World Families Forums - Surprise: Our Shaws were neither English nor Scottish, but Irish O'Sheas

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Author Topic: Surprise: Our Shaws were neither English nor Scottish, but Irish O'Sheas  (Read 680 times)
Jared Olar
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« on: July 28, 2012, 11:49:03 AM »

The 67-marker test of my distant cousin Paul Hardy Shaw doesn't really line up with any of the Shaws in the Shaw DNA Project, but, surprisingly, matches very, very closely to the O'Sheas of County Tipperary, eastern Munster, and in neighboring County Kilkenny and the city of Kilkenny, in Leinster.  Our Shaws trace back to an English Puritan colonist in Massachusetts named John Shaw, born circa 1597 (presumably in England), died circa 1663 in Massachusetts.  Even though culturally and religiously, John and his family were English, our Shaws had an old family tradition that they were not English, but were of Scottish descent.

Well, we're not of Scottish descent -- unless there was a brief sojourn in Scotland between our family's residence in Munster, Ireland, and our time in England and Massachusetts.

I have found that other Irish O'Sheas or Sheas ended up having their name changed to "Shaw" when they came to America in the 1800s -- but in our case it seems the change from Shea to Shaw took place around the 1590s or so, maybe well before that.

I'm amazed!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 01:43:33 PM by Jared Olar » Logged
Jared Olar
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 03:27:00 PM »

A follow-up on my previous comments . . . Having communicated with the O'Shea DNA Project administrators, we'll have to be a little more cautious about affirming that our Shaws were once O'Sheas.  It's a possibility, but it's also possible that we share a common male ancestor with the Kilkenny O'Shea or Shee family.  Even so, we do appear to belong to the Irish Type 4 sub-clade (which would include Anglo-Norman families that settled in Ireland in the 1100s and 1200s), and are closer to the O'Sheas than we are to any English or Scottish Shaws in the Shaw DNA Project.
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Jared Olar
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 02:33:04 AM »

Additional testing has been done on Paul Shaw's y-DNA, and based on the results this week, the O'Shea DNA Project administrators now tell us that there is "little doubt" that our Shaws were descendants of the O'Sheas/O'Shees (or Sheas or Shees) of Counties Tipperary and Kilkenny, Ireland.  So it seems we're Irish Sheas, not English or Scottish Shaws.
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Paul H. Shaw
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 10:15:48 PM »

Additional testing has been done on Paul Shaw's y-DNA, and based on the results this week, the O'Shea DNA Project administrators now tell us that there is "little doubt" that our Shaws were descendants of the O'Sheas/O'Shees (or Sheas or Shees) of Counties Tipperary and Kilkenny, Ireland.  So it seems we're Irish Sheas, not English or Scottish Shaws.

Thanks, Jared, for posting the update. For those who are interested in the y-DNA67 testing details, our haplogroup is R1b1a2a1a1b4. In SNP tests, we are R-L21+ and Z253+. Additional testing is likely in the near future, depending on the needs of several project administrators. I urge anyone who is wondering and/or assuming things about their ancestry to undertake y-DNA testing, if possible. It can be a real eye-opener and is loads of fun. It can also help many others who have been tested and may be doing genetic comparisons in an attempt to decipher their own ancestry. We all put in many years and hours in genealogy; y-DNA testing can kick start an otherwise dead-end riddled stream of research.
Paul H. Shaw

20Sep2012
Update! The L1066 SNP has tested positive. It is a SNP which is almost certain to test positive in all Irish Type IV people, according to a project administrator in the Irish and O'Shea projects. For four centuries, we were English/Scottish Shaws. Now, with each additional test, we are more firmly proven to be otherwise.
Paul H. Shaw

« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 04:47:23 PM by Paul H. Shaw » Logged
Jared Olar
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 09:32:40 PM »

The picture has suddenly gotten much less defined and much more uncertain.  We've learned that there is another reputed descendant of John Shaw of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the Shaw DNA Project -- it's Kit No. N64745  (JA Shaw), and these results from a 12-marker test are not even close to a match with the results of Kit No. 242499.  Judging from similar results in the Shaw DNA Project, the results of N64745 could indicate an English origin, whereas the results of 242499 reveal a descent from the O'Sheas or Shees of County Tipperary, Ireland.

That means the "paper trail" must be reexamined to see if Paul H. Shaw is really a descendant of John Shaw, and/or further Shaw y-DNA testing must be done to determine whether it is 242499 or N64745 that represents the true male descendants of John Shaw of Plymouth Colony.  It's even possible that neither of them are really John Shaw's descendants.  Hopefully we'll soon have other male Shaw relatives in the Shaw DNA Project so we can solve this mystery.
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