Thursday, August 15, 2013
Ulster and the Scottish Lowlands Genetic Link
The Niall of the Nine Hostages haplogroup (genetic signature) was one of the first large family groups discovered by DNA testing. It was designated as the Northwest Irish modal, because so many Irish in northwest Ireland have this paternal ancestry. It genetic short hand it is called the R-M222 family.
The R-M222 branch of the Y-DNA tree has a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) called M222. As more men participate in DNA testing an interesting pattern has developed. This diagnostic marker is not only found in many individuals whose roots lie in the counties of Northwest Ireland and Ulster in general, but it is also found in the Scottish Lowlands.
The map above shows the area where this profile is most often found. In the county of Donegal an incredible 20% of the population share this paternal ancestry. The map shows where the R-M222 is found in significant numbers, but it is also found throughout Ireland and Scotland, from the Orkney islands south to the shires of northern England. It even shows up in Iceland and Norway.