Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-08 > 1155922413

Subject: Re: The search for Dalriadan genes-futile?
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 13:33:33 EDT

In a message dated 8/17/2006 1:14:28 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
(mailto:) ,
Alan writes:

From: Alan R <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] The search for Dalriadan genes-futile?
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 23:15:35 +0100 (BST)
In-Reply-To: <>

The McKanes of the route? I think that is a surname
variation of the O'Cahan/ O'Kane clan. The latter did
not expand eastwards from County Derry/ Londonderry
into Antrim and the north-western edge of the route
until very late in the pre-plantation period (16th
century?) and they were part of the Cenel Eoghain, the
same grouping as the O'Neills. The Cenel Eoghain
were, in turn, a subdivision of the Ui Neill group.
This means that they were totally unrelated to the
Dalriadan line. I am afraid (I hope someone proves me
wrong) that no Irish Dalriadan surnames (the ones that
stayed in Ireland) were recorded in early records.
They must have existed but they seem to have become
extinct or are now unrecognisable.

It is quite possible that some Dalriadan Y-DNA has been tested but the
problem is separating results from all the others. Since, as you say, they may
have become unrecognizable or even extinct, attempts to establish a modal for
them may prove very difficult if not impossible. As suggested by Andrew, you
certainly should check the McCAIN site run by Barra McCAIN who has done some
work on Antrim and Derry McCAIN/McKANE, etc. families. Whether any Dalriadan
families would have a McCAIN, etc. surname or variant is another question.

Concerning the O'CAHANs "of the Route", they are not mentioned in the Annals
until the early 12th Century, and were certainly a small military cadre from
the beginning, in the service of the O'NEILLs. The "Route" designation was
most likely acquired from military exploits and later garrison in the Route
area of Antrim.

Like the O'NEILLs themselves, from whom the early pedigrees derive the
O'CAHAN "warrior clan", Y-DNA studies have shown, I think reliably, that there are
quite distinct multiple origins for both surnames. Undoubtedly, unrelated
followers and clansmen of both O'NEILL and O'CAHAN later adopted those
surnames. This seems true to the extent that it is not even possible at this stage
to identify the actual dynastic line of O'NEILLs.

The same phenomenon is seen in Munster, where the remaining handful of
O'CAHAN chiefly kingroup settled in in the early 16th Century, during the
disastrous succession feuds in Ulster. Here there is a new angle: I am the
declared O'CAHAN chief based on the only known connected and well-documented O'CAHAN
pedigree. My Y-DNA result has been designated, tentatively at least, as
"Irish Type III" (see prior discussions on this Forum), heavily associated
with a few Munster (Thomond) families, all very closely associated and
intermarried with the O'CAHANs of Co. Clare. These surnames include O'BRIEN, CASEY,
CROWE, HOGAN. Ongoing research is showing that "Irish Type-III" is more
widespread than merely south-west Ireland. Yet it is clearly not an UiNEILL
derivative, unless there is more to the picture than presently evident. It's
possible that the traditional pedigree of O'CAHAN descent from the UiNEILL
line in the 8th Century may actually be a fabrication dating from the 12th
century, as a reward for military services (conquest of the Ciannachta 1130)
and/or based on an earlier attempt at a military alliance between the waning
O'NEILL kingdom in Ulster and the new Dalcassian High Kingship of Brian 'Boru',
who marched through Ulster in 1006 for just such a purpose, recruiting for
his army to fight the Danes.
Someone familiar with this fuzzy period in Irish history may be able to
address the feasibility of this idea.

Len Keane,
The O'Cahan

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