DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2010-07 > 1279673077
From: John Mclaughlin <>
Subject: Re: [R-M222] Roll Call
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 19:44:37 -0500
My McLaughlin ancestors came from Whitehill, a small village in the
townland of Rathdonnell, Kilmacrenan Parish, Co. Donegal, not far from
Letterkenny and Kilmacrenan town. The family in Ireland died out in the
1930's and we know every descendant of our immigrant ancestor who came
to the U.S. ca. 1850.
The McLaughlin surname in Donegal arose in the early decades of the 11th
century. There are conflicting pedigrees for the sept in Irish MS. but
there is no doubt the first of the name was Ardgar MacLochlainn, the son
of Lochlan, who died in 1064 AD. From there the line can be traced to
the kings of the northern Ui Neill, descendants of Eoghan, son of Nial.
If the O'Clery Book of Genealogies (which contains the only
genealogical record of the sept) can be believed then all McLaughlins
from this line descend from a Domhnall MacLochlainn, the King of
Aileach, slain in 1241 by the O'Donnells and O'Neills. If any other
McLaughlins descend from a different line in descent from Ardgar
MacLochlainn then the O'Clery genealogies know nothing of them.
In the 17th century they were the second most numerous surname in the
Inishowen Peninsula of Co. Donegal, second only to the O'Dohertys,
heavily concentrated on the Foyle shore near the city of Derry. Old
records refer to them as McLaughlins of Derry and McLaughlins of
Garnagall, a reference to a small castle once located in Moville parish
but long ago torn down (also known as Whitecastle). A branch of the
sept held herenagh lands at Greallagh in Clonca Parish. Prior to the
English takeover they were herenaghs of the city of Derry. English
records of the 17th century refer to them as miltary counselors of
O'Doherty, lord of Inishowen. The 1659 census shows 153 McLaughlins in
Donegal, all except 14 clustered in Inishowen, and another 53 in the
city and liberties of nearby Derry and adjacent parts of Londonderry Co.
By the time of the Griffith's Valuations there were several thousand
in the adjacent counties of Donegal, Londonerry and Tyrone.
In the McLaughlin Surname Project we have a cluster of 25 McLaughlins.
many of whom can trace their ancestry to Donegal or at least have a
family oral tradition of coming from Donegal, Tyrone or Londonderry Co.
These samples all share at least two of three off modal M222 marker
DYS 458 = 18
DYS 447 = 24
DYS 576 = 17
Thse are unusual values for M222. In fact most of the matches in M222
come from McLaughlins or Dohertys. The Dohertys have a few off modal
M222 marker values of their own, especi8ally YCIIab = 19-22. Only a few
of the Dohertys match the off modal McLaughlin markers.
In northern Ireland there is always the possibility that a given surname
is Scottish thanks to the Plantation and subsequent settlement. But we
do not think this related group of McLaughlins, the largest in our
project, are Scottish Maclachlans, in part because of Doherty matches.
The McLaughlins and Dohertys lived side by side in the Inishowen
Peninsula dating to the mid 13th century when the O'Dohertys first took
political control of the area. There were lots of centuries for
possible NPEs to occur between the two septs although strangely, most of
the NPEs (if that's what they were) are so far on the Doherty side.
That could balance out as time goes by.
We do not know if there are any mismatching McLaughlins who are part of
this well known Irish sept. If the Dohertys are a guide, then there
probably will be some. The Doherty DNA Project includes a handful of I
and R1a haplotypes. Also a few non M222 R1b types who could represent
anything but are most likely a different Doherty sept, perhaps the O
Dubhartaighs of the south. We have so few specific geographical
locations from our Project members that little can be said about most of
the DNA samples.
Out of the 25 samples in this cluster of McLaughlins 21 have 37 marker
tests. When these samples are compared in the McGee utility using the
hybrid model the GDs against the group modal range from 1 to 5 with most
concentrated in the 3-4 range. GDs against other samples in the cluster
range from 2 to 7. Two outlyers come in as high as 8-9 against a few
others in the cluster. There are many methods of measuring genetic
distance but I'll just use the figures reported in the McGee utlity as a
rough guide. 4 GD would be about 660 years (actually a range of 600-870
years. Or between 1140 AD. to 1410. That might not be too far off
given the claims in O'Clery that all McLaughlins of Donegal descend from
a Domhnall MacLochlainn, slain in 1241 AD. despite the fact that the
surname originated nearly 200 years prior to that date. One can only
conclude if true that many of the early lines went extinct.
For those who may wonder the closest kin to the McLaughlins within the
Cenel Eoghain other than the O'Neills who succeeded them as Kings of
Aileach were the O'Cathains, who split off the same stock in about 750
AD. , in descent from a brother of the Irish High king, Nial Frasach,
who died 773 AD. Their pedigree cannot be verified but there is little
reason to doubt their descent. They are strongly M222 and have their
own family modal with no points in comparison with their kin the
There are a few samples, mostly from Donegal, that have the McLaughlin
modal markers, including an o'Boyle (Cenel Conaill), a Gallagher (Cenel
Conaill), and a handful of others such as Granahan and Devanny . One
sample (a Wilson) that is not M222 also has the same McLaughlin modal
markers. This DNA has been listed in the M222 Project as a possible
pre-M222 type for ages.
The O'Neills are a different story but one that has been told previously
on this list.