McCabe Y-DNA Project
  • 216 members

About us

Current 2023 Background:

As of August 2022, the following changes occurred with the McCabe Y-DNA website (rearranged by Judith Miley Freed, administrator,

With over 200 members in the McCabe Y-DNA project, it became possible to identify two distinct haplogroups.  Hugh McCabe joined as an administrator and sought to verify his McCabe ancestry which descends from a different haplogroup, and McCabe men that lived in the northwest part of today's Northern Ireland.  Most members of the McCabe project are of the R-M269 haplogroup whereas Hugh's growing group is of the I-M223 haplogroup.  Thus, the project design was changed to include this new haplogroup labeled as the T group.  

The McCabe Y-DNA project was changed to delineate the following, as of 2023:

C groups - highlighted in purple - 5 groups - These McCabe men have proof of descent from a McCabe in a specific county in Ireland - all are in the R-M269 haplogroup.

M groups - highlighted in green - 7 groups - The McCabe men in groups M-2, M-3, and M-4 all match one or more of the men in the M-1 group (McCabe men who currently live in Ireland in 2022).  The men in group M-5 match one of the two men who currently live in Ireland that are included in that M-5 group.

S groups - highlighted in blue - 5 groups -  These McCabe men do not match the M or C groups, instead they match other surnames depending on the S group they are in.  

T group -  highlighted in orange - 1 group as of 2023 -  These McCabe men are all in the I-M223 haplogroup.  They match each other but clearly not the men in the C, M, and S groups - all who are of the R-M269 haplogroup.

Z groups - highlighted in yellow - 2 groups who have NO matches with anyone in all the other McCabe groups in the project.  

Judith Freed's interest in the McCabe Y-DNA project began in 2001 when, along with her husband Jim, they sought to discover the father of Judi's great-great grandfather, James J. McCabe, a presumed orphan of central Illinois (who was in the Civil War and married Rebecca Craycraft).  Eventually Y-DNA proved the father to be James B. McCabe and his ancestor was Owen McCabe, an immigrant about 1837 from County Tyrone in Ireland.  At some point in the next few years, Judi will cease her work as the project administrator with the hope that some young person will volunteer to be an administrator for this very valuable FTDNA  Y-DNA McCabe project.  ( Judith V. Miley Freed (1940- ? ), )

As of October 2015, the following changes occurred with the McCabe website:

With over 100 members, it has became possible to identify one sequence of marker values unique to men who have the McCabe ancestry! This sequence of marker values applied to about 50 of the men in the McCabe project who have had their Y-DNA tested at the 67 marker level.  These men were divided into groups A through M-4 (located on the Classic and Colorized Charts), and also, men in group Q initially followed this sequence of marker values although they need to extend their testing to the 67 marker level. There are minor differences in the groups A through M-4, and these differences will be explained in the “Results” section.

The sequence of Y-DNA marker values unique to men who have McCabe ancestry is listed in the following paragraphs.  The DYS marker (DYS number) is listed first followed by the unique marker value.  To determine your closeness to this unique sequence, you count the number of differences from your own marker values compared to the unique sequence marker value (for example, DYS390 is 25 and if your marker value is 24, then that is counted as 1 genetic difference, and if your marker value is 27, then that is counted as 2 genetic differences).

The unique sequence of Y-DNA marker values for the McCabe project for the first 12 DYS markers is:  DYS393 is 13, DYS390 is 25, DYS19 is 14, DYS391 is 11, DYS385 is 11-14 (counted as 2 marker values), DYS426is 12, DYS388 is 12, DYS439 is 11, DYS3891 is 13, DYS392 is 13, DYS389ii is 31.  On the Classic chart, if the DYS marker is highlighted in red (on the top of the chart), it means that the DYS marker is a “fast” mutating marker.   

Continuing on, the unique sequence of Y-DNA marker values for the McCabe project for DYS markers 13 to 25 is:  DYS458 is 18, DYS459 is 9-10 (counted as 2 marker values), DYS455 is 12, DYS454 is 11, DYS447is 26, DYS437 is 15, DYS448 is 19, DYS449 is 29, DYS464 is 15-15-17-19 (counted as 4 marker values).

Continuing on, the unique sequence of Y-DNA marker values for the McCabe project for DYS markers 26 to 37 markers is:   DYS460 is11, Y-GATA-H4 is 11, YCAii  is 19-23, DYS456 is 15, DYS607 is 15, DYS576 is 18, DYS570 is 17, CDY is 35-38, DYS442 is11, DYS438 is 12.       

There is a possibility that there is another sequence of Y-DNA markers unique to men who have McCabe ancestry.  To date, there have not been enough men tested who have this Y-DNA sequence of markers, but the few who seem to follow this pattern are in group S and possibly those in group T.

Historical Background, 2001-2015, as outlined by Dr. James M. Freed:

As of October 20, 2015, James M Freed, Ph.D., is regretfully resigning as Administrator.  Jeremiah O'Neal will be assuming the duties of Administrator.

The McCabe Family DNA study was originally started in the spring of 2001 in an attempt to find the father of an 1840's McCabe orphan.  Since its inception, the McCabe DNA project has had a large number of genealogical Brick Walls that have been shattered with the use of Y-DNA. These Brick Wall challenges will be briefly described with reference to the appropriate Group and/or Kit numbers so that readers can find the details and the discussion of them in the RESULTS section (see tab at the top of this page).  It should be noted that in future years the Groups may change but the Kit numbers will identify the same individuals.

Brick Wall challenges:

1. Finding the father of an 1840's McCabe orphan (Group A, kits 825, 826, 827 & 1106).
2. Finding the ancestral paternal line of the Allegheny County, PA, William McCabe line (Group A, Kit #54231).
3. Disproving the hypothesis that three McCabe brothers came together to the USA, specifically PA (Groups A, B, & C-3).
4. Proving that the Mecabe name must have been derived from the McCabe surname (Group B).
5. Proving that the Cabe surname was derived from the McCabe name (Group G).
6. Showing that a specific McCabe family line has ancestry with members of the Propes, Ball, and Beatty (Beattie) families (Group E).
7. Showing that a specific McCabe-named male who had his McCabe name changed to the YOUNG surname at a very young age, is most likely descended from the Young family, not the McCabe family (Group J, Kit 129216).
8. Showing that a man who was adopted into the Searcy family most likely has Cabe ancestry (Group G, Kit 146133).
9. Showing that an American man, who could not trace his McCabe ancestry back further than his g. grandfather, definitely descends from James McCabe, 1767 Irish immigrant to Nova Scotia, Canada (originally to Philadelphia, USA in the 1740’s), and in fact, has the deduced ancestral haplotype (at 67 markers) of this McCabe family (Group C-3, Kit 145047).

10.  Showing that four of the McCabe DNA project participants are descendants of “Niall of the Nine Hostages”.   The following information comes from the FTDNA Company:   “Niall of the Nine Hostages received his name from the taking of hostages as a strategy for playing mental havoc upon his opponent chieftains.  He is known in folklore as a raider of the British and French coasts.  Supposedly slain in the English Channel, his descendants were the most powerful rulers in Ireland until the 11th Century.  Scientists found an area in northwest Ireland where they claim 21.5% carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint.”   

If you are a male with the surname of McCabe, Mecabe or Cabe and wish to join this surname DNA project (or if you are organizing a DNA test for a male with the surname of McCabe, Mecabe, or Cabe, or if your surname is NOT McCabe, or variations thereof, but you expect that your straight line male ancestry DOES include a McCabe male), then you should join this McCabe Y-DNA project.

Participating in a group DNA project produces savings as compared to ordering as an individual without participation in a group project. 
Prices are occasionally reduced for a short time interval each year.   The McCabe project administrator recommends starting with  67 markers. If one starts with a lower number of markers and wishes to upgrade to more markers later (without sending in another sample), it is possible to do so with additional payment.    

[Updated October 2015 by J. Freed]