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Greening and Variants DNA Project
  • 20 members

About us

Welcome to the Greening DNA Project

Green, Greenan, Greehan, Greening, Gregnon, Grennan, Grenning, Grinning, Grinnon, Grogan,
and other like variants are included and welcomed in this project.

As of January 2021, there are two distinct Greenan and Greening lineages that have been identified in this project. 

  1. The first group appears to have Y-DNA with more recent roots in Newfoundland, and elder roots in the British Isles or the Iberian peninsula. This group is associated with the surname Greening, and the terminal SNP "R-BY84233".

  2. The second group has Y-DNA roots in Ireland. Both Y-DNA evidence and autosomal DNA evidence point to recent roots in County Leitrim, County Longford, County Cavan, and County Monaghan. This group is associated with the surname Greenan, and the terminal SNP "R-BY56656". See "Greenan DNA Project" https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/greenan/about

The latter group's Big-Y results point to an ancient DNA relationship between the Irish Greenan surname, and the "Three Collas" R-Z3000, a subclade of R-M269. 

For more information on the Three Collas and Clan Colla: 

Peters Pioneers Colla Site: http://www.peterspioneers.com/colla.htm 

"Clan Colla 425 Null" Y-DNA Group Project: https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/clancolla-42-5null/about 

Surname Etymology

  • An anglicization of ÓGrianáin. Further, rooted from Irish "grianach" (sunny) or "grian" (sun).
  • Commonplace surname in modern-day Ireland. Particularly present in County Cavan, County Monaghan, County Down, County Longford, and County Leitrim (specifically South Leitrim)


  • A topographical surname deviation of the old English Green/Greene. Pre-surname roots could link this surname to ancestors that lived near a village green.
  • An anglicization of the Germanic surname Grüning, another form of Groening.
  • Speculatively another form of the surname Greenan (see above).

DNA Science

Genetic genealogy is a relatively new invention. At-home DNA testing is all the rage, and appears to only gaining momentum among those interested in exploring their familial roots. There are multiple forms of commercially available DNA tests for end-users to explore: the "autosomal" DNA test, the mtDNA DNA test, and the Y-DNA test. 

The vast majority of those who partake in genetic genealogy, whether for research purposes or simply for fun, take part in autosomal testing. Autosomal testing is an excellent research tool for those interested in genetic genealogy, this can range from beginners, to avid hobbyists, to professional genealogists. Autosomal testing options include Family Tree DNA's Family Finder test, Ancestry DNA, 23&Me, MyHeritage, and many others available on the market. These autosomal tests give users the ability to explore the entirety of their Ancestral roots, Autosomal DNA is inherited from both parents, all four grandparents, etc. 

Y-DNA testing varies from autosomal testing in that only male testers can partake, as men inherit their Y chromosome from their father, and their father inherited it from their father before them. This testing is valuable for men seeking to gain further insight into their direct paternal lineage. The Y chromosome goes virtually unchanged from father to son, and is not subject to genetic recombination in the way that autosomal DNA is. Y-DNA does however experience mutations, and these mutations can aid testers in determining their genetic distance from other Y-DNA matches. These Y-DNA matches can: have the same surname or a surname variant, have a different surname due to an NPE (Non Paternity Event) further back in their male line or have a different surname due to a pre-surname relationship between the two men. Comparing the Y-DNA results and mutations of two matching testers who share a surname has the potential of aiding the testers in determining how their respective male lines relate.

The focus of this project is on Y-DNA results of male testers who have had their Y-DNA tested and have roots or speculative roots in the included surnames or variants. Y-DNA testing is available in a variety of marker-level testing options, and price points. The Y-37 marker test is a great starting point, and is a solid "bang for the buck". Tests are also available in the Y-67, Y-111, and Big-Y levels.

For more information on testing please contact a Group Project Administrator.