About PetersPioneersDeep Ancestry of Peter Biggins, FTDNA Kit #127469, SNP BY3164

By Peter Biggins

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Y-chromosome DNA can do several things for the genealogist:

  • Y-DNA can sometimes extend a family tree back a few generations. This has not happened for me yet, but I have found a group of ten men with the same or similar last name who have a unique Y-DNA mutation (SNP R-BY3164).
  • In some cases, Y-DNA can tell us which tribe or sept our ancestors came from in the last one or two thousand years. This has happened for me. I share the Y-DNA (SNP Z3000) of men with a combination of surnames that ancient pedigrees trace back to the Three Collas, who lived in 4th century Ulster.
  • Y-DNA tells us our male ancestry back to "Adam."
This story addresses the deep ancestry of Peter Biggins through the use of Y-chromosome DNA, tested by Family Tree DNA. Y-DNA is passed down from father to son, much like surnames. By testing a living male, we can learn about the deep ancestry of his paternal line. This testing also applies to his sons and their sons, his brothers and their sons, and his paternal male cousins.


  • DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid, a chemical consisting of a sequence of hundreds of millions of nucleotides found in the nuclei of cells. It contains the genetic information about an individual and is shaped like a double-stranded helix.
  • SNP. A single nucleotide polymorphism, a mutation in the DNA that happens when a single nucleotide (A, T, G, or C) in the genome sequence is altered. A person has many SNPs that together create a unique DNA pattern for that individual. Family Tree DNA offers Big Y, which tests a large portion of the Y chromosome and identifies SNPs that have occurred down to the present time. Many SNPs have multiple names, e. g., P312, S116, and PF6547 are the same SNP. SNPs occur randomly. The number of SNPs can vary a lot by tester. On average over a large population for a long time period, Big Y SNPs occur every 120 years.
  • Haplogroup. Haplogroups are SNPs named from A to T, and further subdivided using numbers and lower case letters. See Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup.
  • STR. An STR is a Short Tandem Repeat, or count of repeats at a physical location on the chromosome. STRs can predict SNPs and haplogroups.

My Y-chromosome ancestry is represented by male ancestors who experienced Y-chromosome mutations, or SNPs, over many years. The years for SNPs up to M269 are from the YFull R1b Tree as of October 2018. The years for SNPs after M269 (around 4400 BC) can be found in Alex Williamson's Big Tree.

Peter's Patrilineal Pedigree

Haplogroup-SNP Real Rough Year and Place Comments
? BC
"Adam." Branches to
  • A00-AF6/L1284
  • A0-T-L1085 ↓
A0-T-L1085 159300 BC
A0-T-L1085 haplogroup. Branches to
  • A0-CTS2809/L991
  • A1-P305 ↓
A1-P305 131400 BC
A1-P305 haplogroup. Haplogroup A's oldest sub-clades are exclusively found in Central-Northwest Africa, where it, and consequently Y-chromosomal Adam, is believed to have originated. The clade has also been observed at notable frequencies in certain populations in Ethiopia, as well as some Pygmy groups in Central Africa. Branches to
  • A1a-M31
  • A1b-P108 ↓
A1b-P108 128700 BC
A1b-P108 haplogroup. Branches to
  • A1b1-L419/PF712
  • BT-M91 ↓
BT-M91 86000 BC
BT-M91 haplogroup. Ancestral to all non-African haplogroups. Branches to
  • B-M60
  • CT-M168 ↓
CT-M168 66500 BC
Asia or East Africa
CT-M168 haplogroup. Branches to
  • DE-M1
  • CF-P143/PF2587 ↓
CF-P143/PF2587 63900 BC
Southwestern Asia
CF-P143/PF2587. Branches to
  • C-M130
  • F-M89 ↓
F-M89 46800 BC
Southwestern Asia
F-M89 haplogroup. Branches to
  • F-P91
  • F-M427
  • F-P96
  • G-M201
  • H-M69
  • IJK-L15/L16. I haplogroup. Formed around 33000 BC, represents up to one-fifth of the male population of Europe, being the continent's second major Y-DNA haplogroup behind haplogroup R. Our son-in-law Roger Byrne has I haplogroup DNA: I-M223, M284, L126, Y4751, BY3619, Y63570, based on his Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA. Roger's great grandfather was William Byrne, born in Albany, New York. I-M284 is one of the most ancient Y lineages in Scotland, but it is also found in Ireland.
  • J haplogroup. J1 M267 and J2 M172 include a large portion of contemporary Jewish Kohanim. According to the Bible, the ancestor the Kohanim was Aaron, the brother of Moses.
  • K haplogroup ↓
K-M9 43400 BC
Southwestern Asia
K-M9 haplogroup. Branches to
  • L haplogroup
  • M haplogroup
  • N haplogroup
  • O haplogroup. Haplogroup O-M122 appears to be primarily associated with Chinese people. It also forms a significant component of the Y-chromosome diversity of most modern populations of the East Asian region
  • P ↓ haplogroup
P-P295 31900 BC
Central or Eastern Asia
P-P295 haplogroup. Branches to P1, then
  • Q haplogroup. Q-M242 is the predominant Y-DNA haplogroup among Native Americans. Most of them are descendants of the major founding groups who migrated from Asia into the Americas by crossing the Bering Strait approximately 17,000 to 31,700 years ago
  • R-M207/Y453 haplogroup ↓
R-M207/Y453 26200 BC
R-M207/Y453 haplogroup. Originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago). This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia

Branches to R1 ↓ and R2
R1-M173 20800 BC
R1 haplogroup. R-M173 contains the majority of representatives of haplogroup R in the form of its branches
  • R1a M420. Distributed in a large region in Eurasia, extending from Scandinavia and Central Europe to southern Siberia and South Asia. There is a significant presence in peoples of Scandinavian descent, with highest levels in Norway and Iceland, where between 20 and 30% of men are in R1a1a M17/M198 (6600 BC). Vikings and Normans may have also carried the R1a1a lineage westward; accounting for at least part of the small presence in the British Isles. McDonalds descended from Lords of the Isles had previously been thought by some to be descended from Colla Uais, but a group descended from the Lords of the Isles, including chiefs and chieftans, has been found by Clan Donald DNA project to have R1a Norse DNA. There is, nevertheless, a significant number of McDonalds with Clan Colla DNA, some of whom are descended from Colla da Crioch, but most of whom appear to be descended from Colla Uais
  • R1b ↓
R1b-M343 18400 BC
Southwest Asia
R1b haplogroup. The point of origin of R1b is thought to lie in Western Eurasia, most likely in Western Asia. It is the most frequently occurring paternal lineage in Western Europe. R1b also reaches high frequencies in the Americas and Australia, due largely to immigration from Western Europe. See Eupedia R1b. Family Tree DNA: R1b M343 Project
L278 16900 BC
Southwest Asia
Found in two skeletons from prehistoric Europe: a male from the Mesolithic Samara culture (a pre-Yamna people who lived immediately north of the Caspian Sea) buried in about 5650–5555 BC, and a male from the early Neolithic Cardial culture, buried in about 5178–5066 BC at the Els Trocs site in the Pyrenees (modern Aragon, Spain)
L754 15100 BC
Southwest Asia
Found in Villabruna 1, who lived circa 12,000 years BC (north east Italy). Villabruna 1 belonged to the Epigravettian culture
L388/L389 13600 BC
Southwest Asia
P297 11300 BC
Southwest Asia
M269 4400 BC
Southwest Asia
The most common European haplogroup, greatly increasing in frequency on an east to west gradient.
L23 4100 BC
Southwest Asia
L51 3700 BC
Southwest Asia
L52/P310 3600 BC
Southwest Asia
L151 2800 BC
Western Europe
Branches to
  • S1200
  • U106 Germanic. Z381 branches to
    • Z301. My maternal grandfather William F. Drueke has this DNA: U106, Z301, L48, Z9, Z30, Z2, Z7, CTS10893, A6389, BY3323. My great great great grandfather Johann Drüecke was born in 1743 in Elspe, Westphalia, Germany. Westphalia is part of Old Saxony. Based on my maternal cousin Paul Drueke's Y-DNA test at Family tree DNA. Most of Paul's Y-DNA matches at FTDNA are from England. The Saxons invaded and settled the south and east of England from the early 5th century up to the Norman conquest in 1066.
    • Z156, Z306, Z304, DF98, S18823, S22069, S8350, Y17443, BY3238. House of Wettin: King George V, Edward VII, George VI
  • P312 ↓
P312 2676 BC
Western Europe
P312 is the most common haplogroup across much of Western Europe. Branches to
  • DF27 Gallic & Iberian. My wife Marilyn's father has this DNA: DF27, Y5058/A641, Y5061, BY61861 (178 AD), BY105120. Her great grandfather Edmond Carroll was born in 1835 in Stonepark, County, Limerick, Ireland. Based on my wife Marilyn's second cousin, once removed, Michael Patrick Carroll's Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA. Michael matches men named Ryan, O'Dwyer, Lee/Leary, Gorman, and Kennedy, as well as Carroll. According to ancient pedigrees, these men descend from Breassal Breac who lived in Leinster around 200 or 100 BC. They settled in the 13th or 14th century in County Tipperary and County Limerick
  • U152 Italo-Celtic
  • L21 ↓ Atlantic Celtic
L21 2587 BC
Western Europe
Atlantic Celtic. Born at the beginning of the Bronze Age. Discovered in 2005. In their 2011 book The Scots, A Genetic Journey, Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson say L21 "could be said to be the most emphatic signal of the Celtic language speakers of the British Isles. It is found in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and it is almost certainly characteristic of those farming communities who may have spoken early forms of Celtic languages in the centuries around 2,000 BC." Family Tree DNA: L21 Project
DF13 2145 BC
Western Europe
Named S521 by ScotlandsDNA and CTS241 by Chris Tyler-Smith. There are many branches and subbranches of DF13, some of which are:
  • M222 Northwest Irish (Niall of the Nine Hostages). My wife Marilyn's great grandfather Daniel McDonald has this DNA: M222, S660, S588, S603, FGC23592 (676 AD), BY18200. Her great great grandfather, Daniel McDonald was born in 1813 in Ireland or Scotland. Based on my wife Marilyn's third cousin, once removed, Michael McDonnel's Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA. Michael's FGC23592 DNA is associated with a group called Cenel Moain (S603, FGC23592), a subset of Cenel Eoghain (S660, S588), a subset of Northwest Irish (M222).
    Northwest Irish (Niall) and Clan Colla had previously been thought by some to be descended from a common ancestor.
  • FGC6545 Hy Maine Kelly. Hy Maine and Clan Colla had previously been thought by some to be descended from a common ancestor, but they have different SNPs. There are Kellys with Clan Colla DNA, but they are likely from another Kelly pedigree called Clankelly.
  • L1335 Scottish Cluster
  • L746 High Stewards. This family started out in Scotland when the first of the line, Walter Fitz Alan (1110-1177) was appointed High Steward of Scotland under King David I. His descendants became Hereditary High Stewards of Scotland. The two most important branches of the family are the Scottish Royal Stewarts, represented by descendants of King Robert II of Scotland (grandson of Alexander Stewart); and the Stewarts of Lennox, with some Scottish descendant lines plus the English Royal Stuarts, who descend from Alexander Stewart's younger son, Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl. See Stewart FTDNA Project
  • FGC9795 Airghialla 2, Manus McGuires. Manus McGuires had once been thought to be part of Clan Colla, but they have different SNPs. Joseph A. Donohoe V (1941-2011) called them Airghialla 2 and compared their DNA with Clan Colla, which he called Airghialla 1. See Two McGuire Septs
  • 193 Scottish Borders. Many surnames with this marker are associated geographically with the western "Border Region" of Scotland. A few other surnames have a Highland association.
  • L226 Brian Boru. Our daughter-in-law's father has L226 DNA. Family genealogist Maureen O'Brien traces their heritage back to Michael O'Brien, who was born in Doneraile in 1815. Doneraile is in County Cork, just south of the border with County Limerick. The Y-chromosome DNA of Maureen's father Leo matches men with a set of surnames that correspond to a set of surnames descended from the Dalcassian tribe, which is traced back to 4th century Ireland. The most illustrious Dalcassian was Brian Boru, Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, who was born around 941 AD in County Clare, Ireland. He was killed at the Battle of Clontarf on April 23, 1014. See L226 Brian Boru DNA and Irish Type III DNA.
  • L159 Irish Sea. Appears to be associated with the Kings of Leinster and Diarmait Mac Murchada; Irish Gaels belonging to the Laigin. It can be found in the coastal areas of the Irish Sea including the Isle of Man and the Hebrides, as well as Norway, western and southern Scotland, northern and southern England, northwest France, and northern Denmark.
  • CTS4466 South Irish. South Irish, Brian Boru, and Ely Carroll had previously been thought by some as descended from a common ancestor, Olioll Olum. DNA testing has proven otherwise, as they all have different SNPs. DNA testing shows that two other historical pedigrees, Eoghanachta and Brian Boru, are not related to Ely Carroll.
  • DF21. ↓ About 10% of all L21 men.
DF21 2093 BC
Named S192 by ScotlandsDNA. Family Tree DNA: DF21 Project. There are four branches from DF21:
  • Z30233, which includes L1403 Seven Septs of Laois, FGC5780 Cain/Byrne.
    Includes Rathlin 1 Man: A December 2015 study by scientists at Queens University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin identified the DF21 SNP in the bones of a man uncovered in a Bronze Age cist to the rear of McCuaig's Bar in Church Bay on Rathlin Island. Church Bay is connected by a 25-minute ferry ride with Ballycastle in the Glens of Antrim. Rathlin Island is 11 miles from the coast of the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. His bones were carbon-dated back to 2025-1885 BC.
  • FGC3213, which includes L362 McCarthy, S5456 Galway Bay and S190 Little Scottish Cluster (from which Alex Williamson descends)
  • S5488, which includes Z16281 Ely Carroll. There were several illustrious descendants in colonial America. Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) signed the Declaration of Independence. Daniel Carroll of Duddington (1764-1849) built a home for himself in 1791 which was torn down by Pierre L’Enfant to build the U.S. Capitol. Daniel Carroll I I of Rock Creek (1730-1796) signed both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. John Carroll, S.J. (1735-1815) was the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States and founded Georgetown University and Georgetown Preparatory School. Testers include a descendant of Charles Carroll of Carrollton and a descendant of Daniel Carroll of Duddington.
  • S971, which is mostly Clan Colla ↓
S971 1928 BC
The developed branch of S971 so far is Z16267 ↓
Z16267 1865 BC
There are three branches from Z16267:
  • Z29584 shared by Rudelli from France, Harbour from England, and McDonalds from Scotland
  • S7860 shared by Fergusons from Ireland and Scotland
  • Z3000 shared by Colla descendants and their cousins, by far the largest branch ↓
Z3000/S95197 AD
Z3000/S951 is one of a large block of 20 SNPs that occurred over about 2,000 years with no known branching. Shared by all Collas who have tested. Named by Mike Walsh in 2013. See: The Clan Colla 425 null project at Family Tree DNA. See Alex Williamson's Big Tree

As a result of STR mutations during this long stem of SNPs, four key STR markers can be used to predict the Z3000 SNP:
  • 511=9
  • 425=0
  • 505=9
  • 441=12
There are five branches from Z3000:
  • Z16270 shared by: Carroll 1, Casey, Paden, O'Guin, Larkin 1, Lawler, Roberts, Roderick, Adams, Calkins, Morris, Godwin, Davie, McGuire 2, Almond
  • Z29586 shared by: Baty, Owens, McGuire 4
  • BY103190 shared by Hones, Conley
  • Unnamed SNP shared by Kelly 2
  • Z3006 ↓
Z3006248 AD
There are four branches from Z3006:
  • BY3160 shared by Smith 2, McKenna 3
  • A14073 shared by Cain, Troy, Brady, Cusick
  • Unnamed SNP shared by Morrison
  • Z3004/Z3008, about two-thirds of Z3006 ↓
Z3004/Z3008407 AD
England, Ulster
Probably the SNP of the Three Collas: Origin of the Three Collas. The Three Collas lived in the timeframe of Z3004/Z3008 man. They fought in the Battle of Emain Macha in 331 AD.

This DNA is shared by testers with ancestral names that match names in ancient pedigrees of men descended from three Colla brothers who lived in the 4th century in a part of northern Ireland called Airghialla or Oriel. In 1998, Donald M. Schlegel, suggested in his article "The Origin of the Three Collas and the Fall of Emain" in the Clogher Record that the Three Collas were Romanized Britons from the Trinovantes, a celtic tribe from Colchester, the oldest recorded Roman town in England. They received military training from the Romans and eventually went to Ireland as mercenaries in the service of the King of Ireland.

There are four branches of Muredach Colla da Crioch descendants:
  • Z16274 shared by: McMahon 1, Callen, Curby, Hughes 1, Carroll 2, Hughes 2, Kern, Murphy, Clarke, McQuillan, Gartland, Kelly 1.
    Two McMahon 1 testers trace their ancestry back to Faolan MacMathghamhna and Colla da Crioch
  • A14079 shared by: Hart, Monaghan, Shannon, Higgins, Collins, Glennon
  • BY3163 shared by: McKenna 4, McKenna 1, Neal, Cooley, McGinnis, McGroder, McKenna 2, McDonald 4, Farrell
  • FGC41930 shared by Duffy
There are no branches yet identified with Aedh Colla Menn descendants.

There are three branches of Carrell Colla Uais descendants:
  • BY39825 shared by McDonald 3
  • F4142 shared by MacDougall, White
  • S953 shared by McDonald 1, McDonald 2, King, McGuire 1, Biggins, McAuley, Boylan, Řsterud, Moen, Connally ↓
S953478 AD
There are three branches from S953:
  • FGC 36408 shared by Řsterud, Moen
  • BY2869 shared by Connally
  • ZZ2/BY516 ↓
ZZ2/BY516503 AD
There are five branches from ZZ2/BY516:
  • ZZ14 shared by McDonald 1, McDonald 2, King, McGuire 1.
    Four McDonald 1 testers trace their ancestry back to Lt. Brian McDonald (MacDonnell), McDonnell of Antrim, Somerled, and Colla Uais
  • BY39827 shared McAuley, Beeman
  • BY24138 shared by Boylan, Donohoe
  • BY103517 shared by Larkin 2
  • BY3164 ↓
BY3164794 AD
The DNA of the 10 testers in the Biggins subgroup. Three have done Big Y-500 and were found to have the BY3164 SNP. All have the unique subgroup STRs: 413b=24, 561=16. These names all are derived from beag, the Irish word for little. Surnames were adopted in Ireland for the first time in the 11th and 12th centuries. Historian Peadar Livingstone reported these names in southern Co. Fermanagh and northern Co. Monaghan. See Biggins/Beggan Irish Roots. Family Tree DNA: Biggins Project.

The 10 testers are:
  • Beaghen N34030
  • Beggan 166169
  • Beggan 190653
  • Biggin 559385
  • Biggins 629651, BY3164
  • Bigham 91030
  • Bigham N86783, BY3164
  • Little 69648
  • Biggins 146867: Sean Biggins, whose ancestor James Biggins lived across the road from my ancestor Patrick Biggins in Will County, Illinois
  • Biggins 127469, BY3164, BY116798 ↓ - me
I, Peter Biggins, FTDNA kit 127469, do not share this STR with the other two who have done Big Y-500 so far, but I may share it with one or more of seven non-Big Y testers listed above in the BY3164 Biggins subgroup. This SNP, and the all that came before it, are probably shared by my sons and grandsons, my brothers and their sons and grandsons, and our male Biggins cousins and their sons and grandsons. My known Biggins ancestry is:

Pedigree of Peter Biggins, 300 AD to 800 AD

We share the early part of the ancient pedigree of four McDonalds: 43 Generations: Colla to McDonald, They trace their ancestry back to Colla Uais. The pedigree goes back to around 300 AD. Around 800 AD, the ancestors of King, McGuire 1, Biggins, McAuley, and Boylan branched off.

Any genealogy that goes back 16 centuries is not going to be as solid as one that goes back two or three centuries. Nevertheless, we think the attempt is worthwhile. You can judge for yourself. The source for the pedigree is The Ancestors of the McDonalds of Somerset, by Donald M. Schlegel, 1998. Sources consulted by Schlegel include: Book of Ballymote (ca 1400), Book of Lecan (Early 1400s), Nat. Lib. Scot. MS 72.1.1 (1467), Monro (1549), Harleian MS 1425/190-191 (ca 1620), Annals of Clan Macnoise (1627), Geoffrey Keating (ca 1634), O'Clery (mid 1600s), and Book of Clanranald (ca 1715).

  1. Carrell Colla Uais, brother of Muredach Colla da Chrioch and Aedh Colla Menn; about the year 392, Muredach Tirech, king of the Connachtach, sent the Collas against his ancient enemies, the Ulaid; over an extended period of perhaps eighty years, the Collas and their descendants fought several battles against the Ulaid and took other lands from them, while remaining subject to the descendants of Muredach Tirech
  2. Erc: his son. Had two brothers: 1. Brian; 2. Fiachra Tort; called "ri sliab a tuaid," king of the northern mountain; had three sons: Carthend, Fiachra, and Amalgad
  3. Carthend: his son; Carthend was given land east of the present city of Derry on the east side of the Foyle, the valley of the River Faughan, then called Dulo Ocheni but later named Tir-Keeran (Carthend's land) after him, and still today bearing that name as a barony; subject to the Kings of Ailech, who were descendants of Eoghan and Conal Gulban, the sons of Niall of the Nine Hostages; had six sons by one or more wives and another six by bondswomen
  4. Muredach, his son
  5. Amalgad, his son

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