Breifne Clans Y-DNA Project - Results

SEE MEMBERS' SUBGROUPINGS
Last updated: 20 Aug 2009

SEE REPORTS
Last updated: 19 Aug 2009

The Breifne Clans Project (BCP) with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA):

For general information on the project go to the FTDNA website: http://www.familytreedna.com/surname_join.asp?code=T77392&special=True&projecttype=S.

For more specific information go to the Breifne Clans Project (BCP) website: www.familytreedna.com/public/BreifneClans.

As this BCP website does not yet have the capability of importing some of the illustrations and formatting, only the summaries will be presented here. Two other websites will present the full reports with the illustrations and intended formatting:

http://donohoeclan.org and http://www.odonoghue.co.uk/

These last two websites are subscription websites, but you may read the BCP reports for free on both. The Donohoe Clan Society website will present all the reports in full. On the Donohoe Clan Society website homepage, click on “About” in the list on the left side of the page, then scroll down to the bottom of the “History” page where you can click on the reports. The O'Donoghue Society website will present the most recent report in full. On the O'Donoghue Society website, click on "Y-DNA Project" in the list on the left of the homepage, scroll down to the bottom of the page that comes up and click on "Results April 200x", scroll down the page that comes up a little more than halfway to the paragraph on "Spreadsheet C" and click on the underlined "here".


Breifne Clans Project
Report 5
15 Aug 2009

Summary

Among the 83 participants in the BCP who have tested to the 37-marker level or higher and who belong to Haplogroup R1b-M22 and to the Mixed Breifne Surnames (MBS) Section, only about half a dozen (less than 10%) have surnames that are apparently not traditional Breifne surnames. A significant aberration is the presence of participants surnamed Clancy in this section, as this clan is traditionally not of the Ui Briuin nor even of the Connachta. The strong-to-loose linkages among the Y-DNA profiles of all these MBS participants form an extensive network, suggesting an ancient presence of this male-line lineage in the Breifne area.

The division of the MBS section into two subgroups is arbitrary, being based on either of two values at a single marker, DYS 391. So far one subgroup is characterized by a Donohoe-McTiernan cluster while the other subgroup is characterized by an O’Reilly-McGovern cluster.

The Irish R1b Other Section is made up of several isolates, the Groups B and D having participants of surnames that are generally traditional for Breifne while the members of Group O mostly have surnames traditional for Oriel.

Group B is split into two subgroups. One subgroup is composed of participants all with the surname Donohoe who share similar haplotype patterns, are fairly tightly linked, and show no links with anyone else in the BCP, suggesting a more recent arrival in the Breifne area. The O’Rourkes, though unexpectedly not in the R1b-M222 haplogroup (with one exception) along with most of the other Uí Briúin Bréifne, are beginning to fall into isolated clusters as can be seen in Subgroup B2, with two clusters apparently associated with McTiernans and two with Reynolds. The Reynolds traditionally descend from the Ciannachta, who are traditionally not of Connachta descent and who had moved into the Breifne area some centuries before the Uí Briúin.

The possible southern Irish connections of the Brady cluster of Group D remain uncertain. There are weak links among some of the Bradys and some of the Donohues of two unrelated lineages of Desmond origin, but the haplotype pattern resemblances are weak and one of the Donohue lineages may belong to a different haplogroup.

The control group has been divided into three subgroups. The members of Subgroup Y1, all belonging to R1b, span Western Europe from Italy to Britain and represent three different subclades of R1b. Subgroup Y2 includes representatives of three different major non-R1b haplogroups. The Princely Balto-Slavic Lines subgroup also includes representatives of three different major non-R1b haplogroups, only one overlapping with those represented in Y2.

The wider associations of the BCP members of the Oriel Group were extensively investigated. The results of this investigation establish that there were at least two unrelated prominent medieval Airghialla male-line lineages, one associated with the present south Tyrone – north Monaghan area and the other associated with present Fermanagh. As noted in the last report, the marker value profile of the modal haplotype associated with Fermanagh matches the NWIMH at about a third of the markers where the NWIMH deviates from the SWAMH, suggesting that the this modal is intermediate between the SWAMH and the NWIMH and that the lineages they represent branched off from a common ancestor before the M222 mutation occurred. The modal haplotypes of these two lineages have been designated the Airghialla 1 and Airghialla 2 Modal Haplotypes.



Breifne Clans Project
Report 4
1 April 2008

Summary

More evidence has been gathered to support the conclusion that the extensive web of strong-to-loosely interlinked profiles of the Mixed Breifne Surnames (MBS) group represents lineages of the Ui Briuin Breifne, and that the participants belonging to this network are all R1b M222. A significant aberration is the presence of participants surnamed Clancy in this group, as this clan is traditionally not of the Ui Briuin nor even of the Connachta.

The MBS so far appears to be composed of two subgroups which differ somewhat from each other and from the R1b M222 modal haplotype, a Donohoe-McTiernan subgroup and an O’Reilly-McGovern subgroup, and a third subgroup of assorted surnames, including the O’Conors and the Clancys, which is intermediate between the other two and somewhat closer to the R1b M222 modal haplotype.

Several isolated subgroups, all R1b but not R1b M222, are taking shape as more data is gathered. The surnames involved are all traditional Breifne surnames. One subgroup is composed only of Donohoes and another is made up only of McTiernans. Another is a subgroup of surnames weakly linked with six assorted O’Rourke lineages, none of which are even weakly linked with each other but which appear to fall into two unrelated clans on the basis of their marker value profiles, one of which shows moderate links with an isolated McTiernan pair and the other of which has a marker value profile resembling that of the Reynolds, a non-Ui Briuin Breifne clan. A fourth subgroup includes a tightly linked group of Bradys weakly linked to two Donohoe pairs, themselves only weakly linked, one pair of which conforms to the South Irish Modal Haplotype and both pairs of which fit into the two main unrelated O’Donoghue of Kerry clans, all supporting the impression that the Bradys of Breifne fame are of Munster origin.

The Oriel Group continues to be made up of a tightly linked cluster of McGuires (five lineages) and two historical branches of the clan, Donohoes (eight lineages) and McManuses (one lineage), with a couple of weakly linked representatives of other surnames. The Donohoe lineages fall into two clusters with the McGuire lineages intermediate to those two clusters. Although the members of this group are not R1b M222, the marker value profile of the McGuire modal haplotype matches the NWIMH at about a third of the markers where the NWIMH deviates from the SWAMH, suggesting that the McGuire modal is intermediate between the SWAMH and the NWIMH and branched off from a common ancestor before the M222 mutation occurred.

Joseph A. Donohoe
Group Administrator
Breifne Clans Project © 2008 Joseph A. Donohoe V


Breifne Clans Y-DNA
Report 3
5 April 2007

Summary

There are several indications and conclusions in this report to supplement the conclusions reached in earlier reports.

The most significant conclusion here is that many in the largest group of linked individuals in the project, the Mixed Breifne Surnames (MBS) group, belong to Haplogroup R1b1c7, the modal haplotype of which is known as the Northwest Irish Modal Haplotype (NWIMH). The MBS group is a loosely linked and widespread group, indicative of a common male-line ancestor who was remote in time but still within the historical era of the region.

As the Ui Neill have been shown to belong to Haplogroup R1b1c7 by Moore, McEvoy et al.2, and the O’Conors in this study (one of whom belongs to the family of the O’Conor Don) also belong to Haplogroup R1b1c7, and as the historical tradition states that the Ui Neill, the Ui Briuin Ai (the O’Conor ancestral lineage) and the Ui Briuin Bhreifne are all of the same fifth-century origin, there is an indication here that the MBS group may represent the Ui Briuin Bhreifne. More Ui Briuin Ai data will be required to make this a firm conclusion.

A second conclusion is that at least some surnames now found in the Breifne area arose independently more than once, from different eponymous ancestors who bore the same forename, either in the region or elsewhere or both. The two surnames, Donohoe and McTiernan, represented by 20 or more lineages in the BCP are each represented in two or more groups in the project which are unrelated within the historical era. The two forenames relevant here, Donnchadh and Tighernan, were fairly popular in the period when surnames were being adopted in the region.

A third conclusion is that the other principal groups is the BCP (Groups B1, B2, B3, B4 and C1) do not belong to Haplogroup R1b1c7, and in fact belong to a haplogroup or to haplogroups which have not yet been defined, and/or are not being tested for by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). This means that these participants do not belong to Haplogroups R1b1c1 through R1b1c8.

The McGuires and their branches, participants representing 13 lineages, belong to one of these groups, C1, which suggests that the McGuires are not Airgialla or that the Airgialla (at least that part associated with the McGuires) are not a branch of the Connachta. Participants representing two surnames strongly associated with Breifne, O’Rourke and Brady, also fall into these groups (B3 and B4), which indicates that these two clans do not belong, at least by descent, to the Ui Briuin Bhreifne, as tradition asserts. The sample groups for all three of these clans are small, however, so more data is needed here.


Joseph A. Donohoe
Group Administrator
Breifne Clans Project

© 2007 Joseph A. Donohoe V



Breifne Clans Y-DNA
Report 2
3 April 2006


Summary

The two conclusions made in Report 1 are strengthened and extended by the data presented in this report.

The first conclusion, that there were at least four broad lineages now represented in the Breifne area whose ancestors adopted the Donohoe surname independently, not by descent from a common eponymous male-line ancestor, is further supported in this report by the Donohoe representatives in the first four groups above; those in the fifth group do not have a Breifne connection. This conclusion may be extended to say that the McGoverns of Breifne, who take their surname from a rare forename, do not appear to have multiple origins.

The second conclusion, that several lineages bearing different surnames associated with the Breifne area descend from a common male-line ancestor who lived in historical times, finds considerable additional support from the data presented for Group A: Mixed Breifne Surnames (MBS) above. Members of this group have now been extended to represent eight different surnames: Donohoe, McGovern, McTiernan, Faughnan, Curry, MacKiernan, Reilly and McGoldrick. These participants are linked by a complex web of relationships of widely varying degrees of closeness, punctuated by numerous gaps, which would be expected of a group that would have to go back somewhere around 50 generations to find a common male-line ancestor.

An additional third conclusion from the data presented in this report is that one of the four Donohoe lineages of the first conclusion, that in Group D: McGuire Surnames, may now be identified as a fifteenth century branch of the Maguires of Fermanagh, descendants of one Donnchadh Mag Uidhir. This Donnchadh Mag Uidhir was probably the son of Aodh Mag Uidhir, himself the son of Pilib an Tuaigh, king of Fermanagh.

A fourth conclusion is that an analysis of Y-DNA profile patterns can be useful in complementing as well as supporting the results of the calculations of the number of generations to the most recent common male-line ancestor. This is particularly evident in the treatment of the MBS group, where distinguishing and making associations within and between groups is possible among the Donohoes and McGoverns on the basis of these patterns, and with more discernment than would be possible on the basis of the calculations alone.

A fifth conclusion is that the MBS group is close to the IMH (or Ui Neill) haplotype and its hypothesized extension, the NWI haplotype, while the other groups in the study are not. All of the members of the groups presented here are distant from the GR1b haplotype, with the exception of the Donohoe pair in Group C: Lone Surnames Group and perhaps four (Donoghue, Clancey, O’Donoghue and Boylen) in the Miscellaneous Unassigned Surnames Group, which approach that haplotype more closely.


Joseph A. Donohoe
Group Administrator
Breifne Clans Project

© 2006 Joseph A. Donohoe V



Breifne Clans Y-DNA
Report 1
8 April 2005


Summary

In summary, at these probability levels the results indicate (1) that there were at least four lineages now represented in the Breifne area which adopted the Donohoe surname independently, not by descent from a common eponymous male-line ancestor, and (2) that several lineages bearing different surnames associated with the Breifne area descend from a common male-line ancestor who lived in historical times.

Joseph A. Donohoe
Group Administrator
Breifne Clans Project

© 2005 Joseph A. Donohoe V