This is the last of the series of articles describing our Project Update 2021. Previous updates dealt with Group 2 (Limerick), the Group 3 subgroups (M222+), and the largest genetic group within the project - Group 3a. This article discusses the current status of Groups 1, 4, 5, and those in the Ungrouped section.
There has been no change since the update given at the 2019 Clan Rally. This is a group of known 3rd cousins with the surname O'Maley. They share a common ancestor in 1845, and their O'Maley line goes back to Galway in 1795. One member has done Big Y testing and this reveals that he belongs to Haplogroup 1 and that his terminal SNP is currently I-BY37245.
Haplogroup I occurs in only about 6% of Irish people and the specific subgroup that Group 1 belongs to is characterised by the upstream SNP marker L161. This can be seen in the SNP Sequence for Group 1:
- I-M423 > S2770 > CTS5375 > L161 > FGC7113 > S2639 > L1498 > FGC7094 > Y13518 > A1150 > Y24829 > BY37245 (a 22-SNP block)
- there are still only 2 men on the BY37245 branch (O'Maley & O'Bryan) and they share a common ancestor about 1000 years ago (based on an average of 12 Private Variants between them).
- Their nearest genetic neighbours sit on the Y24829 branch and the common ancestor of all the men on this branch lived about 4300 years ago (based on 53 SNPs back to the common ancestor, so 53 x 80 = 4240 years before present)
|Group 1 - STR data, family chart, and Genetic Distance|
Similarly, there has been very little change with Group 4. This still consists of 3 people who appear to be closely related to each other (possibly 2nd to 4th cousins). Their surnames are recorded as Mealey, Meally & Maley, and one records origins in Kilkenny.
|STR data for the 3 members of Group 4|
Two have done the Big Y test and their terminal SNP is BY70535 which has the following SNP Sequence:
- R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > Z39589 > CTS1751 > Z17966 > Z17969 > Z17967 > BY596 > BY595 > BY601 > BY70535
The TMRCA for the two men tested is about 1800, and their nearest genetic neighbour lived about 1400 years ago (based on SNP Counting).
|Group 4 on FTDNA's version of the Tree of Mankind|
Their closest STR matches include people called Ricketts and Mercer, so if there was a Surname or DNA Switch, one of these could have been the previous surname.
Their deeper origins remain obscure but looking at the surnames on adjacent branches (on the Big Tree) suggests that it could be either Scottish or Irish.
|Group 4 on The Big Tree|
(click to enlarge)
This group still consists of only 2 people so there is no major change since the 2019 update. Both participants carry the O'Malley surname but 70-80% of their STR matches are men called Joyce. It is therefore highly likely that there has been a Surname or DNA Switch and that the surname on their Direct Male Line changed from Joyce to O'Malley at some point in the past. When this happened is still an open question but as more people test and join the project, this question may be resolved.
My colleague Lisa Little has a similar situation in her family tree and has written an article here about how she approached trying to solve when the switch occurred.
|STR data for Group 5|
- R-M198 > M417 > PF6162 > Z283 > Z282 > Z280 > S24902 > FT3245 > YP561 > YP564 > YP566 > YP4668 > YP4664 > YP4660 > YP6007 > YP6008
|Members of the 4th group in the Joyce DNA Project sit on branch YP6008|
The Ungrouped section
There are 13 project members in the Ungrouped section, all with one variant of the O'Malley surname or another. None of these men have close matches within the project ... yet. But over time, as more people enter the FTDNA database, matches will be found and these men will form new genetic groups within the project.
Three of these project members have only tested up to 12 STR markers and this is insufficient to allow them to be grouped (37 markers is the recommended starting point for all new members). They are probably transfers from National Genographic and ideally they should upgrade their test to at least the 37 marker level.
Two of the members have done Big Y testing and this reveals that both of them are probably Dalcassian and have Limerick origins. Their SNP Sequences are as follows:
- R-L226 > FGC5660 > Z17669 > DC9 > DC1165 > DC135
- R-L226 > FGC5660 > Z17669 > ZZ31_1 > FGC5628 > FGC5623 > FGC5659 > DC209 > DC21
The common ancestor for these men is a man who carried the SNP marker Z17669 which is about 1700 years old (by SNP Counting). It is also the common ancestor for the 4 subgroups in Group 2. Therefore I have moved both of these men out of the Ungrouped section and placed them in their own individual subgroup within Group 2, even though currently each man is the only member of their particular subgroup. The new subgroups have been christened Group 2e and Group 2f. Hopefully over time more people will turn up as matches to these people and these subgroups will swell in number.
The Group 2e individual sits on the DC135 branch, which is dominated by men called Crowe. Other recurring surnames include McIntyre and O'Dea. Their common ancestor lived about 1600 years ago (by SNP Counting). This participant's O'Malley line goes back to Ballynadruckilly, Lattin, Co. Tipperary.
|Group 2e (DC135)|
The Group 2f individual sits on the DC21 branch, which he shares with a man called Riel. Their common ancestor lived about 500 years ago. This member's closest STR matches are men called O'Brien, Bryant or Kennedy.
This completes the project review for 2021.