DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2011-12 > 1324694159
Subject: Re: [R-M222] Ulster
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 21:35:59 -0500 (EST)
In a message dated 12/23/2011 3:42:28 A.M. Central Standard Time,
Niall had sons Eoghan, Enda and Conail Gulban. Niall is believed to have
died around 407AD. The Daughertys are Cenel Conail. I don't think anyone
disputes this. So the Cenel Eoghan, and the Cenel Conail have a most recent
common ancestor in Niall, who lived around 350-407AD. That means the common
ancestor of the Cenel Conail and the Cenel Eoghan lived around 1631 years
bp, or 54 generations back.
I think that's a good starting point.
Lacey (Cenel Conaill and the Donegal Kingdoms, AD 500-800) would not but
he published just prior to the discovery of the NW Irish and most reviewers
state DNA refutes his theory.
At one time I too wondered if the alleged sons of Nial were just another
genealogical fabrication. But you can trace the ancestors of the Cenel
Conaill and Cenel Eoghain in the annals for generations. They are clearly two
separate lines although that is not in and of itself proof of a descent
from Nial. The traditional date for the death of Nial is given as 405 AD. -
but any number of Irish historians think it should be somewhat later -
perhaps 450 AD., based on the death dates of his sons. That's not enough of a
difference to affect things one way or the other. As far as I know son Enda
had no descendants - there is a Cenel Eanna territory in Donegal and a few
surnames associated with it in the annals - I'd have to look them up - but
the Book of Leinster gives them a Cenel Conaill origin.
<A far better approach, I think, is to remind ourselves that DNA on its own
cannot prove anything. But it can, and does, from time to time, disprove
I agree with this too.
Some else said this recently:
"If it is not found with in a result of a surname which is assumed to be
UiNeil associated then there must be an NPE -- this would then
extrapolate that all those ONeils who have tested and are not M222+ are
also NPE's. Really?"
You might find it interesting that these non M222 O'Neills match nothing in
the DNA databases. They do not match any of their supposed relatives or
kinsmen. Just a few surnames that are known to have sprung from O'Neills.
Since writing that paper on the O'Neills with Ed O'Neill a few old
pedigrees have come to light connecting to 17th century Tyrone and Clanaboy
O'Neill lines. Both match what Ed called the O'Neill variety - ie, the non
M222 O'Neills dominant in the Trinity study in Ulster.
It has always been my opinion that M222 preceded the time of Nial. As
one proof look at the Connachta who also appear to be mostly M222. They are
said to descend from half brothers of Nial. Perhaps we should be talking
about the DNA of Eochaidh Mughmedoin or some earlier ancestor. It would be
foolish to attempt to settle on a specific name. Most of the names in the
Ui Neill pedigree earlier than Eochaidh are untrustworthy as history.
It seems to me that ASD TMRCA estimates are routinely too low. I've heard
others say this too in different forums. It's not just my own idea. So
I would take estimates of 400-500 AD. with a large grain of salt. There's
always an SD (standard deviation) in all such statistical estimates and I
never see any associated with ASD dates. Trinity college used + or - 600
years in their estimates. That could make a big difference for those fixated
on whether the estimates fit the time of Nial or not.
I do not see why TMRCA estimates cannot be calibrated on a known pedigree.
In this case the Cenel Conaill and Cenel Eoghain descents from Nial.
It's not exactly a genealogy and it's not just a pedigree either since many of
the names can be verified in the annals. The Trinity team did just that
but also used some Connachta surnames and possibly a few southern Ui Neill
surnames. It was based on a sample of 59 anonymous samples but the
surnames were published in their article.
(O’)Boyle (9), (O’)Doherty (5), O’Donnell (4), O’Connor (3), Cannon
(3), Bradley (2), O’Reilly (2), Flynn (2), (Mc)Kee (2), Campbell (1),
Devlin (1), Donnelly (1), Egan (1), Gormley (1), Hynes (1), McCaul
(1), McGovern (1), McLoughlin (1), McManus (1), McMenamin (1),
Molloy (1), O’Kane (1), O’Rourke (1), and Quinn (1).
They add up to 59.
"The time to the most-recent common
ancestor (TMRCA) of this lineage was estimated
with the r statistic (Morral et al. 1994) in NETWORK,
with use of a mutation rate of 1 per 2,131 years for a
17-marker haplotype (Zhivotovsky et al. 2004). At 1,730
(SD 670) years ago, it is at least consistent with an early medieval
"A similar TMRCA analysis of the
IMH lineage in the general northwestern population
sample (shown in fig. 1B) is also roughly consistent with
this time frame (1,010 years ago [SD 390)."
I don't know what they were using for this part. There are lots of other
M222 samples in their main spreadsheet database. Maybe this included all
There only notice of Scots M222 is referred to the earlier Capelli study of
the British Isles.
"The distribution of the IMH lineage was also examined
in a broader British Isles context, through use of
Y-chromosome data for 1,525 individuals across 22 sampling
points reported by Capelli et al. (2003). However,
since the former were typed for only six microsatellites
(DYS19, DYS388, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392,
and DYS393), comparison was truncated to include only
these loci. The 6-STR IMH is virtually absent from much
of Britain but reaches frequencies of up to 7.3% (16.7%
including likely one-step derivatives) in western and central
That's a difficult call though to identify M222 on the basis of six
What many of us have been doing since the days of the Trinity study is
attempting to duplicate or confirm their findings. We've been looking at
surnames from geographical areas associated in history with the sons of Nial
or the Connachta. It's been difficult and the results are spotty mainly
because of a lack of samples for many of the surnames. To this day the
southern Ui Neill are a mystery - as are the great majority of Cenel Eoghain
septs. Anyone who would like to work on the subject can use this chart as a
My own opinion on the subject so far (subject to change at any time) is
there is indeed a strong correlation between M222 and the alleged descendants
of the Ui Neill and Connachta in Ireland. For Scotland, who knows? I
think it's reasonable to assume that M222 might have come from Ireland to
Scotland at different points in history. Some may be very old and pre-Nial.