Driscoll of Ireland

Rulers of the Corca Laidhe
  • 151 members


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

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

  4. How much does a Y test cost?

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

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

  7. Why do I have to be pre-approved?

  8. What should I do if I see the word NO when I try to access the project website?

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

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

  11. How is the project administered?

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

  13. What do the administrators do to recruit for the project?

  14. I'd like to donate money to the project. Can the administrators steal my donation?

  15. I'd like to contribute genealogy research records to the website. How do I do this?

  16. What am I expected to know?

  17. What is the mailing list?

  18. Will you email a project member for me?

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

  20. How should I set up my FTDNA Profile?

  21. How do I set up my earliest paternal ancestor?

  22. How do I set up my results to be publicly viewable?

  23. How do I upload a family tree into my FTDNA account?

  24. How do I get my results included in the extensive analysis on the project website?

  25. What other projects should I join?

  26. How do I get my Driscoll family inquiry into a project publication?

  27. Can the project help me with genealogy research?

  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. Origin, Purpose and Eligibility Back to top

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 purpose of the project is to help Driscolls in the Irish diaspora find their origins back in Ireland, to explore the deeper origins of the Driscolls in the context of Cork and Ireland history, and consequentially prove (or refute) some ancient Irish history texts. Our means to achieve that is by collecting and analyzing Y DNA.

Eligible men are named DRISCOLL or a historically related West Cork surname with West Cork paternal line ancestry. See SURNAMES. This genetic study is NOT a haplogroup (SNP) project, an autosomal DNA match project, or a mitochondrial DNA project.

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.

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

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

See the BACKGROUND and the project website for more on the history of the O'Driscolls.


2. New to DNA Testing Back to top

See our more extensive FAQ.


3. Options for Non-Eligible Researchers Back to top

We recommend that any researcher interested in Driscoll join the mailing list, which is our primary means of communication with project members as well as interested non-members.

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.

Any research inquiries should be posted to the mailing list.

See also: #25: What Other Projects to Join if you have a Family Finder test.


4. Cost of Y Test Back to top

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


5. How to Join Back to top

Complete the pre-approval form. Once it is completed you will get a summary of your submission that also contains instructions to complete your enrollment, which will be applicable to most. The project administrator will contact you in case of an exception.

If you click the FTDNA JOIN button on the project banner on the right without first submitting a pre-approval form, you will be redirected to the form.

To receive key project communications, membership is required on the Driscoll mailing list.


6. Non-Project Surname Back to top

Non paternity events (NPEs) happen to many of us, as well as name changes. You will need to provide additional details about your family and your yDNA results before you are admitted to the project.

The vast majority of Driscoll project members named DRISCOLL do not know how they are related to each other, even if their matches seem close. So, we demand extra information from you to make sure you already know how to get data out of your FTDNA account and that there are no false expectations of what the project can do.

You will NOT be admitted if:

  • -- You haven't already fully tested out 111 markers.
  • -- You don't have DRISCOLL matches at 67 markers or better.
  • -- None of your DRISCOLL matches at 67 markers who have tested 111 markers appear as matches at 111 markers and there are no other DRISCOLL matches at 111 markers.
  • -- You do not provide the information we ask for on the pre-approval form.

You will be referred to the relevant haplogroup project. Your matches will increase over time, and you may get DRISCOLL matches in the future who would qualify you if you are not qualified. We can reassess your eligibility when that happens.


7. Why do I have to fill out this pre-approval form? Back to top

-- To show you understand project eligibility.
-- To show you understand the implications of yDNA testing, and that you are prepared to accept whatever happens.
-- To make sure you understand what we expect you to learn over time. See: "WHAT MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW" below.
-- To save administrators valuable TIME not having to repeat what is already here.

If you want assistance and you want your results to be included in more extensive analysis and considered in project recruitment efforts, you'll have to invest a little time learning something about DNA testing, you'll have to be forthcoming with your data and you'll have to cooperate with us.


8. Cannot access project website Back to top

If you see NO when accessing a page on 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.


9. Privacy concerns Back to top

Only your earliest paternal ancestor, lineage, and yDNA values are ever published on the Internet if you choose to participate in more extensive analysis. Your results do not reveal any particular medical problems you might be experiencing. We don't publish a project member list. And when we publish your lineage on the project website, we won't publish the names of living people (you have every right to proof-read and approve what we put online).

We may, as part of our recruitment efforts, solicit particular members to publish their inquiries in an annual report that might be made available in certain locations in West Cork. In such cases, we would ask permission to publish a contact name and an email address.


10. How long to get back results Back to top

How long it will take to get your 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, so we strongly recommend using a postal tracking number on your kit so you'll know when it is delivered to the lab in Houston. 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, it is recommended that you open a support request and ask about the cause of the delay. See: FTDNA Support below.


11. How the project is administered Back to top

Project administration is 100% volunteer work. The administrators receive no compensation from FTDNA.

We maintain these pages and those on the external project website. If you are interested in one day helping us administer the project, see this page for more details on what software tools we use.

We cooperate with haplogroup projects affiliated with Driscolls, and undertake promotional efforts. Those efforts have included publication of promotional materials and travel.

We have a life outside the Driscoll project, which is why your cooperation is vital and appreciated.


12. Clan Gathering Back to top

The project does not have a close working relationship with the clan gathering. The main reason is travel.

Efforts to recruit by distributing brochures 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 website.


13. Project Recruitment Back to top

Generally, we don't do much active recruitment as travel to Cork for project recruitment purposes is expensive, time consuming, and stressful.

Up to 2016 we have arranged to distribute project brochures at the annual clan gathering. During spring 2016, the project administrator traveled to Ireland, gave talks on DNA testing at the Cork Genealogical Society and the Skibbereen Genealogy Club, and recruited two Driscolls whose lineages had been actively researched.

Efforts have made to establish an understanding of DNA testing among interested parties at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre so as to spread knowledge. However, change comes slowly.

In an effort to broaden the member base of testers living in Ireland, the administrators have paid for tests on their own. However that effort is limited by available funds.


14. General Fund Back to top

Donations made to the project General Fund cannot be embezzled. Such funds must be used for Driscoll project testing.


15. Genealogical Record Contributions Back to top

Contact Susan if you have material you'd like to contribute. Newspaper extracts are of particular value.

Many Cork church records are transcribed or they are poorly transcribed. There is ongoing activity to extract DRISCOLL and historically related West Cork surnames into spreadsheets, for further processing. The goal is to aggregate records into families. Contact Susan if you'd like to help.


16. What members should know Back to top

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
-- basic differences between DNA tests - refer to our testing FAQ if necessary
-- familiarity with the operation of your FTDNA accounts and account setup
-- project mailing list (all Driscoll researchers should join)
-- the necessity of family tree documentation INSIDE your FTDNA account
-- project web pages

Reading this FAQ is an excellent start. If you need guidance interpreting your Y results, you are expected to first read our testing FAQ, which also contains links to more resources.


17. Why join the mailing list Back to top

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. Project members will miss key communications if they don't join. Follow this link for instructions: mailing list.


18. Email Forwarding Back to top

The Driscoll project administrators are not an email 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.


19. I never get email Back to top

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


20. Set up profile Back to top

In your Profile, under About Me, state who you are and where your Driscoll 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 (or first initial and surname), then for middle name, enter C/O Your Name. Example: John C/O Jane Smith Driscoll.


21. Set up paternal ancestor Back to top

Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Most Distant Ancestor


When you see this screen, under Ancestral Locations, then Direct Paternal, click Update Location.


Enter the name of your earliest known direct paternal ancestor, an approximate birth date, and a location.

Example: Martin Hanrahan b.c. 1800 England l. Hamilton Co, Ohio


Enter a known location for your paternal ancestor. 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 iTouchMap 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.

If you want to participate in the extensive results analysis on the project website, go into Privacy Settings and check the box Share My Most Distant Ancestor.

22. How to make Y results publicly viewable Back to top

Access Privacy Settings | Who can view my DNA results in group projects? If you want your results to be included in extensive results analysis and group promotional efforts, set your results so they are publicly viewable.


23. How to upload a family tree Back to top

You can use the built-in editor to create a family tree if you want. However, it is far more efficient 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:

Suggested privacy settings on your family tree are -

  • Deceased people born 100+ years ago - PUBLIC
  • Deceased people born in the last 100 years - MATCHES
  • Living people - MATCHES

24. How to get my results included in project analysis pages Back to top

If you've filled out a pre-approval form giving permission for us to use your data, you have set up your account as described in 20-23, AND - you have done sufficient testing of 67 markers or more if you fall within haplogroup I-PF4135 or 37 markers of more with haplogroup R-CTS4466 - your results will be automatically included in our analysis. Eventually, this restriction will be tightened and I-PF4135 members will need 67 markers. Driscoll members falling outside thse two haplogroups should test at least 37 markers.

Your family tree in FTDNA needs to be a helpful one, with names, dates and places. Otherwise your kit will not have a dedicated page and your sample will not be included in our extensive analysis.


25. What other projects to join Back to top

Since the Driscolls ruled the Corca Laidhe territory, members should join the Corca Laidhe project. Any man with a historically related project surname with West Cork paternal ancestry should do likewise.

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. Rather than encourage individual single SNP testing or SNP panel testing, our project administration policy is to encourage members of a group to pool financial resources and select one representative of that group to undergo a comprehensive deep SNP test. In such a case, the administrators might be able to assist with funds for such a test. For financial assistance, priority is given to project members named DRISCOLL, who have already fully tested 111 markers and who publicly share results. However, individuals are free to undergo further SNP testing as they wish.

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, consider joining the Cork Ireland project, which accepts Family Finder. The project also accepts any yDNA and mtDNA with Cork ancestry. Ireland mtDNA will accept mtDNA tests with Irish maternal ancestors. If your Driscoll ancestor emigrated several generations ago, and your family history is out in the diaspora, look for a regional autosomal project or consider starting one yourself.

Autosomal testers may choose to upload their results to GEDMATCH, DNA Land, or some other venue of their choosing. It is up to you to seek out those analytical venues.


26. How to get my Driscoll inquiry into a project publication Back to top

We feel there is a need for a publication on the genetic history of the O'Driscolls as it will help advertise and promote the project. We hope to get it into the Cape Clear Library and the Museum.

The idea is to reserve an appendix in the publication for those project members who are extra-stuck on their family trees, or have no Y matches, and would like an inquiry published.

Your inquiry entry should include a contact name and email address. Note that taking this step removes you from the anonymity we structure within the project and exposes you to the world. It is entirely optional. Eligible members will be contacted before finalizing any publication and asked if they would like an inquiry included.


27. Project help with genealogy Back to top

The project administrator (Susan)has access to resources at the headquarters LDS Family History Library (Family Search), including their subscriptions to Ancestry and to Find My Past. If you email Susan a Driscoll-relevant reference from the catalog, she will try to retrieve the record for you (free of charge). The reference could be on film or in a book or journal.

Because of the time required, this FREE research is reserved solely for Driscoll records for yDNA testers.


28. FTDNA support Back to top

Project administrators cannot recover your password for you. They can only tell you the contact emails on an account but cannot alter that contact information. 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.


29. Eligibility for Y Test scholarship Back to top

Unconditional free tests are not given at DNA shows. We no longer offer Y37 scholarships, as they provide too little data.

If the tester has no email and Internet access, and he has no relatives with Internet access supervising his participation, the project administrator will make sponsorship decisions on an individual case basis.

We may offer partial funding on a Y111 test (approximately 50/50), subject to the terms and conditions below. If insufficient funds are available by October 1, no testing grant opportunities will be announced for the year.

The process below is designed to safeguard project funds and guarantee the project gets both family tree and genetic data for its time and financial commitment. If this process is not acceptable to you, then do not apply.

Scholarship recipients must possess and be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Must be named DRISCOLL (or spelling variant), or have a West Cork direct paternal lineage of CADOGAN, WHOOLEY, FINN, MINIHANE, or DOOLEN or other related names.

  • Knows unequivocally the origin of the earliest known paternal ancestor, pre-famine (early 19th century or earlier), to the townland or village in Cork.

  • Earliest known family history reflects the life of the typical 19th century Corkman in the lower classes - tenant farmer, labourer, fisherman, apprentice, possibly transport convict - usually Roman Catholic, etc.

  • Lineage must not already be in the project (highly unlikely).

  • Able to submit a lineage to the project with names, places, BMD years to the fullest extent possible, including brother branches. If you haven't been maintaining a family tree in an organized manner, preparing your documentation will constitute the bulk of your work.

  • Must be signed up for the Driscoll research community mailing list (required) and have sent out a message introducing yourself. If the applicant or the person sponsoring the applicant is ONLINE, this is a requirement. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  • Curious about the ancient peoples who settled Ireland and Cork in prehistoric and early historic times.

  • Interested in complementing their paternal line family history research with a genetics component.

  • Likes the idea of their test results helping others with the same surname in the Ireland diaspora trace their roots back to Cork.

  • Willingness to share lineage / family history and test results with the project.

  • Willingness to allow results to be published and discussed in any future project promotional efforts.

  • Ability to - communicate in a timely and courteous fashion; read some basic information, including the rest of this FAQ, our testing FAQ if you are new to testing, and FTDNA's policies on revoking test consent; follow some written instructions, and fill out some forms, which can be done online.

You are known only by your sample number, test results, and family history. Your name and contact information are NEVER publicly revealed.

How it works:

  1. About October 1, the project will announce if funds are available to split the cost of a Y111 test with a new member. This will be broadcast on the mailing list and posted in a few forums.

  2. Applicants must submit to the project administrator a family tree with names, places and approximate dates. This can be a pedigree in a Word doc or PDF file, or a GEDCOM file. Submit any additional explanation as needed if parts of the tree warrant further explanation (no places or dates).

    Three separate citations for three different people in the family tree must also be submitted - e.g., births, marriages, deaths. At least one of these people should be a man named Driscoll in the direct paternal line. The citations can be links to government sponsored or commercial websites with free access (no subscription).

    If a citation is from a subscription website, then -
    - submit a copy of the record
    - state the record set e.g., "Massachusetts Marriages"
    - state where the record was retrieved from (e.g. library film, repository, online website).

  3. Submit your family tree documentation to the project administrator: Deadline: October 31.

  4. Participant must already be signed up as a participant on the Driscoll mailing list and must have introduced himself (or herself) to list members. Deadline: October 31. Otherwise, you forfeit your testing grant.

  5. Fill out an online sponsorship form. It must be submitted before a kit will be mailed. Deadline: November 2.

  6. After document review, you will receive notification of a testing grant award by November 4.

  7. Acknowledge our email within 24 hours,and state that you are ready to receive a blank kit in the mail. Otherwise you forfeit your testing grant.

  8. We will mail out blank kits on November 5 (or first mailing day after) and notify you the kit was sent.

  9. When you get the kit, take the test immediately. Sign the green release form. Add postal tracking to the kit when you mail it back and send the project administrator the postal tracking number. Deadline to mail kit back and communicate postal tracking number: November 18.Otherwise you forfeit your testing grant and you will have to fully pay for any analysis you want done on your sample.

    You are responsible for meeting deadlines even if you are having a relative test!

  10. The lab should receive the kit by about December 10. If the project is unable to track the kit; if the kit is lost or inexplicably delayed in its return AND , you forfeit your testing grant and you will have to fully pay for any analysis you want done on your sample.

    As long as we can track the kit by its postal tracking number, it's okay if the lab is taking longer than usual to say they've received it and we experience delays. The lab's delay will NOT forfeit your testing grant and we will proceed on the assumption the kit will eventually arrive.

  11. Your portion of the funds for Y111 ($140 USD unless otherwise stated by the project administrator) must be received in the Driscoll Project General Fund by December 10, otherwise you will have to fully pay for any analysis you want done on the sample and you forfeit your testing grant.

  12. When your portion of the funds for Y111 is in the General Fund, the project administrator will place the order for Y111 and officially commit funds to your test. At that time, your account will be fully set up and you will be provided your login and a temporary password that you can change.

    Thanks for all your efforts organizing and contributing your valuable data, and WELCOME TO THE PROJECT !