Fogarty

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About us

The aim of the project is to help anyone with an interest in discovering recent or historic FOGARTY family connections using Y-DNA (males) and autosomal DNA (males and females) and genealogy. The surname originated in Tipperary and in Ireland is now spread throughout the country with large clusters found in SW Leinster, NE Munster and surrounding areas. Its earliest recorded Irish Gaelic spelling was hUí Fócarta in 1057 CE (Annals Ulster 1057.6), later changing to Ó Fógarta, and by the 16th century it evolved to Ó Fógartaigh, (from the name Fógartach, meaning proclaiming or outlawed). (MacLysaght,1980). By the mid-17th century, the O’ prefix was dropped in English spellings and it has not been restored. In the records you will find it spelled: ffogerty, Fogurty, Fogirty, Foggarty, Fogartie, even Fogarthy. There is a wide diaspora, notably in North America, Australia and England. Early History and Genealogy of the Fogartys of Eliogarty, Tipperary The surname was adopted by the kings of the local kingdom, now the barony of Eliogarty in northern Tipperary. The hUí Fógarta ruled this kingdom from c. 1000 CE until c. 1190 CE. Two primary sources identify the eponymous ancestor as Fógartach son of Lorcan, who flourished c. 950 to 1000 CE (Mac Fhirbhisigh D. , 2004) & (Dobbs, 1931). His grandson, Maolruanaidh hUí Fócarta was the first to adopt that fixed surname meaning “descendants of Fógartach.” (Annals of Ulster, 1983) The dynasty abruptly ended after two major reverses: The first was a battle in 1171, in which Domhnal Ó Fógarta, the last king of South Éile was killed along with 300 of the Élí by the king of Osraige – modern Kilkenny, (O'Donovan, 1854, p. item 1171.11) This enabled the conquest of Eliogarty by Normans, and after 20 years of hard fighting, Theobald Walter, the Norman ancestor of the Butlers, established his first manor in Thurles around 1190 CE. After that, the surviving Ó Fógarta scattered and disappear from the records for over one hundred years. The ancient Irish were obsessed with genealogy, and they employed a professional class of scholars to record ancestries. The problem was that noble families often desired to embellish their ancestry to conform to the current powerful kings, and those scholars readily changed genealogies to suit. This was also true with Ó Fógartaigh. Before the adoption of surnames, they emerged from a group known as the Ceinéal Fianghaile – the “kind or kin of Fiangal”(c. 800 CE), whose lands centered in Drom parish, Eliogarty (Mac Fhirbhisigh D. , 2004). They in turn were a branch of the earlier Corco Eachach Eile, the dynastic group who ruled South Eile. (O' Brien) As for their ancient ancestry, the scholars disagreed. Some attributed their origin to the Deisi kings of Waterford; in the 14th century, scholars of the Book of Lecan noted an alternate genealogy stemming from Neill of the Nine Hostages (Mac Fhirbhisigh G. I., 1937). Variations of this “O’Neill” ancestry were repeated in the 19th Century by: (O'Hart, 1884), and (Reg. Ped. 16, 1816-17). Another 14th century manuscript indicated the O’Fogartys shared an early ancestor with Brian Boru of the Dál gCas tribe of Clare (O'Donovan J. , 1862). And in the 17th century, Mac Fhirbhisigh was convinced they descended from a celebrated champion of Leinster (Mac Fhirbhisigh D. , 2004). And the early 20th century writers (MacLysacht 1905) and (Woulfe 1923) promoted the Dál gCas tribe origin, perhaps because that seemed the most plausible to them. Perhaps the Fogarty YDNA project can help solve these origin questions. While genetic genealogy is still in its first few decades, researchers have amassed enough data to assign haplogroups to the major Irish dynasties. It may come as no surprise that the Fogartys who are BigY-700 participants do not share the common haplogroups of the Dál gCas, (Wright, 2009) the Ui Neill (McEvoy, 2006) nor the Déisí of Waterford (O'Donoghue-Ross, 2024). So far, the BigY-700 participants of the Fogarty project have a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) in the R-A9002 haplogroup, within four subsequent branches. FamilyTree DNA has estimated a 500-year window (895-1419 CE) in which that ancestor lived, with the most likely estimate about 1191 CE. If the R-A9002 ancestor lived during the earlier part of that period, that would be consistent with the historical Fógartach son of Lorcan c. 950 to 1000 CE. If the R-A9002 MRCA lived closer to 1191 CE, then he was a survivor of the two disasters that ended the kingdom of the Ó Fógarta. Therefore, the YDNA timeline estimated for the R-A9002 haplogroup is concurrent with the first seven to eight generations of the Fogarty surname. Having more people participate in the BigY testing will help us further refine their origins, define where they lived, and better understand our ancient ancestry.