A year ago, I had my brother's Y-DNA tested to 67 markers, and his haplogroup was predicted to be R1b1a2 (which was later relabeled as R-M269). All four of our grandparents come from the same small rural area in Northern Ireland, partly from County Fermanagh and partly from County Tyrone.

R-M269 is the most common haplogroup in Ireland, which in parts of Northern Ireland, includes up to 95% of the population. Hoping to find out something a bit more specific, last September I decided to upgrade to 111 markers. I waited almost 7 months (!!!) for the results, which finally arrived yesterday (although I only learned that by checking the website).

After all that time (and all that money), all I've learned is that my brother is still predicted to be R-M269. I've joined a surname project (Vaughan-Vaughn) but my brother seems to be an odd man out there; he doesn't fit in any of the groupings.

I'm not really looking for relatives, as in Ireland almost no one can trace their ancestry back much beyond the mid-19th century, and I have been able to trace my family a bit further than that. What I'm curious about is where they were 400 or 500 years ago. Vaughan is a Welsh surname, but it's found throughout the British Isles. In Ireland, it was often the anglicization of the surname Mahon. I'd like to have an idea as to whether our Vaughans were in Ireland before the "plantation" period, or whether they came to Ireland with some of the 17th century planters, or whether there was an independent emigration of a Welsh family.

Per capita, most of my brother's matches (none of which is very close) are from Ireland.

What I'm pondering now is whether I should just bury this curiosity, or if it's worth spending any more money. If I decide to spend more money, where should I start? Are there some SNP tests that would be useful? Is there an expert who could have a look at my brother's results for the Y-DNA111 and see a good clue?

My sense is that the Big Y would be useful for someone who has a fairly close match and wants to verify it, but not for someone who seems to have mutations that rule out any known subclade. Am I correct in this?

If SNP testing is the way to go, how can I determine which ones I should test? I've read that M222+ could establish whether he belongs to a cluster found in the far northwest of Ireland, which, if it's positive, would seem to establish that our Vaughan family is of native Irish stock. Are there others I should include? For example, there is a concentration of Vaughans in County Clare, Ireland (central west). This particular branch were originally called Mahon. Does anyone know of an SNP that would identify this branch?

Thanks for any help,

Barbara Vaughan