L226 Brian Boru DNA

By Peter Biggins
About PetersPioneers

DNA helix Unique Y-chromosome DNA of Dalcassians from County Clare, the most famous of whom was Brian Boru who lived in 10th-century Ireland. Names: O'Brien, Casey, O'Dea, Hearne, Hogan, Kennedy, Lynch, McGrath, McMahon, McNamara, O'Neill, Noonan.

DNA haplogroup: R-L226. Also called Irish Type III DNA.

One DNA tester has a pedigree back to Brian Boru.

Dennis O'Brien, Leo O'Brien, Maureen O'Brien, and Dennis Wright contributed to this study.

The Irish Type III Website      L226 DNA Project      About PetersPioneers      Home Page

Introduction and Summary

Ancient Irish History

L226 DNA Project

L226 DNA Database

Discussion

Resources

Foreword

My interest in L226 Brian Boru DNA stems from the marriage of our son into an O'Brien family. Family genealogist Maureen O'Brien traces their heritage back to Michael O'Brien, who was born in Doneraile in 1815. Doneraile is in County Cork, just south of the border with County Limerick. The Y-chromosome DNA of Maureen's father Leo matches men with a set of surnames that correspond to a set of surnames descended from the Dalcassian tribe, which is traced back to 4th century Ireland. The most illustrious Dalcassian was Brian Boru, Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, who was born around 941 AD in County Clare, Ireland. He was killed 1,000 years ago at the Battle of Clontarf on April 23, 1014.

In April 2006, Ken Nordtvedt identified a unique DNA of a group of testers with Irish ancestry centred on the counties of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. One of the people who had this DNA was Dennis Wright. It was the third unique Irish DNA to be identified, so Dennis called it Irish Type III DNA. In December 2006, he started The Irish Type III Website.

In Spring 2009, Dennis Wright had a paper published in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy entitled "A Set of Distinctive Marker Values Defines a Y-STR Signature for Gaelic Dalcassian Families" that concluded the following.

Analysis of 25-marker short tandem repeat haplotypes in the Ysearch database reveals a distinctive Y-DNA signature that peaks in frequency in the Irish counties of Tipperary, Clare and Limerick. These counties were the hereditary homelands of the Dál gCais families, also called Dalcassian, septs descended from Cas, born CE 347, sixth in descent from Cormac Cas, King of Munster. Dalcassian surnames are more strongly represented with this signature than other surnames.
In November 2009, the SNP L226 was discovered at Family Tree DNA. Over 150 people have tested positive for the L226 SNP and all have the markers associated with Irish Type III DNA. Many have tested negative, and none of those have the Irish Type III markers. So, L226 is definitive of Irish Type III.

This page confirms what has already been shown by Dennis Wright in his 2009 journal article and his Irish Type III website. The main thrust is to show that there is a set of surnames in ancient pedigrees related to Brian Boru that is the same as a set of surnames for modern-day people having L226 Brian Boru DNA. Included among the modern-day testers is Leo O'Brien, kit number 197598.

Table of Contents     

Brian Boru (941-1014)

The Clare County Library has provided the following description of Brian Boru (c. 940-1014).

Brian Boru was born around 940, the youngest of two sons of Cennedig, head of Dal Cais, one of the royal free tribes of Munster. Brian grew up during the worst days of tyranny when the Dalcassians had been driven in to the present county of Clare. Brian’s brother, Mahon, being the eldest, succeeded Cennedig as chief of the Dalcassians. Being hemmed into Clare by the Norse Leader, Ivar of Limerick, Mahon was willing to accept terms but Brian, seeing almost all of the Dal Cais tribe including his mother brutally murdered by a Norse raid when he was only a child, refused to be any part of such a truce. He deserted Mahon with a group of soldiers. They lived in the hills of Munster attacking Norse settlements and disappearing in to the hills. His fame spread throughout the province and infuriated Ivar. Although having only a handful of men, Brian’s skill as a tactician led him to defeat vastly superior numerical forces and led to rumours of a mighty Dalcassian army.
After a number of petty battles, Brian had trained an excellent Dalcassian army to face the Norsemen. The stories of his triumphs had led to vast numbers of young men volunteering to join his side. The feud between himself and Mahon ended. Mahon renounced his truce with the Norsemen and the two brothers rejoined forces. The two men triumphed so far that Mahon took the throne of Cashel in 963 and in 968 at Sulchoid in Tipperary, the two brothers completely overtook Ivar’s forces and marched on Limerick while Ivar fled back to the Norse lands. The Norse tyranny in Munster thus collapsed and Mahon ruled peacefully for eight years. However, Ivar returned to Ireland and plotted the murder of Mahon. After Mahon’s death, Brian not wanting a bloodbath between his forces and Ivar’s, honourably challenged Ivar to open combat, which he won killing Ivar. Brian succeeded his brother as head of the Dal Cais and immediately took the field against his brothers enemies. In 978, he defeated the King of Cashel in battle. Step by step he established himself in the Kingship of Munster and fortified the province. In 983 and 988, his fleets ravaged Connaught and plundered Meath.
Meanwhile, another great leader had arisen in the North, Malachy the second, the Ui Neill King of Tara. Malachy was born in 948, became King of Meath and in 980, High King. This he achieved at the battle of Tara in 980 where he overthrew a Norse Army and took Dublin. A clash between the two men was inevitable. At last, in 998, they met and divided Ireland between the two of them, Brian becoming the King of the South and Malachy of the North.
By 1002, the joint sway of Malachy and Brian could not last. Malachy, being unable to gather enough support to take on the mighty forces of Brian, allowed Brian peacefully to take over his lands. This was the greatest moment in the history of native Ireland. Brian, by his title, “Ard Ri”, was claiming the monarchy of the whole Gaelic race. Before Brian, and Malachy, Ireland was divided in to a number of petty kingdoms, sometimes at peace, sometimes at war with one another. The Vikings themselves joined in the struggles between the Irish kingdoms and also fought bitterly among themselves. There was no one king up to this who was responsible for the defence of Ireland against the Vikings and had control over the entire island.
Brian had much to do as High King to lift Ireland out of the ruins of the Norse Age. He rebuilt ruined churches, built others, he sent overseas to replace lost books and artefacts and all that he possibly could to heal the wounds of the past two centuries of Norse pillage.
In 1013, the Leinstermen and the Dublin Vikings revolted against Brian. Mael Morda, King of Leinster, allied himself with the Dublin Vikings and went to war with Brian. The Dublin Vikings sought allies overseas. The great sigurd, Earl of Orkney, came with a large contingent. While other Viking contingents came from as far afield as Iceland and Normandy. Brian gave them Battle at Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014 and defeated them. However, as the Vikings were retreating, one of their leaders, Bothair, murdered Brian.
After this, Malachy resumed his position as High King and the Dal Cais strength remained only in Munster. The Viking presence in Ireland continued after Brian’s death but their military power was crushed. They remained in the country as traders and intermarried amongst the native Irish. Ireland was never again to have a King to control the entire of the island and the cost to Ireland and to Brian of crushing the Viking power in this country was a great one, for Ireland was never again to have a true “ARD RI”.
Bloody Acre
Bloody Acre, where Brian Boru was killed in 1014. South of the Tokla River in northwest corner of what is today Glasnevin Cemetery, two miles north of the Dublin city center. Source: Ordnance Survey Ireland. See current day map.

Table of Contents     

A Coincidence of Names

The identification of L226 Brian Boru DNA rests upon the similarity between a set of 12 related names in ancient pedigrees and a set of 12 names of 109 men with matching DNA.

12 Ancient Names with Related Pedigrees
  1. O'Brien, King of Thomond, O'Hart 154
  2. O'Casey, O'Hart 156
  3. O'Hogan, Chiefs of Crioch Cian, O'Hart 96, O'Hart 156, and O'Hart 220
  4. O'Kennedy, Chiefs in Ormond, O'Hart 98, O'Hart 156, and O'Hart 227
  5. O'Neill of County Clare, O'Hart 242
  6. MacGrath of Thomond, O'Hart 156
  7. O'Lynch of Thomond, O'Hart 101 and O'Hart 233
  8. MacMahon, Lords of Corca Baisgin, County Clare, O'Hart 148
  9. O'Dea, Chiefs of Dysart O'Dea, County Clare, O'Hart 191
  10. Hearne of Thomond, O'Hart 156
  11. MacNamara, Lords of Dunratty, County Clare, O'Hart 150
  12. O'Noonan of Thomond and South Connaught, O'Hart 155
12 Modern Names with Matching DNA
  1. 40 O'Brien/Bryan - 27143, 29355, 30225, 34330, 40468, 45897, 48596, 51840, 51866, 52082, 57501, 58280, 69313, 74637, 78034, 83123, 95292, 98444, 105828, 122853, 130351, 134367, 148239, 152540, 155896, 169471, 169471, 171533, 176989, 180298, 194697, 197598, 206478, 216044, 247288, 248813, 274036, 281586, 282235, B3875
  2. 19 Casey - 34073, 45068, 51924, 53484, 54166, 56031, 56130, 56874, 58301, 77349, 93773, 99381, 107623, 119586, 131349, 172505, 190465, 245778, N42374
  3. 11 Hogan - 32082, 44089, 51896, 123832, 128341, 142586, 148696, 211479, 217279, 221344, N49530
  4. 9 Kennedy - 34689, 53526, 118295, 125995, 156620, 210449, 240708, 240923, N87250
  5. 8 O'Neill/Neal - 87659, 97850, 106851, 125443, 143164, 148234, 163353, N36484
  6. 5 McGrath - 163165, 177923, 178183, 189108, N24190
  7. 4 Lynch - 266222, N35262, N80070, N75057
  8. 4 McMahon - 110326, 185202, 284523, 293008
  9. 3 O'Dea - 143164, 254182, 254274
  10. 3 Hearne/Hern - 176197, 231916, B3470
  11. 2 McNamara - 162354, 309786
  12. 1 Noonan - 61383
Numbers identify the kit at Family Tree DNA.

Many people with L226 Brian Boru DNA do not have historical Dalcassian surnames. The major names are: Mahoney, Crow, McCraw, McGraw, Hart, Butler, Callahan. L226 DNA has not yet been found for several historical Dalcassian names: Brennan, Cosgrove, Glynn, Hurley, Kelleher, Lonergan, Muldowney, O'Meara, O'Regan. See Historical Surnames.

Table of Contents

Ancient Pedigree of Brian Boru

Conor Myles John O'Brien, who was born in 1943 and lives in Thomond House near Dromoland Castle, traces his ancestry back to Brian Boru. He has had his DNA tested at Family Tree DNA and is O'Brien 29355 on Alex Williamson's L226 Big Tree.

The pedigree is from two sources.

  • John O'Hart's 1892 Irish Pedigrees
    • Generations 91 (Cas) to 104: "O'Brien (No. 1) King of Thomond," pages 154-162
    • Generations 105 (Brian Boru) to 120: "O'Brien (No. 1) King of Thomond," pages 154-162
    • Generation 121: "O'Brien (No. 2) Marquises of Thomond," page 163
    • Generations 122 to 131: "O'Brien (No. 5) Barons and Earls of Inchiquin," pages 169-170
  • Burke's Peerage
    • Generation 132: Edward Donough O'Brien, 14th Baron of Inchiquin (M, #17941)
    • Generation 133: Lucius William O'Brien, 15th Baron of Inchiquin (M, #28636)
    • Generation 134: Hon. Fionn Myles Maryons O'Brien (M, #484007)
    • Generation 135: Conor Myles John O'Brien, 18th Baron of Inchiquin (M, #484010)

Google Books has made the 1892 edition available online: Volume I and Volume II. The University of Pittsburgh Library System has made the 1892 edition available online as a PDF file or Ebook: Volume I and Volume II. Library Ireland has made a transcript of Volume I available online.

O'Hart's 1892 Irish Pedigrees includes 12 ancient names with pedigrees related with Brian Boru. Modern-day people with these same names have been found to have the same DNA--what we call L226 Brian Boru DNA. Many of these names appear on pages 154-162 of Vol. I, O'Hart, which give the Brian Boru pedigree back to Cas, from whom comes the name "Dalcassians."

Burke's Peerage refers to Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, Charles Mosley, editor, 2003. Darryl Lundy, from Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand, has put Burke's Peerage online at The Peerage. Link's to Burke's Peerage here are to Lundy's The Peerage.

Generations 120 to 131 are available from Burke's Peerage (The Peerage) as well as O'Hart's 1892 Irish Pedigrees.

Generations 91 to 120: O'Hart's 1892 Irish Pedigrees, "O'Brien (No. 1) King of Thomond," pages 154-162

91. Cas: a quo the Dal Cais or "Dalcassians;" b. 347. Had twelve sons:—1. Blad, 2. Caisin, 3. Lughaidh, 4. Seana, 5. Aengus Cinathrach, 6. Carthann Fionn, 7. Cainioch, 8. Aengus Cinaithin, 9. Aodh, 10. Nae, 11. Loisgeann, and 12. Dealbheath
92. Blad ("bladair:" Irish, to coax; Lat. "blater-o," to flatter): the eldest son of Cas; a quo O'Bladair, anglicised Blair, Flattery, and Blood (of Munster); b. 388; left four sons:—1. Carthann Fionn Oge Mór; 2. Carthann Dubh; 3. Eochaidh; 4. Brennan Ban, ancestor of O'Brennan (of Thomond), Glinn, Glynn, Maglin, Magan, Muldowney (now "Downey"), O'Hurley, etc.
93. Carthann Fionn Oge Mór: eldest son of Blad. Had two sons: 1. Eochaidh Ball-dearg; 2. Aengus, who was the progenitor of O'Curry, O'Cormacan, O'Seasnain, etc.
94. Eochaidh Ball-dearg: son of Carthann Fionn Oge Mór. Received Baptism at the hands of St. Patrick, and d. at an advanced age, leaving two sons: 1. Conall, 2. Breacan, a quo "Ibrickan," a barony in the county Clare
95. Conall: the elder son. Died vita patris, and left issue: 1. Aodh Caomh; 2. Molua Lobhar, or St. Molua the Leper, founder of the church of Killaloe, co. Clare
96. Aodh Caomh ("caomh:" Irish, gentle; Arab, "kom," noble; Lat. "com-is"): the elder son; a quo O'Caoimh, anglicised Coombe. Was King of Cashel. Of him Lodge says: "He was the first Christian King of this family, that became King of all Munster; and his investure with the authority and title of King of that Province was performed at his own Court, in the presence of St. Breanan of Clonfert, and of his domestic poet MacLemein, who afterwards became first bishop of Cloyne; and also by the concurrence of Aodh Dubh, son of Criomthan, then chief representative of the Eugenian race." He had two sons: 1. Cathal; 2. Congall, the ancestor of O'Noonan, of Thomond and South Connaught
97. Cathal: the elder son
98. Turlogh: his son; b. 641. Had—1. Maithan; 2. Ailgeanan, who was the ancestor of O'Meara, Scanlan and MacArthur
99. Maithan: son of Turlogh; b. 683
100. Anluan: his son
101. Corc: his son
102. Lachtna: his son. Had his residence at a place called Grinan Lachtna, near Killaloe: he d. at an advanced age
103. Lorcan (also called Fingin): his son; was King of the Dalcassians; d. 942. Had three sons:— 1. Cineidi; 2. Cosgrach, the ancestor of Cosgrave of (Munster), and O'Hogan; 3. Lonargan, a quo Lonergan; 4. Congal; 5. Bran Fionn, a quo Slioght Branfionn, in Wexford: a sept who took the permanent sirname of O'Brien, from this Bran, when sirnames were introduced into Ireland
104. Cineadh (or Cineidi), King of Thomond: the son of Lorcan; m. Babhion, dau. of Arcadh, son of Murrough O'Flaherty, lord of Iar Connacht or West Connaught
105. Brian Boroimhe [Boru], the 175th Monarch of Ireland: a younger son of Cineadh; b. 926, at Kincora, the royal seat of his ancestors; and fell by the hand of Brodar, the Danish admiral, at the Battle of Clontarf, on Good Friday, the 23rd April, 1014, in the 88th year of his age. This Brian ("Brian:" Irish, very great strength), was the ancestor of O'Brien, Kings of Thomond. He had eleven brothers, of whom only four left issue, viz.— 1. Mahoun, the eldest brother, who was King of Munster, before Brian, and a quo many families. II. Donchuan, who was the ancestor of, among other families, Eustace, O'Kennedy, O'Regan, (of Thomond), O'Kelleher, O'Beollan (or "Boland"), O'Casey, Power, Twomey, etc. III. Eichtigern (a quo Ahearne, Hearne, Heron), who was ancestor of MacCraith, (or MacGrath), of Thomond, etc. IV. Anluan, who was the ancestor of Quirk, etc. Brian Boroimhe was four times m.; his first wife was Mór (more), dau. of Flan O'Hyne, Prince of Hy-Fiachra Aidhne, in Galway, by whom he had three sons of whom Murrough, who fell at the Battle of Clontarf, was one. Brian was secondly m. to Eachraidh, dau. of Ceaibhall, son of Olioll Fionn, and had: 1. Teige; 2. Donal, who distinguished himself at Clontarf, and was slain by the Siol Murray in a battle fought by the Dalcassians against the Conacians. His third wife was Gormliath, the "Kormloda" of Icelandic history; sister of Maolmora, King of Leinster: and relict of Aulaf, the Danish King of Dublin, to whom she bore the celebrated Sitric, who succeeded his father as King of the Danes of Dublin. By Gormliath Brian had Donogh, the 176th Monarch of Ireland, who was the ancestor of Plunkett, and of the O'Briens of Coonagh, in Limerick, and of Aherlow, in Tipperary; and a daughter Sabh, who m. Cian, who is No. 109 on the "O'Mahony" pedigree, by by whom she had Mathgabhuin, the founder of the family of O'Mahony, in the county Cork. Brian's fourth wife was Dubhcobhla, who d. s. p. 1009; she was dau. of Cathal O'Connor, King of Connaught
106. Teige: younger son of Brian Boroimhe; m. Mór, dau. of Gilla-Brighid O'Mulloy, Lord of Fircall, in the King's County. (Another authority gives Mór as being the dau. of Melaghlin, son of Maolmora the 51st Christian King of Leinster). Teige was killed in 1022 by his brother Donogh, who thus became King of Munster. Donogh was m. to Driella, dau. of Godwin, Earl of Kent, and sister of Harold II., the last Saxon King of England; after a reign of forty-nine years Donogh abdicated; went on a pilgrimage to Rome, and took the habit of a Monk in the monastery of St. Stephen where he soon after died
107. Turlogh Mór (d. in 1086, aged 77 years), became King of North Munster on the abdication of his uncle Donogh; m. Mór, the dau. of O'Hyne, of Kilmacduagh, in the co. Galway, by whom he had four sons and a daughter. The sons were—1. Teige, who d. at Kincora, leaving two sons, Murrogh and Daniel. 2. Murtogh, who succeeded his father; carried fire and sword, in A.D. 1101, through Conacht and Tir Conal; marched to Aileach Neid which he burned; and after a reign of 30 years he retired (1116) to the monastery of Lismore to repent of his sins—especially of his violation of the sacred soil of Aileach; he died at Lismore in 1119, leaving: Donal, the Shorthand (whose sons Connor and Lewy fell in battle in 1151); Mahon, ancestor of MacMahon of Corca Bascin, and Cineidi Ochar. 3. Dermod, of whom presently. 4. Donogh, slain in 1103 at the battle of Magh Coba. And the dau. was Mór, who m. Roderic O'Connor the 183rd Monarch of Ireland
108. Dermod: son of Turlogh Mór; in 1116 succeeded his brother, Murtogh, as King of North Munster; m. Sadhbh, dau. of Teige MacCarthy Mór, Prince of Desmond (see "MacCarthy Mór" pedigree, No. 108), by whom he had issue—two sons, 1. Connor-na-Catharach, and 2. Turlogh. The Princess Sadhbh, on the death of Dermod, m. her cousin Cormac Magh-Tamnagh MacCarthy Mór. Dermod, in 1116, was defeated by the Hy-Niall and their Conacht relatives at Ruadh-Bheithach, near Dunkellin, co. Galway; he d. in A.D. 1120, was interred in Killaloe, and was succeeded by his son Connor, who, dying in 1142, was succeeded by his brother, Turloch
109. Turlogh: son of Dermod; became King of North Munster in 1142; he m. twice—first, to a dau. of MacCarthy Mór, who d. s. p.; and secondly, to Narait or Ragnait, the dau. of O'Fogarty, lord of Ely-Deisceart (or Eliogarty), in Tipperary, by whom he had five sons: —1. Donal Mór; 2. Murtogh, who d. s. p.; 3. Brian of the Mountain, lord of Ormond;. 4. Dermod; 5. Consaidin or Constantine ("Saidh:" Irish, mildness, gentleness; "in," little), bishop of Killaloe (d. 1194), ancestor of the MacConsidine of the co. Clare, Teige, uncle of Turlogh, contended with him for the Sovereignty of Munster, and a bloody battle was fought at Cluan-na-Catha, near Ardfinan, in Tipperary, in which Teige was defeated. In the year after, another terrible battle was also fought between Turlogh and Teige and his allies, at Barrymore in Cork, in which Teige was again defeated; upwards of seven thousand fell on both sides, A.D. 1152, Turlogh, after a reign of 25 years, died and was interred at Killaloe, 7th Nov., 1167, leaving his son Murtogh King of Munster, who was slain in 1168, by the people of Clare, at the instigation of Connor O'Brien; for which his brother Donal, on his accession, fined them 3,000 cows
110. Donal Mór (d. 1194): son of Turlogh; the last King of North Munster; was m. to Orlacan, dau. of Dermod na Gall MacMorough (by his wife, the dau. of O'Moore, Prince of Leix), and had Mór, who married Cathal Craobh Dearg O'Connor (d. 1224), the 51st Christian King of Conacht, with nine sons: 1. Donogh Cairbreach; 2. Murtogh Dall, ancestor of the Clan Murtogh Dall O'Brien, of Hy-Bloid, in the northeast of the co. Clare; 3. Connor Ruadh; 4. Murtogh Fionn, ancestor of the Clan Turlogh Fionn of the same territory; 6. Donal Conachtach, ancestor of Clan Donal Conaghtaigh, of Echtge, and subsequently of Ara, in the county Tipperary; 7. Brian (surnamed "of Burren"), ancestor of Clan Bhriain Boirnigh; 8. Connor, ancestor of Clan Connor Guasanaigh; 9. Dermod Fiodhnuich, ancestor of the Clan Dermod Fiodhniagh. In 1169, this Donal Mór founded a religious house, afterwards the cathedral church on the site of the existing edifice in Cashel; in 1171, he founded a nunnery in the City of Limerick, but not a vestige of it remains. In 1172, following the example of Dermod MacCarthy Mór, King of South Munster, he made Henry II., King of England, a tender of his submission on the banks of the Suir:—
"Woe worth that hour, woe worth that day,
That cost the freedom of the Gael;
And shame to those who broke the trust,
In them reposed by Inis Fail."
In 1175, Donal, blinded Dermod, son of Teige O'Brien, and Mahon, son of Turlogh, his kinsmen, which act caused the death of Dermod soon after at Castleconnell. In 1176, Donal expelled the Anglo-Normans from the City of Limerick, putting most of Henry II's garrison to the sword. In 1192, he drove the English out of Upper Ormond, Ara, and Coonagh, where they established themselves; and stripping them of the booty they took from the native chieftains
111. Donogh Cairbreach O'Brien: eldest son of Donal Mór; d. 1242. Was the first of the family that assumed this sirname, and the title of "Prince." Was surnamed "Cairbreach," from his having been nurtured in Hy-Cairbre-Aobha. He erected the palace of Clonroad, near the town of Ennis, and m. Sabia, dau. of Donogh O'Kennedy, lord of Muscry Tire, by whom he had Sabina (who married Geoffrey O'Donoughue of Killarney), and six sons: 1. Connor; 2. Turlogh; 3. Murtogh; 4. Dermod; 5. Teige Dall; 6. A daughter Slainé, who d. Abbess of Killowen, in the barony of Islands, co. Clare—the foundation of her father in 1190. This Donogh Cairbreach O'Brien founded the abbeys of Corcomroe, in the barony of Burren, co. Clare; Killcooley, in the parish of Slievearadh, county Tipperary; Galbally, in the parish of Galbally, barony of Costlea, co. Limerick; and the Franciscan Monastery at Ennis, co. Clare
112. Connor-na-Siuddine: eldest son of Donogh; slain at the Wood of Siudan, in Burren, county Clare, in 1268: hence the epithet affixed to his name, and a quo Sidney. He m. Mór, dau. of MacNamara, lord of Hy-Coileann, and left issue: 1. Teige; 2. Brian Ruadh, ancestor of O'Brien of Arra; 3. Murtogh, who died without legitimate male issue
113. Teige (d. 1259): the son of Connor; surnamed Caol Uisge: so called from his having (see No. 113 on the "O'Neill," Princes of Tyrone pedigree) attended there to hold a conference with Brian Catha Duin O'Neill, to whom this Teige O'Brien and Hugh O'Connor "granted the sovereignty over the Irish," in 1258, or constituted him Monarch of Ireland. This Teige m. Finola, dau. of Kennedy, son of Kennedy, son of Murtogh O'Brien, and had: 1. Turlogh Mór; 2. Donal, who defeated Mahon, grandson of Donal Conachtach, at the Abbey of Clare, in 1276
114. Turlogh Mór, the hero of MacGrath's "Wars of Thomond:" the son of Teige; d. at his residence Insi-an-Lasi in 1306. Was m. three times: first, to Sabina (d. s. p.), dau. of Teige MacCarthy, of Dun-Mac-Tomain; secondly, to Orflath, (or Aurnia), dau. of Donal Oge MacCarthy Mór, by whom he had— 1. Brian (ancestor of Siol Bhriain na Geall, of Glen Cean), 2. Murtogh (founder of the houses of Thomond and Inchiquin), 3. Dermod (who left no issue); and the third marriage of Turlogh was to Sabina O'Kennedy, of Muscry Tir, by whom he had two sons—1. Connor, and 2. Donal
115. Murtogh: second son of Turlogh Mór; d. 1343. Was twice m.: first, to Sarah (d. s. p.) dau. of O'Kennedy, of Ormond; and, secondly, to Edaoin or Edina, dau, of his standard bearer, MacGorman, of Ibrackan, by whom he had three sons: 1. Maithan; 2. Turlogh Maol, ancestor of O'Brien of Bun-Cumeragh, in the county Waterford; 3. Teige
116. Maithan Maonmaighe, who d. 1369: the son of Murtogh. The epithet applied to him means that he was fostered in "Maonmaighe," near Loughrea. Was m. to Winifred, dau. of O'Connor Corc., by whom he had seven sons: 1. Brian; 2. Connor (who m. Mary, dau. of Teige O'Brien, lord of Coonagh, by whom he had—1. Dermod; 2, Donal, bishop of Limerick; 3. Brian Dubh, the progenitor of O'Brien of Carrigagunnel and Glin, in the county Limerick); 3. Teige Baccach, ancestor of O'Brien, of Ballygarridan; 4. Turlogh; 5. Murtogh; 6. Dermod; 7. Donal
117. Brian Catha-an-Aonaigh (or Brian of the Battle of Nenagh) who d. 1399: son of Maithan. Was twice m.: first to Slaine, dau. of Lochlan Laidir MacNamara. by whom he had three sons: 1. Teige na Glaoidh Mór (d. s. p.); 2. Mahon Dall, who had Turlogh, who had Brian, the progenitor of Siol Bhriain Debriortha (or the exiled); 3. Turlogh. Secondly, to Margaret, dau. of James Fitzgerald of Desmond, by whom he had Brian Udhar Catha, who was the ancestor of O'Brien, of Eachdroma
118. Turlogh Bog: a younger son of Brian of the Battle of Nenagh; d. 1459. Was the hero of Glen Fogarty and Ballyanfoil; married Catherine, dau. of Ulick FitzWalter Burke, by whom he had issue: 1. Teige; 2. Donogh-Teige, bishop of Killaloe, who was called "Terence," by Ware; 3. Connor Mór na-Shrona, ancestor of O'Brien, of Sealhendhe, in Clare; 4. Turlogh Oge, who, from his dark complexion, was called "Gilla Dubh," and who was the progenitor of O'Brien, of Ballymacdoody; 5. Mahon, of Kilclaney; 6, Kennedy; 7. Brian Ganeagh; 8. Murtogh Beg
119. Teige an-Chomhaid, or Teige of the Castle of Chomhad, in Burren, which he erected in 1459 in his father's lifetime: son of Turlogh Bog; d. 146S. He m. Annabella, dau. of Ulick Burke, son of "Ulick of the Wine," of Clanrickard, and had six sons: 1. Turlogh Donn; 2. Donal, whose sons Brian, Connor, and Murtogh possessed the estates known as Tir Briain Cacthnava, Dubh, and Dun-Hogan, all in the co. Clare; 3. Donogh, of Drom-fion-glas, who had four sons—Murtogh, Teige, Dermod, and Brian-na-Corcaidh (who divided his estates of Cahir-Corcrain, and Castletown, amongst his sons: I. Mahon, II. Murrogh, III. Connor, IV. Dermod, V. Murtogh, and VI. Teige-an-Comain); 4. Murtogh Garbh; 5. Murrogh; 6. Dermod Cleireach, of Cacthnava-na-Madara, who had six sons—I. Donall-na-Geall, II. Murrogh-an-Tarman, III. Brian-an Comhlack, IV. Mahon, V. Donogh, VI. Torlogh
120. Turlogh Donn, who d. 1528: son of Teige-an-Chomhaid; married twice: first, to Joan, dau. of Thomas, eighth Lord Fitzmaurice (see No. 13 on the "Fitzmaurice" pedigree); and, secondly, to Raghnait, dau. of John MacNamara, of Clan Coilcain, and by her had:
  • I. Connor;
  • II. Donogh;
  • III. Murrough, first Earl of Thomond and Baron of Inchiquin;
  • IV. Teige, slain by Pierce, Earl of Ormond;
  • V. Dermod;
  • VI. Margaret, m. to Owen O'Rourke, of the county Leitrim;
  • VII. Slaine, m. to Henry Oge O'Neill, son of Henry, Prince of Ulster;
  • VIII. Fionala, who m. Manus O'Donnell, Chief of Tirconnell

Generation 121: O'Hart's 1892 Irish Pedigrees, "O'Brien (No. 2) Marquises of Thomond," page 163

121. Murrough: son of Turlogh Donn; d. 1551; was the first "Earl of Thomond" and "Baron of Inchiquin; m. Eleanor, dau. of Thomas FitzGerald, Knight of the Valley, and had three sons and three daughters; the sons were: I. Dermod of whom presently. II. Teige, of Smithstown Castle, who m. Mór, dau. of Donal O'Brien, and had: I. Turlogh, who d. s. p. I. Honoria, who m. Richard Wingfield, an ancestor of the Viscounts Powerscourt. II. Slaine, who m. Teige, son of Connor, the Third Earl of Thomond. III. Hannah, who m. Donogh O'Brien. III. Donogh, from whom descended O'Brien of Dromoland. The daughters were: I. Margaret, b. 1535, who m. Richard, the second Earl of Clanricard. II. Slaine, whose second husband was Sir Donal O'Brien, of Dough. III. Honoria, who m. Sir Dermod O'Shaughnessy, of Gort, and had issue.

Generations 122 to 131: O'Hart's 1892 Irish Pedigrees, "O'Brien (No. 5) Barons and Earls of Inchiquin," pages 169-170

122. Donogh; the third son of Murrough, the first Earl of Thomond; d. 1582. His father assigned to him the Castles and lands of Dromoland, Leamanagh, Ballyconnelly, Corcumroe, etc.; m. Slaine, dau. of John MacNamara Fionn, of Crathloe, and had one son and two daughters: I. Connor, of whom presently. I. Margaret. II. Finola, who m. Uaithne O'Loughlin, of Moyrin, in Clare.
123. Connor (who d. in 1603), of Leamanagh: son of Donogh; m. Slaine, dau. of Sir Turlogh O'Brien, of Dough Castle, and had a son: 124. Donogh (2), who was knighted by King Charles I, and who d. in 1634. This Donogh m. Honoria, dau. of Richard Wingfield, an ancestor of the Viscounts Powerscourt, and had three sons and one daughter: I. Connor, of whom presently. II. Donogh, of Tobbermaile. III. Murrough, who m. Hannah, dau. of his kinsman Turlogh O'Brien of Cluonan, and had a son named Teige. I. Margaret, who m. Turlogh, son of Teige O'Brien of Dromore.
125. Connor (2), of Leamanagh, who d. 1651: the eldest son of Donogh; m. Mary, dau. of Sir Turlogh MacMahon, and had two sons and two daughters: I. Sir Donogh, of whom presently. II. Teige, who m. the dau. of Captain Edward Fitzgerald, of Carrigowrane. I. Honoria, who married Donogh O'Brien, of Dough. II. Mary, who m. Donogh MacNamara.
126. Sir Donogh, of Leamanagh and Dromoland: son of Connor; d. 1717. Was created a Baronet on the 9th of Nov., 1686. He was twice married: first, to Lucia, dau. of Sir George Hamilton, by whom he had a son Lucius, of whom presently; and secondly, to Eliza, dau. of Major Deane, by whom he had: II. Henry. I. Honoria. II. Elizabeth.
127. Lucius: son of Sir Donogh by his first marriage; d. (before his father) in 1717; m. Catherine, dau. of Thomas Keightley, of Hertfordshire, and had two sons and two daughters: I. Sir Edward, of whom presently. II. Thomas. I. Anne. II. Lucia.
128. Sir Edward, of Dromoland, M.P.: son of Lucius; was the second Baronet; d. 1765. Sir Edward m. Mary, dau. of Hugh Hickman, of Fenloe, and had: I. Sir Lucius-Henry, of whom presently. II. Donogh. III. Edward. I. Henrietta. II. Anne. III. Mary. IV. Catherine, who m. Charles MacDonnell, of New Hall, near Ennis. V. Lucia.
129. Sir Lucius-Henry, of Dromoland, M.P., the third Baronet: son of Sir Edward; d. 1795; m., in 1768, Nichola, dau. of Robert French, of Monivea Castle, in the co. Galway, M.P., and had: I. Sir Edward, of whom presently. II. Lucius. III. Robert. IV. Donogh. V. Henry. I. Nichola. II. Henrietta. III. Catherine. IV. Lucy. V. Anna-Maria. VI. Charlotte.
130. Sir Edward, of Dromoland, the fourth Baronet, who d. in 1837; son of Sir Lucius-Henry; m. in 1799, Charlotte, dau. of William Smith, of Cahirmoyle, Newcastle West, in the county Limerick, and had: I. Sir Lucius, of whom presently. II. William Smith O'Brien, M.P. (b. 17th Oct., 1803; d. 18th June, 1864), heir to the estates of his maternal grandfather William Smith; the "Wallace" of his country, who, on the 19th Sept., 1832, m. Lucy-Caroline (d. 13th June, 1861), eldest dau. of Joseph Gabbett, Esq., of Limerick, and, besides a daughter Charlotte-Grace (living in 1887), the good and philanthropic Miss C. G. O'Brien, of Emigration fame in Ireland, had Edward-William, J.P., (b. 23rd Jan., 1837, and living in 1887), of Cahirmoyle, co. Limerick. William Smith O'Brien d. in Wales, but his remains were brought to Ireland and interred at Rathronan, co. Limerick. III. Edward. IV. Robert. V. Henry. Sir Edward's daughters were: I. Granna (or Grace). II. Anne. III. Harriet. IV. Catherine. V. Leney.
131. Sir Lucius, of Dromoland, the fifth Baronet, and thirteenth Baron of Inchiquin: son of Sir Edward; b. 1800, d. 1872; m. twice: first, Mary, dau. of William Fitzgerald, Esq., of Adelphi, co. Clare, by whom he had one son and three daughters: I. Edward-Donogh, of whom presently. I. Juliana-Cecilia, b. 1839. II. Charlotte-Anne, b. 1840. III. Mary-Grace, b. 1848. Sir Lucius was secondly m. (on 25th Oct., 1854) to Louisa, dau. of James Finucane, Esq.

Generations 132 to 135: Burke's Peerage

132. Edward Donough O'Brien, 14th Baron of Inchiquin (M, #17941) was born on 14 May 1839. He was the son of Lucius O'Brien, 13th Baron of Inchiquin and Mary FitzGerald. He married, firstly, Hon. Emily Holmes à Court, daughter of William Henry Ashe Holmes à Court, 2nd Baron Heytesbury of Heytesbury and Elizabeth Worsley-Holmes, on 21 August 1862. He married, secondly, Hon. Ellen Harriet White, daughter of Luke White, 2nd Baron Annaly of Annaly and Rathcline and Emily Stuart, on 29 January 1874. He died on 9 April 1900 at age 60. He graduated from Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, with a Master of Arts (M.A.). He held the office of High Sheriff of County Clare in 1862. He succeeded to the title of 14th Baron of Inchiquin [I., 1543] on 22 March 1872. He succeeded to the title of 6th Baronet O'Brien, of Lemeneagh and Dromoland, co. Clare [I., 1686] on 22 March 1872. He was invested as a Representative Peer [Ireland] between 1873 and 1900. He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of County Clare between 1879 and 1900. He gained the rank of Honorary Colonel in the service of the 7th Brigade South Irish Division, Royal Artillery. He was invested as a Knight, Order of St. Patrick (K.P.) in 1892.
133. Lucius William O'Brien, 15th Baron of Inchiquin (M, #28636) was born on 21 June 1864. He was the son of Edward Donough O'Brien, 14th Baron of Inchiquin and Hon. Emily Holmes à Court. He married Ethel Jane Foster, daughter of Johnston Jonas Foster, on 14 January 1896. He died on 9 December 1929 at age 65. He gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Rifle Brigade. He held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of County Clare. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Shropshire. He was invested as a Representative Peer [Ireland] between 1900 and 1929. He succeeded to the title of 7th Baronet O'Brien, of Lemeneagh and Dromoland, co. Clare [I., 1686] on 9 April 1900. He succeeded to the title of 15th Baron of Inchiquin [I., 1543] on 9 April 1900. He held the office of Senator [Irish Free State] in 1921.
134. Hon. Fionn Myles Maryons O'Brien (M, #484007)was born on 28 October 1903. He was the son of Lucius William O'Brien, 15th Baron of Inchiquin and Ethel Jane Foster. He married Josephine Reine Bembaron, daughter of Joseph Eugene Bembaron, on 21 June 1939. He died on 2 August 1977 at age 73. He was educated at Radley College, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England. He was educated at Loughborough College, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. He fought in the Second World War. He gained the rank of Flight Lieutenant in 1941 in the service of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
135. Conor Myles John O'Brien, 18th Baron of Inchiquin (M, #484010) was born on 17 July 1943. He is the son of Hon. Fionn Myles Maryons O'Brien and Josephine Reine Bembaron. He married Helen O'Farrell, daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald O'Farrell, in 1988. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He was Aide-de-Camp to Commander British Forces Gulf. He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 14th/20th King's Hussars. He gained the rank of GSO(3) in the service of the POLMIL Hong Kong. He was Corporate Officer for Inter Alpha Asia (Hong Kong) between 1979 and 1981. He succeeded to the title of 10th Baronet O'Brien, 17th Baron of Inchiquin [I., 1686] in 1982. He succeeded to the title of 18th Baron of Inchiquin [I, 1543] in 1982. He was managing director of Dromoland Devpt Company in 1983. He held the position of Chief of the Name and Arms of O'Brien of Thomond and Prince of Thomond. He lived in 2003 at Thomond House, Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, County Clare, Ireland.

Table of Contents     

Brian Boru Timeline

347: Cas born, sixth in descent from Cormac Cas, King of Munster
941: Brian Boru born in Killaloe, County Clare
950: Surnames adopted by Brian Boru and people generally in Ireland
1014: Brian Boru dies at the Battle of Clontarf, north of Dublin
1632-1636: Brian Boru described in Annals of the Four Masters
1634: Brian Boru described in Keating's The History of Ireland
1652: Cromwellian Settlement
1892: Brian Boru described in O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees
2006: Dalcassian DNA identified by Ken Nordtvedt and Irish Type III website started by Dennis Wright 2009: L226 SNP identified in those with Irish Type III DNA. L226 project started at FTDNA by Dennis Wright

Table of Contents     

Brian Boru Map

The Brian Boru Map is a current-day map that shows:

  • Locations associated with Brian Boru
  • Locations where ancestors of DNA testers are from.

Click on a marker to see a description or photo.
Zoom in and zoom out by clicking on the "+" or "-" or moving the scale up or down.
Move the map by holding down the clicker or clicking on the directional arrows.
Click on a category in the Legend to see only those markers.

The map below shows Bloody Acre, where Brian Boru was killed on April 23, 1014. The map is at a scale of 6 inches to 1 mile was completed in 1846. Bloody Acre is south of the Tokla River in northwest corner of what is today Glasnevin Cemetery. Glasnevin Cemetery is located on the Finglas Road in Dublin, approximately two miles north of the City Centre.See current day map.

Bloody Acre
Bloody Acre, south of the Tokla River in northwest corner of what is today Glasnevin Cemetery. Source: Ordnance Survey Ireland. See current day map.

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L226 DNA Project – Testing

The test results evaluated here all came from Family Tree DNA. Only men with 67 or 111 markers tested are included here.

If you are a male with the name associated with Brian Boru, you may benefit from participating in the L226 DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. But beware of the fact that practically all Irish surnames have mutiple origins.

Family Tree DNA has the largest DNA database in the field. For a look inside the FTDNA lab, see "A Visit to Family Tree DNA's State-of-the-Art Lab," written by Cece Moore in February 2013 based on a tour in November 2012.

The L226 DNA Project was started by Dennis Wright in December 2009. The project is designed to encourage men with likely L226 DNA to test for the L226 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism). It is limited to those who have tested positive for the L226 SNP or have ordered the test. You are likely to test positive for the L226 SNP if you are in the R1b1a2 haplogroup and have values of 8-9 for marker 459. These are the 14th and 15th markers. Having an historical surname does not guarantee that you will have L226 Brian Boru DNA because most surnames have multiple origins.

You can participate in the L226 project as well as a project specifically set up for your surname. There is no additional cost for being part of two projects.

By testing the Y-chromosome DNA, males can determine the origin of their paternal line. Note that the Y-chromosome DNA strictly checks the paternal line, with no influence of any females along that line. Females do not receive the Y-chromosome, and therefore females cannot be tested for the paternal line. If you are a female and would like to know about your paternal line, you would have to find a brother or a male relative from that line willing to be tested.

FTDNA Kit
The two swabs and scraper tubes in the FTDNA Kit. For more on how it's done, see "DNA Collection Method" by Dave Dorsey.
Y-DNA
Y-chromosome DNA goes back male to male like traditional surnames.

You sign up online for FTDNA and they deduct the cost from your credit card. They send you in the mail a kit containing two scrapers that you use to swab the inside of your cheeks in four-hour intervals. You return the scrapers in receptacles and mailer provided in the kit. You get final results on line two months later.

FTDNA offers tests of 12, 25, 37, 67, or 111 markers.

  • The 12 marker test includes none of the key markers for L226 DNA.
  • The 25 marker test includes one of three key markers for L226 DNA: 459.
  • The 67 marker test includes two of the three key markers: 459 and 557.
  • The 111 marker test includes all three key martkers: 459, 557, and 463.
If you decide to have your DNA tested, you should choose the 67 or 111 markers.

Most names have multiple origins. For this reason, your results may show that your DNA does not match the L226 Brian Boru DNA, which will lead you in a different ancestry direction.

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L226 DNA Project – SNPs and Big Y

All of the current participants in the L226 DNA project who have tested 67 markers are predicted by FTDNA to have the L226 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism). The L226 SNP is downstream of M269, L23, L51, L11, P312, L21, DF13, Z253, and Z2534. See L21 SNPs.

In 2014, FTDNA identified new Y-chromosome SNPs for L226 Brian Boru testers in addition to L226. The SNPs came from a new product called BIG Y, which looks at more than 1/3 of the testable portion of the Y chromosome. About the same time, Full Genome Corporation offered similar testing for an even larger portion of the Y-chromosome. These new testing programs have discovered SNPs that have occurred downstream of L226 and up to the present time.

Dennis Wright, in his L226 Big Y SNP Testing, says that the FGC5659 SNP seems to have originated in Brian Boru or his father.

As of January 2017, nine O'Briens had done Big Y, including one with a pedigree back to Brian Boru, O'Brien 29355.

Big Y results can be seen on Alex Williamson's L226 Big Tree, shown below.



Table of Contents     

L226 DNA Database – Marker Values

Many people with L226 Brian Boru DNA are not in the L226 DNA project at Family Tree DNA. Dennis Wright has compiled a spreadsheet of people with L226 DNA gleaned from various surname projects at Family Tree DNA as well as participants in the L226 DNA project. The database is not limited to those who have tested for the L226 SNP. The database used here is essentially drawn from Dennis Wright's database. It includes anyone who has tested 67 or 111 markers and matches the modal for L226 DNA, including the values of 8-9 for marker 459.

Table of DNA Marker Values. The table below shows the DNA marker values for the 346 people in the database as of January 2014. The first row is the modal DNA for the group.



The ancient genealogies and DNA test results seem to be confirming each other. A pattern or "signature" DNA has emerged for descendants of Brian Boru and his relatives identified long ago by John O'Hart and others. And the ancient genealogies have given us a clue as to which people have L226 DNA.

Table of Contents     

L226 DNA Database – Modal DNA and Key Markers

In April 2006, Ken Nordtvedt identified key markers for L226 DNA. One of the people who had this DNA was Dennis Wright. In December 2006, he started The Irish Type III Website, the L226 DNA Project, and his own database gleaned from various surname projects at FTDNA. In addition, Dennis computed a modal DNA for Irish Type III DNA under the user ID of NT4BZ at Ysearch.

The table below presents Dennis Wright's modal DNA and compares key markers with a reference group. The reference group is the DNA of people in a sister DNA group, men with the L066 SNP. The L1066 group is sometimes called Irish Type IV or Continetal Irish. L1066 and L226 men are subsets of men with Z253 DNA. So, L1066 is the closest major gorup to L226. This group helps to understand the uniqueness of L226 Brian Boru DNA, such as marker 459 with a value of 8-9.

L226 Brian Boru Modal DNA

4 key markers are shaded tan. Red indicates more rapidly mutating markers.
Markers 1-12 393 390 19 391 385 426 388 439 389-1 392 389-2
Value 13 24 14 11 11-14 12 12 11 13 13 29

Markers 13-25 458 459 455 454 447 437 448 449 464
Value 17 8-9 11 11 25 15 19 29 13-13-15-17

Markers 26-37 460 GATA H4 YCA II 456 607 576 570 CDY 442 438
Value 11 11 19-23 15 15 18 17 36-38 12 12

Markers 38-47 531 578 395S1 590 537 641 472 406S1 511
Value 11 9 15-16 8 10 10 8 10 10

Markers 48-60 425 413 557 594 436 490 534 450 444 481 520 446
Value 12 23-23 15 10 12 12 15 8 12 22 20 13

Markers 61-67 617 568 487 572 640 492 565
Value 12 11 13 11 11 12 12

Markers 68-75 710 485 632 495 540 714 716 717
Value 35 15 9 16 12 25 24 19

Markers 76-85 505 556 549 589 522 494 533 636 575 638
Value 12 11 13 12 11 9 13 12 10 11

Markers 86-93 462 452 445 GATA-A10 463 441 GGAAT-1B07 525
Value 11 30 12 13 25 13 10 10

Markers 94-102 712 593 650 532 715 504 513 561 552
Value 21 15 19 13 24 17 12 15 24

Markers 103-111 726 635 587 643 497 510 434 461 435
Value 12 23 18 10 14 18 9 12 11

2 Key Markers

A January 2014 study compared key markers 459, 557, 716, and 463 for two groups who had tested 67 markers at FTDNA:

  • L226. 346 people with L226 DNA (63 for markers 716 and 463)
  • L1066. 44 people with L1066 DNA (25 for markers 716 and 463)

Marker 459 value of 8-9. All L226 have a 459 value of 8-9 or 8-8. None of the L1066 have those values.

Marker 459
Value L226 L1066
8-820
8-9980
8-10*0
9-9018
9-10082
100100
*Less than 0.5%

Marker 557 value of 15. 96% of L226 have a 557 value of 15 or 14. Only 4% of L1066 have those values.

Marker 557
Value L226 L1066
1412
15952
16473
1709
18014
100100

Marker 716 value of 24. All L226 have a 716 value of 24. None of the L1066 have that value.

Marker 716
Value L226 L1066
241000
2500
260100
100100

Marker 463 value of 15. All L226 have a 463 value of 25 or 26. None of the L1066 have those values.

Marker 463
Value L226 L1066
23028
24072
25950
2650
100100

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L226 DNA Database – Genetic Distance

Modal DNA can be used to supplement key markers in predicting whether someone has L226 DNA. We can then compute the genetic distance of a person from the DNA. Genetic distance occurs because of mutations from one generation to another. If two people are identical in all markers except they are off in one marker by 1 point, the genetic distance would be 1. If they were off at 2 different markers by 1 point in each marker, then the genetic distance of those two samples would be 2. If they are off by 2 points at one marker and 1 point in a second marker, then the genetic distance would be 3. Genetic distance for certain markers or marker groups is limited to 1. This method of computing genetic distance is called the hybrid mutation model. If a marker has a null value for one person and a positive value for another, the marker is ignored.

Actual calculations were made using the FTDNA 111 Mode BETA version of the McGee Utility. Input to the utility consists of the DNA of the participants from the Source Data.

As of January 2014, there were 346 people included in the L226 Brian Boru database. They have been included because their DNA has been found to match fairly closely with Brian Boru Modal DNA. Of these 346, 129 were included in the L226 DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. The rest have been found by searching surname studies at FTDNA and through the use of Ysearch.

The genetic distance between the L226 Brian Boru group and the 67-marker L226 Modal DNA ranges between 0 and 16, and averages 6. Of the 346 people, 338 or 98% of the group have a genetic distance of 2 to 11.

There are 59,685 possible comparisons among the 346 L226 Brian Boru people: n*(n-1)/2, where n is the number of people. The genetic distances for these pairs range between 0 and 24. The average is 10.0. The total of such genetic distances up to 7 is 12,928, or 22% of the total possible matches. So, the matches that all L226 people see are probably all people with L226 DNA, but only 22% of the total.

FTDNA shows each participant his 67-marker matches up to a genetic distance of 7 on his homepage. And it allows participants to restrict the showing of their matches to the people in their surname project. In January 2014, the L226 Brian Boru database numbered 346. The theoretical 67-marker match experience (within a genetic distance of 7) varied considerably by individual, from 0 to 256. The average was 75.

As indicated above, the genetic distance between the L226 Brian Boru group and the 67-marker modal DNA ranges between 0 and 16. The table below shows the percentage ditribution of genetic distances at 67 markers and for fewer and more markers.

Percentage Distribution of 346 L226 Brian Boru Testers (64 with 111)
Genetic
Distance
Markers Tested
1-12 1-25 1-37 1-67 1-111
0 46% 16% 1% * -
1 32% 30% 5% * -
2 14% 17% 14% 5% -
3 6% 15% 16% 9% 2%
4 2% 13% 20% 18% 2%
5 - 5% 13% 17% 3%
6 - 2% 13% 16% 2%
7 - 1% 9% 9% 13%
8 - * 4% 9% 14%
9 - * 3% 8% 6%
10 - - 2% 4% 11%
11 - - 1% 3% 13%
12 - - * 1% 16%
13 - - - - 6%
14 - - - * 5%
15 - - - * 3%
16 - - - * -
17 - - - - 3%
18 - - - - -
19 - - - - -%
20 - - - - -
21 - - - - 2%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Average 0.9 2.1 4.5 5.9 10.4
*Less than 0.5%

Table of Genetic Distances. The table below shows the 67-marker genetic distances for the 346 people in the database as of January 2014. It shows the genetic distance between each one and the modal. For example, O'Brien 197598 has a genetic distance of 9 from the modal. And his genetic distances from the other people in the database range from 7 to 19.

  • The genetic distances from the modal range from 0 to 16 (average: 5.9).
  • The genetic distances among the participants range from 0 to 24 (average: 10.0).



Table of Contents     

DNA Sketch
First sketch of the deoxyribonucleic acid double-helix pattern in 1953 by Francis Crick.

Historical Surnames

As of January 2014, there were 346 people tested to 67 markers included in the L226 Brian Boru database. They have been included because their DNA has been found to match fairly closely with Brian Boru Modal DNA and they have key markers. Within the group, 109 (32%) have names historically associated with Brian Boru.

  1. 40 O'Brien/Bryan - 27143, 29355, 30225, 34330, 40468, 45897, 48596, 51840, 51866, 52082, 57501, 58280, 69313, 74637, 78034, 83123, 95292, 98444, 105828, 122853, 130351, 134367, 148239, 152540, 155896, 169471, 169471, 171533, 176989, 180298, 194697, 197598, 206478, 216044, 247288, 248813, 274036, 281586, 282235, B3875
  2. 19 Casey - 34073, 45068, 51924, 53484, 54166, 56031, 56130, 56874, 58301, 77349, 93773, 99381, 107623, 119586, 131349, 172505, 190465, 245778, N42374
  3. 11 Hogan - 32082, 44089, 51896, 123832, 128341, 142586, 148696, 211479, 217279, 221344, N49530
  4. 9 Kennedy - 34689, 53526, 118295, 125995, 156620, 210449, 240708, 240923, N87250
  5. 8 O'Neill/Neal - 87659, 97850, 106851, 125443, 143164, 148234, 163353, N36484
  6. 5 McGrath - 163165, 177923, 178183, 189108, N24190
  7. 4 Lynch - 266222, N35262, N80070, N75057
  8. 4 McMahon - 110326, 185202, 284523, 293008
  9. 3 O'Dea - 143164, 254182, 254274
  10. 3 Hearne/Hern - 176197, 231916, B3470
  11. 2 McNamara - 162354, 309786
  12. 1 Noonan - 61383
Numbers identify the kit at Family Tree DNA.

Many people with L226 Brian Boru DNA do not have historical surnames. The major names are: Mahoney, Crow, McCraw, McGraw, Hart, Butler, Callahan. L226 DNA has not yet been found for several historical names to Brian Boru: Brennan, Cosgrove, Glynn, Hurley, Kelleher, Lonergan, Muldowney, O'Meara, O'Regan.

Many people do not know where their patronymic ancestor came from, which is not uncommon. Only a small number of those tested live in Ireland. Most live in America. Many of those have resorted to DNA testing for the very reason that they do not know where there ancestors came from when the emigrated to America.

The L226 Brian Boru group includes some people with non-Irish sounding names. It includes some people who are related to each other. It includes surnames where there is only one representative.

Some names historically associated with Brian Boru, like Brennan, Cosgrove, Glynn, Hurley, Kelleher, Lonergan, Muldowney, O'Meara, and O'Regan, are not found in the study. There are a number of good reasons.

  • Only a small number of people have had their DNA tested thus far.
  • Many who have had their DNA tested have tested only 12, 25, or 37 markers rather than the 67 required for this study.
  • Some people have been tested by an organization other than Family Tree DNA.
  • Some people may have lost their name because an ancestor changed his name or was adopted.
  • Ancient pedigrees probably included some surnames of people who were not really related to Brian Boru.

There are 237 people in the L226 Brian Boru database (68% of the total) that do not have historical surnames. There are a number of good reasons.

  • The historical lists of names related to Brian Boru incomplete.
  • The name is on an historical list of people related to Brian Boru but we have not found it yet.
  • In early Irish history there was the concept of “fostering,” where two powerful tribal leaders would place their infant son with the other family to seal a defensive alliance. It is likely that some of these sons took on the tribal name of the family with whom they were placed.
  • There was a name change by an ancestor.
  • They or an ancestor were adopted.
The genetic distance from the modal DNA is essentially the same as for those with and without historical surnames. The genetic distances from the 67-marker L226 Brian Boru modal DNA are as folows,
  • 6.4 for 109 men with historical names
  • 5.7 for 237 men with non-historical names
  • 5.9 for 346 men regardless of name
The modal DNA for historical and non-historical names is the same excpet for one of the 111 markers: The mode for the 58th marker, 481, is 23 for historical names and 22 for non-historical names. The mode for the overall group is 22.

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Multiple-Sept Surnames

The descendants of Brian Boru and his relatives share a common pattern of Y-chromosome DNA markers, and many have surnames mentioned in ancient genealogies as related to Brian Boru. Not all people with these surnames, however, have L226 DNA. In the early days of Y-DNA testing, there was a tendency for people with these names to think that they were related to Brian Boru just because they had a certain name.

Most people with L226 DNA and an historical surname are not the majority of those with their surname. In fact, most are a minority of those with their surname. And, therefore, most people with surnames related to Brian Boru do not have L226 DNA. The reason is that most Irish surnames appear in mutiple septs.

There are many good reasons for this phenomenon of multiple-sept surnames.

  • The same surname developed independently in different geographic areas.
  • At the time surnames came into being around a thousand years ago, many surnames were based on relatively common given names.
  • A male was adopted by a clan other than the one he was born in.
  • A male married a woman from another clan and took her surname, perhaps because it was a more respected name.
  • A male changed his surname when he was ennobled or otherwise came into possession of territory, perhaps adopting the name of a respected prior holder of that territory.
  • A male was a subordinate (vassal, servant, slave, etc) of a member of another clan and took his master's surname when he became free.
  • A male took the surname of another clan without any connection to the clan, simply because it was a respected name.

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L21 and L226 SNPs

All L226 Brian Boru database members who have tested for the L21 SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) have tested positive. L21 was discovered in October 2008. People with the L21 SNP are said to be members of the R1b1a2a1a1b4 haplogroup. As groups of scientists discover SNPs, they are named for the research lab and the order in which they are found. The L in L21 indicates that it was found at the Family Tree DNA Genomic Research Center in Houston, Texas. The L stands for Leo Little who did much pioneering work in genetic genealogy and who died in 2008. (L21 is known as S145 in some testing organizations.)

The L21 SNP is estimated to be 5,800 years old. It is sometimes referred to as a "Celtic" SNP. In their 2011 book The Scots, A Genetic Journey, Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson say L21 "could be said to be the most emphatic signal of the Celtic language speakers of the British Isles. It is found in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and it is almost certainly characteristic of those farming communities who may have spoken early forms of Celtic languages in the centuries around 2,000 BC."

L226 Brian Boru participants also have tested positive for the L226 SNP, which is downstream of L21. The first man tested positive for L226 in November 2009. As of January 2014, 130 of 346 members of the L226 Brian Boru database had tested for L226 and all have tested positive. (Another 50 men are L226+ but have not tested the 67 markers required for the database.) All in the L226 Brian Boru database are expected to have the L226 SNP.

The L226 SNP is one of 25 "equivalent" SNPs on Alex Williamson's L226 Big Tree. This is a long stem of SNPs from which there is no branching. Assuming 120 years per SNP this stem covers a periood of 3,000 years. If this stem ends with Brian Boru, it runs from around 2000 BC to 1000 AD.

L21 SNP Tree, including L226

L21     (Celtic)     (5800 ybp)
DF13 DF63
(Broom)

CTS6919
(Franklin,
McFarland)
DF49

DF23

Z2961
L513 Z255
L159
(Irish Sea)
Z253 DF21

Z16281
Ely Carroll

Z3000
Clan Colla
DF41

L744

L745
(High Stewards)
L1335
(Scottish Cluster)
CTS4466
(South Irish)
(565=11)
Hy Maine
(413a=21,
557=17,
565=11)
M222
(Niall of the Nine Hostages)
L193
(Scottish Borders)
L69
(Airghialla 2)
L226
(Brian Boru)
L1066
(Continental Irish)
ybp is for years before the present, an estimate of when a SNP first occurred.      565=11 indicates that marker 565 has a unique value of 11.

L226 Brian Boru database members are urged to join the L21 project and L226 project at FTDNA. The L226 project has been set up by Dennis Wright for people who have tested positive for the L226 SNP or are interested in ordering the test.

The L21 Yahoo Group has been set up to serve as a forum for those interested in L226 and other SNPs downstream of L21.

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Analysis of L21 and L226 DNA

The following table compares L226 Brian Boru DNA with various other groups with L21 DNA. Based on very rough estimates, these groups constitute 50% of L21.

L21 Subgroups
Subgroup Name % of
L21
FTDNA Project SNP or Unique Marker Comments
L226 Brian Boru4%R-Z253 project
L226 project
SNP Z253
SNP L226
14th marker 459a=8
15th marker 459b=9
Also referred to as Irish Type III. The SNP L226 has been found among people with surnames related to Brian Boru. This haplogroup originated in the counties of Clare, Tipperary and Limerick around the time of Brian Boru, who was born in circa 941 and died in 1014. This type also is called Dalcassian. Surnames include O'Brien, Casey, Hogan, Kennedy, O'Neill, McGrath, Lynch, McMahon, O'Dea, and Hearne. See the Irish Type III Website maintained by Dennis Wright, who also administers the L226 Project for FTDNA. In 2009, Dennis Wright wrote "A Set of Distinctive Markers Defines a Y-STR Signature for Gaelic Dalcassian Families.
South Irish4%CTS4466 project, Eo´ganacht Septs project, Corca Laidhe project, South Irish projectSNP CTS4466
67th marker 565=11
Also referred to as Irish Type II. Descendants of the Eoghanachta, an Irish dynasty centered around Cashel which dominated southern Ireland from the 7th to the 10th centuries, and the Corca Laidhe, rulers of Munster until the early 7th century. See Tim Desmond and Kathleen Sullivan Kerwin. Surnames include Sullivan, McCarthy, O'Keefe, Donahue, Driscoll, Donovan, Coffey.
Continental Irish4%R-Z253 project
R-L1066 project
SNP Z253
SNP L1066
Also known as Irish Type IV. National origins vary. James O'Shea estimates roughly 35% Irish, 30% English and Scottish, 10% German, 25% Other.
Irish Sea4%R-Z255 projectSNP Z255
SNP L159
Also known as Beatty-Byrnes. This profile is called the Leinster Modal, because early research showed that many families in Leinster in Ireland are members of the group. The group also appears to be plentiful in other parts of Ireland and Scotland, and there seem to be a number of English matches to the modal as well.
Scottish Cluster15%L1335 projectSNP L1335Also referred to by some as Dalriada. This group is referred to as str47 'Pictish' by Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson in their 2011 book The Scots, A Genetic Journey. In 2004, a Clan Donald press release said that they believed this group was Clan Colla. Clan Donald now calls this the R1b-L21 Red-Black subgroup and refers to it as "a very common L21+ group in Scotland." In addition to McDonald, the group includes Alexander, Campbell, Ferguson, McRae, Mitchell, Roberts, Rogers, Stewart, Templeton, Young. There is a genetic distance of 18 between the modals for this group and Clan Colla.
Hy Maine<1%DF49 projectSNP Z2961
49th marker 413a=21
51st marker 557=17
67th marker 565=11
Modal based on FTDNA kits for 15 people with surnames that Irish history says are descended from Maine Mor who lived in Galway and Roscommon: Kelly, Madden, Traynor, Larkin. This subgroup had previously been thought of by some as related to Clan Colla. DNA testing has proven otherwise, as evidenced by the genetic distance of 18 between the modals for the two subgroups. In April 2013, one Kelly and one Traynor tested positive for SNP Z2961. This SNP, like M222, is downstream of DF23. In 1843, John O'Donovan discussed Hy Maine in The Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, which included his translation of the Hy Maine portion of the Book of Lecan.
Niall20%M222 projectSNP DF23
SNP M222
Also referred to as Niall of the Nine Hostages and Northwest Irish. It had previously been identified in a Trinity College Study by a SNP called M222. This subgroup had previously been thought of by some as related to Clan Colla. DNA testing has proven otherwise, as evidenced by the genetic distance of 23 between the modals for the two subgroups. See Colla Versus Niall DNA. This was the original Irish type, so it should be called Irish Type I; but no one calls it that. For information on Niall of the Nine Hostages, see: The History of Ireland, by Geoffrey Keating (1569-1644), translated into English from the original Irish by John O'Mahony, 1857, pages 372 to 394. The Nine Hostages are explained on page 394. Surnames include Burns/Byrne, Cowan, Daugherty/Doherty, Ferguson, Ewing, McGonigal, Milligan, McLaughlin, O'Neill, and Wilson. David Wilson and John McLaughlin have a webpage at M222 Project. William E. Howard III and John McLaughlin have explored the DNA of Irish and Scottish surnames and possible ties to Niall in A Dated Phylogenetic Tree of M222 SNP Haplotypes.
Scottish Borders3%L513 projectSNP L513
SNP L193
Scottish and Irish located near the Irish Sea. Surnames include: Clendenen, Duff, Elliott, Kennedy, Little, McLain, Vance.
Airghialla 22%L513 project, Airghialla Mag Uidhir projectSNP L513
SNP L69
The Airghialla 2 subgroup was identified by Joseph Donohoe. See Two McGuire Septs. This subgroup consists of McGuires from the same general area as the McGuires of Clan Colla, but with different DNA. There is no historical record of two separate groups of McGuires. While this group has many McGuires, it does not have the large variety of other historical Colla surnames that Clan Colla has. Surnames in this subgroup are McGuire, McManus, Byrne, Corrigan, Donohoe, McCauley, Garvey, Plunkett, McCown. A number of people have been found to have the L69 SNP. L69 is a sublclade of L513, which in turn is a subclade of L21.
Ely Carroll1%Ely Carroll project, DF21 project66th marker 492=11See Ely Carroll DNA. Modal based on people with surnames that Irish history says are descended from Ely O'Carrolls: Carroll, Bohan, Dooley, Meagher, Kelly, Murphy, Flanagan, O'Keefe, Redmond. One of the Carrolls is descended from the Carrolls of Carrollton. John O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees; or, the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation describes the relationship between the Ely Carrolls and the Carrolls of Carrollton on page 75. See also the Ely Carroll Yahoo Group maintained by Martha Bowes. All who have been tested have the DF21 SNP, a subclade of L21 that includes other groups.
Clan Colla5%Clan Colla project, DF21 project47th marker 511=9
48th marker 425=0
76th marker 505=9
91st marker 441=12
See DNA of the Three Collas. This subgroup has a number of surnames historically associated with Clan Colla, including McDonald, McGuire, Carroll, McKenna, McMahon, Boylan, Duffy, Kelly, MacDougall. All who have been tested have the DF21 SNP, a subclade of L21 that includes other groups.
CTS36551%DF21 projectSNP CTS3655
106th marker 643=9
Modal based on 25 people with the CTS3655 SNP from England and Scotland, including Reynolds, Grant, Moore, and Montgomery.
Seven Septs of Laois1%DF21 projectSNP L1403
106th marker 643=9
Modal based on 21 people with the L1403 SNP. Descended from the "Seven Septs of Laois," with Devoy, Lawlor, Moore, Kelly, Dolan and other surnames.
P3141%DF21 project, R-L21* 11-13 Combo projectSNP P314Modal based on people with the P314 SNP. The SNP is a subclade of DF21, which is a subclade of L21. The P314.2 people who know where they are from originally are practically all from Ireland.
Little Scottish Cluster5%Little Scottish Cluster project, R-DF21 projectSNP S190
22nd marker 464a=13
42nd marker 590=9
Three people have tested positive for SNPs S190 and S424. Testing of the SNP is not yet available at Family Tree DNA. The most common are Hall, Kilgore, Sloan, Boggs, and Williamson. This cluster's origin may well be in the vicinity of Stirlingshire, Scotland, about 900 to 1200 years ago. See the Little Scottish Cluster website.
L1336<1%DF21 projectSNP L1336Modal based on 12 people with the L1336 SNP from Ireland, including O'Rourke and Moore.
Clan Chattan?<1%DF21 projectSNP L720Modal based on 10 people with the L720 SNP from Scotland, including MacIntosh. These people may be descendants of Clan Chattan.

The 67-marker modal DNAs of the subgroups listed above are shown in the following table.

The genetic distances among the 67-marker modal DNAs of the subgroups listed above range between 11 and 20 as shown in the following table. Calculations were made using the FTDNA 111 Mode BETA version of the McGee Utility. The method of computing genetic distance is the hybrid mutation model. If a marker has a null value for one person and a positive value for another, the marker is ignored. So, the genetic distances between the Clan Colla modal and other modals ignore marker 425 and are a little low. As an example, see Colla Versus Niall DNA.

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History Lessons

Verification of Ancient Irish History

DNA testing has verified some ancient Irish genealogies.

  • Brian Boru existed back in 10th century Ireland.
  • Cian, the progenitor of Ely Carroll, existed back in 3rd century Munster.
  • Clan Colla existed back in 4th century Ulster.
  • Hy Maine existed back in 4th century Connacht.
  • Niall of the Nine Hostages existed back in 4th century Ulster and Lowland Scotland.
  • McGuire/McManus existed back in 14th century Ulster.
  • The Lords of the Isles existed back in 12th century Scottish Highlands.

Correction of Ancient Irish History

DNA testing has also corrected some ancient genealogical connections that had historically been thought to exist.

  • McDonalds who were Lords of the Isles had previously been thought by some to be descended from Colla Uais, but a group descended from the Lords of the Isles, including chiefs and chieftans, has been found by Clan Donald DNA project to have Viking DNA. There is, nevertheless, a significant number of McDonalds with Clan Colla DNA, some of whom are descended from Colla da Crioch, but most of whom appear to be descended from Colla Uais. There are also a number of McDonalds descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages and a Scottish cluster thought by some to be from Dalriada or Pictish. A December 2010 study of 213 McDonalds with 67 markers showed the following distribution: 21 Clan Colla, 18 Niall of the Nine Hostages, 27 Scottish cluster, 61 Norse, and 86 ungrouped.
  • All McGuires had previously been thought by some to be descended from Clan Colla, but there is a significant group of McGuires and their McManus descendants that have different SNPs from Clan Colla and a genetic distance of 21 from Clan Colla.
  • Hy Maine and Clan Colla had previously been thought by some to be descended from a common ancestor, but they have different SNPs and there is a genetic distance of 17 between their modals. There are Kellys with Clan Colla DNA, but they are likely from another Kelly pedigree called Clankelly.
  • Northwest Irish (Niall) and Clan Colla had previously been thought by some to be descended from a common ancestor, but they have different SNP and there is a genetic distance of 20 between their modals.
  • South Irish, Dalcassians, and Ely Carroll had previously been thought by some as descended from a common ancestor, Olioll Olum. DNA testing has proven otherwise, as they have different SNPs and significant genetic distances between their modals:
    • 9 between South Irish and L226 Brian Boru,
    • 13 between South Irish and Ely Carroll, and
    • 12 between L226 Brian Boru and Ely Carroll.
The fact that some historic connections are contradicted by DNA should not be taken as a denunciation of all history.

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Deep Ancestry

Patrick McMahon analyzed the geographic distribution of the members of the L21 project at FTDNA in January 2011 and made the following observation.

Assuming today's testers are a random sample, these results support the views put forward by many that the L21 SNP occurred somewhere north of the Alps (about 4,000 years ago) and the L21 population drifted Northwest over time concentrating in the western fringes of the British Isles mainly in Ireland. North of the Alps would most likely be Germany or France where the original (presumed) high numbers would over time be replaced by further waves of migrants or simply driven North by more advanced civilisations.
How they made their way to Ireland is open to conjecture. The shortest sea journey then (3,000 to 4,000 years ago) as now would be from France to Southern England. However, they could have made their way directly to Ireland from Brittany (or via Cornwall or Wales). The figures support the view that there was no significant migration towards the Eastern parts of Europe and only minor ones to Scandinavia and Spain with the main thrust through Northern France to Britain and Ireland. Archaeologists have termed these peoples (and the proto-Collas are part of this population) as 'Bronze-age' Britons.
L21 Map from Eupedia

For a good presentation of the origins, age, spread, and ethnic association of Europeans see The Peopling of Europe and Eupedia. Following is a haplogroup timeline taken from Eupedia. "ybp" is years before the present.

Haplogroup timeline from Eupedia

Table of Contents     

Bibliography

Table of Contents     

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