Driscoll of Ireland

Rulers of the Corca Laidhe
  • 123 members


This information was last updated on February 25, 2019.

QUESTIONS on administrative policies, project eligibility, FTDNA account setup, eligibility for testing scholarships, and more.

  1. What is the origin and purpose of the project and who is eligible to join?

  2. Based on my Y test, I believe I am a Driscoll. What if my last name is not eligible?

  3. I'm eligible. How do I join?

  4. How do I contact the project administrator?

  5. What is the project website?

  6. Why can't I view the Y DNA results?

  7. I'm new to DNA and yDNA testing. Where can I learn more?

  8. How much does a Y test cost?

  9. I'm not eligible but I have Driscoll ancestry. Is there anything you can do for me?

  10. I have privacy concerns. Will my name and contact information be put on the Internet?

  11. How long does it take to get back test results?

  12. How is the project administered?

  13. Is the Driscoll DNA project affiliated with the annual June clan gathering?

  14. What am I expected to know?

  15. What is the mailing list?

  16. Will you email a project member for me?

  17. Why don't I get emails from the project administrator or the project?

  18. (Required) How should I set up my FTDNA Contact Information?

  19. (Required) Do I need to grant the administrator(s) access to my account?

  20. What is the difference between being a project member and an Active Project Participant?

  21. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my earliest paternal ancestor?

  22. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my results to be shared?

  23. (for Active Project Participants) How do I upload a family tree into my FTDNA account?

  24. (for Active Project Participants) What else should I be doing in my account?

  25. (for Active Project Participants) How do I grant permission to the project administrator to include my results in published analysis? How do I get my PEDIGREE published ?

  26. (for Active Project Participants) How do I get my results included in the extensive analysis on the project website?

  27. What other projects should I join?

  28. I have two kits that should be merged / can't log in / have problems with my FTDNA account. Where do I get help?

  29. What are the eligibility criteria for a Y Test scholarship?


  1. The Driscoll DNA project was launched around 2000 to complement the existing Driscoll research community on Rootsweb. The project website was maintained on Rootsweb until 2016, when it was relocated to a private ISP for more reliable hosting. The community mailing list was migrated off of Rootsweb also.

    The primary goal of the project is to help Driscolls in the Irish diaspora find their origins back in Ireland. Our means to achieve that is by collecting and analyzing Y DNA and finding matches. See also: Project Goals.

    *** This project is for MEN whose LAST NAME is Driscoll or a spelling variation. ***

    *** A Y test of 37 or more markers must be obtained or already have been obtained from FTDNA. ***

    *** If you are NEW to Y DNA testing, please start with Y37. You can upgrade your sample in storage at FTDNA later when there are good upgrade sale opportunities.

    It is NOT required, but strongly recommended that Driscoll men whose SNP haplogroup falls under I-P37 or R-M269 further undergo Big Y testing in order to filter out false Driscoll matches. When you purchase a Big Y product you will get SNP testing as well as finish your STR marker testing.

    If you have access to old Y DNA data from Ancestry.com or from any lab that used the Sorenson 33 or 46 marker test, you may transfer it to FTDNA. A straight transfer is not sufficient. In order for it to be qualify for the project, you must order a transfer+upgrade product and do a swab from FTDNA so that your results will be better aligned with FTDNA's test and so that you'll be enabled for matches in FTDNA's database. See: Transfer DNA and also the $58 transfer+upgrade Y products.

    If your transfer+upgrade produces less than 37 markers you will need to perform a Y25 to Y37 marker upgrade at FTDNA to be eligible for the project.

    *** All prospective members complete and submit the pre-check information when they click JOIN. See: How to Join. ***

    Female relatives; autosomal transfer or FTDNA Family Finder testers may test and enroll an eligible male relative named Driscoll (or project-eligible last name) if they themselves are not eligible.

    Y SNP transfers from Nat Geo, Living DNA, or other companies are not sufficient for eligibility.

  2. Non paternity events (NPEs; hidden adoptions, births out of wedlock, not with the father named on documentation, etc) happen to many of us, as well as name changes. See the About page for the additional details you should provide when you click JOIN.

    The following must be true before you join:

    • -- Full testing of 111 markers completed.
    • -- Advanced Big Y testing completed.
    • -- Your matches must be IN the project.
    • -- Your matches must have granted the project administrators LIMITED access or better.
    • -- CLOSE matches (LOW genetic distance) to at least two project Driscolls at 111 markers. The two matches must be CLOSE to each other (in a recognized LINEAGE).
    • -- Positive matches to project Driscolls at the terminal SNP. Your deep SNP testing results and Driscoll matches must be integrated into FTDNA. ONLY SUBCLADES UNDER I-P37 > A14359 and R-CTS4466 > A6516 are accepted. At this time all other subclades are OUTLIERS and DO NOT QUALIFY. Feel free to check this page periodically for updates.

    The vast majority of Driscoll project members named DRISCOLL do not know how they are related to each other, even if their STR matches seem close. We do get false positives among Y STR matches particularly among people falling under I-PF4135, which aren't detected until they also do BigY testing.

    Your STR and SNP matches will increase over time, and we may find Driscoll LINEAGES in the future who will qualify you if you are not currently qualified. We can reassess your eligibility over time when there is more data to compare with.

    Researchers in the meantime should join their respective haplogroup projects. If they have a sincere interest in Driscoll research they can join the mailing list.

    Prospective members with non-eligible surnames need to submit the additional information on the Overview page in their JOIN request!

  3. Follow the instructions on the About (Overview) page when you fill out the information in the JOIN window.

    If you submit a JOIN request without submitting the information on the About page, your request will be DENIED. You will be redirected to the About page and told to resubmit your request.

  4. Contact the project administrator Back to top
  5. Email Susan at driscolldna@pobox.com. I administer or co-admin eight projects containing roughly 1000 kits, so please identify yourself clearly by the project name. Put DRISCOLL PROJECT on the subject line. Add your kit number in the subject line of your email IF YOU ARE ALREADY A PROJECT MEMBER.

    After reviewing this FAQ, SUMMARIZE your questions BRIEFLY (300 words or less) and do NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS until they are requested.

  6. There are two websites associated with the Driscoll project. Because the testing lab is FTDNA, there is a representation of the project here at FTDNA ("the FTDNA website"). The second website ("the project website") at driscoll.dnagen.org is the administrator's own hosted space and is not part of or under the control of FTDNA.

    The FTDNA website holds this page, some basic information pages about the project, and Y DNA results. The project website holds genealogy information, historical information, and extensive analysis of Y DNA results for those who are advanced Active Project Participants. Y DNA analysis on the project website goes considerably beyond that offered at the FTDNA website.

    If you see NO when trying to access the project website, visit What is my IP address?, write down your IP address in dotted decimal format, then email Susan at driscolldna@pobox.com with your IP address for assistance.

  7. The project administrator made a decision in May 2018 to make the results visible only to project members. There were several reasons for this:

    -- FTDNA was concerned enough about the new regulations to take down their related websites YSearch and Mitosearch.

    -- New regulations from Europe have raised our consciousness of the obligation to protect the private data of our project members.

    -- No matter how user friendly the FTDNA website settings become, some members who do not want their data publicly displayed might inadvertently Opt In to publicly share out their data. Locking the Y DNA results will prevent that.

    -- We wish to prevent unwarranted scrutiny of Y DNA data or misuse of that data.

    Please do not email the administrator to complain about making the results public again. This is not debatable or negotiable. We know visitors are disappointed. The project website is being wiped clean but with time permitting and cooperation from project members to use their anonymized data, we will over time reconstruct what we can.

  8. See Part I of our more extensive DNA testing FAQ for an explanation of three basic types of DNA tests.

  9. See Part II, #4 of our extensive DNA testing FAQ.

  10. Any researcher interested in Driscoll research can join the mailing list, which is our primary means of communication with project members as well as interested non-members. If you don't want a lot of email in your inbox, subscribe with DIGEST mode.

    If you have a Driscoll family biography you'd like to put on the project website we can assist with that. Membership on the mailing list plus an introductory message by you sent to the list is required before we assist.

    With the exception of existing project members, the project administrator does not respond to research inquiries in private email. Any research inquiries should be posted to the mailing list. If you have County Cork related questions, you can also post on the County Cork board on Ancestry.com.

    See also: What Other Projects To Join (below).

  11. See our Privacy Policies and Information on the Code of Conduct page. It includes information on law enforcement searches.

  12. How long it takes to get back results is a matter of luck. It could take three weeks or six months. Expect results to take longer after a major sale.

    The lab does misplace kits, and sometimes they get lost in the mail so postal tracking on your kit is recommended. You may need that information to show the lab that the kit was delivered.

    When a test is in progress you may see a badge Awaiting Results in your account. Click on that to get a status update.

    You can also click on Order History (left sidebar) to get a status.

    If your test is delayed more than twice, please open a support request and ask about the cause of the delay. See: FTDNA Support below. Retain a copy of the request ID after you clicked to submit your request.

  13. Project administration is 100% volunteer work. Administrators do not receive any compensation from FTDNA.

    We maintain all pages on the FTDNA website and on the project website.

    The administrators have normal commitments and obligations outside the Driscoll project, which is why your cooperation in the project is vital and appreciated.

  14. The project is not affiliated with the clan gathering. The project no longer procures discount codes for the annual clan gathering. It is too difficult getting a timely response from FTDNA, even with five weeks of lead time.

    Efforts to recruit by distributing brochures at the gathering have not generally been successful.

    Incidentally, the Driscolls do not have a bloodline chieftain. Our best family history data to date shows the chieftain line as "daughtered out." Of course, we keep hoping that a suitable male will turn up. See: Driscoll History on our project website.

  15. While we don't expect you to be an expert overnight, we DO expect you to develop understanding of the following, in roughly this order:
    -- project eligibility
    -- project administrator access levels for your account
    -- basic differences between DNA tests - refer to our testing FAQ if necessary
    -- familiarity with the operation of your FTDNA accounts
    -- kit profile configuration (see Set up Profile, below)
    -- project mailing list (all Driscoll researchers should join)
    -- the necessity of family tree documentation INSIDE your FTDNA account
    -- project website

    Reading this FAQ is an excellent start.

  16. The mailing list embodies a research community that has grown to hundreds of members over many years. Several of these members are exceptionally good at research and enjoy helping others. In addition, key project communications about test results and project website updates are announced over this list.

    Anyone interested in Driscoll research, whether an eligible project member or not, should join the list. Communications will otherwise be missed. Follow this link for instructions: mailing list.

    There are options to subscribe for real-time mail or to get digests delivered. DIGEST mode is recommended if you don't want a lot of email traffic.

  17. The Driscoll project administrators are not an email inquiry forwarding service. We do not pass along messages from non-members to members or between non-matching members. Post a message to the mailing list if you have a question.

  18. Make sure email with the addresses of FTDNA (familytreedna.com) and the administrator(s) are not getting filed into your spam folder.

  19. Click Account Settings | Account Information. Under Contact Information | My Personal Story, state who you are and where your project surname lineage was from. If you are not the tester, state how you are related to the tester.

    If you are supervising the test for someone else, enter the tester's name. Under Middle Name, enter C/O Your Name. Example: John C/O Jane Smith Driscoll.

    Make sure all the emails on the account are up to date and that your primary email is accurate. If more than one person is accessing your account, please put TWO emails in the primary email field. Separate them with a semicolon (;). Example: johndoesdaughter@gmail.com;johndoe1@gmail.com

    Safeguarding of the privacy of all members is the main priority of the project. Kits set up this way not only save the project administrators time, it helps minimize the risk of data breaches committed by present and future administrators. Kits without a proper setup could face removal from the project. See Code of Conduct.

  20. By default, FTDNA sets your Project Administrator access settings to MINIMAL access. This gives the project administrators NO access. Administrators cannot access your kit to see your matches and their haplogroups, or read your family tree, or any other helpful information you might have written.

    Kits with MINIMAL access will NOT be assigned a cluster on the Y DNA results page and remain UNCLUSTERED. In other words, the project administrator won't touch your results - and will remove your kit from the project during the end-of-year project housecleaning if you have not granted access within a reasonable time. So if you want to be in the project and your results properly assigned a category, please provide the administrators LIMITED or better access:

    3. Under Your Projects, locate the Driscoll project and click Edit. Then follow the prompts to grant access.

    See also: Project Group Preferences Page.

    See also: Project Administrator Settings Page.

  21. All project members will get their Y results categorized under a suitably labeled cluster under Y DNA Results on the FTDNA website. They may or may not share out results and data with others or may choose to remain completely private. This is one participation level.

    Active, or Advanced, Project Participants go out of their way to share out their results and family history data. They do sufficient levels of Y testing so there is enough data to compare with others. They give explicit written permission to the project administrator to include their data in published analysis on the project website. Their data is published tagged with assigned project member numbers, not FTDNA kit numbers. When project members take these steps, the project administrator will be able to perform further analysis and interpretation. Such participants are also members of the mailing list. This is the second participation level. Requirements are listed below.

  22. Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Earliest Known Ancestors and click.


    - Click save (bottom left; not shown).

    - Click Update Location (on the right).

    - Now underneath the map, on the left side for Paternal, click edit location.


    Under Direct Paternal Ancestor, enter the earliest known ancestor name; a birth, marriage, or death year; and a location.

    - Enter a Country of Origin.


    - Under Step 1 - Choose Ancestor Type, click update paternal location (lower left; not shown).

    - If you already entered your ancestor's name, date, and abbreviated location, click next to skip this step.

    - If you didn't enter it before, under Step 2 - Update Paternal Information, enter the ancestor name, an approximate birth or death date, and a location. See the left graphic for one example.

    Here is another example:
    Martin Smith b.c. 1800 l. Hamilton Co, OH, USA

    - Click next to save your information or skip Step 2.


    - Under Step 3 - Find a Location on the Map, enter a known location for your paternal ancestor - where he might have been born, resided or died. You can use the location search tool built into FTDNA, or you can customize your own latitude and longitude by using a tool such as getLatLong to zoom to and get the coordinates of your own location. If your ancestor came from a townland with a frequently used name (e.g., Scart) please customize it.

    - Whichever way you enter the location, click search.

    - Click select on the map.

    Under Step 4, enter the display format of the location that you want to use on the map, e.g., Gortnascreeny, Caheragh, Co Cork, Ireland. Click next.
    Under Step 5, review all the information you entered for accuracy, and click save & exit.
  23. Access Account Settings | Project Preferences | Project Sharing | Group Project Profile, then check the box Opt in to Sharing. Ordinarily, this makes your results viewable to the public if the Y DNA results page were public. It is the policy of the project to keep FTDNA Y results viewable to project members only, but by checking this box you are communicating that it is okay for outside visitors to see your data, should that policy one day change. By sharing out your results your project administrator will also be able to manipulate your data in a spreadsheet. Otherwise, your data is inaccessible to the administrator.

  24. It is important to publish a detailed family tree inside your account - ESPECIALLY if you also do autosomal testing. If you don't publish your tree and build in your known DNA matches, you are missing out on the match linking / triangulation feature in your FTDNA account, which could give you major clues on how other matches are related to you. Quality of data is more important than quantity.

    You can use the built-in editor to create a family tree if you want. At minimum, the project needs the paternal line of ascent. However, it is more time-effective to produce a GEDCOM file externally and upload it into your FTDNA account.

    To export a GEDCOM file out of Ancestry.com:

    1. Log in to your Ancestry account.
    2. Under Family Trees, click the tree to export.
    3. Under Tree Settings, view Manage your tree.
    4. Click where it says Export Tree.
    5. Save the GEDCOM file on your computer.

    To create a GEDCOM file from scratch, try one of the following programs:

    1. MyHeritage Tree Builder (free)
    2. GenealogyJ (free)
    3. Personal Ancestral File (free for Macs; no longer supported)
    4. Ancestral Quest
    5. Legacy Family Tree (compatible with Family Search Family Tree)
    6. Family Tree Maker (Ancestry.com product; support outsourced)

    To upload your GEDCOM, in your FTDNA account, click myFamilyTree. Click the Upload GEDCOM icon then choose the GEDCOM file on your computer to upload it.

    To adjust the privacy settings on your family tree, click the Cog wheel where it says Settings.

    Remember to SHARE your family tree with matches!

  25. What else should I be doing in my FTDNA account?
  26. Under Account Settings then Genealogy | Surnames, make sure you have filled out the surnames in your pedigree, along with specific locations (as specific as possible). This is even more important if you have done other types of DNA testing.

  27. The administrator deals with dozens of emails across several projects and needs this clarity in order to be able search emails effectively. If your email does not turn up in a search of subject lines, your data will not be published. So your cooperation is vital and appreciated!

    To submit an email to the project administrator to give permission to publish Y DNA data:

    The subject line needs to state: the PROJECT, the KIT NUMBER, TESTER'S NAME, and the words DATA PUBLICATION PERMISSION:

    example: DRISCOLL Project kit #abcdef John Doe Driscoll Data Publication Permission

    If YOU are the tester USE THIS LANGUAGE in the body of your email:

    I want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Driscoll project administrator to publish my yDNA results (STR and SNP data), and ancestral origins, as provided by me. I understand the types of data the project publishes and that it will be tagged with a project number - not my FTDNA kit number. I understand that driscoll.dnagen.org is NOT the FTDNA website.

    If you are supervising somebody else's test, USE THIS LANGUAGE in the body of your email, completing the information in the square brackets []:

    My name is [monitor name] and I am the [relationship - daughter, wife, etc] of the tester. I am authorized to act on his behalf. We want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Driscoll project administrator to publish the tester's yDNA results (STR and SNP data), and ancestral origins, as provided by me. I understand the types of data the project publishes and that it will be tagged with a project number - not my FTDNA kit number. I understand that driscoll.dnagen.org is NOT the FTDNA website.

    You are welcome to combine two permissions into one email.

    You may email to REVOKE permission at any time.

  28. You are considered an Active Project Participant (second level - Advanced - participation) - not just a project member (first level) - if the following steps are completed:

    1. 1. The kit profile is properly set up.
    2. 2. LIMITED access or better is granted to the project administrator.
    3. 3. There is sufficient testing in place of 111 or more markers if you are in I-P37 or R-CTS4466. For other haplogroups 37 or more markers is acceptable.
    4. 4. You have filled in your Earlist Known ancestral data, including GPS coordinates, under Account Settings | Genealogy.
    5. 5. You have checked Opt In to share out your Y and ancestral results.
    6. 6. You have provided at minimum a Driscoll paternal line in your family tree, with names, dates, spouses, and places. Your family tree is shared out with MATCHES.
    7. 7. You have given the project administrator explicit written permission to publish your Y DNA results and some ancestral and family history data, tagged with your project number (not your FTDNA kit number).

    Updates of published analysis pages are announced on the external mailing list.

  29. Since the Driscolls ruled the Corca Laidhe territory, Active Advanced members should join the Corca Laidhe project. Any man with a historically related project surname with West Cork paternal ancestry should do likewise. The CL project is an advanced project which requires written permission for your anonymized results to be included in published research in the JOIN window when you click JOIN. See the Overview and FAQ pages in that project before you click JOIN.

    Members are encouraged to join at least one haplogroup project. Haplogroup project administrators may prefer members who have tested 67 STR markers or better and may expect you to undergo and therefore financially commit to further SNP testing.

    FTDNA makes a high level haplogroup prediction when you STR test. If you are part of a group of matches, chances are somebody in the group has undergone further SNP testing, so it may not be necessary for you to do so. However we do encourage it as SNP data is enormously helpful. I-P37 members in particular have plenty of false STR matches. By all means join the relevant haplogroup projects and let those administrators try to sort out results.

    See the project LINKS (in the left sidebar) for haplogroup and regional projects relevant to Driscolls.

    If you have taken the Family Finder test (or transferred over autosomal results from elsewhere), and have Cork ancestry, join the Cork Ireland project for triangulation assistance at GEDMATCH.

    If your direct maternal lineage includes a woman named Driscoll with County Cork ancestry, or a woman from County Cork married to a man named Driscoll, consider doing the mtFull DNA test and enrolling your kit in the Cork Ireland project, which has in place an ongoing County Cork regional mtFull study. Sometimes a particular ancestor is difficult to research and so you research around the brick wall by researching the spouse.

    If your Driscoll ancestor emigrated several generations ago, and your family history is out in the diaspora, look for any relevant autosomal DNA project for any particular region in which your Driscoll lineage remained for a few generations, or consider starting one yourself.

  30. Project administrators cannot recover your password for you. You'll need to click "Forgot Your Password?" on the login page.

    Open a support request at FTDNA if you want to merge two kits or have other problems with your accounts.

  31. Unconditional free tests are not given at DNA shows.

    All members must purchase their own Y37 tests.

    Financial assistance for additional Y testing requires a considerable level of cooperation, already described in this FAQ. It is also normally limited to those who can trace their Driscoll ancestry back to a specific location in Ireland during or prior to the Tithe Book period. Other than testing beyond Y37, all other account setup and documentation requirements for Active Advanced participation must be met.

    Several of our project members have successfully obtained financial assistance because they worked hard for it and are active on the mailing list.

    The project administrator might offer special discounts at in-person genealogical / historical society promotional events when the opportunities arise.

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