GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-02 > 1139476209
Subject: Re: [DNA] Colla vs Dalriata
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 04:10:09 EST
In a message dated 2/8/2006 4:26:08 P.M. Central Standard Time,
Lochlan, your cynicism is boundless , always looking for fabrications.
There is a core of truth in the old stories and lineages. We just need to
be openminded in light of the genetics for what they can tell us. Just one
example. As I've told you, I still can't find any genetic signatures of
Belgae in Ireland. You can genetically look for them all you want. If there
is such a signature, what is it?
Mark, I can't resist responding to this. I had a great teacher. O
Rahilly. Have you ever read his book "Early Irish History and Mythology?" It's
still the standard work in the field, quoted extensively by all Irish scholars.
It's long and sadly out-of-print but can be found in a lot of university
libraries. I truly do not think you comprehend the amount and sophistication
of the fabrication involved in traditional Irish legends and pedigrees.
I have no idea what a Belgae DNA signature might look like. O Rahilly
lists most of the clans throughout Ireland descended from this tribe - I can
easily look them up for you. The ones I'm most familiar with are in the north
of Ireland, ie, the Dal Fiatach and the Dal Riata. There are no remnants of
the Dal Riata left in Ireland, at least not in terms of pedigrees for the
chieftains. And as you probably know the main chieftains of the Dal Fiatach
were Mac Donnsleibhe (MacDonlevy) and O hEochaidh (Haughey or O'Hoey. Some of
the other tribes in Ireland said to be Erainn were the Muscraige, Corco
Duibne, and Corco Baiscind - but finding pedigrees and chieftains for these might
be well nigh impossible.
Here's a writeup of the Erainn from an excellent source. The author of
the tract, Donal F. Begley, was chief herald of Ireland at the time.
Heraldic Artists Ltd.
The Peoples of Ireland
DONAL F. BEGLEY
Erainn (Iverni, Fir Bo1g)
Regarding the second of the authenticated Celtic settlements in Ireland, we
have considerable knowledge. Among themselves the new settlers were known as
Euerni, a name which was represented in old Irish documents as Erainn To
their adopted homeland they gave the name Eueriio, rendered Iepvn by the fourth
century Greek geographer Pytheas, and Iovepvia by Ptolemy. From the latter
form was derived the Latin classical name for Ireland, Ivernia, which later, by
popular etymology, became Hibernia. In due course Eueriio - the Celtic name
for Ireland - dissolved into the old Irish Eriu and the modern Irish tire.
On the evidence of the tribal names recorded by Ptolemy in his geography of
Ireland -the oldest documentary account of the country we possess the Erainn
appear to have been widely spread throughout Ireland in districts as far
apart as Antrim and Kerry. Among the branches of the Erainn prominent in early
historical times in the north-east of the country were the Dal Riada, the Dal
Fiatach and the Uluti or Ulaid, after whom the province of Ulster was named.
In the south-east the Ui Bairrche, whose original home was in south Wexford -
where they bequeathed their name to the Barony of Bargy - may be taken to be
the historical representatives of Ptolemy's Bpiyavtes.
It is, however, with the south of Ireland that the Erainn are believed to
have had particularly close connections. The association of the Erainn with the
south of the country is reinforced by Ptolemy who located the Iverni whom he
treats as a single tribe - in the present county of Cork. The late Professor
T. F. O'Rahilly has identified several Ernean tribes who inhabited the south
and south-west of the country, among them the Corcu Loigde, Corcu Duibne,
Ciarraige, Muscraige, Fir Maige, Ui Liathain and DOW. Considerations such as
these incline one to the view that the strength of the grainn lay in the south
of the country where we may suppose they first established themselves,
probably in the fifth century B.C., before extending their conquest to the rest of
As to the identity of the trainn or Iverni, available evidence tends to
suggest that they were in fact Belgae, the name applied by the Roman writers to a
large section of the Continental Celts. A study of early Irish genealogical
tracts shows that the Erainn were distinguished by being made to descend from
certain divine ancestors, notably Daire, Eterscel (a quo O'Driscoll) and
Bo1g. Of particular interest to us here is the name Bo1g, which was one of the
many appellations of the Celtic sun-god, giving rise to the forms Bolgi
(Celtic), Belgae (Latin) and Fir BoIg or Builg (Irish). The conclusion, therefore,
would appear to be that Erainn Euerni, Fir BoIg and Builg were merely
different names for the one people, who in origin were remotely an offshoot of the
Belgae, and more immediately descendants of Belgic tribes that had settled in
O Rahilly makes a great deal of the fact that the Fir Bolg of the Irish
Milesian legends were actually Belgae (from the epithet, bolg). This term (Fir
Bolg) means "the men of Bolg," interpretated in the Lebor Gabala Erren to mean
"men of bags" including a ridiculous story that they received their name
while in slavery in Greece filling bags of dirt for the Greeks. But at any rate
the Lebor Gabala did preserve a small truth - that the Belgae were the
dominant tribe in Ireland at one time. In later Irish tradition it was stated
there were no Fir Bolg in Ireland, ie, Belgae. Well of course not. They had
all become descendants of the line of by then, linked to Ith, son of Breogan,
father of Mil.
Keating's pedigrees have a pedigree for O Driscoll (mentioned above as
Erainn). He lists the associated families as:
35 Breoghan. Of the posterity of Lugaidh son of Ioth are
the following families: Mag Amhalguidh of Callrach, O
Laoghaire of Ros, Mag Flannchuidh of Dartrach, O
Cobhthaigh, O Cuirnin, O Floinn of Ard, O Baire of Ara,
and Mac Ailin in Scotland sprung from Fathadh Canann son
of Mac Con. Also of the progeny of this Lughaidh son of
Ioth are O Treabhair, O Criadhagain and O Cairnein.
Here again (what else is new?) we appear to have some pedigree fakery,
listing a number of Scottish families in descent from Mac Con including Mac Ailin
of Scotland (Campbell). Why is Mac Ailin included in this list? I say
possible fakery because the traditional Campbell pedigree has them descend from
among others, King Arthur and Uther Pendragon and of course W.D.H. Sellar wrote
a hugely popular article stating the pedigree was a kind of pointer to a
northern British origin.
Guess who else was "banished" from Ireland? Mac Con (by Oilill Olom).. And
guess where he was banished to? Scotland. From whence he later returned and
his son Lugaidh became High King of Ireland. This is not the same Lugaidh
whom O Rahilly informs us was the invasion leader of the Belgae who brought
them from Britain to Ireland. He is found slightly earlier in the Mac Con
pedigree, as a son of Daire.
59 Mac Con, son of
58 Mac Niadh, son of
57 Lughaidh, son of
And Daire is the ancestral deity of the Belgae, according to O Rahilly. He
equates him with the Darini of Ptolemy's map.
I mentioned in an earlier post, Mark, that what I am saying in these posts
are not my own theories but the theories of Irish and Scottish historians. I
don't think the post went through so I'll repeat that again with emphasis.
I have no idea how you could find Belgae DNA to test in Britain or Gaul.
But according to O Rahilly the tribes listed above in Ireland (with the
doubtful exception of the Mac Ailins) might be a possibility. You should also be
careful in assuming there was only one family in Ireland that took the surname
Mac or O Duinnsleibhe. Most Irish surnames arose in several different
places in Ireland amongst unrelated families. For example, there are at least
four different unrelated families that took the surname MacLochlainn. Test the
wrong one and your DNA results will be meaningless. Same thing is true for
the O'Neills. And the O Dochartaighs. And the O Donnells. Another example
might be O Flynn. A well-known family were Kings of Ui Tuirtre in Antrim
(Airgialla); but the name Flynn is common throughout Ireland and obviously of
multiple unrelated origins.
The O Duinnsleibhes were Kings of Ulaidh until sometime in the 13th century,
when they were displaced by the Normans and became what folks in Scotland
would call a broken clan. After that we find the name in Donegal, and
O'Donovan informs us they settled there as physicians to O Donnell after being
dispossessed by the Normans. But did they? How can we be sure, despite the name,
that this is the same O Duinsleibhe family formerly kings of Ulaidh in
Ulster? The name also pops up with disconcerting regularity in the south of
Ireland. All of which would lead one to suspect there were multiple origins of t
he surname, and not all Dunslevys in Ireland were descended from the Dal