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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Colla da Chrioch

DNA signature of Colla da Chrioch

In 1892, John O'Hart (1824-1902) published a two-volume book entitled Irish Pedigrees; or, the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation. Volume I and Volume II.  Using DNA testing... can we identify the DNA signature of "Colla da Chrioch" and verify the surnames that are said to descend from "Colla da Chrioch" as stated in "Irish Pedigrees - O'Hart"?



Colla da Crioch was one of “The Three Collas” who sought to restore the monarchy to their line. At one point The Three Collas were exiled from Ireland and made to live in Scotland, however through the influence of the King of Alba, and the intervention of the Druids, the Collas were pardoned by the Irish King, and were invited back to Ireland. Colla da Crioch died about the year 357 AD.


image Cairpri Daim Airgit, King of Orgiall (or Oriel) is five generations down from "Colla da Crioch". As I had previously written... this "King of Orgiall" had seven sons, Cormac from whom the Maguires descend; Nadsluaigh from whom the McMahons and Carrolls descend; and Daimine from whom the Boylans and Kellys descend.





I was recently sent by a friend (Peter Biggins) a link to the Clan Donald Web site: Peter has started a web page on The Three Collas at .

Regarding the Donald DNA tables in the link above; I was particularly interested in a group labeled Magenta and another called Pale violet. In these two groups there are several McDonalds and McDaniels listed. All of the participants in the Magenta group also have the DYS425 null. And in the 2nd group listed (Pale violet), there is one tester that has the DYS425 null; but I would imagine that all the others in this group would also have the 425 null too, if they would upgrade their DNA kits to 67 markers.

The simplified table below contains the Ysearch code and participants names in the two groups, but without the DYS marker values. To see the full table with all the DNA results click here: and scroll down a little over half way to locate these two groups.

It’s very interesting that the creators of the Donald table... made the same "parallel" connection to the McMahons as stated below. To see the complete table, click here: then scroll down about half way until you see the two groups as described below.

Haplogroup R1b - Magenta subgroup

Signatures parallel to this group can be found among the McMahons of Fermanagh (one of the territories of ancient Oriel founded by the Collas who allegedly conquered Ulster around 330 AD). This group was one of the tribes from which Gillebride, Somerled's father, sought assistance against the norse. It is distinguished by a null value for marker DYS425 (which is the same as DYF371t).

Haplogroup R1b - Pale violet subgroup

This group is probably a subset of the Magenta group, but we are not including them together since these people have not tested for DYS425. This group appears to all be descendants of Lt Brian McDonald, chief line of Leinster and Ulster in Ireland who emigrated to Brandywine Creek Delaware in the late 1600s. Clan Donald USA has approximately 8000 recorded descendants in its genealogy records. It is the most prolific known line in the United States. J.E. McDonald still has family items of Lt Brian in his possession.

Separately… there are a number of McGuires, McMahons, McKennas and Carrolls, McAulay, and Culkins that have the DYS425 null. And now with the above two groups… there are also quite a few McDonalds (Mac Dónaill) and McDaniels that also have the same 425 null. The Mac Dónaill family native to Fermanagh were the ruling line of the Clan Kelly. These surnames and several others (I also have matches with) are said to descend from "Colla da Chrioch" as stated by John O'Hart. And these surnames are said to all have their origins in the Kingdom of Orgiall.

I am really quite amazed by the size of the two Magenta groups in the DNA table. I do believe these could be significant for perhaps determining a common ancestor origin for the group of surnames in question that have this null. It would appear that at least these two subgroups "Magenta and Pale Violet" of clan Donald, are descended from a common Oriel ancestor shared with my McGuires, the McMahons, McKennas, and Carrolls.

I know it may be hard to believe... but it really does look like there are true DNA connections showing up between some of these families from the “Kingdom of Orgiall”.

1. Could a unique haplotype emerge for all these R1b type families that have the DYS425 null?

2. Could all of these Oriel surnames with the 425 null descend from a common ancestor, Colla da Chrioch?

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