R DF21 and Subclades

  • 1153 members

About us


News is generated by those intrepid pioneering folk who do a New Generation Sequencing (NGS) test such as FTDNA's Big Y or FGC's Y Elite,
then share their raw data with DF21 Project co-admin Alex Williamson at www.ytree.net and open an account at www.yfull.com. Additionally, ancient DNA such as the Hinton and Rathlin R-DF21 discoveries add historical context. As soon as we become aware of any new test results by any of our members we update our public results page accordingly.

In “The phylogenealogy of R-L21: four and a half millennia of expansion and redistribution”, Prof Joe Flood traces “the initial spread of L21-bearing populations from southwest Britain as part of the Beaker Atlantic culture, and on a major redistribution of haplogroups that took place in Ireland and Scotland from about 100 B.C.”

L21 originated amongst the celts of the European Alps and spread down the Rhine valley to Gaul and Belgica, from whence it crossed to Britain. Floods hypothesis suggests that it’s stronghold was southwest Britain, suggesting that us where DF21 originated about 4,300 years ago. Ancient burials some 4,000 years old on Rathlin Island were found to be the 4,100 year old Z30233 clade of DF21. These men were taller, fairer, Northern European types, perhaps the first Celts in Ireland.  By comparison, a 5,000 year old female burial in Co Down was of Mediterranean type. These two sets of ancient DNA may capture a racial change that occurred. 

The modern distribution of DF21 is that of a band across central Scotland, from Strathclyde to east Stirlingshire being the strongest concentration, plus the west of Ireland. In Scotland the clans of Galbraith, Guthrie, Hamilton, Latta, McKellar, Montgomery, Muir/ Moore, Nesbitt, Ogilvie and others have strong DF21 components within them. Scottish chiefs Galbraith and Ogilvie appear to be DF21. 

In Ireland, DF21 is found amongst the clans of the Airghialla in south Ulster; at least five of the Seven Septs of Laois in Co Laois; Ely O’Carroll (Bowe, O’Carroll, O’Flanagan, O'Tracey) and their neighbouring Ui Ciarainn clansfolk (O’Meagher) in Co Offaly and north Tipperary; the Dealbhna clans (McConrai, McCoughlan, O'Faherty, O'Fenelon, O'Flanagan, O'Heney, O'Logue, O'Mulholland, O'Scully) to their north in Westmeath, south Roscommon and Co Galway; several of the Ui Fiachra Aidhne clans (O'Cathain, O'Maghna, O'Mochain) of south Galway; the Ruaidraige clans (McCurtin, McLoughlin, O’Connor, O’Davoren, O’Loydan) of the Burren and Corcomroe in Co Clare; and the leading Eoganacht dynasty (McCarthy, O’Callaghan) of Desmond. Irish chiefs McCarthy Reagh, McCarthy Muskerry and Ely O’Carroll are R-DF21. 


Last Revision: 30 Jan 2014