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Molloy DNA Breakthrough

Exciting Molloy DNA Breakthrough

Alex Williamson who administers “The Big Tree” (www.ytree.net) recently discovered that John Malloy, Thomas Molloy (local Offaly resident) and a Mr. Daly and Mr. Dempsey share a previously unknown SNP which has been named ZS8379. The ytree or “Big Tree” is a tree of men who have completed sophisticated y DNA testing such as the Big Y.

What this means in essence is that the Messrs. Malloy, Daly and Dempsey are descended from “ZS8379”. Of course the question then is “who is ZS8379” and “where and when did he live”?

The significance of this discovery is further illuminated through the wrtings of The Reverend Patrick Woulfe’s book of Irish Names and Surnames published in 1922. Woulfe's comments on the Daly, Dempsey and Molloy families include:

O'Daly, Daly - 'Descendant of Dalach'. The O'Dalys derive their descent from Maine, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, and were originally chiefs of Corca Adain, or Corca Adhaimh, in the present county of Westmeath. About the middle of the 13th century, a branch of the family, descended from Donough More O'Daly, a celebrated bard, settled at Finavarra, in Burren, Co. Clare, where they became poets to the O'Loghlens. To this branch belonged the Dalys of Galway, whose ancestor settled in Ui Maine in the latter part of the 15th century. Raghnall O Dalaigh, who settled in Desmond about the middle of the 12th century, and became chief ollave in poetry to MacCarthy, was doubtless the ancestor of the O'Dalys of Muinntear Bhaire and O'Keeffe's country.

O'Dempsey, Dempsey - 'Descendant of Diomasach'. The O'Dempseys, who are of the same stock as the O'Connors of Offaly, derive their descent from Ros Failghe, eldest son of Cathaoir Mor, King of Ireland in the second century, and were long one of the most powerful families in Leinster. Their territory was Clann Mhaoilughra, an extensive district on both sides of the river Barrow, and comprising the baronies of Portnahinch in Leix, and Upper Philipstown, in Offaly.

O'Molloy, Meloy, Molloy, Mulloy - 'Descendant of Maolmuadh' (noble chief); the name (of a distinguished family of the southern Ui Neill, in Meath. They are of the same descent as the Mageoghegans, and both families originally formed one clan, called Cinel Fiachach from their common ancestor, Fiacha, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. In the 10th or 11th century, Cinel Fiachach and its territory was divided between the two families, Mageoghegan retaining the northern portion under the original clan-name, Cinel Fiachach, and O'Molloy becoming lord of the southern portion, under the name of Feara Ceall. This territory, which comprised the modern baronies of Fircall, Ballycowan and Ballyboy in Offaly, remained in the possession of the O'Molloys down to the beginning of the 17th century.

DNA Genealogist Bernard Morgan commented that:

John Malloy is likely descended from the O’Molloy’s described above due to the O’Molloy’s location compared to Dempsey and Daly surnames, and because they are not (DNA marker) DF85 Sil Luigdech mac Setna nor S588 Cenel Eoghain nor A259 Ui Briuin, it seems the probable family that Malloy represents. These O Maolmhuaidh are neighbors to the Dempseys and Dalys. And as Cenel Fiachrach, a Southern Ui Neill family, they should be S660+.

These O'Molloy held land in the baronies of Eglish, Ballyboy, Ballycowen in Co. Offaly. They are neighbors to the Dempseys who inhabited the barony of Geashill and Philipstown (Upper) to the east. The Daly's ancestors would be from the barony of Moyashel & Magheradernon, in Co. Westmeath. Between the baronies of Ballycowen and Moyashel & Magheradernon is the barony of Moycashel, which is home to MacGeoghegan. They are regarded as the chiefs of Cenel Fiachach, i.e. the same kindred that the O'Molloy are said to belong to. The MacGeoghegan lands extend into the baronies of Rathconrath and Fartullagh, both also border Moyashel & Magheradernon home to the Dalys.

In summary, we have discovered a unique SNP belonging to a very small set of men with an ancestor whose descendants lived in a geographically specific area of Ireland.

From a Molloy DNA genealogy perspective, we need more Molloys to take the Big Y test so we can begin to identify SNP’s that are specific to Molloys, which we hope will lead to identifying the different Molloy families that inhabited Ireland, enabling us to expand our family trees back hundreds if not thousands of years.

Another less expensive option would be to visit YSEQ which is now offering the ZS8379 SNP test for $22.50. It appears possible that ZS8379 is a marker for Cenel Fiachrach or a family from the same area as Cenel Fiachrach.

O'Molloy Clan Association - Molloy Family Tree
Firceall, County Offaly, Midlands, Ireland.
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