Downie DNA

The Downey Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) site has been set up to assist in identifying the genealogy of various Downie, Downey, McEldowney, Mcildowney, Mcildownie, Dowie and Down families.  Resulting from DNA testing of these surnames, (while the sample is still very small, so please come and join the FTDNA project [DNA Project]) clear divisions are being identified between and within different families surnames.

In particular, the DNA project includes individuals who are the M222+ or Ui Niall Haplotype.  Through migration and other events, this Northern Irish Gaelic haplotype is traditionally associated with the North West of Ireland and the West (in particular Argyll) of Scotland.  These individuals on the FTDNA site have DNA matches with unique Scottish and Northern Irish surnames.  One of the main purposes of this study is through DNA to understand the history of the surname and where these individuals lived. 

While the sample size is still too small to be significant, it appears from the information from FTDNA, YSearch and Ancestory.com (DNA) that the M222+ Individuals have no identifiable genetic links with Downey, Muldowney or Moloney families of southern Irish origin or Scottish Downies who can trace their family lines back to central, borders or the eastern seaboard of Scotland.  Giving rise to the theory that they are a distinct family line.

A study by Moore et al (and R-M222 Haplogroup Project) at Trinity College in Dublin in relation to the M222+ haplotype concludes that a subset of this group "shows a significant association with surnames purported to have descended from the most important and enduring dynasty of early medieval Ireland, the Uí Néill." Persons in this subset are said to have the O'Neil Modal Haplotype and it is often confused with the parent set the Northwest Irish. A discussion of the difference has been presented by John Lochlan.

Recent genetic studies at Trinity College Dublin have discovered the genetic signature of the most important dynasty of early medieval Ireland, the Ui Niell, ie the descendants of Niall, a fifth century warlord whose descendants claimed the high kingship of Ireland. Possession of the Medieval Irish type in a Scot with a typical Scottish surname is a good indicator of Dalriadic Scots origins.(Reference) 

In a recent paper by Campbell the haplogroup (M222+ or O'Neil Modal Haplotype) is referred to as OGAP8 (Oxford Genetic Atlas Project - Type 8). His analysis identifies a strong migration of OGAP8 from Ulster to the Argyll area which Campbell identifies as that of the Dal Riada. There is a very good table (Table 3) in Campbell's research that shows the haplotype affinity by region. 

 

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