DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2011-03 > 1300672993
Subject: [R-M222] Dohertys
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 22:03:13 EDT
I'm in the process of analyzing (for the umpteenth time) DNA from the
Doherty DNA Project. For those who don't know the surname is best known in
Donegal and surrounding counties in the northwest of Ireland. The name is
somewhat unusual in Irish (O Dochartaigh). Aside from the Dohertys of
Donegal the only other origin for the surname found in surname books is O
Dubhartaigh, found mostly in the south of Ireland, in Tipperary, Co. Clare and
Cork. It is properly anglicised Doorty but inevitably became Doherty over the
centuries. As far as anyone knows the surname is not indigenous to
According to the O Dochartaigh genealogies in the O'Clery Book of
Genealogies, all Dohertys in Donegal descend from a common ancestor named Aindilis
O Dochartaigh, who d. 1292 AD. The family is connected by pedigree to the
O'Donnells, of Tirconnell (Donegal) both Cenel Conaill, or descendants of
Conal gulban, son of Nial of the Nine Hostages.
The Doherty DNA project has about 120 samples, mostly taken from clan O
Dochartaigh members (this number is arrived at after deleting non-Doherty
variant surnames from the project).
The breakdown is as follows:
M222 (86 samples) 71.6%
G Haplogroup (2 samples)
J2 Haplogroup (3 samples)
R1a Haplogroup (2 samples)
I haplogroup (5 samples)
R1b but not M222 (24 samples)
If there is one characteristic Doherty marker it's YCAIIab = 19-22. After
deleting 12 and 25 marker tests from consideration we still have 72
samples. Of these 62 have YCAIIab = 19-22. In other words most if not all of
this large M222 surname cluster are related.
The two G haplogroups in the project are clearly related.
The two J2 haplogroups represent two different lines
The five I haplogroups represent 4 different lines.
The R1a haplogroups are clearly related.
Analysis of the 24 remaining R1b Dohertys is ongoing but none of them have
a county of origin reference. It's possible some of them could be
Dohertys from Donegal or it's equally possible they are Dohertys from the south of
Ireland (O Dubhartaighs) or even unknown Doherty septs elsewhere in
Ireland or Scotland.
At this stage I do not know how closely the 24 R1b Dohertys are related or
how many different Doherty lines we're looking at in these samples.
If I had to hazard a guess the R1a Dohertys were probably Vikings. The I
haplgroup Dohertys are a mixture of I1a and I1b. I have no clue about the
G or J2 Dohertys.
To me this shows a lot of common descent among the Dohertys of Donegal. I
haven't run the samples through a TMRCA calculator yet but it wouldn't
surprise me if the results were consistent with a common descent in the 13-14
century which is what the genealogies state. I don't see this as being any
different from the results one sees in other large surname projects such as
the Ewings that have a common ancestor in the 1500-1600s except the
kindred goes back further in time by several centuries.
The results in our McLaughlin DNA project are similar to the Dohertys.
Our largest single group of McLaughlins is a related cluster with half a
dozen known origins in Donegal, Tyrone or Londonderry. In this case though
analysis is greatly complicated by the fact that the surname McLaughlin has
many more known origins than O'Doherty.
I found the following statement on McLeod DNA on a Scottish blog site:
"Clan MacLeod is a fascinating case study. From a sample of the DNA of 45
Macleod Y chromosomes almost half, 47 per cent, clearly show social
selection at work in that they descend from one individual. If this statistic is
projected amongst the total number of MacLeods, it means that almost 10,000
men alive today are descended from this man. Among the remaining 53 per
cent, researchers have found only nine other lineages present, showing that
MacLeod men married women who were unfailingly faithful to them."
47% is obviously lower than the 71.6% of the Dohertys but still a
substantial percentage of related clan members. In their last article the Trinity
team discussed the Eoghanachta and Dal Cais tribes of Ireland and did not
find as high a degree of relatedness in their samples as the found in the Ui
Neill of the north, of which the Dohertys and McLaughlins were members.
It's possible not every Irish sept will approach the relatedness percentages
of the Dohertys.
There are a few interesting statements to be found in the Trinity article
(McEvoy, 2008). I can send copies if anyone wants one.
"Although our analysis cannot exclude the possibility
that some level of patrilineal kinship underlaid the Munster
Eo´ganacht and Dal Cais entities, it does seem that
if any existed it was not comparable in extent to the
widespread kinship in the contemporaneous Ui Neill
grouping from the North of the Island, presumably the
descendants of the ancestral eponym ‘‘Niall of the Nine
Hostages’’ and his clan. The results suggest that the
establishment and population structure of different kingdoms
did not conform to one simple model, despite nomenclature
which could indicate that members shared
descent from a founding male."
"Although many additional early medieval Irish population
units remain to be investigated, it seems clear that
there was no standard patrilineal kinship structure to
these entities. Thus, although the Ui Neill and Eoganacht
are often thought of as major contemporary rivals
from the North and South of the island respectively,
genetic evidence combined with surname information
suggest they were founded, established and perhaps lead
by different means and this may re.ect wider differences
in organization of Irish tribal societies."