Saturday, 22 November 2008

The Secret: Revealed!

In an earlier post I discussed the second participant’s DNA results. I am disappointed that the American FitzHenrys descended from Enoch do not appear to be related to the other families noted in this blog. However, I am very grateful for our connection to these individuals and the pursuit of studying the surname around the world. It’s something special and unique to claim the name, FitzHenry.

I am pleased to report that the DNA results unlocked another secret. They revealed a significant relationship with our second participant and Niall of the Nine Hostages. Niall Noígíallach was a 5th century warlord whose dynasty dominated Ireland for six hundred years. He quite literally left his mark in populating Ireland. High King Niall may have left as many as three million modern day descendants! DNA Ancestry Project

According to information provided by Family Tree DNA, a recent study conducted at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, found that a striking percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome, suggesting that Niall may be the ancestor of one in 12 Irishmen.

In the study scientists found an area in northwest Ireland where they claim 21.5% carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint, says Brian McVoy, one of the team at Trinity. The same area of Ireland has previously been the subject of anthropological study…and has shown a strikingly high percentage of men from Haplogroup R1b (98%) versus 90% in southeast Ireland. According to McVoy this area was the main powerbase of the Ui Neill kings, which literally translated means "descendants of Niall". McVoy says the Y chromosome appeared to trace back to one person. Following the genealogists' trail McVoy comments: "There are certain surnames that seem to have come from Ui Neill. We studied if there was any association between those surnames and the genetic profile. It is his (Niall's) family."

Modern surnames tracing their ancestry to Niall include (O')Neill, (O')Gallagher, (O')Boyle, (O')Doherty, O'Donnell, Connor, Cannon, Bradley, O'Reilly, Flynn, (Mc)Kee, Campbell, Devlin, Donnelly, Egan, Gormley, Hynes, McCaul, McGovern, McLoughlin, McManus, McMenamin, Molloy, O'Kane, O'Rourke and Quinn. Family Tree DNA

If our DNA result is any indication, they may need to add the name FitzHenry!

My next post will take us back to where it all began. Joining the discussion will be the lovely Princess Nesta, King Henry I, the current Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and my new acquaintance, Niall.

In theory, anything is possible………………….

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