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Neely Genetic Groups

All YDNA projects appear to be comprised of several different genetic groups. We recognize a total of six Neely "branches" from the different genetic groupings that have evolved from participant's YDNA STR results. In order for a grouping to qualify as a branch, we have decided it must contain at least three Neely surnames (or spelling variant) of 37-marker haplotypes, with each having a FTDNA TiP calculation of 50% or more probability for a MRCA from the group average (modal haplotype) in the last 12 generations. This should be useful for looking at Neely history back to about 1500 or slightly earlier. The remaining participant groupings may or may not grow into a Neely branch in the future, depending on results of future participants.  A brief summary for each of the six Neely branches is shown below. 

1. Listed as the PA group, the 31 participant's results show a tightly related genetic group. The origin of this group appears to be from Scotland or perhaps England based on current information. The MRCA of several participants in this group, including Jim and Stephen, has been traced to Thomas Neely, who came from County Tyrone to PA about 1730 with his young family. At least two of his sons moved to the Carolinas about 1760. At this time, we have been unable to tie participants from this group to records of their family in Ulster, Ireland.

2. Listed as the VA group, the 36 participant's results show a slightly looser related genetic group that is related to the PA group. Comparison of the averages of this group and the first group above are exactly the same except for DYS570 and CDYa & b (markers 33, 34 and 35). One group must have mutated from the other sometime in the fairly distant past. Several of the participants of this group are descended from James Neely in Botetourt Co, VA in the 1700's whose brother, Dr. John, lived there and first married sisters in the Philadelphia area about 1740. Initially it was thought James and John were from NY (hence the original group name), but we have been unable to find evidence of this. Like the first group, they also appear to have originally come from Scotland or perhaps England. Also, several MRCA have been identified in the early 1700's as coming from Ulster from paper trail genealogy, but no connection to the records in Ireland have been established thus far.

3. Listed as the John Neely group, it is the most recent branch with 7 participants  (plus 3 others who have withdrawn) who have all completed testing with 111 markers. John Hill Neely is the MRCA for this group and was born about 1756 in Ireland and immigrated to America with his parents and siblings as a boy. It is a completely different haplotype where matches on could not be found. There are identified descendants living in Lancaster, SC and Cowetta, GA in addition to those from Mobile, AL who will be contacted to take the YDNA tests to better document this group. It could be possible this group may have originated from the MacConghaile Clan in the area around Galway in western Ireland, but they could equally have different origins. We have no evidence to even speculate at this time. There were two Gaelic native-Irish clans whose names eventually became McNeely, Neely, etc. after being Anglicized, probably starting around 1700 or so. The other was Mac an Fhilidh in Ulster.

4. Listed as the Mac an Fhilidh group, this 7-person (8 including a matching McNeely from the McNeely YDNA project) genetic grouping of Neilly, Neelys and McNeelys is believed to be descended from bearers of the Gaelic surname Mac an Fhilidh. According to Woulfe and MacLysaght this Irish surname belongs originally to County Antrim and evidence for it can be found in Irish historical records, notably the Irish Annals of the Four Masters (in 1509) and the Annals of Lough Key (in the 1580s) as well as the English Fiants Elizabeth records (1590s). The surname is also to be found, from at least the 1400s in Galloway, in the south-west of Scotland (which was in this period also a Gaelic-speaking area). There is no doubt that some McNeillys from Galloway in Scotland came to back to Ulster and settled there in the 1600s.

 5. Listed as the McGregor group, this 6-person group all live in Ireland. They directly descend from the McGregor Clan. The McGregor history shows the Scottish government attempted to annihilate their clan beginning in 1603. Their very name was banned and the government planned to ship their male children 12 and older to Ireland and England based on the minutes of the 1611 Privy Council. We believe a Neely family in County Donegal likely adopted one of these McGregor boys (prompted by a subsidy).

 6. Listed as the Viking group, this 10-person group of Neelys have a 37-marker modal haplotype exactly the same as a large 40-person subgroup of McNeills, except for one step difference in marker 34 (CDYa). The haplogroup is I1a, which is associated with the Vikings. Thus, it seems likely that these 'matching' McNeills were most likely part of their clan living in the Hebrides islands where the Vikings settled, then mixed with them, and the Neelys in this branch are descended from them. Some of these early descendants may have migrated into western Scotland first and from there, perhaps adding an 'ie' to their name, then moved to Ulster, Ireland. Name changes that became McNeely and then dropping the Mc when arriving in Ireland were not uncommon in the early Plantation period of Ulster.

 Other Neely project participants have been identified as having at least a 50% chance of being related within 24 generations to at least one other participant. These participants have been assigned to four additional subgroups.

 7. Listed as the McDaniel group. Their closest non-Neely matches are McDaniels.

 8. Listed as the Niall group. A Neely and a McNeely who possibly descend from the fifth century warlord Niall of the Nine Hostages. They match the main group of participants in the McNeely YDNA project.

 9. Listed as the TX group. A Neely and a Neeley who both currently reside in Texas.

10. Listed as the Wise Co., VA group. Ancestral link to Neelys in Wise Co., VA. Current distribution of haplogroup E-V13 has concentration in parts of Balkans.

Common Ancestors

This section merges traditional genealogy with YDNA mutations for the six main Neely branches. The lines under each group contain either (1) the name of a SNP mutation (with its estimated TMRCA) or (2) the name of a common paternal ancestor (with his birth year). After the name are (1) the FTDNA kits known to be included at that level of descent and (2) any STR mutations. STR mutations are reported only when they occur in at least two kits.

Group1 - 35 kits
  . BY17509.1570
    . A17284.1616
      . A17452.1655 137035 324852 911337 570=17->18 549=14->15 651=11->10
        . ThomasNeely.1695
          . SamuelNeely.1722 627u3=22->21
            . WilliamNeely.1809 727515 N8310
            . A17286.1745 ThomasNeely.1745 94015
               . BY204995.1815
                 . MarionNeely.1862 B105877
                   . GeorgeNeely.1901 89464
                     . TaylorNeely.1926 136130 22654 570=18->19
          . JacksonNeely.1725 532=13->12
            . SamuelNeely.1749 458233 542531
            . MatthewNeely.1775 212614 B496896
          . JohnNeely.1727 286058
          . FTD58753.1706
            . ThomasNeely.1723 71156
              . FTD59862.1780 ThomasNeely.1780 133480 164258 991341 B201693
        . JosephNeely.1791 317323 458=19->18 449=28->29 444=13->12
          . RobertNeely.1822 127866 972148
        . FTB94369.1701 613073 B223536 N31941
        . FT255765.1681
          . JohnNeely.1755 225476 541320 457=17->16
      . FT49014.1724 544698 710=36->35
        . FT49576.1855 388916 458001 909694
          . WilliamMcNeal.1905 160799 382266 480118 385b=14->15 458=19->18
Group2 - 36 kits
  . BY17509.1570
    . WilliamNeely.1596 208573 867021 CDYa=35->36 CDYb=35->36
      . FGC44555.1659 166663 534=16->15 627u3=22->21
        . FT169823.1748 95643
          . DavidNeeley.1748 414037 646631
      . FT195801.1722 BenjaminNeely.1722 933727 464c=17->16
         . BenjaminNeely.1778 911271 913866
      . FT107341.1715 758266 IN94965
        . JamesNeely.1715 754407 495=16->15 643=11->12 518u3=18->16
          . JohnNeely.1748 911378 460=11->12
            . WilliamEllis.1808 MK75004
              . JamesEllis.1840 349410 456=16->15
                . GeorgeEllis.1866 142000 147382
          . ThomasNeelly.1795 N7324
            . ThomasNeelly.1830 147168 994367
      . FT21505.1694 SamuelNeely.1694 203903 236220 869283 89950 458=19->20
         . SamuelNeely.1726 142881 220463
      . FTB23634.1763 925230 460=11->10
        . ThomasNeely.1775 137373 985835
          . ThomasNeely.1848 411484 893807
      . STR01.1687 446=13->12
        . ElijahNealy.1776 845215 464a=15->14
          . JordanNealy.1834 497681 B108236
        . BY106059.1782 JohnNeely.1790 529513 934854 549=14->13 512=10->9
Group3 - 12 kits
  . FT80295.1356 438=13->12 718=5->15 814=4->14
    . FT74528.1690 872505 885633 464d=18->17 576=17->16 438=12->13 299=12->13
      . Y28807.1749 714=23->25 JohnNeely.1749 870785 549=13->14 712=21->22
         . GeorgeNeely.1857 201897 242252 214=15->16
      . BY201958.1756 JohnNeely.1756 870710 712=21->23
         . AnaniasNeely.1784 202391 310513
    . FTB28172.1820 JamesPeyton.1820 958011 965111 438=13->12 487=13->14
            714=23->26 718=5->15 814=4->14 927=16->17 FTY572=17->16 839=14->13
    . FTB79771.1653 1003739 966954 389i=13->14 389ii-i=29->30 456=16->19
                    576=17->16 CDYa=37->36 714=23->25 716=26->27 585=10->9
Group4 - 7 kits
  . BY33528.1149
    . BY33530.1698 274660 354359 607=15->14 511=11->10 413a=23->22 446=12->11
                   504=17->16 117=4->13
    . BY181041.1399 185868 256711 327004
      . DavidMcNeely.1751 139901 89948
Group5 - 6 kits
  . S690.1320
    . FT22039.1590 151217 206956 302269 303200 335151 IN97789
Group6 - 11 kits
  . BY35367.1481
    . JamesNeely.1701 326689
      . EdwardNeely.1740 792520
        . EdwardNeely.1775 496513 502282 442=12->13
    . BY35368.1746 149068 182748 92082
      . ArmeniusNeeley.1836 730866
        . ArmeniusNeeley.1857 206366
          . LowellNeeley.1902 598348 686279

The following links are graphical versions of the phylogenetic trees listed above:

Additional details are contained in our Neely Project lines of descent.
Please send comments and corrections to Stephen Neely.

Haplogroup Stories

Each haplogroup mentioned above has a story.

A17284, A17286, A17452, BY106059, BY17509, BY181041, BY201958, BY204995, BY33528, BY33530, BY35367, BY35368, FGC44555, FT107341, FT169823, FT195801, FT21505, FT22039, FT255765, FT49576, FT74528, FT80295, FTB23634, FTB28172, FTB79771, FTB94369, FTD58753, FTD59862, S690, Y28807