Just today, a new project member (JR-7435)* joined the project and he was an instant match to an existing project member (PAR-2453) in the Ungrouped section. In fact, when comparing this new member's 67-marker profile against everyone else's in the FTDNA database, he has 3 matches: a Rowan (with a Genetic Distance of 4/67), a Ryan (GD 5/67) and a Loftus (GD 7/67). So it looks like this provides a direct genetic link between the Ryan surname and the Rowan surname.
* this is the members initials and the last 4 digits of his kit number
|The new member has 3 matches at the 67-marker level of comparison|
When we decrease the comparison level to the 37-marker level, the new member has the following matches:
- Ryan x1
- Rowan x3
- Mulvihill / Melville x5
So this begs a few questions:
- is the genetic connection between the Ryan's and the Rowan's a "true match" or a "false match" (due to Convergence)?
- same question for the Ryan / Rowan surname and the Mulvihill surname - is it a true match? (i.e. is the connection within the last few hundred years)
- if it is a true match, which came first: the Mulvihill chicken or the Ryan / Rowan egg? Was there some sort of a Surname or DNA Switch (SDS) somewhere along the direct male line of these genetically matching individuals?
The answer to the first and second question is: yes, this is very likely to be a true match. The Rowan individual has the terminal SNP marker DF17, whilst the Ryan individual has the terminal SNP marker FGC14115. If we look at where these sit on the Tree of Mankind, we find out that they are on the same branch, with DF17 being upstream (toward the past) and FGC14115 being downstream (toward the present). This gives us a SNP Progression as follows (note: the SNP Progression is the series of SNP markers that characterise each branching point on the Tree of Mankind from the major haplogroup level down to the sub-branch on which the individual sits):
- R-P312/S116 > Z40481 > ZZ11 > DF27/S250 > Z195/S355 > Z272 > BY907 (aka DF17) > FGC14113 > ~22264668-T-C > FGC14126 > FGC14124 > FGC14117 > FGC14115
This is illustrated in the diagram below from The Big Tree. The yellow circles mark the locations of DF17 and FGC14115. Note that there is also a Mulvihill sitting below FGC14115, and this strongly supports the notion that the genetic match between the Mulvihill's and the Ryan / Rowan surname is in fact a "true match". So that just leaves us with the question: which came first? Did the Rowan's become Mulvihill's and Ryan's? or were the Ryan's the progenitors? or were the Mulvihill's the father of them all?
|The position of FGC14115 in relation to DF17 on the Tree of Mankind|
The Rowan matches are not in the Ryan project so I invited them all to join. One of the Mulvihill matches (N1993) has done the Big Y test so I have invited him to join too (for comparison purposes). The existing project member (PAR-2453) has already done the Big Y test and I will ask him to upload it to the Big Tree (instructions here) so that we can get some additional (free) analyses that will further elucidate the relationship between the Ryan and Mulvihill surnames.
|A close up of the branch on which the members of Group 9 sit|
This may also give us an idea of when the split between the Ryan and Mulvihill surname took place, and by extension, which came first: the chicken or the egg.
Where do they come from?
Unfortunately not many people include the birth location of their MDKA (Most Distant Known Ancestor) in their profile so it is not easy to see from what county in Ireland people originated. This is essential information to include and I encourage all project members to amend their profiles to include this information. You can read about how to do it here. PAR-2453 has included this information (mega-brownie points) and we can see that his ancestors came from Kilkenny. Among his matches, one Mulvihill has origins in Longford, another in Limerick, but the rest have no MDKA data.
There is a Mulvihill DNA Project and on reviewing their public DNA Results Page, there is a suggestion that the particular branch of the Mulvihill's who are FGC14115+ comes from North Kerry (although unfortunately, individual MDKA data is not displayed). There is also a Rowan DNA Project but their public DNA Results Page does not offer any insights (again, sadly, no MDKA information is displayed).
Surname Distribution Maps indicate two hotspots for the Mulvihill surname in the mid-1800s ... Longford and Clare / Limerick. Either of these two places could indicate the genetic origin of this group of related surnames. The map for the Rowan surname shows a less localised distribution for that particular surname and offers no additional clues.
|Surname Distribution Maps based on Griffiths Valuation|
It would be interesting to see if the Admins of the Rowan and Mulvihill DNA Projects have any further insights to offer as to the likely origins of this group.
Watch this space for further updates.