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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8 Responses to CONNAUGHT 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. 🙂

  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.

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