- Project launched June 22, 2009!
- New 111 marker Y-DNA tests ordered April, 2011
- 7th International DNA conference - Peter and Tom attended; Peter gave presentation: Houston Slides, November 2011
Clan families of Today
The Clan Donald DNA Project website gives some interesting aspects about the survivability of the existing lines that are represented today, and how "daughtering out" has changed the landscape of the DNA results thus measured. Some of their write up is contained below.
"Male lines regularly “daughter out.” Computer analysis of historical data indicates that as many as 95% of the males lines of 1000 years ago have daughtered out. It has happened within the senior lines of the Lords of the Isles, within the senior lines of the Glengarrys, and the Captains of Clanranald. Mark and his fourth cousin represent two dots in the pink group of the R1bs. At this time, both current points on the chart are likely to disappear by the next generation leaving descendants only through daughters. Clan Donald's historic pattern of active warfare and galloglas service, coupled with sons becoming Catholic priests, would accentuate this likelihood of daughtering out. One aspect of this “daughtering out” process is referred to as genetic drift. As lines disappear through war, disease, or “daughtering out” a relatively few core values become a higher and higher proportion of the overall male population. The “successful” grandfather lines become fewer and fewer. The lines we see on the DNA results charts probably represent no more than 10% of the lines existing within Clan Donald 500 years ago."
Clan Colla Surnames - participants who have joined the project.
Alexander. (also Sandison and Sanders) are variations of McDonald origins. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (3rd edition), Vol. I, pgs. 527, 528-536.
Biggins, Little. Variants include Beagan, Beaghen, Beggan, and Little (beag is Irish for small). They descend from the Maguires. Gerard Beggan of Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, heard this from, Peadar Livingstone, and DNA has confirmed it.
Boylan, Boylen. And also O'Boylan, and O'Boylen. Boylans are descended from Baodin, son of Tuatan, son of Tuathal, son of Daimhin (or Daimine), a son of Cairpri Daim Airgit (King of Orgiall), and descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. p. 365, p. 420, 669 and 671.
The O'Boylan (Ó Baoighealláin) sept are cited as early kings of Darty (Dairtre) in Orghialla. O'Dugan mentions the Muinter Baoigheallain in his Topographical Poem. From the same stock as the O'Flanagans of Fermanagh, the territory of Ó Baoigheallain (O Boylan) during early medieval times, as lords of Airgialla, stretched from Fermanagh to Louth before being reduced by the MacMahons. See Boylans, Click and scroll down about two thirds of the way (under Dartraige). See also famliy website, Boylan Roots., and O'Boylans.
Calkins. Calkins is likely a variant spelling of Culkin and MacCulkin, which O'Hart says were descended from Colca (or Colcan). O'Hart also lists Colcan as descending from Colla da Chrioch. See O'Hart, Irish pedigrees - published in 1876, pgs. 120, 202, & 389; and 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 608 and 714.
The Calkins family represented in our project traces its ancestry back to 16th-century Chester, England, just north of the Wales border. Local legend places Colchester as the seat of King Cole (or Coel) of the rhyme Old King Cole, a legendary ancient king of Britain.
The Calkins name may have derived it's spelling origin from the "Colcan" name and with time, it was changed from Col-can to Cal-kin and Calkins. Or alternately the descendants (or the clan people) associated with King Cole may have adopted the term Coles-Kin or Cole-kin, which may have morphed over to Col-kin, and then over to Calkin.
One of our project administrators, Geneticist Patrick McMahon, believes that the Calkins surname may have have derived it spelling directly from the Colla Clan itself. Patrick's thoughts on the origins of this Calkins family is below.
"A similar argument could be made for yet another family, the Calkins, who are also of Clan Colla and come from Cheshire/North Wales, being proto Colla and originating in another Roman Town, Chester. Equally, they could have come from any part of Britain, propelled westward by the Romans following failed uprisings such as Bodicea’s in East Anglia. This family might bear a derivative of the original tribal name, Colla Kinsmen or abbreviated to Colla-kin." And Colla-kin the changed over to Calkin.
Callaghan. O'Callaghans of Oriel are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 178 & 670.
Callan, Collins. Callan (Ó Cathaláin of Fearnmhaigh) "p. 121. The eponymous ancestor of the O Cearbhaill (O'Carroll) was Cearbhall, who died about 950...Cearbhall son of Maol Pol son of Foghartach was in the eleventh generation down from Nad Sluaigh and so belonged to the Ui Nadsluaigh, a division of the Ui Cremthainn. The eponym of the latter, Crimthann son of Fiach son of Daigh Dorn, is represented in the traditional genealogies as a grandson of Daigh Dorn son of Rochaidh son of Colla Dha Chrioch." "p.122. The O Cathalain descend from this Cathalan O Criochain, whose grandfather Criochan appears to have been the son of Lorcan son of Donnagan, this Donnagan (died 879, lord of Fearnmagh) being the paternal uncle of Cearbhall son of Maol Pol son of Foghartach, eponym of the O Cearbhaill mentioned above." Found in Donohoe - Report 5, Subgroup O1, p. 121-122. Click "About", then scroll down to the reports.
Carroll. Carrolls are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. There were several distinct O'Carroll families. The Colla O'Carrolls were kings of Oriel (parts of counties Louth and Monaghan). The eponymous head of the O'Carroll clan was Cearbhall, who was King of Orgiall in St Patrick's time. Land for St Patrick’s first church site was granted to the "Apostle of Ireland" by a Pagan chieftain named Daire or Darius, a prince of Orgiall, and a descendant of Colla-da-Chrioch. The O'Carrolls continued kings of Oriel to the year 1250. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 178, 379 & 671.
Cartin. The origins of the Cartin surname can be traced back to 446 AD as described in the Annals of Ulster as the Ui Meic Carthainn. Some of the surname variations are Carton, Carten, Cartan, Cartin, Carthainn, MacCartons, and MacCartins. Erc son of Colla Uais had a son named Cairthend by which the Ui meic Carthainn were established. The Ui meic Carthainn were one of the tribes of the Airgialla. See Cartin.
Connolly, Conley. O'Hart listed them among the principal families of Clan Colla. He said they were chiefs in Fermanagh, and were listed as part of one of the four tribes of Tara, and princes of Tara. The Connollys were a Gaelic family that emerged in ancient times in Monaghan. They were descended from Congal, a 10th century chief of the southern Hy Niall. The family Connolly name sept though... claim descendancy from Mahon, brother of the great King Brian Boru of Ireland. The sept flourished for the next three or four centuries. Notable amongst the family was Connolly of Monaghan. A Conley descended through Mahon would probably have Colla da Crioch roots. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1881 (3rd edition), p. 509 and 669; and in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pg. 454.
Dever, Devers. Devers according to O'Hart are descended from Fiachan. This is the same ancestor that the Feehans are descended from (Fiachan), who is listed eight generations below Daimhin (or Daimine), a son of Cairpri Daim Airgit (King of Orgiall), and descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 669 & 671.
Devine. Devines, Devins, Davins are descended from Daimhin (or Daimine), a son of Cairpri Daim Airgit (King of Orgiall, and descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch). They were lords of Fermanagh. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 403 and 669.
Donoghue. O'Donoghoes were chiefs in Teallach Modharain in County Meath. Variant of McDonaghy, which is listed as descending from a Maguire in Reports 2 & 5 of the Breifne Clans Project, posted at Clan Donohoe website. This line of Donoghues may be descended from Donnchadh Ceallach Maguire (d. 1473) son of Aodh Óg (Hugh the Hospitable), son of Pilib na Tuaigh Maguire (Philip of the Axe). And therefore they would be descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. For more info. see Donohoe - Report 5, Subgroup O1 Click "About", then scroll down to the reports.
Duffy. Duffys are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. Duffy has long been one of the most numerous names in Monaghan. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, p. 670.
Feehan. Ancestor O'Fiachain, anglicised Feehan, Fian, Fyans, Fynes, and Vaughan. Feehans are descended from Fiachan, who is listed eight generations below Daimhin (or Daimine), a son of Cairpri Daim Airgit (King of Orgiall), and descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 446, 513 & 671.
Goggins. Goggins may be a spelling variation of Cogan, Coggan, Coggins. Goggins may also be just a variant of Calkins. As a variant of Calkins, this participant may possibly descend from Colga (of Uster) a son of Ceallach, the ancestor of the Clan Kellys of Fermanagh. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. 1 - Pages 671.
Hart, O'Hart. John O'Hart wrote that at least one lineage of this family are descended from the ancestor of the Kellys of Ulster, which were descended from Daimhin (son of Cairpri Daim Airgit, King of Oriel)... and who was descended from Colla da Chrioch. The Kellys of Ulster were located in the country of Fermanagh. The O'Hart lineage from these Kellys follows: Ceallach (ancestor to the Kellys), Colga, Donall, Fionnachtach, Art, Donall, and down to Felim O'Hart the first of this family to assume this surname. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pg. 672.
Heaney. There were several septs with variant spellings for this surname. One of the most prominent clans in Fermanagh prior to the Maguire ascendancy was the Clann Lugain made up of the Ó hEignigh, Ó Maolruanaidh and Ó Dubhdara families. The ancient sept originating from Oriel was called O'hEignigh. The Ó hEignigh and Maolruanaidh septs were noted as kings of Fermanagh until becoming tributary to the Maguires around 1202. They were descendants of Mulrooney, 104th King of Oriel, who was descended from Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, p.818 and p.672.
Henretty. A variant of Hanratty.
Gaelic Irish in origin anglicized from the ancient Gaelic "O'hAnrachtaigh". They were descended from Colla da Chrioch through Ionrachtach, a scion of the Maguires, and the chiefs of the O'Hanraghtys of whom several are mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters between 1019 and 1161. The sept was found chiefly in the old territory of Oriel comprising Counties Armagh and Monaghan and parts of south Down, Louth and Fermanagh. The modern forms of the surname are Hanratty, Hanretty, Henratty and Henretty. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1881, pg 188.
Herrington. A variant of Harrington. I believe Harrington is descended from Colla da Chioch... through Colga (Clan Colgan) a son of Ceallach, the ancestor of the Clan Kellys of Fermanagh. The references for Harrington are not very clear, and their path is uncertain. The known references are not linked together very well. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. 1 - Pages 484 and 671.
Higgins. Higgins' are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. There are multiple septs of Higgins. There is a O'Higgin (or Higgins) origin described as through Cosgrach - who was said to be the ancestor of O'Aedhagan, and that this was Anglicised O'Higgin by some, and also Egan and MacEgan by others. This origin does go back to to Colla da Chrioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pg. 669.
Hugh, Hughes. Hughes (or MacHugh) is a anglicized form of MacAodh. MacAodh is linked with the Maguire pedigree. See "MacHugh of Ulster" in John O’Hart's book published in 1892, Vol. I, Page542.
Kelly, O'Kelly. An old Gaelic clan name, Ó Ceallaigh (anglicisized as O'Kelly). This name is derived from Ceallach, a celebrated chief of the ninth century, who is the ancestor of the O'Kellys. From DNA analysis it appears that the Kellys of Hy-Maine are different from the Kellys of Ulster, or those Kellys who would have been from Oriel and descended from Daimhin, King or Orgiall.
The Kellys represented in this project would have descended from a branch of the Clan Colla of Orgiall in Ulster, and are of the same descent as the MacMahons, lords of Monaghan; Maguires, lords of Fermanagh; O'Hanlons, lords of Orior in Armagh, etc. In the fourth century, Main Mor or "Main the Great", a chief of the Clan Colla, conquered a colony of the Firbolgs in Connaught; and the territory so conquered, which was possessed by his posterity, was after him called Hy-Maine (signifying the territory possessed by the descendants of Main), which has been Latinized "Hy-Mania" and "I-Mania." See Main Mor, Clan Colla and O'Kelly (in John O'Hart's book). It appears according to DNA analysis that John O'Hart was incorrect in claiming that the Kellys of Hy-Maine were descended from Clan Colla. The first Chief of the name was Tadhg Mór Ua Cellaigh, 36th King of Uí Maine.
There appears to be more than one origin for the Kelly surname. There were O'Kellys who were descended from Iomchadh, the 2nd son of Colla da Chrioch; and there were also Kellys who were descended from Daimhin, son of Cairpri Daim Airgit, King of Oriel... who was also a descendant of Chrioch. see Kellys of Fermanagh through Daimhin, King of Orgiall. As well, as mentioned earlier the Kellys of Hy-Maine seem to have their own origins too.
John O'Hart wrote this concerning the 2nd origin of the name; Ceallach, his son; a quo Clan Kelly, in the country of Fermanagh, and from whom descended Kelly of Ulster. The MacDomhnaill family native to Fermanagh were descended from Clan Kelly, of Ulster. The MacDomhnaill name was also anglicized to MacDonnell, MacDaniel, Daniel, O’Donnell; and probably McDonald as well. Kellys of these various origins are ultimately descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 669 and 671-672.
Kern. A variantof Kearns and Cairns,and according to John O'Hart, he wrote that they were descended from a sidebranch of the same line as "Clan Kelly" of Fermanagh, and the O’Harts;both who were descendants of Colla da Chrioch. They were descended from Foghartach,from whom descended the Ulsterfamilies of Cairn, Kern,Cairns,Flanagan, Donnellan. See O’Hart. 1892 (5thedition) Vol. 1, Page374.
Lawlor, O'Lawlor, Lawler. According to John O'Hart's book Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, volume 1, on page 514 it says that the surname Lawlor and MacMahon share the same line. Lawlors of Monaghan are said to descend from Donachan, brother of Paul who is No. 99 on the "MacMahon" (of Ulster) pedigree. Donachan was the ancestor of 0'Leathlabhair; anglicized Lalor, Lawler, and Lawlor. Donachan is a descendant of Colla da Chrioch. See link Lawlor (Lawler) of Monaghan.
Lynch. Lynchs are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. The Gaelic is O'Loingsigh (or Loingsy), which means mariner. Cairpri Daim Airgit, King of Airgialla (Kingdom of Oriel, died 513AD), had several sons; 1. Daimhin 2. Cormac 3. Nadsluagh 4. Fearach 5. Fiacha, 6. Longseach 7. Brian 8. Dobhron. I believe that our Lynch participant may be descended from the no. 6 son, Longseach. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 669 & 671.
MacCall. The MacCalls and MacColls are a sept of the MacDonalds.
MacDougall. The MacDougalls are descended from Carrell Colla Uais. They were descended from Dubhgall (a brother to Somerled), son of Giolla Brighid. Dubhgall's brother "Somerled" was lord of the Hebrides; and founder of the Kingdom of the Isles. Many of Somerled's descendants however... carry Norse, or Viking DNA. Our MacDougalls though, display a Celtic (Clan Colla) DNA signature. This may indicate that they're true descendants of a Celtic pedigree back to Colla Uais, where as either Somerled (or his descendants) do not carry the Colla bloodline. Many of the descendants of Colla Uais lived in Scotland. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 528, 539, & 669.
MacRory, Rogers. The MacRorys are descended from Carrell Colla Uais. They are descended from Rory (brother to Domhnall [son of Randal]. Rogers is an anglicised form of MacRory. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs 529, 536 & 669.
Maguire, McGuire. The Gaelic spelling Mag Uidhir was first mentioned in the Annals of Ulster in 956 A.D. The word Uidhir, meaning “pale coloured one”, is the possessive form of the proper name Odhar. This Mag-Uidhir ancestor (Odhar) is listed 11 generations below Cormac, a son of Cairpri Daim Airgit, a descendant of Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 403, 509, 514, 565, 576-578, 670, and 817. Maguire Genealogy. The Maguires and the Origin of the McGuires.
The Maguires supplied Chiefs, Princes, and Kings to Fermanagh, from about 1264 A.D., when they supplanted the former Chieftains (O'Daimhin, or Devin), and continued in power till the reign of King James II., of England. Their stronghold, Maguire’s castle, is still in Enniskillen. The Maguire Clan ruled over county Fermanagh in Ireland for about 400 years (from about 1202 to 1607). The Ó hEignigh and Maolruanaidh septs were noted as kings of Fermanagh until becoming tributary to the Maguires around 1202. And the Maguire rulership came to an end for all practical purposes in 1607 during the time of The Flight of the Earls. Cuchonnacht Maguire was instrumental in the organising the Flight of the Earls, acquiring the boat in France from which they sailed. Cuchonnacht had planned the mission for over a year, (see http://www.flightoftheearls.ie/maguire.htm).
Matthews. In Ulster and Co. Louth, the surname Matthews was used as an anglicized form of McMahon. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, p. 550.
McAuley. McAuleys are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. MacLysaght says they are a branch of the Maguires. They lived in the baronry of Clanawley, southwest of Enniskillen. See Clan Awley.
McArdle. The McArdle's have since the earliest times, been closely associated with the ancient kingdom of Oriel. They were a branch of the McMahons through Nadsluagh, one of the most powerful and influential families in Ulster. The McArdle’s derive their suname through Ardghail Mac Mathghamhna Mór, the McMahon Chief from the year 1402 to 1406. They are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 669 & 816.
McDaniel. McDaniel can be a variant of McDonald, and through those origins would normally be descended from Carrell Colla Uais. The MacDomhnaill family native to Fermanagh though were descended from Clan Kelly, of Ulster. The MacDomhnaill surname was anglicized to MacDonnell, O’Donnell, MacDaniel, and Daniel. McDaniels of this line from "Clan Kelly" are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 536 & 672.
McDonald. The McDonalds are descended from Carrell Colla Uais. They were Lords of the Isles according to O'Hart. These McDonalds are to be distinguished from other McDonalds of Norse descent. See the Magenta subgroup in the Clan Donald DNA Project. Alastiar Og McDonald, Lord of the Isles was also known as Alastar MacColla. He and his sons were exiled from Scotland to Ireland after the Battle of Bannockburn with Robert the Bruce in 1095. For McDonald references, see O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 527-528, 565, 669, and 821. See also 43 Generations: Colla to McDonald.
McKenna. There appears to be multiple origins, or septs for the surname McKenna. The family in Irish was called MacIonaigh. They were Chiefs and Lords of Truagh, in County Monaghan. McKennas are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 543, 669 & 816. See McKenna Country.
McMahon. There are several unrelated septs; or origins for the surname McMahon. Our distinct McMahons are descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch, through Nadsluaigh, a son of Cairpri Daim Airgit (Argait), King of Airgialla. The MacMahons were Kings of Oriel for some 400 years, replacing the O'Carrolls in 1250. By 1300 the MacMahons gained control over much of the area of modern day County Monaghan. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 549-550, 669 & 671. See Clan McMahon of the Kingdom of Oriel. Some surname variations are: Mathews, McArdle (named after Ardle MacMahon), McPhillips (named after Phillip MacMahon) and Ennis and Connolly. See also 49 Generations: Colla to McMahon.
McQuillan. The McQuillan name has multiple origins, or septs. The Gaelic spelling was MacUighilin i.e. son of little Hugh, and was also spelled sometimes MacUidhilin. The MacUidhilin, or MacQuillans, were one of the chief clans in Dalriada who held the territory of the Routes. The MacQuillans chief seat was at Dunluce. In O'Hart's 1876 "Irish Pedigrees", O'Hart says that the MacQuillans were powerful chiefs in Antrim, and were considered to have been descended from the Clan Colla with origins in Scotland. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1876, p. 192; and 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, p.821. See McQuillan Clan Association.
Peden, Paden. The Peden Y-DNA project has shown that there are multiple Scottish origins for Peden families. Peden is a patronymic name from the Gaelic "Paidin", the diminutive of Padruig (Patrick.) The Pedens with the 425 null result would have their origins in the western isles of Scotland and descend from Colla Uais. The Pedens are recognized as a sept of Clan MacDonald of the Isles and of Clan MacLean of Lochbuie.
Roberts. These Roberts are listed 15 generations below Colla Uais. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1881, p. 301.
Roderick. These Rodericks are from Llantrisant, Glamorgan, in southern Wales. The earlier Welsh name was Rhydderch. According to O'Hart Vol. one, on page. 383 a Roderick is listed about 7 generations under Ruadhrach, which is a variant spelling of Rhydderch (the Welsh spelling). Note that Airmheadhach is the ancestor of "Clann Coleman, of Orgiall", and his brother is listed as Maolodhar Caoch (who is No. 92 on the Brody pedigree). On page 371, the same Maolodhar Caoch is again listed as the ancestor to Brody... and he's listed 6 generations below Fiacha Casan, the son of Colla da Chrioch. Therefore it stands to reason... that this particular Roderick line must be descended from Muredach Colla da Crioch. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (5th edition), Vol. I, pgs. 371 and 383.
Shannon. Shannons can have more than one origin. Some Shannon families descend from Clan MacDonald (Colla Uais). And also according to John O’Hart... there was a Shannon line descended from Firbis (son of Colcan) and ancestor to O'Connor of Orgiall, of Clan Colla. See O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, published in 1892 (3rd edition), Vol. I, pgs. 639-640.
John O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees, Volume I and Volume II. For more info. see Descendants of the Three Collas.