isles-Scots – he is positive for I-M223, but seems to be negative for I-L1195, I-L126 and I-Y4751. He is also the only one of the 15 in the group that has a non-zero value for STR marker DYS425 and the rest of his STR results stand out as different from the other 14 of us. Kit 589794 is also a member of the I-M223 Y-Haplogroup project on FTDNA. They have put him in a group called Cont2b Group3c1a with SNP markers of M223>…>CTS1977>Y4946>Y5282>Y23418>BY13375>BY202340>FT65793. Sorry to have gone into a little detail on my first post in this project, but I agree that kit 589794 should be in a group under I-M223 in your results chart, but not in the Isles-Scots group with the rest of us. Happy to be proved wrong. Cheers, Tony
Anthony Burns
August 9 @ 7:09am
It seems that I need answer my question and perhaps explain why I asked the question. Kit 589794 is in haplogroup I-M223 but his ancestor branched off from the patriline to I-L126, which you are calling Isles-Scots, before SNP I-M284 (which YFull estimate to be 7100 years before the present day (ypd)) at about SNP I-CTS616 which YFull has estimated with an TMRCA of 10,400 ypd. My understanding is that the main objective of this project is to use Y-DNA to try to identify lineages of the various Byrne/Burns etc surnames. I can appreciate that it may simplify things to put kit 589794 in with 14 other individuals who do seem to be Isles-Scots, but the 14 of us are hardly likely to contact kit 589794 to try and find the common ancestor who was born about 10400 years ago. I suggest that Kit 589794 would be better placed be in a separate lineage group. Sorry if I am seem to be pedantic on this, but I see my uncommon Y-DNA haplogroup as an advantage in trying to identify my lineage and I see advantages to this project in trying to work out how the individuals linked to the I-L126 lineage fit in. The haplogroup is very old and dates back to the Mesolithic period and to hunter-gathers that have been in Ireland perhaps as long as the past 7-10 millennium. I am working my way through Daniel Byrne-Rothwell’s books and note that in volume one he attempts to track the identity back beyond the origin of the surnames to prehistoric myth and legend. However, in tracking back the history he only seems to go back to the Celts and at best about 700 BC. YFull estimate that I-L126 has a TMRCA of 3100 ypd, a period that goes many centuries back in time and the history may go back further. In June this year, academics published a paper in Nature that investigated the nature and distribution of political power in Neolithic Ireland ( They were able to identify and test the ancient DNA of 44 individuals. They found one sample (which they called sample NG10) in the most elaborate recess in the passage tomb in Newgrange that was radiocarbon dated to about 5300 ypd – about the time when it is estimated that Newgrange was built. They found NG10 to have a terminal SNP of I-L1195 – which is on the Isles-Scots patriline above I-L126 and below I-M284 (although the DNA analysis of NG10 indicated some derived mutations to downstream clades which would indicate that NG10 could be placed in the Isles Pioneer/Isles England part of the Isles Sector Tree for the I-M223 Y-Haplogroup project in FTDNA). YFull estimate the age of SNP I-L1195 to be about 5500 years ago which seems to fit with the radiocarbon date for the sample and the estimated time that Newgrange was built. NG10 was also found to be the product of first-degree incest, which suggested to the researchers that he was part of the elite – the researchers also identified relatives of NG10 in two other major complexes of passage tombs about 150 kilometres to the west of Newgrange. Based on the research the academics concluded “This elite emerged against a backdrop of rapid maritime colonization that displaced a unique Mesolithic isolate population, although we also detected rare Irish hunter-gatherer introgression within the Neolithic population.” The rare Irish hunter-gather introgressors included NG10. What do the administrators suggest that the 14 individuals in the Isles-Scots group could do to clarify their lineage and perhaps push the identity in the Byrne and O’Byrnes books back towards the Mesolithic?
Brian Byrne Brian Byrne
April 26 @ 2:12pm
Just upgraded my dad's dna to Y111. Hope it throws somthing new up because I'm getting mighty frustrated.
Brian Byrne
July 31 @ 1:37pm
Still desperately frustrated.
Andrew Byrne Andrew Byrne has a question!
March 9, 2019 @ 3:24am
Forgive me if this is just really, really not appropriate. But, it is a question I have. I think that a Byrne trait is directness, as much as it may be craftiness too. Anyway, in the purest spirit of simply wanting to know what's what, I'd like to openly ask the following question. I'm an Aussie so you'll forgive my hemispheric disregard for politic. Thanks to the literature and online resources, we are all able to find out the history regarding Irish clans and their status in terms of formalities both within the purely Gaelic context and the international one. The Byrne stories as detailed in the Byrne-Rothwell books are magnificent, and we all have our own contributions to add, insofar as our own known pedigrees go. Most vanish around 1800, for various reasons. Some don't. Some don't go that far. The DNA project is articulating the various lineages to the extent that it can. The Byrne diaspora is global, no continent is exempt. However, obviously, it is as Irish it gets, as far as its ancient origin goes. This notion includes all the consistent migrations and intercourse across oceans over the millennia. My question is this: there are currently two "Chieftain" websites. One is that of retired Irish architect Val Byrne, and the other one that mainly seems to pop up with Google is that of an American military officer, Lt.-Col. Charles Artaud Byrne. The website of the former does not mention the latter, and the latter's website openly declares that it does not recognise Val's claim. No more detail is offered. As a non-joiner by nature, myself, I'm simply looking at the outside of both wensites and wondering why this situation exists. My inclination is to go with Val, simply because the other site looks too shiny or something, but I wondered if there was hard-and-fast data that these claims are based (or refuted) on. Apologies if this ruffles feathers, no disrespect meant to either chap and I am sure we're all doing our best, but there are a lot of questions embedded in this scenario, and perhaps there's a point in discussing them. Or not! Just thought I'd ask.
Paul Burns
March 13, 2019 @ 1:05pm
Hi Andrew. I don't think there ever was a time that the Clan O'Byrne (and most others) did not harbour divisions, rivalries, outright feuds, etc. We are pretty much a DNA only project,and I certainly am not qualified to answer your query about current clan politics. I think your questions would be better directed to Daniel Byrne-Rothwell, or possibly to Emmett O'Byrne. You might also ask Richard M Byrne, my fellow administrator who has sole responsibility for the Clan O'Byrne section, if there is any DNA evidence for a "kingly" line. I don't think so, but Richard would know best.
Andrew Byrne
September 14, 2019 @ 10:21pm
Thank you Paul. It is also my understanding that in the Irish tradition, chieftains were elected rather than born, and that membership of a tuatha could be made by adoption or allegiance and integration, and not simply kinship in the literal family sense. A gaelic clan and the surname eventually adopted did not only include blood relations. This would be one explanation (among many) of why there are so many totally unrelated family groupings surnamed Byrne, and why a lot of Byrnes are more closely matched with non-Byrnes (and indeed non-Irish) by surname. I'll ask Richard, but you seem to imply that DNA proof of descent from (for example) Fiach Mac Hugh is yet to be established for anyone. Even if it were, it oughtn't matter much to anyone else, necessarily, for the foregoing reasons (but would obviously be pretty cool to have, if established).
John Byrne
May 17 @ 6:59pm
Thank you for this information. I never heard any other surname related to my father's (Byrne), so was shocked when my brother did a DNA test which indicated no relation to any of the several hundred Byrne clans. The link from the DNA test was to a Lennan or McLennan surname. I am still trying to discover where the Byrne entered. As you say, there are many reasons why and how a surname was "adopted" or taken.
Andrew Byrne
June 11 @ 6:29am
Yes, I think geography may have had a lot to do with it at various times. I think time and place, as much as anything else, had a lot to do with surnames in Ireland. In many cases, obviously not all, not usually those closer to the power bases. But who knows? Main thing is, neither "chieftain" can prove, via dna alone, actual physical descent from Feagh. And even were it so, chieftains were elected, not born, from amongst a crowd sharing the same maternal great-grandmother, or something like that. Still, it's interesting, or at least, it's all there appears to be, short of a time machine. The search is interesting in itself.
Matt Byrne Matt Byrne
April 24, 2015 @ 8:01pm
An overview/orientation might be help for newcomers. I am involved but frankly I am not really sure what I am looking at or looking for. I thnk we could get better participation and engagement if people understood how it all fits together. I could host a free online meeting (webinar) if someone, like Paul Burns or another expert could give us the lay of the land. Like this post if you agree.
Brian Barnes
September 21, 2015 @ 4:32pm
Robert, Paul Burns at the email directly above your post is extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. I am sure that he would be willing to help you decipher your results. Very good at putting it in terms that are easy to understand. If he can help a simpleton like me, Im sure you would be easy. :-)
Lendel Reynolds
May 22, 2019 @ 3:29pm
Well I just joined today. My daddy use to tell me a dumb man thinks he knows everything. A smart man realizes how much he does not know. The more the smart men learns the more he comes to know how dumb he really is. I am here to tell you I have not even gotten to the point where I know what dumb is. I would like some help understand all of this myself. I have a large learning curve to content with.
Thomas Burns
November 30 @ 2:38pm
we may never find what we want . that's why I take it with a half of Bushmills. I seem to make better progress that way. we may have loads of matches but little time to find the truth
Michael O'Byrne
May 14 @ 5:49pm
I've been testing for years and don't have a real sense of how the results all fit together. Paul Burns does an excellent job of keeping us posted on changes at the micro level, but I'm very visual in my processing and I couldn't draw a chart showing how my results all fit together if I had to. I've explored the ISOGG site and YFull (which comes the closest to my ides of a visual representation), but it is still way too complex for my understanding. This is very sophisticated science, full of nuance, far more so than the other commercial sites that provide simplistic charts. My best advice is to ask specific questions when they arise. Best o luck to you.
Lendel Reynolds Lendel Reynolds
August 1, 2019 @ 3:45pm
Just checking: How many if any of you Play Fiddles, Mandolins, Guitars, Banjos, Dobro, or A Steal, sing Blue Grass or folk songs? All my family play and sing. There were two brothers named McReynolds who have been members of "The Grand Old Operary" for over 55 years. They say our hillbilly and the old style county music came from Ireland. I was wondering if my talent came from this family or not. I write songs as well. When I was in my teens and early twenties I played in many bands. I don't have time for it any longer. If any of you do play let me know.
Andrew Byrne
September 14, 2019 @ 10:32pm
I play various guitar-related instruments, but only in the last five years have I been ready to explore Irish tunes, for various reasons, despite having played and studied music my entire life. I'm now totally addicted to Planxty, and if you listen to their first few records you will certainly recognise the flavour relating to "country". What we in the New World now call "Country" music is an interesting thing, and to my mind, the modern folk/country traditions in north America, Australia, even the UK and some parts of Germany and elsewhere in Europe, seem to derive or relate somehow to the Celtic traditions of former times, music from the land. Given the hugeness of Irish emigration to the Americas and Canada, it's certain that this, with other influences, produced "Country" music there. The Irish of pre-modern times were "country" people, living in rural and wilderness areas by nature rather than in cities, which were mostly made by invaders (vikings, Anglo-Normans, clergy), unless I'm mistaken. In my own case, although my parents were both musical and loved music, none of my many siblings really play, so how much is blood and how much individual peculiarity is hard to tell.
Terence Byrne
October 5, 2019 @ 10:37am
It was my brother who had the DNA done at my request many years ago. My maiden name was Byrne. However, both of my sons, Andrew and Michael, both learnt classical guitar from about 7 years of age. Once they were into their teens, they both got medals for their guitar playing. Sadly, neither of them pick up their guitars these days. It was Andrew who came out of school one day, passed me a letter and said "I want to play guitar".
Lendel Reynolds
October 24 @ 12:30pm
Thanks so much for both of your replies. I see from above both of you have had school training. No one I know about me has had real school training. None of us can read music. We all play by ear. I started playing around 8 years old. Daddy told me if you can sing it or hum it you can play it, that is what I have done all my life. I have written over 350 songs. At first they were only words. My brother told me what good is only words were is the music? I found my own stile and sound. Some songs have a Naïve American sound and tempo about them as well. Some or most tell stories like the old folk songs did in the past. I like songs which touch my heart.
Daniel Shea Daniel Shea
September 15, 2019 @ 1:09pm
Thank you for the add! I'm chasing my husband's mystery, John J. Shea, born (supposedly) in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, in about 1857. On later his records, his father is listed as John J. Shea, but years of research never revealed anything about that man. By 1880, John and his mother, Catherine (McGann) Shea show up in Connecticut. Catherine is always listed as a widow, never "remarried" or had other children. My husband did an DNA test, and I wasn't surprised that he didn't have many close Shea matches. His closest match is a gentleman named William O'Brien (80 to 110 cM, depending on the test site). I finally got my husband to do a YDNA test, and his top 4 matches are Breene/Breen. So I'm assuming that this is the name I'm looking for, but I haven't gotten any further than that in my search. I've been able to tie several of his autosomal DNA matches to each other and to David Breen & Johanna Crone in County Kerry, but I haven't been able to figure out where my husband's line might fall into that family. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be most grateful for the guidance. Thanks in advance, Kathy Shea
Terence Byrne
October 5, 2019 @ 4:14pm
I asked my brother to have the DNA test done on my behalf many years ago. However, my husband's grandmother was a Shea. Margaret Lynch married John Shea 1810 in Killarney, Kerry, Ireland. Their sons were John and Humphrey. John was born 1811 in Cork. Another ancestor John was born 1850 in London. Another ancestor John Robert was born on 13 November 1921 in London. John and Margaret had some of their children in Killarney and then moved to London where the rest were born. My husband's grandmother was born in London. We understand Margaret and John Shea moved to London around 1830 to 1840 ish. Colleen
james barnes james barnes
September 30, 2019 @ 11:18pm
My Y 700 results are in for # B142869, I have not learned anything since my Y 500, unfortunately.
Lendel Reynolds Lendel Reynolds has a question!
May 22, 2019 @ 1:40pm
Okay Richard thanks for the acceptance. Let me bring you up to par with where we stand at the moment. I know a little more about my ancestors than what I reviled to you when I asked for an invite. First of all the reason I did not go any more in dept is there were wars and courthouse fires which destroyed much of my ancestor’s records. I know more that what I can prove on paper by official records. My cut off to where I can prove is: Richard Spencer Reynolds Birth 1669 • in Cypress Creek, Lower Parrish, Isle Of Wight Co, VA Death 05 SEP 1754 • Surry Co, VA at age 85 My earliest know ancestor is: Robert Reynolds Birth 1505 • East Bergholt, Suffolk, England Death 1580 • Gravesend, Kent, England I ask this question. Is it possible that my Reynolds line is Danish, for I have read the ZZ7_1 age is somewhere around 250ad? So is it not possible that the Danish came to Ireland and were the fathers of the Ireland clans of the Irish Sea coast. I pose this hypnosis. Could it not have been possible the R-ZZ7_1 originally came from the Danish Kings who conquered England and Ireland? If so although we share the R-ZZ7_1 my Reynolds line would not be of the Irish Sea Coast clans. I have a lot of Irish ancestry already. My Grandmother use to joke about she had Mcgee, Mckey, Mcquire, and Mcquere in her family. I am confused why my name is Reynolds and I am so closely related to the Byren.
Lendel Reynolds
May 22, 2019 @ 3:57pm
Richard; I would like to ask you for more information regarding this Gaval-Rannall of the O'Byrne clan.
Lendel Reynolds
May 31, 2019 @ 2:22pm
Well Richard I see that I am an O'Byrne / MacRaghnaill / Reynolds. Any help finding members of my line would be greatly appreciated
Thomas  Burns Thomas Burns
February 3, 2019 @ 2:53pm
Hi Paul, this is my younger brother Stephen Burns. I do think he is a dead ringer for you. and you already share dna with me. as I share my Mothers looks , she was born a Pollock and I take my looks from her. my two sisters and my brother share the burns looks.
Thomas Burns
April 2, 2019 @ 1:06pm
thanks Paul, glad you liked the Pic. yes as you say donegal does have loads of McGee reference to us. my GG grand father married into the Ward family in Donegal and lived in Garvagh, County Londonderry