Fitzpatrick Surname and Deep Origins
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Fitzpatrick DNA Project Update for Group 2 – July 2019

I am very pleased to provide an update of the DNA project that relates to our Groups 2G-2L, which are sub-groups of Group 2A. The latter is sometimes referred to simply as ‘Ossory Fitzpatricks’ although Groups 2A and S2G-2L also contain members with other surnames, most notably Costigan and FitzGerald.


The recent flood of BigY data has provided us with much greater confidence that a single mutation known as A1488 marks the common ancestry of ‘Ossory Fitzpatricks’ and that Group 2A members who have not undertaken NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) tests will most likely possess this mutation.


A rigorous analysis of data from 13 men who have the A1488 mutation has found they share common ancestry from ca.1250 AD. Around that time annalistic records note Séafraid (Geoffrey) Mac Giolla Phádraig was ‘King of Slieve Bloom’. Geoffrey sired at least three sons, Geoffrey, William and Oistegan, and from the latter is derived the surname Costigan. Remarkably, one of the A1488 men is a Costigan, corroborating historical records and pointing the finger firmly in the direction of Geoffrey senior as the progenitor of the ‘Ossory Fitzpatricks’.


The line of Geoffrey, son of Geoffrey, became that of the Barons of Upper Ossory. One A1488 man on the DNA study can show descent from Barnaby Fitzpatrick, the 1stBaron of Upper Ossory, and although he possesses the mutation shared by others, his additional mutations indicates he is, so far, quite unique. It is likely other Fitzpatricks on the DNA study have additional shared ancestry at least two to four generations earlier than Barnaby, perhaps back even as far as William, son of Geoffrey.


These findings are a great example of how DNA can confirm some of the histories recorded by Irish scholars. However, at the same time a deeper analysis of data from Ossory Fitzpatricks is challenging those very same histories. It is considered implausible that Geoffrey was the descendant of Irish clansmen in the 10thCentury, at the time the Mac Giolla Phádraig clan emerged. Rather, Ossory Fitzpatricks bear an earlier genetic signature from ca. 920 AD, and have a broader genetic profile, which is more consistent with a non-Irish, continental origin – perhaps Norman, or Viking, or from an isolated clan of Gaels.


The field of genetic genealogy is extremely dynamic and a single future DNA result might alter the theories presented here. But that does not mean we will not advance what we consider to be the best supported theories at any given point in time.


We hope this update provides a focus for some healthy discussion and, additionally, encourages those who haven’t taken any NGS tests to consider doing so. There are various options available at FTDNA, from a quite affordable single mutation test to the more pricy BigY-700.


And on that note, genetic testing in Group 2 has been facilitated in no small part thanks to generous financial contributions, including those from Tim Fitzpatrick (Australia) and the Fitzpatrick Clan Society. Data analysis was conducted by Dr Mike Fitzpatrick (New Zealand), Ian Fitzpatrick (Canada) and Tim Fitzpatrick (Australia).


Mike Fitzpatrick PhD

Administrator – Fitzpatrick DNA Project

Fitzpatrick DNA Project Update – January 2019


1.    General News


We are enjoying good project growth with project numbers recently breaking through the 400 mark. So, a big welcome to new Fitzpatrick members as well as several folks who don’t have the surname Fitzpatrick, but who are critical to helping us understand some of our older genetic roots.


We have also seen increased levels of testing in the past few months. Mostly importantly there has been a greater uptake of NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) tests. Our thanks go to those who have made sizeable financial donations to the project in order to facilitate much of this testing, namely: Tim Fitzpatrick, Joe FitzGerald, Mike Fitzpatrick and the Fitzpatrick Clan Society.


2.    Summary of Recent Results



As well as trying to learn more about individual genealogies, a big focus has been trying to understand the relationships between men who share DYS390=21 and YCAII= 22-23. This group has benefited from several new members and new results. 


At this stage it appears likely the FitzGerald and Fitzpatrick branches will all defined under FGC5494…A1506>A1496>A1488. And the addition of a Brennan, who has a BigY, to the project has enabled us to understand the Brannan branch is probably defined under FGC5494…A1506>BY140757. All that is really missing in our quest to unravel the complexity of the FitzGerald-Fitzpatrick-Brannan-Dalton relationship is a Dalton BigY, which we are working on.



Z255…BY2849 Fitzpatricks continue to surprise. We now understand there are four discreet genetic branches that are also distinct geographically: (i) BY17792 (Newry, Co. Down); (ii) BY2893 (Iveagh, Co. Down); (iii) BY2894* (Co. Kildare); and, (iv) BY52612 (Co. Louth). BigY tests on Co.Louth Fitzpatricks, in particular, have enabled this sub-group to make connections that were never likely to have been made any other way.



We now have our first NGS test for a CTS4466 member who traces to Co. Kerry. They are CTS4466…A923. It’s too early to know if A923 will define all of this large group, but it is likely that many CTS4466 Fitzpatricks on the project will be A923 and have roots in Co. Kerry or Co. Cork. Members of this group please email us if you’d like to test further and we’ll see what funds can be made available.


Although there have been no new NGS results in the large FGC11134…BY9002 group we are now also calling for members of this group who would like to take an NGS test.


3.    Major Results in the Pipeline


In FGC5494 we await the important BigY for a Costigan, which will most likely enable us to calibrate the age of mutations in the FGC5494 group against what we understand about Fitzpatrick-Costigan genealogy. Another family member of Tim’s awaits their BigY, which will enable the aging of his branch with more precision. Recently, another Fitzpatrick with good genealogical records has decided to take a BigY; we hope this will allow us to understand Fitzpatrick connections as well as afford greater confidence in our estimate of the age of A1488. Finally, we have a new non-Fitzpatrick member who is taking the BigY. He traces to North East Italy and his relationship with Fitzpatricks is from before the time of surnames; we think his results will shed considerable light on the origins of FGC5494 Fitzpatricks ca. 500-1000 AD.


In Z255 we are waiting for an Ireland surname BigY that should result in some further branching of the Ireland tree and a more precise estimate of the age of BY17850.


There are also a couple of BigYs coming for project members who are on the study because of autosomal matches to Fitzpatricks.  We wish them luck with those.


4.    Admin Matters


For those with folk on the Y-DNA part of the project, if you haven’t done so already you might like to consider adding information about your MDA (name, DOB, location).


And for those who may have missed it, if you want to see your Y-DNA results on pubic display (, just email us.


5.    Autosomal Analysis


We have mentioned previously that project administrators are able to conduct a slightly deeper analyses your autosomal results than you can as an individual. If you would like us to look at your autosomal data in this way feel free to ask. 



Best Regards


Mike Fitzpatrick PhD – Administrator

Ian Fitzpatrick – Co-Administrator

Tim Fitzpatrick BPharm – Co-Administrator