DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2008-09 > 1222388366
Subject: Re: [DNA-R1B1C7] Questions??
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 20:19:26 EDT
In a message dated 9/25/2008 8:56:59 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
Your question about "tribe" and "ethnic sub-division" has been repeatedly
and clearly answered many times. Y-DNA gives zero information about
ethnicity or tribe.
Hello, David. I have to disagree a little with this statement. Is there
such a thing as a "tribe" and if so can a "tribe" be identified by Y-DNA? It
depends on your definition of tribe. I don't think "tribe" and "ethnic group"
are one and the same thing.
Take the Ui Neill of Ireland. They have a possibly legendary founder, Nial
of the Nine Hostages, ca. 400 A.D., but no one knows for sure if he existed
or was an historical figure. The term Ui Neill in Ireland is a tribal
designation (descendants of Nial). As such it's very specific. It does not include
anyone else in the family tree prior to Nial himself. Prof. F.J. Byrnes
remarked (Irish Kings and High Kings) that the three sons of Nial were not so
much a tribe but a dynasty when they settled in the north of Ireland. But in
time they became what the Irish considered a tribe (Ui Neill).
After settling in the north the three sons of Nial split into rival
dynasties (Cenel Conaill, Cenel Eoghain) and the Cenel Eoghain continued to
splinter into further dynasties generally based on territorial landholdings. For
generation after generation the kingship of each of these territories was held
by related men (derbfine). The Cenel Conaill ruled Donegal and their
sub-groups were chieftains of the territories of the "state." The Cenel Eoghain
ruled part of Donegal and Tyrone and their related sub-groups held territories
under the main king.
At some point don't you have to admit this is a tribe? An entity which
began as a dynasty but grew into something larger? And that this tribe shows a
common origin we can see in Y-DNA?. I've seen too much DNA from Cenel
Conaill, Cenel Eoghain and various sub-groups to conclude anything else.
I would really be foundering if I had to attempt to identify the tribe to
which Nial of the Nine Hostages belonged, although Irish sources give it a
tribal designation (Connachta). But this too appears to have some validity in
that most if not all Irish septs known as Connachta also are R1b1c7. These
"tribes' are mostly to be found in the west-northwest of Ireland (Leitrim,
Roscommon, Mayo, Galway). What we see in these tribes as well as in the later Ui
Neill "dynasties" is a common male inheritance revealed by Y-DNA.
Are the Dal Cais of Thomond in Ireland a tribe? You could make the case
that they are similar to the Ui Neill. The main kings of the Dal Cais were the
O'Briens, descended from the famous Brian Borumha, who died in 1014, best
known for fighting the Danes at Dublin. Two surnames are said to have split off
from sons of this Brian, Kennedy and McMahon. Another well known Dal Cais
surname is McNamara, but this surname is said to split off centuries prior to
Brian Broromha, sometime around 300 A.D. There is a large contingent of
matching Y-DNA among modern bearers of each surname. Is this just a dynasty or a
dynasty that in time became a recognizable tribe through Y-DNA?
Prior to that the ancient manuscripts claim the Dal Cais were descended
from the same stock as the Eoghanachta kings of Munster. But this claim
appears to be bogus. There was no one tribe that splintered off into all of the
later political dynasties of Munster ranging from the various Eoghanachta septs
to the Dal Cais. The Y-DNA does not match. That was the whole thrust of the
latest Trinity college article mentioned recently on the GEN-DNA list.
If I have any conclusion at all on the subject it might be that dynasties
definitely did exist in Ireland and are to some extent traceable by Y-DNA.
These may not have originally constituted what might be termed a "tribe" but
eventually evolved into one over the centuries as related male members
monopolized the seats of power in the same small territories. Over the same
centuries you would expect NPEs of various kinds to affect the proportion of sept
members actually descended in the male line from the old chieftains.
I have no idea where that leaves the R1b1c7 in Scotland (or northern England
or further afield). The earliest record we have of any tribe involving
R1b1c7 are the Connachta of Ireland, which you could probably describe as another
dynasty that evolved into a tribe over the centuries. The earliest myths
and legends involving the Connachta center on Tuathal Teachtmar and are
obviously non-historical. Tuathal, who is said to have lived sometime around 200
A.D. is said to have fled to Scotland with his mother as a child after a revolt
by the plebian tribes of Ireland. All of the "Milesian" royalty of Ireland
were killed off in the revolt except for Tuathal Teachtmar. When he came of
age in Scotland he gathered a force and returned to "reclaim" his
inheritance, which he did by vanquishing the plebian tribes of Ireland. O'Rahilly took
this legend and deduced from this that Tuathal Teachtmar was the "invasion
leader" of the northern Goidels who came to Ireland for the first time. But
O'Rahillly claimed Tuathal came from somewhere in Gaul, not Scotland, as the
legends state. But O'Rahilly also was a firm believer that the northern
goidels were Q-Celtic and not P-Celtic and for him that probably ruled out an
origin in Scotland, still widely believed to be entirely P-Celtic.
I've often wondered in O'Rahilly misinterpreted the old myths of Tuathal
Teachtmar. Are they really saying he came to Ireland for the first time with
a band of followers from Scotland? If so I know of no "tribe" in Scotland
that can be associated with R1b1c7 in Roman times or earlier. DNA experts
uniformly say R1b1c7 originated in NW Ireland. When asked why the response is
usually some variant of "that's where the haplotypes are." Maybe Tuathal
himself was just a stray bit of DNA flotsam blown into Ireland where his
descendants formed a dynasty which grew into a tribe. We'll probably never know the
truth. So many Irish kings over the centuries were said to have been banished
into Scotland and returned in triumph the legends of Tuathal Teachtmar may
not even be worth considering.
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