My name is John Traynor.
I recently finished my Big Y test from FTDNA and thought I would share some results you may all be interested in.
I tested my Y-DNA. Y-DNA is "male" DNA which only men have. They inherited it from their father's father's father's father's .... father. You get the picture.
Genetic DNA uses a lot of genetic codes called STRs and SNPs to measure relationships between people. If you share many genetic codes, you are more closely related. If you share few, you are less closely related. By testing the Y-DNA of many people, and matching up their last names with their Y-DNA, we can begin to figure out who is more closely related to whom.
My DNA test showed me to be part of a branch called FGC6559. I am not part of the genetic branch called the "Niall of the Nine Hostages" DNA or the "Three Collas" DNA.
Rather I am part of a group of people with the marker FGC6559 which includes Kelleys and Maddens.
Initial work ties this group to an ancient Irish Kingdom called the Ui Maine, pronounced "Hy Many" to English speakers. The Ui Maine, led by Maine Mor, founded a kingdom in Connaught near southern Roscommon in the fourth century AD.
This common ancestor, Maine Mor, had descendants of many names including Kelly Madden and Tr*n*r. These surnames came later.
Our family split off from the Kelly's and the Maddens a long time ago. Perhaps 500 AD. At this point, DNA history can't help us too much except to say that we haven't been the same DNA as Kelly's or Maddens since the fall of the Roman Empire. All we know is that our ancestor, a branch of the ruling Ui Maine family, for some reason in pre history chose to leave Ui Maine lands in Connaught and traveled up to the area most of us call home: the kingdom of Airgialla, in present day Monaghan in Ulster. This is where the oldest references to our family name are found.
However, this is where legend comes in. Around 450 -500 AD a man called Aedh MacCairthinn became a follower of Saint Patrick, and ultimately his most dedicated disciple. Strong enough to carry Saint Patrick on his back across rivers when Patrick was tired, he became known as Saint Patrick's "strong man" or tréanfhear. Ultimately, Patrick told Mac Cairthinn, or Macartan as we know him now, to start a monastery at Clogher, and Macartan became the first bishop of Clogher.
In these days, the rules of celibacy were still being debated. Many priests and bishops were married. Macartan may well have been married. Some stories even tell us at Macartan was married when he became a follower of Patrick's.
All we know now is that, of all three Tr*n*rs tested in Big Y , none of whom know eachother, all three have tested to this Ui Maine DNA line; and something made us leave Ui Maine and brought the Tr*n*rs to southern Ulster in antiquity, perhaps 500AD. And legend says we have always been erenachs, guardians of church lands.
Are we the descendants of that Aedh Mac Cairthinn (Saint Macartan) Tréanfhear?
I will leave it up to you.