Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

Today, I was reminded that AncestryDNA had released a new feature called a Genetic Community™. According to their definition:

“A Genetic Community is a group of AncestryDNA members who are connected through DNA most likely because they descend from a population of common ancestors, even if they no longer live in the area where those ancestors once lived.”

I saw that I had only one community to view and it is Connacht Irish. The provided map seemed to imply that this area is partly in County Mayo. My interest really picked up.

In a blog post last May, I discussed my attempts to transcribe the illegible words on the tombstone of Edward Noble, my great-great grandfather, to determine what parish and town/townland that he was a native of in County Mayo. Please see “Tombstone Tuesday – Edward Noble (1827 – 1872)”. I wondered if Connacht Irish might give me another clue.

According to Wikipedia,

”Connacht Irish is the dialect of the Irish language spoken in the province of Connacht. Gaeltacht [Irish-speaking] regions in Connacht are found in Counties Mayo (notably Tourmakeady, Achill Island and Erris) and Galway (notably in parts of Connemara and on the Aran Islands).”

The map below shows the three dialects of the Irish language, with Connacht in the west.

By original uploader Angr, transferred from en.wikipedia to commons,

By original uploader Angr, transferred from en.wikipedia to commons,

I was very intrigued to see that Connaught Irish were found on Achill Island, County Mayo. While this is not a proof, the fact that my DNA placed me in this community does add some weight to my transcription of ‘Parish of Achill’ on Edward’s tombstone.

Next thing to consider is how valid is this new Genetic Community feature. Is the algorithm that placed me in this community science or speculation?

Anymore Connaught Irish out there?

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90 Responses to CONNACHT IRISH?

  1. Mary Solar Brown says:

    I am also in that community. I grew up with family stories about my great grandparents who spoke Gaelic. They were from Galway and were from two small towns. The family names were Lydon and Mangan.

  2. Michele corcoran says:

    Just did mine too and received the results which said Connacht , am very interested in my history and hoping to visit very soon. Ireland has always been on my bucket list for many years, and somehow I felt a connection. Now I have even more reason to visit. 35% Irish 🍀. I guess my great grandparents are from there. 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment. I hope you enjoy Ireland. It is a beautiful country.

    • Mindy Thourot says:

      Nice to meet you Michele! Michelle I have Corcoran in my family tree. I am trying to connect the dots. My DNA shows from Connaught and Munster areas, this is from both sides maternal and paternal. When Ancestry did an update my DNA % changed and increased to 89% Irish, so now my curiosity is really intrigued. I wonder if there is any connection. Have you tried GEDmatch yet for other connections?

      • midie corcoran says:

        Hi Mindy, I just saw your post. i’m Corcoran from Tuam and have a fair bit of research on the family tree. What names have you and I’ll see if I can help you connect some of the dots
        regards midie Corcoran

        • Melynda Thourot says:

          Nice to meet you Midie! Do any of the following names sound familiar? Patrick Corcoran and Anastasia WALSH, Denise O,GRADY, Catherine Corcoran & John CORCORAN & Elizabeth SPILLANE. Thank you kindly!

          • Midie Corcoran says:

            I’ve Patrick’s in the line but don’t have records of names with them but Never say never. Do you have dates to go with names ? My tree is on ancestry if you are a member

          • Melynda Thourot says:

            Thank you Midie, yes I do have Ancestry tree too. Under The Thourot tree.

  3. Anna Marie Davis says:


  4. Eileen Schneider says:

    I just received the Ancestry DNA results for my mother who will be 95 years old next month. She is 83% Irish, and it says she’s connected to the community of Connacht. Her mother’s name was Mary Agnes Murphy, her grandmother was Mary Feeney. Her father’s side of the family was named Hardin and Golan. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jack Waterson says:

    I received my Ancestry DNA results this morning, which states I am 89% Irish from Connacht. I am not sure how to interpret this as I have traced what I thought was my ancestry to the late 1700’s in the Isle of Man. I cannot find a reference to my name anywhere in Connacht.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to where I can look for more information.

    • Thank you for your comment. Ethnicity testing is not yet a science. If your Ancestry Ethnicity Estimate showed you as 89% Irish that may be reasonable. My original ethnicity on Ancestry showed as 70% British Isles (which in my case would be Ireland) and a couple of years ago they revised their formula and now my British Isles ethnicity shows as Ireland 20% and Great Britain 7%. Who knows what will show the next time they revise their formula. Remember they are testing you only within their own database of testers, as that grows and ethnicities become more diverse, the results may differ. I would rely mostly on your own paper trail. That is what I do.

      The next ethnicity you mentioned is Connacht. No ethnicity is accurate when it gets specific as to country or tribe. You may be referring to a feature they added called a genetic community. This genetic community does not necessarily mean where your ancestors came from, at least not as recently as the 1700s, but rather more ancient origins–pre-genealogical time.

      Connacht refers, in this case, more to the Gaelic language than a geographical location. In my article I mention the areas known to speak Gaelic as defined by Wikipedia. Your assignment to Connacht Irish may be because the language spoken on the Isle of Man, Manx, is a branch of the Gaelic languages. Again, I would trust my paper trail.

      • Jack Waterson says:

        Hi after the DNA result stating I am 89% Irish from Connacht. I have been delving into the history the Waterson surname and as I stated in a previous mail I traced my line back to the 1700’s in The Isle of Man I came across this article on the web gives me some explanation of my Connacht connections. After the murder of the Great Earl of Ulster, William de Burgo, the third Earl of that name in 1333, and the consequent lessening of the English power in Ireland, many, if not all the distinguished Anglo-Norman families seated in Connaught and Munster became Hibernicised-Hibernis ipsis Hiberniores-spoke the Irish language, and assumed surnames like those of the Irish, by prefixing Mac to the Christian names of their ancestors. Thus the De Burgos, in Connaught, assumed the name of MACWILLIAM, from these sprang many offsets as the MACGIBBONS, MACWALTERS.
        Members of these families settled in the Isle of Mann, particularly in the south-western portion, and contracted their names of MACWALTER and MAC WILLIAM into the decidedly harsh QUALTROUGH and QUILLIAM. QUALTROUGH, contracted from MacWalter, ‘Walter’s son, to Waterson.

  6. Jane Werner Steele says:

    I recently was pleased to find my genetic community, which was originally Connaught, was narrowed to North Connaught, Ireland. My original ancestry showed as 57% Ireland. My mom is something like 97% Ireland. I know from knowledge handed down from her (she is 94, and her mother was born in 1884) that my maternal great grandfather, Dominic Connolly, was from Grange, Sligo, and maternal great grandmother, Mary D’Arcy, was from western Ireland (County Mayo) but we are not sure where in Mayo. Her paternal grandfather, Patrick Casey, was from Tipperary, and her maternal grandmother, Bridget Manning, was from Limerick, I believe. All these people came here in the early 1860s as teens and Dominic Connolly was stationed on the Mississippi River in the Navy during the Civil War. I am very fortunate to have made two trips to Ireland, one last December 2016 and in October of this year 2017 with my husband. I feel like it is so familiar and that I have come home.

    • Thank you for your comment. I envy you for being able to visit Ireland. Since I do not know exactly where either of my two immigrant Irish ancestors came from, I did not want to waste a trip. I think, as I said in my post that Edward Noble came from County Mayo. He married a Mary Devine, who may have come from County Longford. They were married in England after they emigrated there during the famine, so I have no Irish connection between the two of them. I was told that the Nobles originally all came from Northern Ireland and Scotland but I have not seen any actual evidence of that fact.

      • Kimberly Devine-Brink says:

        I also have been traced back to North Connacht by Ancestry DNA, but I had to comment as to your Devine connection. The Devine name is a bit difficult to track. I have a Mary Devine as an aunt, her mother was a Mary (nee Glannon). My father was a Thomas, and his was a John. You can find hundreds of different Thomas and John Devines 🙂

        • Thank you for your comment. You are correct that Devine and Noble are difficult surnames to trace because they are uncommon. At the same time, we don’t have to deal with separating Murphy and other such common surnames. LOL! I’ve pretty much placed my Devine family in Co. Longford, which is not considered part of the Connacht region. Mary Devine actually met Edward Noble in either Liverpool or Co. Durham, England, after both families emigrated to England, probably sometime during the famine years. Good luck in your research.

          • Mary Bogard Alexander says:

            Hi! Through ancestry DNA I now know my family all came from Mayo and Galway so I am a Connaught heritage as well. Some of my family from there are the Devines. We might be related! Mary Bogard Alexander

          • Thank you for your comment. I do not know enough about my Devine family to even guess at that, but could be.

  7. Rita Mattia says:

    We are researching our family history as well … and the Ancestry DNA provided “Connacht, Ireland” as a possible/probable origin. My great grandmother (1863-1941) Christina McCormick was born in Glasgow, but her parents, John McCormick and Margaret Timlin were both born in Ireland. Her husband (my great grandfather) was Bartholomew Maloney (1861 – 1891), also living in Glasgow when they married, but was listed as born in Ireland. His parents were Martin Maloney, born in Ireland and Anne (Honnorah) Thornton, also born in Ireland. The birthplaces (simply “Ireland”) of the four parents of Christina and Bartholomew were provided on their 1881 marriage certificate. I wonder if anyone has any good “clues” as to places in Ireland where my ancestors may have lived, based on those four surnames. And perhaps this info will help someone else with their quest. thanks!

    • Thank you for your comment. I do hope it helps other researchers. I see that Ancestry has replaced their original Connacht Irish genetic community with Connacht, Ireland; but I believe that when Ancestry refers to Connacht, Ireland they are referring to the region shown in green on the map in this post located in the province of Connacht. Goog luck in your research.

  8. Susan says:

    I’ve just done my Ancestry DNA and discovered that I am 64% Irish from the Connacht region of Ireland. I’m not sure where to go from here to learn more about this. I know I have grandparent ancestry from Tipperary and Bantry. Are these in the Connacht region. Thank you. Susan

    • Thank you for your comment. While AncestryDNA may have assigned your ethnicity to the Connacht region, it does not mean that any recent generations lived in that area. The ancestors being identified as Connacht may be from hundreds of years ago or more. The genes just got passed down unchanged. Tipperary and Bantry are not in the Connacht region to my knowledge.

      The ethnicity estimates provided by AncestryDNA and other DNA sites are accurate to the continent level. The algorithms used in these estimates are just that–estimates. In addition, they can only compare you to the people who tested in their database and we do not know this distribution.

      For me, my immigrant ancestor, came from Co. Mayo (from his tombstone). So this may be a clue. I personally rely on tried and true research and on the records found by tracing my ancestors online, in courthouses, and in archives.

      You are lucky you have real locations for your grandparents. If you cannot or do not wish to do the research yourself, you might consider hiring a researcher located in the area close to these locations to trace your Irish roots.

  9. Paul Lowry says:

    I received my 82% Connacht Irish DNA designation after extensive research led me to locate my great-grandfather’s tenant farm in the mile-square townland of Ballydoolough, Galway – a few miles from the Mayo border. My mother’s family were from Wesport, County Mayo putting both parents within the Connacht map blob.

    I have been looking for Irish DNA research that might tell me how deep my Irish roots are in that soil and from where the earliest ancestors came from. Some media say Connacht held some of the earliest Irish. Trinity College seems to have an active DNA program to map where geographic groups came from and when.

    I’ve discovered that creating a PDF narrative with items found during your research and old scrap books help share your efforts with family to create interest.

    • Thank you for your comment. Congratulations on finding your ancestors in Galway based on your AncestryDNA designation. I wish you success in your future endeavors. I hope you find your answers.

  10. Debra Scarlett says:

    I, too, had North Connacht listed as my region. I am fortunate to know that my grandmother”S family came from a small town in Sligo, Tubbercurry. I visited there several years ago but didn’t have time to do any research. Still it was fascinating to visit where my ancestors were born and lived.

    • Thank you for your comment. You really were fortunate to know the town. I would love to know the towns for most of my immigrant ancestors. So far, I only have towns for two lines. Would love to see where my ancestors lived in Ireland. Good luck in your research!

  11. I am related to the O’Flaherty/Flaherty clan from the Connacht. My grandmother came from Tuam and I visited Tuam and had my picture taken in front of the church where my great aunt was married. From what I understand the O’Flahertys were not pirates as their name does not appear on the 12 Tribes of Galway. I understand they thought piracy was colluding with the British Crown.

  12. Ginny Prunty-Ayotte says:

    I tested my DNA THROUGH Ancestry also. I am 44% Celt. I then received an update that I am Connacht. I had never heard of this before.
    My paternal grandfather and his parents were from Drumlish, Longford Ireland. Irish documentation is difficult to find. I am on three Genealogy sites so I am trying to go further back.
    Longford was a Viking Port. Even more frustrating is the fact that after coming to the USA in the late 1890’s, he married my grandmother from Norway. The names frustrate me.
    My Irish surnames so far are Prunty, O’Donnell, Gallagher, Hinds.
    I have been matched to many cousins and I am in contact with three who have always lived in Ireland.
    Any suggestions for me. I hope to make it to Longford in 2019.

  13. Dolores Doody says:

    My DNA indicates I am 59% Connaught Irish. My grandmother, Ellen Gegherty, was born in Westport and my grandfather, John Curran, was born in Boston but raised in the small town of Spiddeal in Galway. He returned to the U.S. when he was 12 years old, but could only speak Gaelic. My grandmother, the youngest of 7 children, was orphaned and later sent to America at the age of 16, as were her siblings. I asked when I was in Westport about the convent/school that was the orphanage, but no one knew anything about it. With the bad press some of the institutions received, they are probably reticent about giving out any information. We had no complaints about the orphanage – we just want to see where it was and find where. my great grandparents are buried. I will be returning for my 8th trip to Ireland, God willing, and would like to find where my great grandparents lived and where they are buried

  14. Rosemary DeVere says:

    Ancestry results indicate strong Galway area connections. Some family names are Kane, McDermott, Duffy. My maiden name was McDonough. Interesting times!!!

  15. Laurie Wendorf says:

    Just wanted to say hello to all the other members of my genetic community! My great grampa was James Sheridan from Hollymount, County Mayo.

  16. Patricia Stillwell says:

    Does anyone know of any Regan or Dooney families in the North Connacht area?

    • Barbara Anne Higgins says:

      Patricia: My DNA results were just updated by and it now says that I am 100% Irish/Scottish/Welsh with North Connacht, Ireland as my most likely migration area (?) My father – Thomas J. Higgins, Jr. – was the oldest son of Mary Regan and Thomas J. Higgins. Both from County Mayo, is my understanding. There is now a Thomas J. Higgins, V (as in the fifth!). Wondering if your ancestors were related to my grandmother, Mary Regan Higgins.

  17. Janeen Clayton says:

    My dna results indicate my family can be traced back to Connacht and Ulster. We have been able to go back as far as my great great grandparents. James McManaman and Catherine English of Achill Island. Also, Owen Haney (Henue) and Sheila Cooney.. these ancestors were born approximately in the early 1800’s or late 1700’s. I’m interested in finding the rest of the family tree.

    • I am a member of three Facebook groups that I am using in trying to track done my Mayo ancestors. They are Mayo Genealogy Group, County Mayo Ireland, and County Mayo History. Good luck in your Irish research.

  18. Marlene says:

    Recd results with conacht 44percent.Brennan my name, also a mary lyons..

  19. Chris Roche says:

    I came back 53% Ireland/Scotland/Wales and 24% Great Britain through Ancestry DNA with links to the Connacht Genetic Community (Mayo and Sligo, North Connacht). However both my mother came back as 46% Ireland/Scotland/Wales and 6% great Britain and my father came back as 81% Ireland/Scotland/Wales and 6% Great Britain. My Heritage had me as 73.6% Irish, Scottish and Welsh and 7% English. My point is that it does depend on the algorithyms as their analysis was based on my Ancestry data and they have a larger pool of DNA donors to draw from. As far as the Genetic Communities they are based on a social network analysis that links your DNA to people with known ancestors from those areas. I am also interested in tracking down where exactly my ancestors come from in Connacht. My Irish surnames include Roche, Kilgallen, Murphy, and McGinty.

  20. Colleen says:

    I am also decended from Connacht Irish. I know my great grandparents John Patrick and Nellie (Roddy) Moran were born there in the late 1800s. They moved to the Cleveland, Ohio area. My great grandmother on the other side is from there as well. Her parents were John Patrick and Winifred (Gannon) Churchouse.

  21. Pat McGuiness Kray says:

    I’m stumped. My ancestry says 66% Irish.
    Also from Connacht, Ulster. My Great Grandfather Edward J. McGuiness I know came from County Mayo. I can’t find anything on him at all.
    Any suggestions would be helpful.

    • Thank you for your comment. Research in Ireland is extremely difficult both due to a scarcity of records and the need to know the exact town/townland and/parish in the county. I find several groups on Facebook helpful. They are Mayo Genealogy Group, County Mayo Ireland, and County Mayo History. Good luck in your Irish research.

  22. Gwenolyn Lewis says:

    I am trying to trace my maternal great-grandfather, surname McGeiver (at times listed as McGeever). He was born around 1862 and came to the United States, apparently alone, in 1887. I am also listed as part of the Connacht Genetic Community on I am unable to find any information on him prior to his arrival in the US. What would you suggest? Thank you.

    • Thank you for your comment. Research in Ireland is extremely difficult both due to a scarcity of records and the need to know the exact county, town/townland and/parish. You could try to extend your searches here in the US to see if you can find a reference to your ancestors origin in Ireland. For example, I found my reference on my ancestors tombstone. But have so far been unsuccessful in finding his town or parish as I said in my post. I find several groups on Facebook helpful. They are Mayo Genealogy Group, County Mayo Ireland, and County Mayo History. You might also search FB for Galway groups. Mayo and Galway encompass the Connacht region. Good luck in your Irish research.

  23. Monica Correll Wilson says:

    Just did my DNA and said that I am 48% Irish from Connacht, Ireland, specifically from the county of Galway. Of interest, my mother’s maiden name was Galloway. My dad’s name is Correll but probably Kirrel. All of this is so interesting!

  24. Dolores Doody says:

    Right now I am visiting in Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo. I am 58% Connaught Irish and am trying to find information on the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Westport from which my grandmother and her siblings emigrated at the end of the 1800s. They were orphans and were sent to the U.S. as soon as they were old enough to emigrate. My grandmother, Ellen Geraghty, was the youngest of a large family who were orphaned when their mother (Mary nee Kelly) died, closely followed by their father’s (Patrick Geraghty) death. My grandmother, according to her birth certificate, was born in July of 1871 on High Street in Westport. Her father’s occupation was listed as a servant. In about 1895, in Chicago, my grandmother, Ellen Geraghty married John Curran, who was born in Boston in 1871 to Morgan Curran and Anna Conroy. When he was 2 years old, his father was killed on the railroad in Boston where he was employed as a brakeman. Forced to return to work, Anna Conroy Curran took a job in domestic service. She returned with her son to her home in Spiddal in Co. Galway where she left the 2 year old with her mother and sister. Reared in the Gaelic speaking part of Galway, he was 12, when his his mother and returned to Spiddal to bring him back to the U.S., this time to Pittsburgh. She had remarried and she and her husband had three young sons: Michael, Patrick and Martin Nee, my grandfather’s half brothers where she and her husband had relocated. Although was American born, my grandfather knew only Gaelic and learned English while selling newspapers on the streets of Pittsburgh. Self-educated, he was part of the labor union movement in the 1890s. He became a charter member of the Steamfitters Union, later to be called the Pipefitters Union, Local. 597 in Chicago. His half-brothers also followed him into the pipe trades. Paddy became a boxing champion in a light weight division, according to a sports article in the “Wake of the News,” a feature in the “Chicago Tribune.” I would be grateful if anyone has any information on these people.

    • Eileen says:

      Thank you for sharing. If you are not already a member, you may wish to join and share this information on the Facebook groups: Mayo Genealogy Group, County Mayo Ireland, and County Mayo History.

      Good luck in your Irish research.

  25. Mattie says:

    My dad was from Cloonacool, County Sligo (and spoke Gaelic). My maternal grandmother was from Ballinrobe, County Mayo. I never knew my father’s parents and only had my maternal grandmother until I was eight. My DNA results show 75% Irish (which seems accurate) from the North Connacht area. My families’ names are Henry, Mullarkey, (Sligo area) Swift, Murphy (Mayo area). I have traced both of my family lines back to the middle of the 1800s. That’s where the trail ends. I have been using site also. Good luck everyone!

  26. Patricia Redman says:

    I have just checked my latest Ancestry update and it has come back as 100% Connacht Irish, but I don’t know how to follow this up. I have only been able to trace as far back as my great grandparents. Does anyone have any advice please?

  27. Jenny Johnson says:

    My DNA shows 50% North Connacht Ireland, 50% U.K and others
    My great great great grandparents being from this area, I have had trouble tracing a town for them. The surnames are Mcveeney/McWeeney now known as Queeney in England. Other grandparents are Rowan,Morgan.
    We are visiting Ireland next April, would love to know where they lived.

    • Thank you for sharing. I have only found my ancestor at the county level (County Mayo). I have not been able to find the town or parish so far. If you are not already a member, you may wish to join and share this information on the Facebook groups: Mayo Genealogy Group, County Mayo Ireland, and County Mayo History. You can also search to see if there are any groups for Galway. Someone in these groups may recognize the names.

      Good luck in your Irish research.

      • Jenny Johnson says:

        Hi Patricia. I wonder if there is a family connection, we are still trying to find a definite location in Ireland, we are beginning to narrow it down.
        You may like to know I have a cousin also Patricia Queeney, living in England. We emigrated to Australia in 1964, but go back quite often.

    • Hi Jenny, I am a Queeney from Boston and my DNA came back as 86 percent Connacht Ireland and Scotland. 8 percent Sweden & 6 percent England. Good Luck I have only been to Dubliln for a wedding.

  28. Lynne Cassidy says:

    Hi. I’ve just received results from Ancestry UK which shows I am 100% Celtic with genetic links to Connacht (no other links). I knew there was an Irish history way back (I’m from Liverpool), but is it possible I’m 100% Irish?

    • Thank you for your comment. I don’t have an answer for you. My ethnic percentages have changed every time Ancestry comes up with a new formula to calculate it. I suggest trying to track your ancestors paper trail to determine their actual origination.

      • Lynne Cassidy says:

        Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I don’t have the relevant information to do a paper trail. I just thought my result sounded so unusual and wondered how unusual/possible it is. Thank you.

  29. Winifred McNamara says:

    My great-great-grandparents were Mary Calvey and Peter McNamara who were born in Keel on Achill Island in the 1830’s. My great-grandfather, Patrick McNamara, born 1861-1865 exact year unknown, left Keel in 1881 arrived Philadelphia and immediately went to Cleveland. He left four sisters behind: Bridgett, Mary, Honor and Ann. I do not know who any of the girls married. Bridgett might have married a Duggan. Patrick passed down stories of his ancestors knowing Grace O’Malley during her voyages around Achill (fact or fiction?). I too am part of the Connacht circle with 48% British Isles. I did match a McNamara still living in Keel who is definitely a cousin. There were so many McNamara living in Keel on Griffith’s evaluation that it is virtually impossible to determine much because the given names are so repetitive. I do know that the cousin still living there is a PeterDan’s descendant, but I don’t know quite how I fit in. I was born in Texas in 1954. I hvae many many Corrigan matches and there is rumor they were from Ballycroy. Patrick McNamara married Annie Corrigan in Cleveland not too long after his arrival. I do know for sure that there is at least a 200 year history in the village of Keel. Winifred McNamara daughter of Marvin Francis McNamara and Ottilie Ponkoney.

  30. William says:

    My circumstance is a bit different from those I’ve read here. I’ve been researching my family history for decades. Every line, for over 8 generations each, is from Galicia, Spain. I’ve used multiple documents to support each family connection. I can imagine why a galego might show Irish ancestry, but 48%?? That’s not including a very significant Scottish and Welsh percentage. Incidentally, my “Spanish” ancestry is only 6%. The explanation I’m going with right now is that Ancestry’s “Irish” category should be named “Atlantic peoples” or something similar. Would love to get an opinion on this. I love Ireland and would welcome news that we’re Irish. I just don’t see it.

    • Thank you for your comment, William. I am no expert on this topic but I do believe that what is found in our DNA for ethnicity purposes can go back a long way. Maybe your results have something to do with the early Celtic culture that thrived in Central Europe and various other regions in the European continent. According to Wikipedia, “By or during the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and the Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula Celtiberians, Celtici, Lusitanians and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golasecca culture and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians) in modern-day Turkey.”


  31. Teresa Hunter says:

    Hi Eileen, just reading your blog and am also a Noble descendant of Irish ancestry. My grandmother was Olive Jessie Noble, her father was James Ernest Noble. The family (John Edward) arrived in Montreal from Cork Ireland in 1853. Ancestry DNA puts us in the Connacht Irish group. We have had trouble finding information on the Noble family before they immigrated to Canada. You never know….

  32. Teresa Hunter says:

    Hi Eillen, My grandmother’s family name was Noble and she said she was of Irish descent. We have tried very hard to locate this branch of the family, with great difficulty. John Edward Noble immigrated from Cork, Ireland to Montreal Quebec in 1853, according to Immigration Canada. The trail runs completely dry, and I’ve just recently seen that we are also from county Connacht, according to AncestryDNA. Although it seems like a dead end, we will keep looking but the name Noble just doesn’t pop up.

    • Thank you for your comments. I apologize that I did not get them approved sooner. My husband and I have been struggling with the flu. I agree the Noble surname is hard to find. If you search my blog for the surname Noble, you will find other articles I wrote about my Noble family. Connacht is not a county, rather it is a province containing five counties. The counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo make up this province. What this may mean in terms of AncestryDNA is that your Noble ancestors may have resided in one or more of these counties at some point in time, which may or may not be very recent time. Irish research is difficult. Good luck in your research!


    Will be visiting Ireland in a few weeks…Anyone have any Noonan ties? My DNA shows my family is from that area

    • Thank you for your comment. As you may know, Connacht is not a county, rather it is a province containing five counties. The counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo make up this province. What this may mean in terms of AncestryDNA is that your ancestors may have resided in one or more of these counties at some point in time, which may or may not be very recent time. You may wish to post to any Facebook groups for these counties. I belong to a group for County Mayo and find the members very helpful. Irish research is difficult. Good luck in your research and have a great trip!

  34. Kathleen Torgersen (Tierney Clan) says:

    Hello Theresa Hunter,
    Please check the website, ‘The National Archives of Ireland’.
    I found my family’s address, street, land used, family names in household.

    Under Census- check years available- each province you know about that your family lived-EACH street in that area.

    Yes it is tedious, but found what I needed. Also maps of where they lived to zero in on.

    I hope this gives a ‘foot up’ on a starting point.

  35. Kathleen J Torgersen says:

    Hello Theresa Hunter,
    If my original email did not go through, here it is in a nutshell.

    Check The National Archives of Ireland: census for all years available, all areas in Galway province, each town, each street- to find your family name.

    It is tedious – but works, I found my family from this area, the Tierneys.

    Best to you.

  36. Jane Mallon-Czajka says:

    My name is Jane, my surname is Mallon. My DNA shows a 100% match to the Connacht area. I know my grandmother was an O’Shaunessy from Roscommon and my Grandfather was a Conroy. I know that my grandfather met my grandmother when she came to the United States (New York) On the Mallon side of the family, I was told that relatives hailed from Waterford Ireland.

  37. Peggy O"Neill says:

    I received my DNA today I’m 69% Irish and it says I’m from Connacht area. I was always told we were from County Cork. very interesting.

  38. Lisa Brennan says:

    My DNA came back and no surprise that I am very Irish. It basically skipped most of my mom’s side and gave me 92% Irish… and then Italian…skipping the French and Native American lol. I am definitely connected to the Connacht group as well. My grandmother was Delia Lawless. She was raised in Cummer, Anbally Co Galway. Her mother’s name was Mary Murphy. My grandmother came to America and married my Grandfather James Griffin. The Griffins left Galway area back in the late 1800s. They settled in Dorchester/Boston and surrounding towns. My grandmother’s uncle sponsored her and she then brought her brothers leaving 5 of the 9 siblings in Ireland. I’m researching the Griffins of Ireland though ancestry. Not sure the exact town they lived in but do know I have ‘cousins’ who live in Gurteen area. I just got back from Dublin visiting my 23 yr old who lives and works there this year. Will be nice to get back to Galway next visit and try to do some genealogy work!
    I have a family tree at Ancestry under Lisa Brennan family tree. Brennan is my married name.

  39. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for your post. I came across it after I received my AncestryDNA and discovered I am 45% Irish from Galway in Connaught and wanted to find out more about the area . My paternal grandmother, whose family is Irish, had the surname Fullen. I was curious about the origin of Fullen and if it is indeed Irish and if it’s perhaps from Galway. And lo and behold a quick search on revealed it is!: “Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic surnames O’ Fallamhain or O’ Fulain. The Gaelic prefix “O” indicates “male descendant of”, plus the personal bynames “Fallamhan”, meaning “leader” from “follamhas”, supremacy, and “fulan” literally meaning “wretch”. Both these septs were chiefly found in the Connacht counties of Galway, Mayo and Sligo. Pretty cool!

  40. Bonnie Favazza says:

    My Ancestry DNA indicates my heritage is from North Connacht, South Mayo, and Achill Island. So far the surnames that have actually traced back to Ireland include “Katherine Lady of Antrim Ireland Duncan” Turner, Duncane/Duncan, Bell, Cross, Pinkerton, Stewart, and Turner. Have not researched the area of Antrim yet, however, many of these persons indicate that is a locale for them.

    From Scotland I have “Sir James Duncan”, Duncan, Andro, Kennedy, Heane, Patirsonne, and Anderson.

    My common surnames are Duncan, Kelly, Wilcox, McClellan, Campbell, Benjamin.

    Hope this helps someone. Feel free to contact me for additional information or look up “Duncan Tree” on Ancestry.

  41. seana malone says:

    Hi my family history goes back to connacht to Malone is my family name Seana is me if i find anything in my search i will pass it on.and midie if u know anything about mine i would appreciate the help.:)

  42. Mary Schuman says:

    Looking for Thomas Garaghty 1828.

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