Consider helping the NIALL Project, a DNA descendants group of Niall Noigiallach, a prehistoric Irish King, 368-411.

+5 votes
Consider helping the NIALL Project, a DNA descendants group related to Niall Noigiallach, "Niall of the Nine Hostages, a prehistoric Irish King, 368-411.  The primary known DNA stream is through the research of 23andMe.  Some suggest that a majority of English Isles and North Seas male descendants carry his DNA.  All WikiTree members are invited.
in The Tree House by Ron Campbell G2G6 (6.2k points)

Ron - Not sure why you say "The primary known DNA stream is through the research of 23andMe." While if you take a DNA test at 23andMe, they will tell you if you are R-M222, FTDNA has a virtual monopoly on yDNA testing, so if you want to find out which branch of R-M222 you are on, you will probably go through them. I believe FTDNA also has the most active yDNA project/discussion groups.

Hi again Chase, The reason I've used 23andme goes back to 2014:

23andMe scientists improve method for finding relatives, 

Two 23andMe scientists have improved a long-used method for detecting shared DNA segments that researchers use to study everything from whether two people are related, to human demography, and even the heritability of disease.Eric & Cory

The two computational biologists – Eric Durand, PhD and Cory McLean, PhD – recently published their findings in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. The pair made their algorithm, called HaploScore, publicly available.

Previous studies have used computer simulations to look at the accuracy of established methods for determining identity-by-descent (IBD), but Eric and Cory are the first to test those methods with real human data.

When they scrutinized current methods they found that the algorithms produced many errors, so Eric and Cory created a better and more accurate method for determining IBD. Their now open-source method is called HaploScore. “(HaploScore will) allow all researchers to more accurately identify genetic relationships between distantly-related individuals and allow for improved ancestry reports within 23andMe,” said Cory.

Methods for determining IBD are used by researchers to identify shared segments of DNA. Researchers look at IBD in many aspects of genetic research including determining the “relatedness” of any two individuals – the longer the shared segment(s), the closer the relationship. Up to now studies of the accuracy of the methods for determining IBD had been done with simulated data.

When Eric and Cory used the popular IBD detection method called GERMLINE on real data – almost 3,000 biological parent and child “trios” in the 23andMe database – they found it produced a false positive rate of about 67 percent for small segments of DNA. HaploScore improves the accuracy of short IBD segment detection, offering researchers a chance to look at much shorter segments of shared DNA to determine relatedness. Segments of DNA are measured in units called centiMorgans.

Eric and Cory’s new method allows for determining IBD more accurately on segments in the range of 2 to 4 centiMorgans. As more and more people are genotyped or have their DNA sequenced, having an accurate method for determining IBD will be increasingly important.

You may share a paternal-line ancestor with Niall of the Nine Hostages.

R-M269 common ancestor, 10,000 years ago, The Uí Néill Dynasty

The spread of haplogroup R-M269 in northern Ireland and Scotland was likely aided by men like Niall of the Nine Hostages. Perhaps more myth than man, Niall of the Nine Hostages is said to have been a King of Tara in northwestern Ireland in the late 4th century C.E. His name comes from a tale of nine hostages that he held from the regions he ruled over. Though the legendary stories of his life may have been invented hundreds of years after he died, genetic evidence suggests that the Uí Néill dynasty, whose name means "descendants of Niall," did in fact trace back to just one man who bore a branch of haplogroup R-M269.

The Uí Néill ruled to various degrees as kings of Ireland from the 7th to the 11th century C.E. In the highly patriarchal society of medieval Ireland, their status allowed them to have outsized numbers of children and spread their paternal lineage each generation. In fact, researchers have estimated that between 2 and 3 million men with roots in north-west Ireland are paternal-line descendants of Niall.

Moore LT et al. (2006). "A Y-chromosome signature of hegemony in Gaelic Ireland." Am J Hum Genet. 78(2):334-8.
Myres NM et al. (2011). "A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe." Eur J Hum Genet. 19(1):95-101.
Poznik GD et al. (2016). "Punctuated bursts in human male demography inferred from 1,244 worldwide Y-chromosome sequences." Nat Genet. 48(6):593-9.

23andMe states that I share a paternal-line ancestor with Niall via R-M269.  My great grandparents emmigrated from Ireland.
We have a lot of company!
Apparently everyone is a descendant it seems :)
I got the same message on 23andMe.

I’m from this line a paternal-line ancestor with Niall of the Nine Hostages

2 Answers

0 votes
I would be pleased to help the NIALL project in any way I can, as I have an interest in the history of the decent of the Irish Kings and the connections between the early Clan family origins of the Eoghain name in Ireland and the links to Argyll and Cowal in Dalriada in Scotland. My family origins and ancestors are of McEwans, both in Ireland and Scotland.
by Colin Davies G2G Crew (380 points)
Hi Colin,

We're probably cousins with small sections of DNA matches tracing back to Niall.  WikiTree's relationship finder is coming up negative when it compares us.  My paper genealogy trail suffers from a three generation gap, but is predicted to extend back somewhat similar to yours.

So, with this Naill project you're asked to take the 23andMe test kit for DNA analysis.  We would expect it to confirm that you are a descendant of Naill.

Great to hear form you, cousin.   (Campbell-25710)
Ron, we have 200+ common ancestors ... 17th cousins with various numbers removed, but I don't know which of them goes back to Niall, if any - ?
+1 vote
Anyone interested in Niall of the Nine Hostages yDNA (ie R-M222) should also consider joining the very active FTDNA R-M222 group: and take a look at the R-M222 BigY phylogenetic tree at
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (211k points)
Thanks, Ashley, great information.

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