Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Ulster Heritage DNA Project Update Nov 2008

Ulster Heritage DNA Project Update November 2008

The Ulster Heritage DNA Project has grown at a steady rate, so much so that we are having growing pains. One plan under consideration is a division of the project along haplogroups. This will make it much easier to access and organise the results. This will make it much easier for each participant to look at his results and get to that information important to his family research. We will be working on this in December and all participants will receive an update when we move to that format.

We are asking that any participant that is also a member of a clan or family society to write us and keep us informed about your matches and research. Also, if you have matches, we suggest you be proactive, contact your matches and if they are not already in the UHDP urge them to join so that we clan list you as a family or clan. We are building up a data base of surname matches and corresponding geographic locations that will be a great help to family historians, or seanachaithe (plural of seanchaí, i.e. keeper of family history and traditions).

You will notice on the results page that participants sometimes are moved around; this is to accommodate research. Many Ulster surnames have multiple origins, for instance the surname Campbell. You will notice that kits with this name will move from time to time. Campbell can be native Irish when from a certain district, but usually is the surname of either Gallóglaigh families that came into Ireland from mid Argyll in the 1400s and 1500s, and in other cases, may be from families that moved to Ireland during the Plantation years, post 1610. With Campbell as with other surnames, we will move them around on the results page for some point of research.

To view the Results go to http://www.ulsterheritage.com/ and follow the links on the left hand side of the page. You can also access the Ulster Heritage Magazine via links at that web site.

If your kit is currently grouped by haplogroup and you know you have matches to your surname, email us, and we will set up your family as a separate classification on the Results page. If you have a location in Ulster that you know your family is from, also send that, it could be the very piece of information that allows you to make contact with your kith and kin. It is important to be aware that Ulster surnames can have multiple anglicised forms; an example a McKean match to a Johnson, or White to MacBain, etc., etc.

As many have noticed FT labs is coming out with sub clades of many haplogroups at a furious pace. This is good for research, especially for those interested in deep ancestry, i.e. if you are a Gael, a Cymro (British Celt), Norse, Frisian, etc. If you are curious about this just look into the sub clade test, which I think FT does for around US$ 89.

Please remember to keep your email address current on your Family Tree page, we get a lot of dead email addresses and it is hard for FT and the UHDP to contact you with no valid email address.

Mise le meas mór agus beannachtaí

Barry R McCain
Ulster Heritage DNA Project

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Galloglass Today

above a German sketch of Gallóglaigh warriors with two attendants, from the 1500s
The Galloglass, more properly called the Gallóglaigh (said Gall-og-glee) were a hereditary warrior caste that were active in Gaelic society from the early medieval period right up into the early 1600s. Gallóglaigh families are found throughout all of Ireland, but have their greatest concentration in Ulster. Most Gallóglaigh families have roots that originate in the southern Hebrides or west Highlands, especially mid Argyll.
The surnames of the Gallóglaigh are easily recognizable as being both Irish and Scottish, some of the more common Gallóglaigh surnames are: McAllan, McAlister, McCabe, McCain, Campbell, McDonnell, McDougall, McLachlan, McClain, Gallogly, McNeil, McCrory, McSweeny, McSheely, McGinley, just to name a few.
Historians in the past have speculated as to whether these families were Norse that had become Gaelicised or perhaps Gaelic families that had adopted certain Norse technologies and military tactics. As the Ulster Heritage DNA Project (www.ulsterheritage.com) has progressed many men that are descendants of Gallóglaigh families have participated in Y Chromosome testing and certain patterns have started to form among these families.
We know now that most of the Gallóglaigh families are Gaelic in paternal ancestry, not Norse, and they tend to be from kinship groups indigenous to east Ulster, Argyll, and the southern Hebrides. For the most part then they can be seen as indigenous Gaelic families that were influenced by the Vikings and they adopted Viking ways of military organization, training, weapons, etc.
Like other Gaelic families’ medieval genealogies, the genealogies of the Gallóglaigh elites were written for status and political reasons, that it was most desirable to show Niall of the Nine Hostages as their progenitor. We now know that most Gallóglaigh families are not part of the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages haplogroup.
Anyone that believes that are of Gallóglaigh ancestry are urged to participate in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project. One of the goals of the project is to locate the historical Gallóglaigh families and learn as much as possible about them using genetic genealogy. Already several Gallóglaigh kinship groups have been located by the UHDP.
Barry R McCain © 2008