Should all men with the same last name be Y-DNA matches?

+8 votes

I know that in my lineage this is not true...because of a lot of different origins of the name "Lee".   But, I just had a person post that "All male Ireland-surname descendants should be Y-DNA matches on FTDNA to kit# B103907"

Is it possible that this is true?

in The Tree House by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (755k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
This statement presupposes that there is only one origin for a last name. While it may be true for some uncommon names, for common names, such as ones that originated as an occupation (eg, Baker, Taylor, regardless of the language), that arose in multiple places and times, it is simply not reasonable.
Ireland is an English name; it's not in Gaelic. I would think it was used by or applied to men originally from Ireland,  living in England.There wasn't a sole  Irishman in Medieval England.

6 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Sorry for the confusion, Robin.  I was commenting about specific, male Ireland-surname descendants of my Ireland-surname line.  The original, poorly-worded comment was made on individual profiles - whose male Ireland-surname descendants should match me.

Based on Y-DNA testing, there are quite a few (24+) known, unrelated (on the direct paternal line) Ireland-surname lines in the world.

I'm going back to try to clarify my comments on the various profiles:  "All male Ireland-surname descendants of this individual should be Y-DNA matches on FTDNA to kit# B103907."
by Kevin Ireland G2G6 Mach 1 (14.1k points)
edited by Kevin Ireland
+10 votes

It is absolutely not true.  Two simple counter examples.  Men whose last name is that of their mother when the father is unknown or when the mother chooses to name the child that way.  Men whose ancestors changed their name for whatever reason.

And I will not even go into possible histories for Smith, though the list may not be much shorter than that for Lee.
by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
+8 votes
No. Even the set of male Lees with lines to Ireland are certainly not agnate within the number of generations that would yield a Y-DNA match.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
+9 votes
Not necessarily due to undisclosed adoptions and intentional and accidental baby swaps.  And let’s not forget about all the illegitimate children who usually end up taking their mother’s maiden surname or another man’s surname.

But, theoretically, yes — in a perfect world.  Unfortunately or fortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.

I am a Y-DNA tested GLEASON and eventually met a person surnamed LITTLE listed with my GLEESONs and GLEASONs.  I later discovered that many LITTLEs that are DNA matching me are actually GLEESONs but their names changed apparently due to an adoption from several generations back.

Also, it is my understanding that Western Society’s use of SURNAMES only goes back between one and two thousand years.  For this reason I am distantly matching several McARTHYs, KENNEDYs, PHELPs, etc. (surnames that apparently originate from or near Tipperary, Ireland).
by Enrique Treat Gleason G2G6 (8.5k points)
edited by Enrique Treat Gleason
Not exactly true Enrique - there is a single documented Little NPE among the Gleason/Gleeson project that I am aware of... Most "Little"-surnamed men are in fact a part of the same haplogroup under R1b\L21\L513\L193\Z17299* and the surname has one of the most consistent genetic records back to the adoption of surnames in the 12th century. All yeoman I might add!
Yes, you are absolutely correct!  I over stated and over-generalized my statement.  I meant and should have stated that most of my Y-DNA and many of my Autosomal DNA matches (DNA matches to me and not to you or to other persons or groups) most likely originated from a distant GLEESON line connecting to my distant Y-DNA GLEESONs.  

I never meant to say that ALL or even MOST LITTLEs in the entire world originated from the GLEESONs (that would certainly be absurd).  Again, my entire comment revolved around my own set of Y-DNA matches (matches to me only) and most of my LITTLE Autosomal DNA matches.
+4 votes
Not true in my Athey (Athy) family which traces to Galway, Ireland.  There are other Athey families in the U.S. that are not related to my line.
by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (471k points)
+4 votes
Not true. HOWEVER, it is true that, in the case of UK/Irish surnames, clan-based surnames tend to have fewer distinct genetic groups than other common surnames. In most of the clan-based surname YDNA groups, you find a handful of very large distinct groups, often distantly related (pre-surname era but post-B.C.). While with most other common surnames you find dozens and dozens of totally unrelated groups (unrelated within at least 1000 years). This makes sense, since most clan surnames derived from a single clan, while most other surnames were adopted in lots of places by lots of unrelated people (eg, Brown, Smith, Field, Carpenter, etc).
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
edited by Chase Ashley
I don't know what's going on with my Y-DNA test. My matches come back clustered in south Ireland, but with all different kinds of surnames.  There are not two identical or even similar surnames in the first 40 matches! (Level 1-3 matches, whatever that means in Family Tree).

The kicker is, I expected it to be German, or possibly Swiss, but at least match a fair number of Germans since I look like my dad, and before that they lived in German communities since at least 1843.
In the 15th century the Irish Parliament passed a law that all the native plebs had to adopt a hereditary surname.  This only applied within the Pale - the area around Dublin, governed by Dublin, nominally under the English Crown.

But if the plebs most under Anglo influence weren't using surnames, we can be sure that the plebs beyond the Pale weren't.  When they chose surnames later, y-DNA wouldn't have much to do with it.
But there are plenty of stragglers who don’t fit in the big groups, no? Like my Duncan uncle who doesn’t fit into any of the major Duncan groups. The total number of groups could still be large if you think of unplaced individuals as their own group.
@ Barry - Very true. Any common surname will have lots of groups, particularly if you treat singletons as their own group. It's just that, in clan-based surname projects, more of the participants will fall in a few very large groups, which are often, themselves, more distantly related, vs. in other common surnames groups, participants tend to be scattered among lots of smaller, totally unrelated groups.

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