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 McCARTHY y-DNA STR ANALYSIS, AND COMPARISON WITH OTHER IRISH RESULTS

1.   Introduction

This page presents a simplistic analysis of McCarthy STR results taken from several sources and compares them with the Irish Heritage DNA Project (IHDP, now Ireland yDNA) data as at October 2008 for non-McCarthys*. It does not pretend to be an authoritative statement on the subject, but it is hoped that it will be of service to the members of the McCarthy Surname Study. It should be read in conjunction with McCarthys in Antiquity on the Project Background page, at: www.familytreedna.com/public/McCarthySurnameStudy/default.aspx. Some background information is also given for the benefit of those fairly new to the subject.

The non-McCarthys are divided into two groups as determined by the location indicated for the earliest known ancestor of the contributors to the IHDP: Munster (whence it is expected most if not all McCarthys also came), and non-Munster (or rest of Ireland). Much of the data was originally generated by the Trinity College, Dublin, Irish DNA project of around 2003/04 by Prof. D G Bradley and B McEvoy. A total of 4,487 records have been used, of which 4,325 are non-McCarthy: these divide as 1,050 from Munster and 3,275 from the rest of Ireland. While there will certainly be some inaccuracies in these provenances, and of course they take no account of previous movement within Ireland, they are considered representative enough for this coarse assessment.

The McCarthy records are derived from:

(a) The aforementioned Irish Heritage DNA Project website.

(b) The FTDNA McCarthy Surname Study y-DNA Results page (as at January 2010).

(c) Three Ysearch entries which were not found in (b). (There may possibly be more of these).

(d) The Ybase website (as at March 2008).

Elimination of obvious duplicates and McCarthy Surname Study records which do not relate to a McCarthy male line left 162 McCarthy results for the analysis.

* DYS 460 was not reported at this time. The non-McCarthy data for this marker does not distinguish Munster from non-Munster provenance. They have been taken solely from the records for predicted or tested haplogroup R1b and its subclades in the y-DNA Results table in the Ireland y-DNA Project pages, as at March 2010.

2.   Use and validity of data

The data presented in Table 1 below do not separate out results which SNP testing or prediction indicates belong to haplogroups other than R (principally subclades of haplogroups E, I and J), although it is recognised that the SNPs giving rise to these haplogroups occurred before Western Europe was colonised and that their inclusion may mask to some extent any differences sought between the three datasets examined. The R1b haplogroup (frequently identified as its R1b1b2 subclade) dominates all three datasets (81% of non-McCarthys and 91% of McCarthys). It is intended to produce a similar comparison restricted to tested or predicted R1b members of these sources later. In the meantime, some selected analysis specific to R1b* (i.e samples tested or predicted as haplogroup R1b and all subclades thereof), is offered in section 6 below.

While the number and geographical distribution of non-McCarthy records is probably sufficient to provide a country or province-wide representative sample, it is acknowledged that the 162 McCarthy results are too few to be a representative sample of all McCarthys. And, with a few exceptions, these reduce to 67 samples where 25 markers have been tested (FTDNA's "Panels" 1 and 2), 47-50 where approximately 37 markers have been tested (FTDNA's "Panels" 1, 2 and 3) , and 18 or 19 thereafter. But until many more McCarthys add their data to the FTDNA or other public databases, it is the best we can do! One obvious skew occurs where a number of people from a single community have been tested in pursuit of sorting out local genealogy and have been found to share a relatively recent common ancestor (e.g the McCarty, South Carolina-Edgefield Project, which has about 26 members representing just three family groups).

3.   Base haplotypes

The most common allele count has been determined for each DYS based on all 4487 records reviewed and is identified as the modal alleles for the total record set.

Many detailed analyses of STR results have been reported on the internet by learned geneticists and mathematicians, and these have given rise to some nominal base haplotypes - defined by similar sets of modal alleles - for population groups of western European and / or Irish men. It is surmised that these existed at some stage between about 800 and 5,000 years ago, as described in section 4 of McCarthys in Antiquity. They all appear to be associated with subclades of haplogroup R1b1b2, characterised by SNP M269, which is calculated as being about 10,000 years old. However, it is likely that Ireland 2,000 - 3,500 years ago was also populated by men of haplogroups other than R, and indeed their ancestors are likely to have been in the country before the (new?) wave of R1b1b2 immigrants arrived. While these base haplotypes do not carry the definition of SNPs, attempts have been made (by geneticists) to calculate the approximate time at which they became evident and to match them to SNPs believed to have occurred in progenitors of the same groups. Individuals will, of course, today normally carry some later STR mutations which distinguish them from one another within these groups.

The earliest of these base haplotypes was a 6-marker Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH) proposed by population geneticists. In due course this developed into the 67 marker Super Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype (SWAMH) defined by Whit Athey on the basis of analysis of R1b haplogroup results. (See www.hprg.com/R1b). Subsequently, (North-west) Irish Type 1, (South) Irish Type II, Irish Type III (Dalcassian) and Irish Type IV / Continental base haplotypes have been proposed (see again McCarthys in Antiquity). Table 1 provides, as reference for comparison with the modal alleles determined in this study, the modal alleles for each of these base haplogroups as indicated in Ysearch under the following User IDs indicated. (Alternatives showing some variation may also exist in Ysearch). 

Base Haplotype

ySearch User ID

SWAMH

55GU9

Irish Type I

M5UKQ

Irish Type II

Z9HCX

Irish Type III

NT4BZ

Irish Type IV / Continental

UWM64

Dr Anatole Klyosov’s analysis of STRs likely to be associated with SNP R-L21 / S145, a subclade of R-M269, is provided on a link from the FTDNA “L21 Plus Project” website, and his determination of a base haplotype for this SNP at the time it arrived in Ireland is also given for reference in Table 1.

 The set of modal alleles generated from the 4487 records almost perfectly matches the SWAMH and the Klyosov Irish L21 haplotypes, the differences being as follows: 

 

DYS

SWAMH

Dr A Klyosov’s Irish L21 base haplotype

Modal alleles for 4487 records of this analysis

449

29

29

30

464c

17

17

16

456

16

15

16

In each of these three cases, the Klyosov Irish L21 base haplotype occurs almost as frequently as the modal allele in the overall 4487 record set. Note too that at DYS 534, although all three of the tabulated haplotypes match, there are 274 records with a 15 allele count and 273 with 16 among the records analysed.

4.   Mutation Rates

Mutations in STRs are much more common than SNPs. STR average mutation rates of the order of 0.003 (1 in 333 generations) per DYS per generation have been suggested in various papers, with so-called fast-moving mutations having two, three or more times this rate and slow-moving ones possibly as little as 1/20 of this rate. Average mutation rates for each DYS marker remain a subject of conjecture and debate, but there is general accord as to which tend to mutate less frequently and which more frequently. For further information on this subject see, for example, Marker and Mutation Comparison on this website and the online Journal of Genetic Genealogy article at www.jogg.info/32/editorial.htm   Based on these references, Table 1 indicates DYS mutation rates as S (slow), VS (very slow), M (Medium), F (fast) and VF (very fast).

The prevalence of certain mutations within a haplogroup in one surname or family group or another, if identifiable, may thus be an interim substitute for identifying specific population groups pending the discovery and irrefutable placement on the phylogenetic tree of SNPs which have occurred in the past few millenia. In this respect, these are particularly valuable where they are slow-moving mutations, whereas when sorting out recent ancestry, the faster-moving ones are or more use. But it should still be remembered that, even with the slow-moving mutations, the same mutation can occur on different occasions, so STR mutations do not necessarily label an event with the same definition as SNPs.

5.   Presentation of data

For each DYS value, the number of modal, modal +1, modal -1, modal+2, modal-2, modal+3 etc. alleles has been counted for each of the record sets, which are labelled as:

1B    Non-Munster excl McCarthy

2A    Munster excl McCarthy

3      McCarthy only

The results currently presented record, in Table 1:

  •  the number of results for each DYS value for each of the three datasets.
  •  the percentage occurrence of the modal DYS value, greater than modal, less than modal and zero allele count for each of the three datasets.
  •  the difference in these percentages between the McCarthy results and (a) dataset 1B and (b) dataset 2A.

 

DYS Order

DYS

Mutation Rate

Base Haplotype

Modal Alleles (this analysis)

1B. Non-Munster excl McCarthy

2A. Munster excl McCarthy

3. McCarthy only

McCarthy differential modal %

McCarthy differential > modal %

McCarthy differential < modal %

 

 

SWAMH (Reference)

Dr A Klyosov L21 (Ireland)

Irish I (NW)

P314.2 type (McCarthy variant)

Irish II (South)

Irish III (Dal gCais)

Irish IV / Cntntl

Total

Modal %

>Modal %

<Modal %

Null %

Total

Modal %

>Modal %

<Modal %

Null %

Total

Modal %

>Modal %

<Modal %

Null %

cf. Non-Munster excl. McCarthy (3-1B)

cf. Munster excl. McCarthy (3-2A)

cf. Non-Munster excl. McCarthy (3-1B)

cf. Munster excl. McCarthy (3-2A)

cf. Non-Munster excl. McCarthy (3-1B)

cf. Munster excl. McCarthy (3-2A)

1

393

S

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

3275

85

11

4

0

1050

91

6

3

0

162

91

7

2

0

6

0

-4

1

-2

0

2

390

M

24

24

25

23

24

24

24

24

3275

49

28

23

0

1050

56

22

23

0

162

52

7

41

0

4

-3

-22

-15

18

18

3

19/394

S

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

3274

77

20

3

0

1050

85

14

2

0

162

86

12

2

0

8

1

-8

-2

-1

0

4

391

M

11

11

11

11

10

11

10

11

3275

59

3

38

0

1050

54

2

44

0

162

64

1

35

0

5

10

-2

-1

-3

-9

5

385a

M

11

11

11

11

11

11

12

11

3275

73

25

2

0

1050

81

18

1

0

162

91

9

0

0

18

10

-16

-9

-2

-1

6

385b

M

14

14

13

14

15

14

15

14

3275

46

30

24

0

1050

51

35

13

0

162

60

31

9

0

15

9

1

-4

-16

-5

7

426

VS

12

12

12

12

12

12

13

12

2531

80

1

19

0

523

80

1

19

0

96

92

0

8

0

12

12

-1

-1

-11

-11

8

388

VS

12

12

12

13

12

12

12

12

3275

83

17

1

0

1050

84

15

1

0

162

65

35

0

0

-18

-20

19

20

-1

-1

9

439

F

12

12

12

12

11

11

12

12

3275

54

16

30

0

1050

44

10

46

0

162

33

34

33

0

-21

-11

18

24

3

-13

10

389-1

S

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

3275

72

17

11

0

1050

75

17

8

0

162

84

8

8

0

12

9

-9

-9

-3

0

11

392

S

13

13

14

13

13

13

13

13

3275

55

24

21

0

1050

73

11

16

0

162

87

4

9

0

32

14

-20

-7

-12

-7

12

389-2

M

29

29

29

28

29

29

29

29

3275

57

32

11

0

1050

61

28

11

0

162

49

15

36

0

-8

-11

-17

-13

25

25

13

458

F

17

17

17

17

17

17

17

17

1788

47

23

31

0

351

49

19

32

0

67

58

22

19

0

12

9

0

4

-11

-13

14

459a

S

9

9

9

9

9

8

9

9

1787

82

1

17

0

351

77

1

22

0

67

96

0

4

0

14

19

-1

-1

-12

-18

15

459b

S

10

10

10

10

10

9

10

10

1787

70

1

28

0

351

71

1

29

0

67

76

3

21

0

6

5

2

2

-7

-8

16

455

VS

11

11

11

11

11

11

11

11

1836

91

1

7

0

352

88

1

11

0

67

96

1

3

0

4

7

0

0

-4

-8

17

454

VS

11

11

11

11

11

11

11

11

1836

96

3

1

0

352

97

3

0

0

67

99

1

0

0

2

1

-1

-1

-1

0

18

447

M

25

25

25

25

24

25

25

25

1836

65

13

22

0

352

59

14

27

0

67

60

12

28

0

-5

0

-1

-2

6

2

19

437

S

15

15

15

15

15

15

15

15

2595

78

10

12

1

880

83

9

8

0

133

91

2

8

0

13

8

-8

-7

-4

0

20

448

S

19

19

18

19

19

19

19

19

1786

49

23

28

0

351

53

24

23

0

67

84

7

9

0

34

30

-15

-16

-19

-14

21

449

F

29

29

30

29

29

29

29

30

1787

33

20

47

0

351

26

11

63

0

67

46

19

54

0

13

21

0

8

7

-10

22

464a

M

15

15

15

15

15

13

15

15

1787

65

3

32

0

351

64

2

34

0

67

85

0

15

0

20

21

-3

-2

-17

-19

23

464b

M

15

15

16

15

15

13

15

15

1787

51

29

20

0

350

53

23

25

0

67

78

13

9

0

26

25

-16

-9

-11

-16

24

464c

M

17

17

16

16

17

15

16

16

1787

42

35

23

0

350

34

37

28

0

67

37

49

13

0

-4

3

14

12

-10

-15

25

464d

M

17

17

17

17

17

17

18

17

1787

63

13

24

0

350

61

15

24

0

67

84

9

7

0

21

22

-4

-6

-16

-17

26

460 (Note 1)

M

11

11

11

10

11

11

10

11

1975

75

11

15

0

 

 

 

 

 

49

63

8

29

0

-12

 

-3

 

14

 

27

GATA H4

M

11

11

11

11

11

11

10

11

1553

63

12

25

0

290

65

5

29

0

50

82

4

14

0

19

17

-8

-1

-11

-15

28

YCA IIa

S

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

1554

91

7

2

0

290

91

7

2

0

50

92

2

6

0

1

1

-5

-5

4

4

29

YCA IIb

S

23

23

23

23

23

23

23

23

1554

67

5

28

0

290

67

2

31

0

50

78

6

16

0

11

11

1

4

-12

-15

30

456

F

16

15

17

16

15

15

15

16

1663

33

26

41

0

129

32

12

55

1

48

42

13

48

0

9

10

-13

0

7

-7

31

607

M

15

15

16

15

15

15

15

15

1626

50

24

26

1

129

55

12

30

3

47

70

9

21

0

21

15

-15

-3

-5

-9

32

576

VF

18

18

18

18

18

18

18

18

1626

41

22

36

1

129

47

16

34

3

47

47

32

21

0

5

0

10

16

-14

-13

33

570

F

17

17

17

18

17

17

17

17

1627

48

39

13

1

129

36

46

16

3

47

45

38

17

0

-3

9

0

-7

4

2

34

CDYa

VF

36

36

38

37

36

36

36

36

1627

24

46

29

1

129

28

32

37

3

47

51

36

13

0

27

23

-10

4

-16

-24

35

CDYb

VF

38

38

39

38

38

38

38

38

1625

25

42

33

1

131

32

25

40

3

47

26

26

49

0

1

-7

-16

0

16

9

36

442

M

12

12

12

12

13

12

12

12

1665

72

14

13

0

129

70

19

11

1

48

67

25

8

0

-6

-3

11

6

-5

-3

37

438

S

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

2316

77

2

20

1

817

82

2

16

0

116

90

0

10

0

12

8

-2

-2

-10

-5

38

531

VS

11

11

11

11

11

11

 

11

683

89

7

1

2

130

92

1

5

3

19

89

5

5

0

0

-2

-2

4

4

1

39

578

VS

9

9

9

9

9

9

 

9

681

77

1

21

2

130

63

2

32

3

19

84

0

16

0

8

21

-1

-2

-5

-17

40

395S1a

VS

15

15

15

16

15

15

 

15

681

86

10

2

2

130

87

7

3

3

19

79

16

5

0

-7

-8

6

9

3

2

41

395S1b

VS

16

16

16

16

16

16

 

16

681

83

6

9

2

130

69

5

22

3

19

89

5

5

0

7

20

-1

0

-3

-17

42

590

VS

8

8

8

8

8

8

 

8

681

95

1

2

2

130

92

3

2

3

19

100

0

0

0

5

8

-1

-3

-2

-2

43

537

S

10

10

10

10

10

10

 

10

681

73

24

0

2

130

60

37

0

3

19

74

26

0

0

0

14

2

-11

0

0

44

641

VS

10

10

10

10

10

10

 

10

682

96

1

0

2

130

95

2

0

3

19

95

5

0

0

-1

-1

4

4

0

0

45

472

VS

8

8

8

8

8

8

 

8

681

98

0

0

2

130

97

0

0

3

19

100

0

0

0

2

3

0

0

0

0

46

406S1

S

10

10

10

11

10

10

 

10

681

72

18

7

2

130

56

25

15

3

19

63

21

16

0

-9

7

3

-4

9

0

47

511

S

10

10

10

10

10

10

 

10

681

75

7

16

2

130

67

5

25

3

19

89

0

11

0

15

23

-7

-5

-6

-14

48

425

VS

12

12

12

12

12

12

 

12

717

85

2

1

13

135

85

2

1

12

19

95

0

0

5

10

10

-2