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 Origins and Distribution


There are early references linking the Tracy name to three different countries:



England (& Normandy)





Ireland is unusual in that it was populated much later than the rest of Europe. The following is a sample of the genetic make-up of the Y-DNA Haplogroup in Ireland:


79% R1b Celtic/Basque

7% I1 Nordic/Germanic

4% I2b Saxon/Germanic

3% R1a Slavic

2% I2a Slavic

2% E3B Greek

1.5% J1 Jewish

1% G Caucasian


In the ancient genealogies there appear to be four branches of the Ancient Gaelic Tracys:


Bairrche of south east Ireland. The earliest ancestor is Tressach who died 884 AD.

Sil Anmchadha of west Ireland.

Fidegeinti of south west Ireland.

Cenel Eoghain of north west Ireland


The first reference to the surname in the Irish Annals was in 1008AD, where it states, "Gussan, son of Ua Treassach, lord of Ui-Bairrche, died." Surnames were in general use in Ireland from this time.



England (& Normandy)


The Norman family of de Tracy is first referenced in 1073 with Turgis, or Turgisins de Tracy in France. The family came to England with William the Conqueror and were given the manor of Barnstaple in Devonshire. The family also held Toddington Hall in Gloucestershire. There were other branches of the family located in England.


The general use of surnames in England was adopted at a later date.


This family can also be found in Ireland. After the invasion of Ireland in 1169 AD, they can be found in Wexford and Dublin. In later times they can be found in Limerick and the north of Ireland. The title of the family is an Irish one, that is, Viscount of Rathcoole Dublin & Baronet of the county of Limerick. In later years it is difficult to distinguish them from the native Irish families. Also there was a tendency among the native Irish families to identify themselves with this family. The most infamous of these would be those connected with the claim to the Tracy Peerage Case.





In France, there is the family of the Marquis de Tracy of the Chateau de Tracy located in Tracy-sur-Loire. The origins of the present family date from1586 when François Stutt (from Scotland), married Françoise de Bar who brought with her the dowry of the Lordship of Tracy, where the tradition of wine growing can be dated back to a parchment of a purchase agreement dated 1396. In 1665, the Marquis de Tracy was part of the expedition to New France (Canada).



World Distribution


It may be presumed that the majority of Tracys originate from Ireland. In the 1860s, there were approximately 1200 families in Ireland, and in the 1911 census there were approximately 4700 individuals. In the census of 1841 for England, of the 814 Tracys, 15% were born in Ireland. By 1871, of the 1869 Tracys, 26% were born in Ireland. In 1841, of the 74 ‘Tracys’ in Scotland, 54% were born in Ireland. From a review of the records for the US 1880 Federal Census, of the 14354 Tracys, 5519 (41%) had a father born in Ireland and 1172 (8%) had a father born in England.


The following is a rough guide to the number of names today:



Great Britain




1881 Census


1880 Census




























The most common occurrence of the names, per part of the population, are:


Tracey: Ireland, Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Argentina, Spain, Denmark, Sweden...

Tracy: USA, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Sweden, India, Spain, Germany...

Treacey: Ireland, UK, Argentina, USA.

Treacy: Ireland, Australia, UK, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Spain, Agentina, Netherlands, France...



Name Distribution

Name Distribution

Name Distribution UK

1841 1851 1861 1871 British Census


General ref:

International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG)





In the Tracy DNA project, there are 15 results for ‘Tracy’ with the following haplogroups:


R1b1 (1)

R1b1b2 (7)

R1b1b2a1b (S116) (1)

R1b1b2a1b5 (L21) (1)

R1b1b2 (L226) (1) and R1b1b2a1b5 (L226) (1)

I2a (2)

E1b1a (1)


In the Ireland Y-DNA Project, there is the additional result for Treacy and Tracy with the following haplogroup: R1b1b2 (1) I2b1 (1).


On Ysearch there are also nine results with following haplogroups: R1b* (Cork Ireland), R1b1b2 (Great Yarmouth, England), R1b1b2a1b (Ireland), R1b1b2a1b5 (Wexford, Ireland), I2a (Limerick Ireland), G (Unknown).


As testing procedures progress, it is possible to further determine the detail of the haplogroup. The following are the results of further testing:


R1b1b2a1b (FTDNA) (S116) = R1b1b2a1a2 (ISOGG)
R1b1b2a1b5 (FTDNA) (L21) = R1b1b2a1a2f (ISOGG)

R1b1b2 and R1b1b2a1b5 (FTDNA) (L226) = R1b1b2a1a2f4 (ISOGG)






Haplogroup R1b - Lineage I

T-14: tested 67 markers

T-6: tested 37 markers

T-12: tested 12 markers

T-14 and T-6 Matches 35/37

FTDNA interpretation: 35/37 matches - the participants share a recent common ancestor.


In comparing 37 markers, the probability that T-14 and T-6 shared a common ancestor within the last...

4 generations is

8 generations is

12 generations is

16 generations is

20 generations is

24 generations is


Discussion: The two markers that differed are 458 and 464c, which are listed as fast mutators (200 generations), which makes the possibility that they shared a recent common ancestor more likely.



Haplogroup R1b - Lineage II

Apparent Place of Origin: Ireland

T-15: Tested 37 markers

T-1: Tested 12 markers

T-19: Tested 37 markers

T-8: Tested 37 markers


T-19 and T-8 Matches 35/37

FTDNA interpretation: 35/37 matches - the participants share a recent common ancestor


In comparing 37 markers, the probability that T-17 and T-8 shared a common ancestor within the last...

4 generations is

8 generations is

12 generations is

16 generations is

20 generations is

24 generations is



T-15 and T-19 (both L226) Matches 33/37 & T-15 and T-8 Matches 33/37

FTDNA interpretation: 33/37 matches - some researchers consider this to be a match and some don't. If there is a shared common ancestor - it will be more than a few 100s of years ago.


In comparing 37 markers, the probability that T-15 & T-17, and T-15 & T-8 shared a common ancestor within the last...

4 generations is

8 generations is

12 generations is

16 generations is

20 generations is

24 generations is



Discussion: In the ancient Irish genealogies of the Bairrche tribe, the Treasaich and Mac Gormáin families belonged to the royal family and were related. Some members of the Tracy and Gorman DNA Projects contain a very rare mutation, DYS392=11. According to Seán MacGorman Powell, the Gorman Project Administrator, after a careful analyses of all DYS392=11 mutation bearers in every major geographical DNA project examined, he identified a total of 79 people worldwide within the R1b haplogroup (and subclades) who bear this mutation. Considering that tens of thousands of R1b people have been tested, it is clear that this represents an extremely rare mutation for R1b, occurring in less than one-half of one percent (< 0.5%) of that major haplogroup. As such, this may be a strong indication of a DNA relationship and may explain the reference to "Macraith, son of Gorman, son of Treasach" in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1042 AD. Seán has also compared the Gormans and Tracys who have the DYS392=11 mutation and in his opinion, there is no relation between the two groups outside of the mutation.


The five markers that differed are 385b, 576, CDY-A, CDY-B, which are listed as fast mutators (200 generations) and 389-2 which is listed as slow mutator (400 generations) which makes the possibility that they shared a recent common ancestor more likely.



Gorman DNA Project:

History of the Barriche tribe:


Haplogroup R1b - Not yet assigned Lineage


The following is a list of some of the differing alleles and their frequency:


390/25                                     16%

19/15                                       9%

385a/12                                   8%

385b/15                                   16%

439/11 and 13                        22% and 13%

392/11                                     <0.05%

389-2/30 and 31                     23% and 4%

458/16 and 19                        18% and 6%

459b/9                                     17%*

448/20                                     5%

449/28 and 33                        11% and <0.05%

576/19 and 21                        17% and 1%


* This is the common allele among the Tracys but different to the general population.



Haplogroup l2 - Possible Lineage l

T-5: Tested 12 markers

T-3: Tested 37 markers

Matches 12/12 markers

FTDNA interpretation: there is an improved chance that the participants share a common ancestor. A 12/12 match - even with the same surname - can be a random match. If a solid paper trail supports the 12/12 match, you can be reasonably certain of shared ancestry.


In comparing 12 markers, the probability that T-5 and T-3 shared a common ancestor within the last...

4 generations is

8 generations is

12 generations is

16 generations is

20 generations is

24 generations is



Last update: 12 September 2010


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