Cét Míle Fáilti!

(A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!)

This is the home of the Genelach Dáil Cuinn Project, or Genealogy of the Tribe of Conn Cétchathach Project, a genetic genealogy project. Tribe is one translation of the Old Irish word dál and means the progeny or descendants of a common male ancestor or progenitor. We are a dedicated group of people interested in the heritage of those family groups who historically descend from Conn Cétchathach, AKA Conn of the Hundred Battles. From the Irish annals, he was a High King of Ireland who lived ~125 AD. From him descend many of the important medieval dynasties of the northern half of Ireland, which was known as the Leath Cuinn, or the Half of Conn. We are using modern surnames and Y-DNA sequencing results to attempt to fit what the science of genetics reveals into the rich heritage of the historical Dál Cuinn genealogies.

Two of the most well known Dál Cuinn dynastic groups are the Teóra Connachta and the Uí Néill. The Teóra Connachta were composed of the Uí Briúin, the Uí Fiachroí, and the Uí Ailello; this last dynasty either dying out or being exterminated in the first millennium AD.

All four of these dynasties were originated by one of the sons of Eochád Muigmedón, who was descended from Conn Cétchathach and also a High King of Ireland ~350 AD. The Uí Briúin descend from Brión, the Uí Fiachroí from Fiachróe Foltsnáthach, and the Uí Ailella from Ailill. These three men were full brothers from Eochád Muigmedón’s first wife Mongfind. The Uí Néill descend from Niall Noígíallach, or Niall of the Nine Hostages. He was the paternal half-brother of Brión, Fiachróe Foltsnáthach, and Ailill from Eochád Muigmedón’s second wife Cairenn Chasdub.

The Y-DNA results that we have seen so far indicate that the R1b-DF104 phylogenetic node is the starting clade (Y-Haplogroup) of the Dál Cuinn. The median age estimate for R1b-DF104 places it ~36 AD. This is a little before Conn’s time frame, so there may be subclades of R1b-DF104 that are not Dál Cuinn; but R1b-DF104 is the closest major clade with an origin near to the time frame of Conn, so it was decided to be overly inclusive rather than overly exclusive. The conclusion to associate the R1b-DF104 clade with the Dál Cuinn is based on the numerous Connachta surnames in the publicly available R1b-DF104+ test results that genetically correlate very well with the historical Irish genealogies and annals for the most part. As of , there are over 2300 known R1b-DF104+ men.

However, some egregious discrepancies have been discovered. Some of the more crucial discrepancies are listed below:

  1. The Dál Cuinn are not descendants of Éremón; that is, our Y-DNA does not seem to match up with the other dynasties who claimed Éremón as an ancestor. The Laud 610 genealogy for the Dál Cuinn seems to present the most credible origin as a secondary invasion force who landed probably in the northwest of Ireland, possibly sometime in the second or first centuries BC. It is speculated that the Trácht Delossath mentioned might be a copy error for Trácht de Iorrath.

  2. The Cland Colla/Airgíalla are not Dál Cuinn. Please see the Y-Haplotree chart for the Dál Cuinn. Also please visit Peter Biggins’s excellent website for a detailed explanation of the Cland Colla Y-DNA.

  3. The Uí Maini are not a dynastic group, but appear to be a confederation of several groups. The O’Kelly chieftain line seems to be an independent branch. Please see the Y-Haplotree chart. The O’Madden seem to be most closely related to the Dál Cais ancestors, from their FTDNA project results. Many of the other "Uí Maini" families seem to be genetically Uí Briúin and Uí Fiachroí Aidne, especially the Uí Fiachroí Find among the latter. Quite unexpectedly, the Ó Maíl Álaig (Mullally) actually appear to be genetically Uí Néill, Cenél Conaill.

  4. The Uí Fiachroí Mac Fir Bisig are not Uí Fiachroí at all, but appear to be Uí Néill, Cenél Conaill like the Ó Maíl Álaig.

  5. The later O’Conor lineages are Uí Briúin but apparently not Síl Muiredaig. They descend from an earlier branch than the Uí Briúin Seóla, the Uí Briúin Bréifne, and the Uí Briúin Aí, all of whom are in the R1b-A260 clade. A member of the O’Conor Don family graciously consented to having his Y-DNA sequenced and his results fell exactly where anticipated in the R1b-BY18120 subclade of the R1b-Y166841 clade among other surnames associated with the descendants of Tairdelbach Már. The R1b-A260 and R1b-Y166841 clades are parallel to each other, so the traditional genealogy of the later O’Conor lineages being Síl Muiredaig is not possible genetically.

    The best recorded explanation for this seems to be the alternative genealogy presented by Peter O’Connell in Ruaidrí Ó Flaithbertaig's A Chorographical Description Of West Or H-Iar Connaught, Hardiman, James, Editor, 1846, p. 128 and echoed by Hubert Thomas Knox in The History Of The County Of Mayo To The Close Of The Sixteenth Century, 1908, p. 382. This alternative genealogy states that Muiredach Máel had two sons: Fergus, the likely progenitor of the R1b-A260 clade, and Cathal, the possible progenitor of the R1b-Y166841 clade. The Uí Briúin Seóla, Uí Briúin Bréifne, and Uí Briúin Aí descended from Fergus, as the primary genealogies have it; but then the later O’Conor lineages must have descended from Cathal. This is the only recorded explanation found for the indisputable Y-DNA split. Apparently sometime after Tadc inda Dúir but before or with Tairdelbach Már, there was an SCE (Surname Change Event) in the O’Conor line.

    It would appear that the Uí Briúin Seóla, that is, the descendants of Fergus son of Muiredach Máel, were all living around Mag Seóla until sometime after the 700s AD when they began to split up and disperse and were given the different location appellations. This explains some puzzling historical anomalies such as how Áed Flaithem was giving Annaghdown to the Church in the mid 500s AD and how the Uí Briúin Aí Síl Cellaig were living at Loch Cime in the mid 700s AD, as were the Uí Briúin Bréifne. Where the descendants of Cathal son of Muiredach Máel were living is unclear at this point.

  6. The descendants of Eóchád Tírmchárnae son of Fergus included more than just the Uí Briúin Aí, Síl Muiredaig. He was apparently also the progenitor of several well-known southern Co. Galway families such as the O’Halloran, the O’Mannion, and the O’Donnellan. This contradicts the standard genealogies for these families and leads to speculation about what happened to cause the errors in the traditional records.

From what we have observed, the primary problem with the traditional Irish genealogies and annals appears to be conflation and confusion errors; although there are likely deliberately introduced fictions, such as the incorrect progenitor for the Uí Briúin Aí. One classic example is in Tírechán's Collecteana where Áth Dá Loarcc is erroneously identified as being beside Kells, when in fact it was also an early name for Boyle. Similarly, Domnach Sairigi beside Dom Liacc has been hypothesized by us as having been conflated with Leitrim. This would then make Bishop Cethech's journey between the two locations on Easter Sunday and the Little Easter on Monday at least feasible, if difficult. Whether this conflation error was introduced by Tírechán or one of his later scribes/copyists is difficult to say; but if it was introduced by Tírechán himself, then these types of conflation errors were creeping into the records in as little a period of time as 200 years or so after the events being recorded. This is one of many such conflation errors we believe to exist in the records.

Through our efforts, we are constantly expanding the R1b-DF104 Y-Haplotree as our genetic testing data and knowledge grow. To that end, we solicit the participation of all R1b-DF104+ men, as well as anyone who is interested in our research, and invite you to join the discussions in our Genelach Dáil Cuinn Project Forum. There are also an unaffiliated Facebook Dáil Cuinn Group and a Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) project for those who have tested with FTDNA, the Sons Of Aodh. Although we are independent groups, we cooperate extensively.

Thank you for visiting our website and we hope to see you in our discussions and genetic testing activities.

In Memoriam

We present the following roll call to honor our fallen pioneers:

    • Orville Douglas Clarida, - AD
    • Phillip Dean McDaniel, - AD
    • Robert Warren McDaniel, - AD
    • Dan Francis Murphy, Sr., - AD
    • Lawrence Michael Murray, - AD


All data used on this website is taken from public sources such as various Family Tree DNA volunteer projects, Alex Williamson’s The Big Tree, and YFull’s Y-Haplotree, and are used under the USA fair use legal doctrine which allows the use of publicly released information for research and scholarship purposes, regardless of copyright, and especially if the usage is transformative, which this usage is.