Sunday, November 23, 2014

Foley DNA

I have not posted to this blog in quite a while but I thought I should provide an update on my DNA test results. I first posted about having my DNA tested many years ago. Since that original test, I have had additional testing done on two occasions. I wouldn't call DNA testing a "racket" but it does get you hooked a little bit with some tantalizing results and then ordering more tests on the original DNA sample is very easy.
There was a certain expectation, on my part, that people who matched my Y-DNA, that is my father's father's father DNA, would be Irish. I expected names like Murphy, O'Brien and Fitzgerald. I have traced my family tree back to a specific year and location in County Waterford so this was not an unreasonable expectation. But it was not historically informed. 
I have had 12 imperfect matches to my Y-DNA on Family Tree DNA but I have also uploaded these results to another site, Y-Search where I have 96 exact matches.
These results are matched with names and email addresses and some family tree information. They usually have the oldest known location where this matching DNA was found. These 96 break down as follows based on oldest known origins:
USA or "Unknown"  42, England  13, Ireland   10,  Scotland   8,  Germany  7,
N. Ireland and Spain  3 each, France, Italy and Sweden  2 each

Poland, Nigeria and Puerto Rico  1 each.

These are not conclusive but do represent a wide spread in my Y-DNA. The 12 matches on Family Tree DNA also come with the names Olsen, Karlsen, Boderck, Belter, Gertson, Trollsaas and Lenningsvik. 

Put these two facts together and in a more enlightened view of history, I think it can safely be said that Foley, which in Gaelic means "plunderer", is descended from a line of Vikings who invaded Ireland the first time in 795 AD.  There was also a Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169AD. The commingling of Viking descendants with Normans would give us this range of matches.
Of course, there is always more DNA testing to be done.