Well, the first of two DNA Tests are back.  The Paternal Lineage Test (Y-Chromosome 46) is the test used to help me find genetic cousins on my father’s side.  It has determined that I am a member of the R1b Haplogroup,  also known as the “Artisans” .  Below is a short description of the R1b  Haplogroup that comes directly from the Ancestry.com DNA report.

“R1b first arrived first arrived in Europe from West Asia during the Upper Paleolithic period (35,000-40,000 years ago) at the beginning of the Aurignacian culture. This culture is one of the first within Europe to leave cave art, and their stone tools were more refined than previous periods. The Périgordian culture is also thought by some to have existed at this time.

As the last ice age began, it became necessary to move down to below the tree line to hunt game. At its peak, the ice shelf within Europe extended down as far as southern Ireland, the middle of England and across northern Germany. Scandinavia was entirely covered. The sea ice pack extended as far as northern Spain, and tundra covered much of continental Europe. The tree line at the height of the ice age extended as far south as southern France, northern Italy, the northern Balkans and across the Black Sea.

People with Haplogroup R1 Y-chromosomes retreated to below these regions where they established themselves. As the ice age ended and the fauna and flora were able to move northward again, people in R1b also migrated north. Haplogroup R1 appears in about 50% of the total European population whereas R1b remains by far the most common haplogroup in western Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, UK and Ireland). R1b3, one of the most successful clades, has its origins about 11,800 years ago. Within the British Isles, a genetic pattern called the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH) features greatly among the Irish and Welsh. Some researchers consider this haplotype to be representative of the early Celtic migrations. Haplogroup R1b is prevalent within South America because of the influx of Iberian Y chromosomes to the continent over the last 500 years.”

The test has found 250 DNA matches within 70 generations and 24 with 15 generations.  Keep in mind that this ONLY represents other people who used the Ancestry.com DNA test.  There are other places to submit the DNA  that may turn up additional matches, but that will take a little bit of work.  If anybody else tests their DNA after me and is related, Ancestry will notify me of matches, assuming the person has consented.  So I haven’t found anybody with a “close” match yet, but it is still VERY interesting.  Take a look at some of the names of people who are related to me within 15 generations.  I see one in particular that I am familiar with… Sheehan.

  • Tadhg O`Leary (within 6 generations)
  • Bernard John O`Leary Jr.
  • Michael Dennis Donovan
  • Neil Donovan
  • Michael James Coughlan
  • Dennis Francis Sheehan Jr.
  • Karl John Davies
  • Paul Howard Davis
  • Thomas James Fitzgerald Jr.
  • Ron O’Leary
  • Robert Don Caldwell
  • Gerald Meehan
  • craig maura
  • Brian Robert O’Leary
  • Ronald Stevens O`Leary
  • Timothy C. O’Leary
  • Arlen M. Clement
  • James Patrick Sullivan
  • Timothy Joseph O`Leary
  • Tim P. O`Leary
  • Sean D. O`Leary

So clearly, I must have an O’Leary somewhere on my Father’s side judging on the number of people with that name.  I’ll be trying to contact some of these people to see if they have any useful info for determining our family tree beyond the 1800’s.  Stay tuned!

NOTE:  The Maternal DNA Test is still pending!