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WELCOME TO THE MCANALLY (and variant spellings) DNA PROJECT. 
You may already have genetic connections posted here!   A "Y" DNA test will also give you "your" migrations before and since the last ice age.

"Y" DNA tests trace the family line of your McAnally surname.  The sample must come from a MALE.   Because we are of the common "R1b" haplogroup we highly recommend testing at 37 markers or more in order to delineate true relationships.
Family Finder tests identify all blood ancestors back to 4+ generations.  The sample may be from a Male or Female.

We also serve as a posting site for McAnally mitochondrial tests. Sampes for mtDNA may be from a male or female, but the test only traces maternal lines.

Four Origins of the McAnally Surname:

Like most Irish surnames there is more than one origin ofthe McAnally surname.  This is a resultof English speaking people trying to translate the Irish spellings and pronunciationof Irish surnames during the Ulster Plantation and even before.  Because of the slight distinctions in thepronunciations, and at times perhaps the indifference of the English doing thetranslations, differently spelled Irish surnames ended up having new surnameswhich were spelled the same in English.

One of the most common McAnally origins you might have heardhas its roots in Connacht.  The form ofthis name in Irish is Mac an Fhailghigh and the derivation is obscure.  In modern Irish Failgheach means “a poor man.” These words are pronounced MacAnally.  The name in Mayo and Roscommon generally dropsthe prefix “Mac” and the simple form Nally is in use.

The second origin of McAnally is also frequently foundonline.  The name’s origin is theProvince of Ulaidh and comes from Mac Cu Ulaid. A historic character from Irishliterature is Cu Ulaid which means “hound of Ulster”.  It comes from a story about a very strong ladthought to be the son of Lugh, a Celtic God. He was invited to eat dinner at arich man’s home after the gentleman had seen how well the lad had done in hismilitary exercises earlier in the day.  Thelad had to do some chores and then would go straight to the man’s house.  Apparently, forgetting about the lad, the manhad put his hounds out for the night for protection.  When the lad arrived, he defeated theonslaught of the hounds. He felt bad about the deed so he promised to be therich man’s hound for protection until he had trained new pups for the task.  Thus the name Cu Ulaid became the lads name.Mc Cu Ulaidh was translated by the English into McAnally.

The third origin of the McAnally surname, one you don’t hearabout, comes from Co. Longford, which seems odd because before the UlsterPlantation Co. Longford was named Co. Angaile or Anally.  In fact there are still a lot of McAnallysliving in the area.  It was formed out ofthe ancient territory of Teffia, comprised of the whole of Co. Longford, andwas the principality of O’Ferrall of the Clanna Rory.  His chief residence was in the town ofLongford, anciently called Longphort-ui-Fhearghail, or the Fortress of Ferrall. It appears that this territory wasdivided into upper and lower Anally, the former comprising that portion of thecounty of Longford south of Granard, and a part of the county of Westmeathpossessed O’Ferrall Buidh or Yellow; the latter that portion north of Granard,possessed by O’FerrallBau, or the Fair.  TheO’Ferralls were dispossessed of the eastern parts of this territory by theEnglish settlers, the Tuites and Delamares, who came over with Hugh de Lacy inthe twelfth century.  Amongst the oldclans of Anally were also the following, viz.:--O’Cuinn or O’Quinn, who had hiscastle at Rathcline; and the MacGillegans.  The Muintir Megiollgain or Giollgain, werelocated by O’Dugan in the territory of Muintir Eoluis, that is, in the northernportion of Co. Longford, and their chief was O’Quinn.  A district called Corcard was possessed by theO’Mulfinnys; the MacCormacs; MacCorgabhans (now Gavans); O’Dalys; O’Slamans orSlevins; and O’Skollys.  The O’Ferrallsmaintained sovereignty till the reign of Elizabeth, when Anally was formed intothe County Longford.

The fourth origin for the McAnally name is one that manyMcAnallys in this group belong to; those with close genetic distances from theNiall of the Nine Hostages, or Noighiallach, and have GDs from 3 to 4. One ofNiall’s sons was Eoghan, and he is the progenitor of Cenel Eoghan.  A Cenel would be a group of clans all relatedto one lord but made up of different families.  Since there were no surnames at the time, theclans had different names as well, but they all were part of the main Cenel.  County Tyrone and Innisowen were also namedafter him.  Eoghan had a grandson namedMoan and he was the progenitor of Cenel Moan.  There were three different septs of Cenel Moanand the Gormleys were in one of them.  Theline was as follows: Niall Noighiallach, of Cenel Eoghan, Muiredaigh, of Cenel Moan, Coleman, Faelain, Tendalaigh, , (now this Gormley is where the McAnallys“MacConallaidhs” broke off from the Gormley genetic line) Dalbhach, mailMithidh, Cathmaoil, and the second  The secondO’Gormleys formed the O’Gormley clan and the MacConallaidhs were forming theirsat about the same time.  In 1040 CE theMacConallaidhs were Lords of Cenel Moan.  Shortly after that the O’Gormleys becamechiefs, and the MacConallaidhs were High Stewards.  From 1143 to 1145 the O’Gormleys of Cenel Moanbecame Kings of Aileach and of Cenel Eoghan.  This essentially made them Kings of Ireland.  The MacConallaidhs were still high stewardsand stayed that way until the Ulster Plantation in 1609.  In 1145 the O’Neills and the Loughlins teamedup and damaged Cenel Moan enough to where it would never again attain kingship,but they still were major players in the wars in Ulster. 

There are more than the two origins you’re used to hearingabout and there are many who will dispute it.  If anyone out there knows of another McAnallyorigin I would welcome them sending it to me.

Michael McNally

McAnally/Jackson Family Home Page:

Derek McNelly of Tamms, IL:

The "classic" American McAnally appears to be Charles born in 1685, kidnapped to USA at age 7.  There appears to be also distant related lineage arriving in the late seventeenth to the middle eighteenth century. Additionally there are many branches of this surname that can trace their family back to the late 1700 to mid 1800s but cannot connect to those classic linages.


The Y Chromosome is unique to men. Made of coils upon coils of DNA, it is the only chromosome passed to the next generation without being hopelessly splice-mixed with the mate’s chromosome; hence Male Y chromosome tests are used to trace surname lines.

DNA means DeoxyriboNucleic Acid, an organic chemistry term for a spiral ladder molecule containing our genetic code.

Genetic Code is in the ladder rungs made of complementary coupled pairs of amino acids. When the coupling splits open, the revealed sequence of amino acids is our genetic code.

Amino Acids: Adenine (A) couples with thymine (T). Guanine (G) couples with Cytosine (C). This results in ladder rungs of T-A, A-T, G-C, or C-G. Rarely the wrong amino acid pair is copied into position. This type of mutation is called an SNP.

SNP means Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, being exceedingly rare they are useful in tracing genetic branches of the human tree back 10s of thousands of years ago. SNPs can be tested to discover your Haplogroup.

Haplogroups are people with common long-term history. They sit on a common branch of the human tree.

Haplotype is the term used for any individual’s unique sequence of STR markers, akin to a final twig or leaf on the tree.

STR stands for Short Tandem Repeat. The Y chromosome has a lot of nonsense DNA, including hundreds of places where the code repeats itself as in, GATAGATAGATAGATA etc. About once in 500 generations the number of repeats increases or decreases. This is far more frequent than SNP mutations, making STRs useful in genealogy. DNA tests count and report these repeats at up to 67 different DYS Markers. Testing 67 markers brings the total odds of a mutation in each generation to about 14%.

DYS Marker stands for D-NA of the Y- chromosome in S-hort tandem repeats. Each marker is numerically identified such as DYS 439 so as to know which STRs were counted. The more DYS Marker counts you match to another individual, the higher the probability of a recent common ancestor.

MRCA is the acronym for Most Recent Common Ancestor. TMCRA is Time back to the most common ancestor. Time is given in years or generations.