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Subject: [DNA] Irish Sea Modal - Dumnonii
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2008 07:44:53 EST


We have an interesting group of McCloughans/McLaughlins in our McLaughin DNA
project. It's now our second largest group (4 McCloughans and 6
McLaughlins). The surname appears to be Scottish in origin; at least one web site place
the surname in the Atholl/Perthshire region (originally MacLagan, anglicized
MacClauchan, and corrupted to MacLauchlan. This group matches what is
called the Irish Sea modal or the Leinster modal (B9NW4). This modal also seems
to be associated with John McEwen's c/ccgg7+ cluster. Three of the four
McCloughans have tested positive for ccgg at DYS 464.

The most distinctive matches to the Irish Sea modal are the O'Byrnes of
Leinster, one of the leading Irish chieftains of the Lagin. Paul Burns has a
lot of Leinster O'Byrnes in his DNA project and the largest group of Beirnes
in the Trinity DNA project match this modal, at least at 12 markers. Other
surnames in the Trinity project that also match the modal are Kelly, McEvoy,
Murphy, O'Neill, Farrelly and Ryan. Almost all of these samples came from
Leinster; a few from Munster. While all of these surname cannot be definitively
assigned to the Lagin of Leinster, most are at least strong Leinster
surnames. A few other examples from Ysearch are Cavanagh (a branch of the ruling
MacMurrows of Leinster), an O'Connor (possibly O'Connor Kerry), a few O'Tooles
and a Whalen.

According to O'Rahilly, the Lagin were late arrivals in Ireland, connected
to the Domnonii of Devon and Cornwall in SW England.

"The Lagin, who have left their name on the province of Leinster,
preserved the tradition that Lagin, Domnainn and Galioin were three
names for the one people. We may interpret the tradition " as meaning
that these were the names of closely related tribes."

"The Domnain of ireland were, it is hardly open to doubt, a branch
of the Dumnonii of Devon and Cornwall. There were also Dumnonii
in Scotland, where their territory, as we infer from Ptolemy, lay
around Dumbarton and extended southwards into Renfrew, Lanark and
Ayr. If, as is quite probable, these are another branch of the
same tribe, thy must have reached Scotland by sea; and in that
case it is perhaps more likely that they set out from the coast
of Leinster than from South-West Britain. Possibly we may see
a dim memory of this Scottish settlement in the raids on North
Britain attributed to Labraid, ancestor of the Lagin."


But in addition to the DNA matches in Leinster in Ireland, we also see a lot
of matches in the lowlands of Scotland, the Beattys for one. Another are
our McCloughans/McLaughlins, possibly from Atholl/Perthshire. There is a group
of Fergussons in Ysearch who also match this modal. The same Atholl web
site that mentions McCloughans/McLaughlins also mentions a Ferguson sept,
thought to be the oldest in Atholl.

_Atholl Family, Tour Perthshire, Tour Scotland._
(http://www.visitdunkeld.com/atholl-family.htm)

In addition to Prof. O'Rahilly, H.M. Chadwick (Early Scotland) also saw a
connection between the Irish chieftains of Leinster, Devon and Cornwall in SW
England, and the Domnonii of lowland Scotland.

Celtic Scotland, the Picts, The Scots& the Welsh of
Southern Scotland.
H.M. Chadwick

Apart from the Coritani (Qritani) the chief peoples of southern Britain
whose territories had not been included in the area of Iron Age A were
the Cornovii and the Dumnonii. In Roman times, according to Ptolemy,
the former occupied the north-west Midlands. A considerable part
of Wales may also have been included in their territories. Their capital
was Wroxeter (Vriconium), near Shrewsbury. The Dumnonii occupied
Cornwall, Devon (which preserves their name) and perhaps part of
Somerset. Their capital seems to have been Exeter (Isca). In Ptolemy's
map both of these peoples appear in Scotland - the Cornovii in the extreme
north, Sutherland and Caithness, the Dumnonii apparently between Ayrshire
and Stirlingshire. Again, from the fifth or sixth century onwards the
Cornovii
(Cernyw, etc.) appear also in Cornwall, which still preserves their name.
If they were there in Roman times, they must have been subject to the
Dumnonii. Their name is probably to be traced also in Curocornovium, an
alternative name for Corinium (Cirencester), and in a number of placenames
in various parts of Wales. Lastly, the name Dumnonii is usually connected
with the Domnain of Ireland. In our earliest records, this name is applied
to kings of Leinster; and the name Inber Domnain was formerly applied to
Malahide Bay (Co. Dublin). But in later times the Domnainn, also called
Fir Domnann, were known only in the west of Connacht.

footnote: Apart from Ptolemy, we may refer to Solinus, cap. 22: "The
island of Silura (apparently Scilly) is separated by a stormy strait from the
coast which is occupied by the Dumnonii, a British people."

In Ptolemy's map four peoples are located in the south of Scotland.
The points of the compass are erroneously stated (cf. p. 72); but it is
clear that he means to place the Noouantai in Galloway and perhaps
Dumfries, and the Uotadinoi (written Otalinoi?) on the east side, between
the Forth and the Tyne. The Selgouai lie between these two peoples,
and the Dumnonioi (miswritten Damnioi, Damnonioi) north of the
Selgouai, extending apparently from Ayshire into Perthshire. All these
peoples are usually assumed to be British. But only one of them
survived in later times - the Votadini, known as Guotodin, Gododdin,
in early Welsh poetry. The Dumnonioi were presumably of the same
stock as their namesakes in Devon and Cornwall (cf. Chapter v above).
The latter were certainly British in later times; so it is inferred that the
northern Dumnonioi were likewise British. But, as we have seen, another
branch of the same stock is found in Ireland - the Domnainn or Fir
Domnann of Leinster - and it is apparently nowhere suggested that
they spoke any language but Irish.

William Skene, the great Scottish antiquarian, also mentioned the Domnonii
of Scotland.

"...the great nation of the Domnonii lay north of the Selgovae and Novantae,
separated from them by the chain of hills which divides the northern rivers
from the waters which flow into the Solway, extending as far north as the
Tay. South of the Forth of Clyde they possessed the modern counties of Ayr,
Lanark, and Renfrew, and, north of these estuaries, the counties of Dumbaton and
Stirling and the distrcits of Menteith, Stratherne, and Fothreve, or the
western half of the peninsula of fife. They thus lay in the centre of Scotland,
and were the novae gentes whose territory Agricola ravaged."

The connection of the Kings and chieftains of the Lagin in Leinster with the
Domnonii of Cornwall and Devon enjoys near universal acceptance among
historians. It's also well known that a migration of the Domnonii to Little
Brittany in Gaul occurred about the 5th century. What is more problematical is the
connection of the Domnonii in SW England to the tribe of the same name in
the lowlands of Scotland. Other scholars state the appearance of the Dumnonii
in both England and Scotland in Ptolemy's map "may reflect nothing more than
the cultural and linguistic affinities between the various Celtic groups that
inhabited Britain...." (Cornwall, A History, Philip Payton).
There clearly is no consensus that the Domnonii of SW England and Scotland
were one and the same tribe.


If this modal is a valid DNA signature than there should matches in SW
England, in Cornwall and Devon, France (Brittany) and Ireland. So far we have
mostly matches in Ireland and Scotland. There are some matches to the Irish
Sea modal in England (Doty, Sweet, Mattinson, Owen, Reese and others.). The
Sweet surname is interesting in that the sample (33NJK) came from Devon,
England. We seem to be a little light on English matches though.

I'm just drawing a few possible connections here based on history. What
it means in terms of DNA (if anything) is yet to be determined.


John











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