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  • Irish Ancestral DNA Project

    As many of you know we have been working for the past year with University College Dublin on the first effort to analyze ancestral DNA from a prominent Irish family. Thanks to the generosity of our contributors we have exceeded 80 percent of the fundraising goal for the Earls of Barrymore DNA Project. We are now at the point where small contributions can make a big difference! With only $100 more in donations we will be able to begin procuring equipment and supplies and making travel arrangements. (An additional several hundred dollars will be needed eventually to complete lab testing.)

    If you have family members, friends or colleagues who are interested in Irish history, genealogy and genetics, please urge them to make a modest donation. A few donations of $10-20 would enable us to begin work.

    Donations can be made here:

    https://sites.google.com/site/barrym...t-this-project

    Thanks again for your support!

    Jim Barry
    Administrator, Earls of Barrymore DNA Project

  • #2
    We had several contributions over the weekend and are getting very close to our initial goal. Please consider making a small donation and let others know about the project. Thanks for your support. https://sites.google.com/.../barrymo...t-this-project

    Comment


    • #3
      It sounds like you are having the analysis done in a university lab rather than commercially. True?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by PNGarrison View Post
        It sounds like you are having the analysis done in a university lab rather than commercially. True?
        Both--we are using Gene by Gene in Houston (parent company of FTDNA) and the lab at University College Dublin. Using multiple labs is standard protocol for ancient DNA, which we are following as closely as possible.

        See: https://sites.google.com/site/barrym...nical-approach

        Jim

        PS. We have received some more donations and are now very close to our goal. We would appreciate contributions in any amount.

        Comment


        • #5
          I want to let you know that, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our contributors, we have raised the funds necessary to begin the project. We are delighted and very grateful.

          I will post updates on the project web site to let you know when work will begin.

          Thanks so much for your support.

          Jim Barry
          Project Administrator

          Comment


          • #6
            Initial Results from Irish Ancestral DNA Project

            Initial examination of the remains in the Barry mausoleum at Castlelyons, Cork, was conducted on 15-16 August 2015. Remains of three individuals were identified. Two were males, probably of advanced age, which indicates that they were neither the 5th nor the 6th Earls of Barrymore, who died in their thirties and twenties, respectively. It is possible that one of these individuals was James Barry, the 4th Earl, for whom the mausoleum was constructed and who is honored in a nearby plaque. Further analysis is required to determine whether this is the case. The third set of remains was from an individual whose gender could not immediately be determined and examination is continuing.

            Bone samples were taken and they will be forwarded for DNA extraction and analysis once forensic assessment has been completed.

            There was evidence that the mausoleum had been vandalized more than once, which further complicates the assessment, however a combination of forensic examination, DNA analysis, radiocarbon dating and comparison with historical records and portraits should allow for provisional identification of the remains and an evaluation of their relationship to living men from the Barry family.

            The presence of several sets of remains necessitates further DNA testing beyond that originally envisioned by the project. That means that additional funding will be required. If possible, please contribute to defray these additional costs by making a contribution at https://sites.google.com/site/barrym...t-this-project.


            Jim Barry
            Administrator, Barry DNA Project

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jbarry6899 View Post
              Initial examination of the remains in the Barry mausoleum at Castlelyons, Cork, was conducted on 15-16 August 2015. Remains of three individuals were identified. Two were males, probably of advanced age, which indicates that they were neither the 5th nor the 6th Earls of Barrymore, who died in their thirties and twenties, respectively. It is possible that one of these individuals was James Barry, the 4th Earl, for whom the mausoleum was constructed and who is honored in a nearby plaque. Further analysis is required to determine whether this is the case. The third set of remains was from an individual whose gender could not immediately be determined and examination is continuing.

              Bone samples were taken and they will be forwarded for DNA extraction and analysis once forensic assessment has been completed.

              There was evidence that the mausoleum had been vandalized more than once, which further complicates the assessment, however a combination of forensic examination, DNA analysis, radiocarbon dating and comparison with historical records and portraits should allow for provisional identification of the remains and an evaluation of their relationship to living men from the Barry family.

              The presence of several sets of remains necessitates further DNA testing beyond that originally envisioned by the project. That means that additional funding will be required. If possible, please contribute to defray these additional costs by making a contribution at https://sites.google.com/site/barrym...t-this-project.


              Jim Barry
              Administrator, Barry DNA Project
              I look forward to the results. I hope that the are able to establish the most recent SNP of these remains and not one from 5000 ybp.
              Last edited by 1798; 19 August 2015, 05:14 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Earls of Barrymore DNA Project: Phase I Results

                Phase I of the Earls of Barrymore DNA Project has been completed. While only limited DNA results were obtained, the findings were sufficient to develop a hypothesis about the identity of the individuals whose remains were in the Barry family crypt and their relationship to living persons.

                We are currently conducting research and networking to identify objectives, funding sources and collaborators for Phase II. We appreciate your continuing support.

                A summary of the findings can be found at: https://sites.google.com/site/barrym...ase-i-findings

                Jim Barry
                Administrator, Barry DNA Project

                Comment


                • #9
                  Interesting work. I suppose this is the next step on from living people testing their Y DNA for genealogical purposes and we might see more of this. It is a pity the results weren't definitive but I believe Y DNA is trickier to extract, so anything is a result.

                  I have Barry ancestors, from Wexford, but have yet to find a paper trail to any third cousins with the surname descended from my gg-grandparents who left Ireland for England. My Family Finder results have yet to turn up any more distant Barry relatives, although I suspect they are out there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is any attempt being made to triangulate towards specific identification of the remains, a la Richard III and his mito?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Frederator View Post
                      Is any attempt being made to triangulate towards specific identification of the remains, a la Richard III and his mito?
                      Please see the report. The test results were fragmentary but there are some distant STR matches. SNP tests were unsuccessful because of the poor quality of the samples.

                      There is insufficient information on the maternal lines to make mtDNA tests useful.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks. I didn't see anything in the report re: considerations of mito testing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Frederator View Post
                          Thanks. I didn't see anything in the report re: considerations of mito testing.
                          Right--on our web site, under Technical Approach, we describe the test procedures and our decision to focus on YDNA. In this instance, even a full mito match would not have met the goal of determining whether any living men are related to the remains in the crypt. One of the interesting conclusions, though, was that the only men whose pedigrees indicate they should be genetically related to them, clearly are not!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jbarry6899 View Post
                            Right--on our web site, under Technical Approach, we describe the test procedures and our decision to focus on YDNA. In this instance, even a full mito match would not have met the goal of determining whether any living men are related to the remains in the crypt. One of the interesting conclusions, though, was that the only men whose pedigrees indicate they should be genetically related to them, clearly are not!

                            I've seen something similar happen with regard to the haplotypes of the heads of the O'Rourke and the Dillon families. The individuals with the requisite paper trail kinda/sorta look like some clansmen's, but are not matches within the standard time frame.

                            The Dillon is not even within the same subclade of the majority of testers, although there are a few who share it. Though there again, the haplotypes are too far apart. At least the chief's subclade makes sense given their supposed Norman origins.

                            The O'Rourke chief hasn't , as far as I know, done any SNP testing, but he clearly shows many M222-like motifs, even if it's not quite a match, as one would expect given their Ui Bruin origin story. He's a near-but-not-quite match to one clansman. There are a number of other near-M222 haplotypes among the O'Rourkes, but they are much further off from the chief. The vast majority O'Rourke haplotypes I've seen seem to be some kind of generic Western Atlantic Modal, not even in the same ball park.

                            The O'Rourkes and the Dillons have very different histories, the former a native sept whose chiefship was determined by tanistry and the latter an Anglo-Norman family thoroughly integrated into the English civil norms of primogeniture. The O'Rourke name supposedly originated around 900 C.E. and the Dillon name around 1100 C.E. So the social dynamics explaining growth of each surname are bound to be very different.

                            But my sense is that one should bear in mind that the the discrimination power of the standard commercially available STR tests only reaches to around 20 generations or 1500 C.E.--roughly half the age of O'Rourke and Dillon surnames.

                            There's probably no way of proving this, but I suspect the Dillon surname grew through clientship in the 16th and 17th century rather than agnatic expansion. They managed to leverage their hold on key positions within the Dublin administration into mind-bogglingly vast landholdings after the Elizabethan conquest. Prior to that they seem to have been a relatively unremarkable Pale family.

                            But for old Gaelic families like the O'Rourkes, where chiefship as often or not was determined by civil war, one should expect there to be a large genetic distance between the chief families and the clan modal. Men within the dearbh-fhine probably did have vastly larger families than the ordinary clansman, but they most likely had a correspondingly high attrition rate. An occupational hazard.

                            In absolute terms there would definitely be a larger # of mutations among the chief's children, and if the fortunes of war determined that the most genetically distant sons would survive, each generation would likely only further the drift from the ancestral modal.

                            Demographically, Ireland's population only began to really take off in the 18th century--after the native nobility had been effectively removed from the gene pool. This would only exacerbate the genetic distance between chief and clan modal.

                            People often remark on the conformity of Scottish chieftain's haplotypes with their clansmen's, but they rarely consider that most Scottish names are considerably younger--dating from the 1300's or 1400s--and the effect of their early adoption of the feudal system and primogeniture. All the Victorian romance about traditional feuds, etc. probably masks the fact that they were most likely less bitter or disruptive than the version of tanistry operating back in Ireland.

                            No doubt NPEs occur at every level of society. If we were to calculate a Plantagent modal today, it would be R1b-something rather than what we now know should actually have been G2. But we'd only realize our mistake if we made careful use of paper trails in our test plans.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Frederator View Post
                              I've seen something similar happen with regard to the haplotypes of the heads of the O'Rourke and the Dillon families. The individuals with the requisite paper trail kinda/sorta look like some clansmen's, but are not matches within the standard time frame.
                              We have found a range of diversity in the results from Barry DNA Surname Project. A summary is below. If you are a real glutton for punishment you can read the full report which is now approaching the scale of a masters' thesis! https://www.dropbox.com/s/v6l2fyru96...story.pdf?dl=0

                              Summary of Findings

                              The history of the Barry family in Ireland has been complex and diverse, and DNA testing through the Barry DNA Project has identified more than 30 different paternal lineages among men with the Barry surname or its variants. The most common origin cited for the Irish Barry surname is Anglo-Norman, springing from an individual who came to Ireland during the Cambro-Norman invasion in the 12th century. There are other documented origins, including two Irish clans, O’Beara and O’Beargha, the Scottish Barrie and the English or French Berry. Historical research and DNA testing confirm this diversity and also indicate that there were discontinuities in some of the Barry family’s lines of descent. These factors make it challenging to determine which of the living men with the Barry surname are direct genetic descendants of the Anglo-Norman invaders and which might be of Irish, Scottish, English or French origin.

                              Provisional Assessment

                              Historical records on the Barry family indicate that direct paternal descendants of the earliest Anglo-Norman Barrys were alive at least in the early part of the 19th century. Although there are no conclusive records that identify other direct descendants, within the first three generations of the family in Ireland there were at least 10 men born whose descendants were not documented because they were not titled. There is a strong statistical probability that the paternal line survived among these and later branches of the family.[i] DNA testing is consistent with that conclusion. YDNA (paternal lineage) test results from more than 120 men with the Barry or Barry surnamesi ndicate that some are almost certainly genetic descendants of the earliest Anglo-Norman Barrys in Ireland, while others are of native Irish, Scottish or English heritage.

                              The Anglo-Normans

                              The Barry DNA Project includes a cluster of some 30 men who share a close YDNA match and appear to be the best candidates to haveAnglo-Norman Barry ancestry. They had a common ancestor with the Barry surname in Ireland within the past 800 years. Their YDNA matches cluster near the Barrys’ ancestral homelands. They also have a shared deep ancestral group that has a Western European origin, which is consistent with some evidence that points to a Flemish origin for the Barry family. Several of these men trace their family origins to locations near Barry strongholds in County Cork, however none have direct documentation of a relationship to the earliest Barrys.

                              The men in this group are the closest genetic matches in the Barry project to remains found in the Barry family mausoleum in Castlelyons,Cork, which may be those of James Barry, 4th Earl of Barrymore(1667-1748). However, the test results on those remains are fragmentary and thus, while the relationship is plausible, it cannot be demonstrated to a rigorous statistical standard.

                              This group represents one quarter of the lines of descent enumerated in the Barry YDNA project. This implies that about 4% of the births in each generation since the Barrys’ arrival in Ireland would have involved a different surname origin or a discontinuity in the paternal line such as adoption, surname change, out of wedlock birth or incorrectly attributed paternity. This seems consistent with the history of Irish families.[ii]

                              Irish Clans and Other Origins

                              The next largest group in the project consists of nine men who trace their origins to an area of County Limerick where there is a tradition that the Barry families living there are related to the Viscounts Buttevant, one of the Barry titles. There is no documentation of this belief, however, and the DNA results for this group of men, while a possible match to those from the Barrymore crypt, do not fit as well as those for the first group. They may be descendants of an Irish clan, O’Beargha, which lived in that part of Limerick.

                              Among the other groups in the Barry DNA Project are some with deep Irish ancestry who may also be related to the O’Beara or O’Beargha clans. Several men appear to be from Scottish of English families that are unrelated to the Anglo-Norman or Irish Barrys. Finally, there are other groups of men who do not have DNA matches with the Barry surname outside of their immediate families and thus they may have had discontinuities in their lines of descent or their surnames may have had a different origin. In some instances family members have been able to discover the probable origin of these discontinuities while in other cases they appear to have occurred so long ago that any record of them has been lost.

                              Conflicting Evidence

                              There is a group of four men, from three families, who trace their ancestry to three sons of Colonel Charles Barry (1660-1730). Published histories link Charles to the original Anglo-Norman Barry family through the Barrys, Barons of Santry. However,the DNA test results from the descendants of the three sons indicate that they are not paternally related and thus no more than one of these lines can be confidently linked to Charles Barry. Moreover, none of them is a genetic match to the remains from the Barrymore crypt. In addition, there are some gaps and inconsistencies in the historical records that raise questions about Charles Barry’s line of descent. More research is required to resolve this conflicting evidence.

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