About PetersPioneersDeep Ancestry: Names and DNA

By Peter Biggins

Cathi Biggins, Sean Biggins, Roger Byrne, Michael Patrick Carroll, Maureen Lyons Carroll, Paul Drueke, Michael McDonnel, Sheila Carroll Krippner, Marc Matthews, Maureen O'Brien, and Leo O'Brien contributed to this story.

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Genetic genealogy can tell us about the deep ancestry of our ancestors and, in some case, which tribe or sept our ancestors came from. This story addresses the deep ancestry of Peter and Marilyn Carroll 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. Testing can also help determine how closely two people are related.

  • 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. 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. A group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor having the same SNP mutation Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and refi nements consist of additional number and letter combinations.
  • STR. A Short Tandem Repeat, or count of repeats at a physical location on the chromosome. STR markers change (mutate) often enough that most men who share the same STR results also share a recent paternal lineage. Family Tree DNA offers 5 levels of Y-DNA testing: 12-marker, 25-marker, 37-marker, 67-marker, and 111-marker.
  • Genetic Distance. Genetic distance occurs because of mutations that affect STRs. If two people are identical in all STR markers except they are off in one marker by 1 point, the genetic distance would be 1. If they were off at 2 different markers by 1 point in each marker, then the genetic distance of those two samples would be 2. If they are off by 2 points at one marker and 1 point in a second marker, then the genetic distance would be 3.

Y-DNA Testing Results for PetersPioneers

Paternal Ancestor
Birth Year, Place
Male Tested
Kit #
STRs Tested
67-marker Matches, Jan. 2014 FTDNA Projects Comments
Patrick Biggins
1807, possibly Drumgill, Cavan, Ireland
Peter Biggins 127469
R-P312, L21, DF21, Z3000, S953, BY3164, and 5 BIG Y SNPs 42 Biggins,
Clan Colla,
Null 425
The name Biggins comes from beag, the Irish for little. Biggins DNA matches with people named Beggan, Beaghen, Bigham, and Little. See Biggins/Beggan Irish Roots.

Biggins DNA also matches names historically associated with Clan Colla, including McDonald, McGuire, Carroll, McKenna, McMahon, Boylan, Duffy, Kelly, MacDougall. Clan Colla is descended from three brothers who lived in 4th century Ulster. L21 DNA is the Atlantic Celtic branch of R-P312.See DNA of the Three Collas, L21 Yahoo Group.
James Biggins
1822, County Monaghan, Ireland
Sean Biggins, whose ancestor lived across the road from Peter's in Illinois 146867
R-P312, L21, DF21, Z3000, S953, BY3164 68 Biggins,
Clan Colla,
Null 425
Sean and Peter's ancestors had farms across the road from each southwest of Chicago, Illinois. Sean's DNA matches Peter's, but it is not so close as to suggest that their ancestors were brothers or first cousins. They differ on 8 out of 111 markers.
Johann DrŁecke
1743, Elspe, Westphalia, Germany
Paul Charles Drueke, first cousin of Peter 230496
R-U106, L48, Z7, CTS10893, A6389, BY3323, and 10 BIG Y SNP 15 Drueke,
Paul's DNA matches people from England (Arnold, Bennett, Ozment, Phipps, Scott, Self, Wooten, Wright), Wales (Ellis, Price), Scotland (Armstrong, Reed, Russell), and Ireland (Moore). Many people with English names have Germanic origins. The term Anglo-Saxon is used by some historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Britain from the early 5th century up to the Norman conquest in 1066. Our ancestor is from Westphalia, which was part of Old Saxony. See CTS10893 Saxon DNA.

See U106 Yahoo Group. See CTS10893 Saxon DNA Map of locations in New Saxony and Old Saxony where Johann DrŁecke and other people with CTS10893 DNA lived.
William Mathews
d. 1684, New Haven, Connecticut
Marc Thomas Matthews, second cousin of Peter 116493
R-P312, L21, DF41, S775, A600, and 26 BIG Y SNPs 0 Matthews,
Marc and Peter are great grandchildren of William Peter and Elizabeth Berles Drueke.
Edmond Carroll
1835, Stonepark, Limerick, Ireland
Michael Patrick Carroll, second cousin of Marilyn 198624
R-P312, DF27, Y5058, A641, and 6 BIG Y SNPs 10 Carroll,
Breassal Breac
Mike's DNA matches Ryan, O'Dwyer, Lee/Leary, Gorman, and Kennedy, as well as Carroll. These families 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.

DF27 DNA is the Gascon & Iberian branch of R-P312.

See Breassal Breac DNA, Breassal Breac Modal DNA, DF27 Yahoo Group.
Daniel McDonald
1813, Scotland or Ireland
Michael McDonnel, third cousin, once removed, of Marilyn 252843
R-P312, L21, M222, S660, S588, S603, FGC23592, and 9 BIG Y SNPs 193 Clan Donald (&LSP8J),
Michael's FGC23592 DNA is associated with a group called Cenel Moain, a subset of Northwest Irish. Northwest Irish was originally identified in a Trinity College Study and said to be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, who lived in Ireland in the 4th/5th century. Michael's DNA group can be seen on Iain Kennedy's M222 tree and Alex Williamson's Big Tree. Cenel Moain surnames can be seen on Ken Graham's Chart and Micheal McNally's Chart. Aidan Byrne maintains a Facebook page for the S603 Community. A history of Cenel Moain can be found in Familia 1990: Ulster Genealogical Review, Number 6
Thomas Foy
1800, Derreennascooba, Mayo, Ireland
None. Looking for a distant Foy cousin of Peter
There may be a possible tester among descendants, but none has been identified yet. See Foy/Fee Irish Roots.
Adam Berles
1794, Landenbeck, Westphalia, Germany
None. Looking for a distant Berles cousin of Peter
There may be a possible tester among descendants in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but none has been identified yet. Landenbeck is 16 miles northeast of Elspe.
John Francis Flannery
1788, Derreenmanus, Mayo Ireland
None. Looking for a distant Flannery cousin of Marilyn Most likely R-P312, L21, M222 Flannery,
There may be a possible tester among descendants in Green County, Wisconsin, but none has been identified yet. Clan Flannery sponsors a Flannery DNA project at Family Tree DNA. Of the Flannerys from County Mayo who had tested their Y-chromosome DNA as of June 2012, all match up with a group called Northwest Irish. Northwest Irish was originally identified in a Trinity College Study. Two of these Northwest Irish have ancestors from the townland of Sarnaught, which is nearby Derreenmanus: kits 36430 and 221086. See Flannery Clan.
Y-DNA Related by Marriage
Charles Byrne
1894, Staten Island, New York
Roger Byrne, son-in-law 208416
I-M223, M284, L126, Y4752 41 Byrne,
Null 425
Roger has what is called "Isles-Scot DNA." His DNA matches closest with another Byrne. He also matches men with names such as Crumley, Grimes, McWhirter, and Mitchell. Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson in the 2011 book, The Scots: A Genetic Journey, say that "One of the most ancient Y lineages in Scotland is known as M284." They say it developed a later subset called L126 which is more common in Scotland. It is "also seen in Ulster, not only amongst plantation families (migrants from Scotland and elsewhere, most of whom arrived in the seventeenth century) but also in those of older pedigree. This shows an ancient connection across the North Channel." See I2b1a1 IslesSc Yahoo Group.
Michael O'Brien
1814, County Clare, Ireland
Leo O'Brien, uncle of daughter-in-law Kerry 197598
R-P312, L21, L226 O'Brien,
With the L226 SNP, Leo's DNA matches the O'Brien's of County Clare, who are descended from Brian Boru. Brian Boru was born circa 940 in what is now County Clare and died in the Battle of Clontarf, north of Dublin, on April 23, 1014. L226 DNA type also is called Dalcassian and Irish Type III. In addition to O'Brien, L226 historical surnames include Casey, O'Dea, Hearne, Hogan, Kennedy, Lynch, McGrath, McMahon, McNamara, O'Neill, Noonan. See L226 Brian Boru DNA, Irish Type III DNA

Hopefully, we will learn more about our deep ancestry through testing of more of our descendants.

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