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Thread: Origins and migrations of Z253 subclades (particularly A17)

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    Origins and migrations of Z253 subclades (particularly A17)

    Dear Anthrogenica community Y-DNA experts and other Irish historians:

    I'm trying to formulate a theory about the origins and migration pattern of one of the Z253 subclades, variously known as 1716-11 / A17 / S847, and I'm interested in any feedback, ranging from specific data points, to speculative theories, to methodology suggestions.

    Awhile ago I took a large set of STR marker data from our cluster members and ran it through Dean McGee's Y-Utility (http://www.mymcgee.com/tools/yutility111.html). Here are the results:
    https://e8245a9522e98dd6d928fb10498c...81Z1hMQkdZRUk/

    I like to scroll down to the bottom part and look at the estimated years TMRCA, both between individuals in the cluster and the mean. I've searched and searched for relevant patterns, but I almost always find reasons to doubt conclusions that I might draw from the data. Below are some of my assumptions and conclusions:
    • Mode is primarily influenced by who has taken the test most. For example, people whose families have migrated to US and other countries like Canada and Australia where FTDNA and related tests are most popular are much more strongly represented than people who stayed in Ireland or migrated to other European countries.
    • Mode may secondarily be influenced by economic or reproductive success of one of the forbearers of a particular surname (could this partially explain the preponderance of Butlers?) or by having a person who has very actively been doing a surname project and recruiting new testers (e.g., Mangam).
    • Conversely, there may be some bottlenecks for some branches, due to war, famine, or other historical and economic factors.
    • In any case being far from the mode doesn't tell us much: it doesn't mean that your haplotype is older, only that fewer people from your family line have tested. Am I right here?
    • However, the known origins (along with known historical information about the surnames) of the kits supports possible theories about origin and migration.
    • Also, I would think that known SNP results might be more telling in terms of origin and migration, but I have doubts about how to apply that as well.
    • For example, if we think of the established SNP tree as if it were like an upside down version of a real tree (with "Adam" at the top), does information about people who are on higher branches or nodes on the tree tell us anything about the place of origin of that SNP?
    • To make this more specific to the A17 haplogroup, there are about 25-30 people to date in this haplogroup who have done Big-Y. I (Morgan) happen to be the first branch off of A17. In rough order of the branches, the surnames are Morgan, Mangum, Cannady, Murta, Tomkins, Christie, McKenna, Yorke, and Roderick.
    • Based on common SNP counts and the average mutation rate for SNPs uncovered in Big-Y, we estimate that Morgan branched off about 2100 years ago, and the branches at the bottom of the tree like Yorke and Roderick were more like 1000 years ago.
    • If we were to plot known or estimated origins of people on this SNP tree, would we be able to decipher a migration pattern? Or does having just one or two people on each branch (in most cases) make it impossible to draw any conclusions?


    Here is my own, admittedly unscientific, theory of the migration pattern of A17 and its subclades: a Z253 man from what is now southern Scotland or northern England migrated to Ireland 2000+ years ago. This could have been before Roman times, but was likely not more than 3000 years ago. They settled in central Ireland, in what is now Co. Longford or Co. Westmeath. During and after the Norman Invasion they became more dispersed, moving mostly south, then east and west. Some of course moved to other countries in Europe, and many who stayed took on names of their conquerors, whether due to NPEs or Anglicization of Irish names.

    My theory of the origin of my line of Morgans is that it comes from the Ua Muiregáin of Tethba, somewhat along the lines of this post: http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history...ly_morgan.html. But that may be totally wishful thinking. There are several Morgans who still live in that part of Westmeath and Longford, but to date I am the only Morgan to have tested positive for A17.

    Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishMorgan View Post
    Dear Anthrogenica community Y-DNA experts and other Irish historians:

    I'm trying to formulate a theory about the origins and migration pattern of one of the Z253 subclades, variously known as 1716-11 / A17 / S847, and I'm interested in any feedback, ranging from specific data points, to speculative theories, to methodology suggestions.

    Awhile ago I took a large set of STR marker data from our cluster members and ran it through Dean McGee's Y-Utility (http://www.mymcgee.com/tools/yutility111.html). Here are the results:
    https://e8245a9522e98dd6d928fb10498c...81Z1hMQkdZRUk/

    I like to scroll down to the bottom part and look at the estimated years TMRCA, both between individuals in the cluster and the mean. I've searched and searched for relevant patterns, but I almost always find reasons to doubt conclusions that I might draw from the data. Below are some of my assumptions and conclusions:
    • Mode is primarily influenced by who has taken the test most. For example, people whose families have migrated to US and other countries like Canada and Australia where FTDNA and related tests are most popular are much more strongly represented than people who stayed in Ireland or migrated to other European countries.
    • Mode may secondarily be influenced by economic or reproductive success of one of the forbearers of a particular surname (could this partially explain the preponderance of Butlers?) or by having a person who has very actively been doing a surname project and recruiting new testers (e.g., Mangam).
    • Conversely, there may be some bottlenecks for some branches, due to war, famine, or other historical and economic factors.
    • In any case being far from the mode doesn't tell us much: it doesn't mean that your haplotype is older, only that fewer people from your family line have tested. Am I right here?
    • However, the known origins (along with known historical information about the surnames) of the kits supports possible theories about origin and migration.
    • Also, I would think that known SNP results might be more telling in terms of origin and migration, but I have doubts about how to apply that as well.
    • For example, if we think of the established SNP tree as if it were like an upside down version of a real tree (with "Adam" at the top), does information about people who are on higher branches or nodes on the tree tell us anything about the place of origin of that SNP?
    • To make this more specific to the A17 haplogroup, there are about 25-30 people to date in this haplogroup who have done Big-Y. I (Morgan) happen to be the first branch off of A17. In rough order of the branches, the surnames are Morgan, Mangum, Cannady, Murta, Tomkins, Christie, McKenna, Yorke, and Roderick.
    • Based on common SNP counts and the average mutation rate for SNPs uncovered in Big-Y, we estimate that Morgan branched off about 2100 years ago, and the branches at the bottom of the tree like Yorke and Roderick were more like 1000 years ago.
    • If we were to plot known or estimated origins of people on this SNP tree, would we be able to decipher a migration pattern? Or does having just one or two people on each branch (in most cases) make it impossible to draw any conclusions?


    Here is my own, admittedly unscientific, theory of the migration pattern of A17 and its subclades: a Z253 man from what is now southern Scotland or northern England migrated to Ireland 2000+ years ago. This could have been before Roman times, but was likely not more than 3000 years ago. They settled in central Ireland, in what is now Co. Longford or Co. Westmeath. During and after the Norman Invasion they became more dispersed, moving mostly south, then east and west. Some of course moved to other countries in Europe, and many who stayed took on names of their conquerors, whether due to NPEs or Anglicization of Irish names.

    My theory of the origin of my line of Morgans is that it comes from the Ua Muiregáin of Tethba, somewhat along the lines of this post: http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history...ly_morgan.html. But that may be totally wishful thinking. There are several Morgans who still live in that part of Westmeath and Longford, but to date I am the only Morgan to have tested positive for A17.

    Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions?
    I am related to a Morgan group and also several Welsh surnames. Morgan should probably be coinsidered Welsh, in its infancy anyway, as ipeople from the area of Wales called Glamorgan typically picked up that surname.

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    I agree that the name Morgan typically has Welsh origins, even for many Irish Morgans. This would be especially true for Morgans on the southern coast of Ireland and in the Dublin to Louth corridor, where more than half the Morgans in Ireland are found. However, for central and western Ireland I think that Morgan is typically an Anglicization of Irish names like Merrigan, Morihan, and Mannion, and names that preceded those. IMG_0519.jpg See for example this page from The All New Surnames of Ireland (http://www.amazon.com/The-All-New-Su.../dp/0940134977), which references MacLysaght as well as more recent analysis of surname data in Ireland.

    But we digress from the original point of my post, which was to see if anyone sees any patterns in the names or data for 1716-11 / A17 / S847 that would explain its origins perhaps 1500 - 2500 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishMorgan View Post
    I agree that the name Morgan typically has Welsh origins, even for many Irish Morgans. This would be especially true for Morgans on the southern coast of Ireland and in the Dublin to Louth corridor, where more than half the Morgans in Ireland are found. However, for central and western Ireland I think that Morgan is typically an Anglicization of Irish names like Merrigan, Morihan, and Mannion, and names that preceded those. IMG_0519.jpg See for example this page from The All New Surnames of Ireland (http://www.amazon.com/The-All-New-Su.../dp/0940134977), which references MacLysaght as well as more recent analysis of surname data in Ireland.

    But we digress from the original point of my post, which was to see if anyone sees any patterns in the names or data for 1716-11 / A17 / S847 that would explain its origins perhaps 1500 - 2500 years ago.
    I am neither an expert or a Irish Historian but, since naming really only began for the masses c. 1200 - 1400 AD, I see little help with naming as a means of estimating geographical information.

    e.g. My name is McGregor, but I am R-L1066, and am Ysearch z5hg3. My earliest ancestor is a Patrick Gregor McGregory(ie). I have only one mutation after R-L1066, and that is an STR deletion. I don't believe I am a Pict or a Scotti. I consider my heritage as native Briton. But it wouldn't surprise me if some of my ancestors spent time on the other side of the Irish sea?

    To add fuel to the fire, my MtDNA is V8 from my mother, she was born in Scotland, but her mother was born in Ireland. 30%+ of the V8's are of Saami origins (north of Finland); My wife is 100% Finn, but her paternal grandmother's name was: Catarina Bridgett Heikkinen! One of my closest MtDNA matches is also a Heikkinen. It's a small world out there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcg11 View Post
    I am neither an expert or a Irish Historian but, since naming really only began for the masses c. 1200 - 1400 AD, I see little help with naming as a means of estimating geographical information.
    I agree that names can be misleading, and it's especially easy to get tripped up by tracing only your own name. Since I am the only Morgan so far in A17, that's part of the reason why I don't want to dwell on that name as part of this thread.

    But looked at in the aggregate, with a cluster of 250+ people, shouldn't patterns in the names be useful? I'm basing this assumption partly on the findings of the UK DNA study mentioned here, which found that for people with four grandparents in the same geographic area there was relatively little migration over 600+ years.

    And if surnames aren't the best thing to go by, what should we use? Do the most distant relative places that are listed for some kits provide more clues?
    Last edited by IrishMorgan; 05-17-2015 at 12:34 AM.

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    I really feel that all we have to go on is our set of STR values, plus any SNP information you might have. Many lines are very lean, with hardly any close (GD) matches. Obviously, as more people test, then more chances occur. I have a 10 at 632. You can count on your two hands how many persons have this mutation in the P312 Clade.

    I also feel, it depends on how far back you are looking? A few hundred years is a different problem and can be significantly helped by naming. But once you start talking 2000 years, its a new ballgame. My earliest ancestor came to the colonies in 1684. To try and trace him, I have to find someone with a somewhat similar STR pattern. On this side of the Pond it is relatively easy to find close matches since we all go back to this one person who had children who were fairly prolific. To cross the Pond to Scotland is much more difficult and frustrating. JMHO.

    The answer always seems to boil down to: We need more entries!!

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    I think there is value in chasing down leads for all the various surnames that comprise a group, some of them are geographic in nature so that can certainly help because a family could have lived in a given area for over a thousand years or more and the current version of their surname could be a reflection of that. I'm sure you all already know this. Don't get disheartened in your research and I'd like to hear here if you find any new leads. Since this is probably one of the oldest haplotypes in the Isles, it naturally makes sense they would be more dispersed today. Especially if they had been in the Isles prior to 500 BC.

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    MCG11 - Did you already see there are 3 other McGregors in Mike's L21 spread sheet under Z253? Granted the fact they are Z253 and you L1066 means it's at least a 3000 year difference BUT, the fact that multiple Z253's with that surname are found in the same general area could be indicative of a native group being in that area well before the arrival of the first McGregors. This may be in line with your thoughts all along perhaps? In this case, looking at surnames even if from different haplotypes separated by a very long time might have some meaning.

    Most other Scottish McGregors appear to be L1335, which is probably Dalriadan since McAlpin was not a Pict...perhaps these other McGregors are from and indigenous group there when McAlpin arrived.

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    I had a bit of a breakthrough on this the last couple weeks. Ray (our fearless leader of analysis of this haplogroup/cluster) was looking at the matches for a man in the cluster named Conley, and he mentioned that Conley's 35 matches at 67 markers indicated that he must be near the mode of a cluster. That made me start thinking that there must be sub-clusters in this very large haplogroup, and I started looking at cluster analysis methods. I found a program called MEGA (http://megasoftware.net/) that's typically used by biologists and people with PhDs to create phylogenic trees, and decided to figure out how it works. It took a bit of work to get the data in the right format, but attached are the results. It uses a combination of neighbor joining and minimum evolution algorithms to construct a tree with clusters from the genetic distance data that I posted previously.

    The main doc to look at is the first one, which shows the tree and clusters. The length each branch on the tree represents genetic distance, and therefore relative time to a common ancestor. I've annotated this doc with my best guess at the place of origin of the clusters. In some cases the individuals know a county of origin of their family in Ireland, but in most cases I used tools like this one to find where the surnames are most common (http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/surname/index.cfm). The second doc is the same tree, but it has estimated TMRCA in years. This is basically just an interpolation of the rough estimated origin of our haplogroup 2100 years ago. It's a bit harder to read, but the dates help show how relevant events may have shaped the migration patterns.

    To me, it looks like our haplogroup originated somewhere in the central border region of Ireland. Perhaps Monaghan or Cavan. Some of the members left Ireland in Roman times or shortly thereafter. This group is shown at the bottom of the tree, and I call them "Early Explorers." In the early Christian era some moved north into Ulster, but most gradually moved south and west. The Norman Invasion undoubtedly contributed to a dispersal. At some point one lucky fellow worked his way into the Butler clan, and spread our DNA throughout Tipperary and northern Munster. Later events like Cromwell's invasion and plantation periods in Ulster, Offaly and Laois also contributed to the dispersion. I'm not sure how/why the Melicans moved to Clare so quickly, but the other movements seem to be gradual and explainable.

    Please let me know if anyone has any questions or suggestions on improvements to the clusters and possible locations.

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    With attachments this time.min-ev-time.pdfmin-ev-tree-straight.pdf
    Last edited by IrishMorgan; 07-06-2015 at 03:36 AM. Reason: Add attachments, which don't seem to be working.

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