Are you a descendant of Irish King Niall of the Nine Hostages?

Millions of people around the world today are descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the legendary 5th century A.D. High King of Ireland. Wherever the Irish settled, also live Niall’s posterity. Niall was a wise, stout and warlike man, fortunate in all his achievements and conquests, and was therefore called “Mór“ (meaning “Great”). He was also called “Niall Naoi-Ghiallach”, meaning “Niall of the Nine Hostages”, from the nine royal hostages held by him from lands and peoples that he had conquered and made tributary: Munster; Leinster; Connacht; Ulster; Britain; the Picts; the Dal Riada; the Saxons and the Morini (a people of France near Calais and Piccardy).

Niall was the son of Eochaid Mugmedón, King of Tara, and Carthan Cais Dubh (also known as Carinna, who was supposedly the daughter of the Celtic King of Britain). According to legend:

“Young Niall had to survive the malice of his wicked stepmother, Mongfhinn, who left him naked upon a hillside to die. He was found and raised by a wandering bard named Torna Eices. In a prophecy, “Sithchenn the Smith” foretold that Niall would eventually become High King. As a young man, Niall encountered an old hag, who demanded that he and his companions give her a kiss; only Niall had the courage to do so; then the hag turned into a beautiful woman named Flaithius (Royalty), the personification of sovereignty and then prophesied that Niall would become the greatest of Ireland’s High Kings.”

Niall succeeded his uncle Crimthann to become the 126th High King of Ireland. The Irish Annals of the Four Masters states that “Niall began to reign in 379. He was not only the paramount king of Ireland, but one of the most powerful to ever hold that office, and was therefore one of the few Irish kings able to mobilize great forces for foreign expeditions.” Niall travelled to Scotland in order to extend his power and to obtain alliances with the Scots and Picts. He supposedly organized the Dal Riada, which became the name for this conglomeration of Irish, Scots and Picts. He marched to Laegria and sent a fleet to Armorica (France) to plunder. Keating, in his History of Ireland, states that “St. Patrick was brought as a captive to Ireland in the ninth year in the reign of Niall” while Niall was on a raiding expedition to Scotland and France. An Irish fleet went to the place where Patrick (then age 16 and known as Mewyn Succat) lived and, as was the custom of Irish raiders, brought a large number of hostages back to Ireland with them, including Patrick, his two sisters, Lupida and Daererca and approximately 200 other children.

Niall married twice. His first queen was Inne, the daughter of Luighdheach; and his second queen was Roigneach. Niall had at least twelve sons:

1. Eoghan – who gave his name to the kingdom of Tir Eoghain (Tyrone), ancestor of the O’Cahan, O’Cane, O’Daly, O’Crean, Grogan, O’Carolan, O’Gormley and O’Luinigh. Eoghan was baptized by St. Patrick at the Grianan Aileach, and his foot was pierced by the Bacchal Iosa during the ceremony. Eoghain’s son and heir Muireadach (Murray) married Earca, daughter of King Loarn of Dal Riada in Scotland, and by her had many sons and daughters; one of whom was Fergus Mór Mac Earca. From this Fergus Mór descended the kings of Scotland, and through his descendant Queen Matilda, the kings of England, including the royal houses of Plantagenet and Stuart.

2. Laeghaire (Leary) – the 128th High King, in the 4th year of whose reign St. Patrick returned to Ireland to spread the Christian faith in A.D. 432;

3. Conall Crimthann – ancestor of the O’Melaghlin kings of Meath;

4. Conall Gulban – ancestor of the O’Donnell princes, lords, and earls of the territory of Tirconnell (Donegal), and of the O’Boyle, O’Dogherty and O’Gallagher;

5. Fiacha – ancestor of the O’Molloy, O’Donechar and Donaher (Dooner), and for whom the territory from Birr to the Hill of Uisneach in Meath is called “Cineal Fiacha” and ancestor of the MacGeoghagan lords of that territory;

6. Main – whose patrimony was all the land from Lochree to Loch Annin, near Mullingar, and from whom are descended the Fox lords of the Muintir Tagan territory, the MacGawley, O’Dugan, O’Mulchonry and O’Henergy;

7. Cairbre – ancestor of the O’Flanagan of Tua Ratha and “Muintir Cathalan” (Cahill);

8. Fergus – ancestor of the “Cineal Fergusa” (Ferguson) and O’Hagan;

9. Enna;

10. Aongus (Æneas);

11. Ualdhearg; and

12. Fergus Altleathan.

During his long reign, High King Niall pillaged Wales, Scotland, England and France. Irish annalist Keating stated that “Niall having taken many captives returned to Ireland and proceeded to assemble additional forces and sent word to the chief of the Dal Riada, requesting him to follow with all his host to France.” Niall set out on this new adventure with Gabhran, chief of the Dal Riada, to plunder France. Also with this group was Eochaida (son of Enna Cinsalach, King of Leinster), who had been banished from Leinster, and who had ambitions to replace Niall as the next High King of Ireland. Niall marched with his victorious army of Irish, Scots, Picts, and Britons into France, in order to aid the Celtic natives expel the Roman Legions, and to conquer that portion of the Roman Empire. Encamped on the River Leor (now called the Lianne) near Boulogne-sur-mer in 405 A.D., as Niall sat by the riverside, he was assassinated by Eochaida, supposedly in revenge for some “wrong” done to him by Niall. The spot on the River Lianne where Niall was murdered is still called the “Ford of Niall.” Niall had been High King of Ireland for twenty-seven years. He played an important role in breaking Roman power in Britain and France. Keating states that “Wales ceased to be controlled by the central government from 380-400 due to Niall.”

Niall died a pagan, but after the spread of Christianity in Ireland, his descendants (the Uí Néill) became foremost in promoting and endowing the early Christian Church in Ireland; and nearly 300 of them were canonized as saints. He was the founding ancestor of the great Uí Néill (O’Neill) royal dynasty that would control most of Ireland for the next 1200 years as kings, chieftains, earls, abbots and bishops. For nearly 700 years, the Uí Néill stronghold was the Grianan Aileach, a massive ring fort still standing atop Greenan Mountain, five miles west of modern day Londonderry (Derry):

Curiously, part of Niall’s story occurred in England in 1919. That year, archeologists discovered a hoard of Roman silver, dating from Emperor Valens (365-378 A.D.) to the early reign of Emperor Honorius (395-423 A.D.). This find was comparable to 1,506 Roman silver coins from a 1854 excavation in County Londonderry, which dated from the reign of Emperors Constantius II to Honorius. The hoard created great debate among English historians as to how these coins came to be in England. These and other hoards had coins from earlier times up to Honorius, but none beyond. There were approximately 13 finds altogether. Who brought these coins to England and Northern Ireland? After Roman Emperor Theodosius I died, Franks, Saxons, Picts, Scots and Irish began to sack the European Continent. Honorius eventually succeeded his father Theodosius as Roman Emperor and then sent the Roman legions, under the command of the Vandal Stilcho north to deal with the raiders. Stilcho was successful in putting down raiders on the Continent, but he could not stop the raiders coming from Ireland. The Roman historian Claudian makes it clear that “the most formidable onslaught had come from Ireland under one powerful leader acting in co-operation with the Picts and Saxons.” Professor Sir William Ridgeway stated that the coins found in the excavations mentioned above were brought back by Niall’s companions after his death and buried. The interest created by the coin hoards helped uncover much that is now known about Niall.

Even 1600 years after the assassination of King Niall, a surprisingly large percentage of the population of northern and western Ireland remain his posterity. A study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics (February 2006 issue), conducted at Trinity College Dublin, revealed that a striking percentage of men in Ireland and Scotland share the same chromosome, suggesting that one in twelve Irishmen are descendants of Niall. In this study of the Y chromosome, which is passed down only through the male line, scientists found a hotspot in northwest Ireland where 21.5% of the male population carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint, says Brian McEvoy, member of the research team at Trinity College.

This hotspot coincides with the historic stronghold of the Uí Néill.

“The Y chromosome in question appears to trace back to just one person” says McEvoy. “There are certain surnames that seem to have come from the Uí Néill. We studied the association between those surnames and the genetic profile. It is his (Niall’s) family.”

Modern surnames tracing their ancestry back to Niall include (but are not limited to) (O’)Boyle, Bradley, (O’)Cahan, Campbell, (O’)Cane, Cannon, (O’)Carolan, (O’)Connor, (O’)Crean, (O’)Daly, (O’)Devlin, (O’)Dogherty, (O’)Donaher (Dooner), (O’)Donechar, (O’)Donnell, (O’)Dugan, Ferguson, (O’)Flanagan, (O’)Flynn, (Mc)Kee, (O’)Donnelly, Egan, (O’)Gallagher, (Mc)Gawley, (O’)Gormley, (Mc)Geoghagan, Grogan, (O’)Hagan (O’)Henergy, Hynes, (O’)Kane, (O’)Lunney, (Mc)Caul, (Mc)Caully, (Mc)Govern, (Mc)Loughlin, (Mc)Manus, (O’)Melaghlin, (Mc)Menamin, (O’)Molloy, (O’)Mulchonry, (O’)Neill, (O’)Reilly, (O’)Rourke and Quinn.

The study also confirmed the genealogical and oral traditions of Gaelic Ireland, and is a “powerful illustration of the potential link between prolificacy and power.” Though medieval Ireland was Christian, divorce was allowed, people married early and concubinage was practiced. Illegitimate sons were claimed by their fathers and their rights were protected by law. “As in other polygamous societies, the siring of offspring was related to power and prestige.” The study points out that one Uí Néill chieftain, who died in 1423, had 18 sons with 10 different women and counted 59 grandsons in his male line alone.

The “Niall” chromosome has also been found in 16.7% of men in western and central Scotland and has turned up in multiple North American population samples, including 2% of European-American New Yorkers. “Given historically high rates of Irish emigration to North America and other parts of the world, it seems likely that the number of descendants worldwide runs to perhaps two to three million males,” said the study.

The genetic signature of the Uí Néill can be found at

There is a Facebook page, Descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages, at:


Filed under Florida Irish History

108 responses to “Are you a descendant of Irish King Niall of the Nine Hostages?

  1. Richard K McKeever member R-M222 Study

    One ancient family name you left out of your study was McKeever/ MacIver/ M’Ivor. The history is there, even in Scotland where the M’Ivers were known to be a landed people before the arrival of the Campbell’s of Argyle. Clan Robertson even mentions the M’Iver’s comming to their aid in old documents dated long before the Campbells’s were there. Many McKeever’s / McIvors today in County Armagh all carry the R-M222 genes as many Irish Campbells do. There is also much to be said for the way Campbells, and McIvers often interchange their surnames, and that there is also a bond between the two clans that has lasted since before the use of surnames became popular. If you check most historical census’s you will almost never find a Campbell, without a McIver near by.

    • John O'Brien

      I’m an O’Brien, believed to be decendant of Brian Boru, but my DNA/Haplo Group matches me with Niall

      • amanda

        i am amanda o’mangan decendant of niall well believed to be decendant of him

      • Kim O'Brien

        I am also an O’Brien descended from Boru and also more strongly centred on the Nial Noigiallch – Niall of nine hostages Our Haplo group is R: M222 (nial Noigiallch) + > DF105+. John are you a member of the O’Brien DNA project? If you rate my kit number is 55312. I live in Tasmania Australia. I have another 2 step match with Jim O’Briens ancestor in the USA (Paul O’Brien) . Would love to connect to you John. kind regards Kim O’Brien (Mr.)

      • Carter O'Brien

        John & Kim – we have also tested in at M-222 > DF85. We are kit # 108748 and a member of the O’Brien DNA project, I have also found the folks at the M-222 yahoo group to be a very knowledgeable & friendly bunch, that address is



    • Shelia J Baker

      Could the McNeely surname be a part of all of this?
      Thanks Shelia in Kansas

    • Rebecca Orchard

      My mother was a Master Genealogist, it was her life’s work. I have records that say I am a descendant of Niall Nóigiallach, or Niall of the Nine Hostages. Our line from Niall is through his grandson Fergus Mor MacEarca, who went to aid his Grandfather Niall in war, over the water in Alba. It was Fergus Mor MacEarca that became the first King of the Dal Riada, not Niall. My mother was a Kerr, my father was said to be a descendant from the Urqhart Clan? I still haven’t gotten his genealogical records, so I couldn’t be sure.

    • Derlin Claire

      My paternal Great-Great-Grandmother was an Irish immigrant named Martha O’Neal,born June 30,1836 in Ashkeaton,Limerick,Ireland.Know that her surname O’Neal means”Grandson,or descendant of Neal”.

    • Marilyn Stewart

      I have just learned about my connection to good old prolific Niall. Our name is Stewart, but i see no one listing it here. My Stewarts came from Wigtown on the western side of Scotland and were part of the Plantation into Ulster.

  2. Thomas Hintze

    Im told im an ancestor the Heremon (died 1564 B.C.) and Niall is a decdent.

  3. WyoCowboy

    My Uncle did a whole lot of genealogy and says that our family descended from Nial. My biological father’s name was John Neal and the Neal family changed their name from O’Neil when they came to the American Colonies in the mid 1700’s. Some of the Neal’s fought in the American Revolution and later ancestors fought in the Civil War. This is all very interesting.

  4. I am an Ua Cearnachain or Carnahan Family and am also M222.

    • My best friend bought me one year of in Nov. I can’t stop looking up my tree.My 5th Great Grandfather was Sir William Johnson.His family name was changed in Ireland,from O’Niell.Niall of The Nine Hostages is my 40th Great Grandfather.His line comes to me through my Mothers side.As I am also a female, what are my chances I wonder with DNA. I hope to hear back from you all soon Robyne.

    • Shelia J Baker

      Dear Michael, I saw your comment in the article about King Naill and his descendants. I have a Great Great Great grandmother with the surname of Jane Carnahan, I believe maybe from Florida originally. Anyway you mentioned the M222. How do I find if I have this? I have my DNA results in 23 & Me with all the break out but I yet understand how to read the numbers. Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks
      Shelia Baker

    • Michael Carnahan

      Further testing laid me in the FGC8739 DF97 subclade.

  5. Please stop using the L’Derry term. As an Irish person I find the use of English/Planter terminology highly insulting. The name of the area is Derry or Doire in Irish.

  6. Just found out through DNA Testing that I also belong to the R-M269 haplogroup.

  7. Matthias Mulvey. Family buried at Clommacnoise.
    1179 d: Melaghlin O’Mulvey, Chief or Muintir-Eolais.
    1315 d: O’Mulvey. ditto
    1378 d: O’Farrell O’Mulvey. ditto
    1486 d: Teige O’Mulvey. ditto

  8. Andrew Evans

    I am an Evans, and a descendant of Niall, based on my DNA.

  9. Lochlainn Mac Néill

    I recently had my YDNA which links me directly to Niall of the Nine Hostages. I am Scottish and fall within the NW Irish and Lowland Scots. I am a member of the M222 Project.

  10. David Hoaglan

    I too just discovered I belong to the R-M269 Group. My surname is Hoaglan of which little is known. perhaps a spinoff of “Hagan”. Looking for more connections.

    • Jim Hagan

      I am a direct descendant of O’Hagan (O’Hagan -> Hagan -> Hagen), county Tyrone and county Longford. Both confirmed by paperwork trail and DNA.

  11. puna

    Yes, I’ve just a few questions. If one’s last name is Neal, then it’s right to assume that they are a fairly direct, it not direct, descendant of Niall line as in High Kings. Correct?

  12. Lynley Sewell

    I grew up with the name McKechie but have since found out it was McCaughey in Ireland then changed when forebears went to Scotland.
    Also told we are descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages!

  13. Logan Jergens

    DNA testing has me as a direct descendant of Niall. Through birth certificates and baptism records I have previously traced back my ancestry to 1781 Koln, Germany with the original surname of Goergens. I am very interested in the 1200 year gap between Doire and Koln. The Nine Years War and the Flight of The Earls makes sense. Does anyone have some further information concerning this?

  14. KM

    Both my husband and son carry the M222 mutation. Last name is Molen and we live in the western United States. I had a suspicion for a long time that my husband was very much Irish, Scottish, English or a combination of all three because of physical traits and personality traits the family carries, i.e. ink spots, curly dark hair, blue eyes, stocky build, blonde eyelashes, very fair skin and freckles. The DNA finally proved it. We know the spelling of the name was changed permanently to Molen around 1830 or so in America but haven’t figured out exactly what it was beforehand. Previous to 1830 it’s often found written as Maulden, Moulden, Malin, Molden, Molten, Mouldon, Moulton, Maulding with Maulden and Moulden being the most common. I notice that this Molen ancestry line has large families with unusual longevity on their side. They also have a history of wealth, success, political involvement (strong political and religious involvement), and I’m finding that leaving a legacy is very important to them. Thought I would throw in those descriptors in case others of this group noticed similar patterns in their families as I feel these patterns are often passed down for generations and passed down much longer than I ever realized they could be.

    • Suzanne

      My mother’s maiden name was Molen. My 3rd great grandfather, William, came to Brooklyn, NY, from Tipperary during the 1840s. His spelling of the name was “Molan,” but his children, and the generations that followed spelled the name with an “e.” William’s wife was an O’Donnell, also from Tipperary. William’s grandson’s were politicians and police officers in Brooklyn. Many Molens still living in and around Brooklyn, NY, and along the east coast!

    • KM – My last name is Molen. We have a brick wall in our genealogy, due to an orphan. My father and I both did a DNA test. Would love to find a way to compare my dad’s to your family. We’re starting to think my orphan ancestor maybe wasn’t born a Molen, but have no way to prove it.

  15. Your history on this subject is very biased. The Kings of the Southern Ui Neill actually did not want the spread of Christianity in Ireland, hence St. Patrick cursing Cairbre, because of his reluctance to accept Christianity. Tuathal Mael Garb, his son, became King during this fiasco, and also rejected Christianity in Ireland, then he was murdered, and a Christian sympathizer was placed on the throne. The records were changed, and Eoghan was placed as King after Niall, forever changing history, and the rightful Kings of Ireland from the Southern Ui Neill branch of Cairbre and Tuathal Mael Garb, the man who completed Niall’s Conquest of Brega, which was to usher in the rightful King of Ireland, and only his descendants to follow. From the point of his murder, a Christian King was placed on the throne, and the Crown went to Scotland, then England….in which it never should have…only Tuathal Mael Garb’s descendant’s are the rightful heirs to the throne, but if you do your research, his genealogical records were changed in 1172, and history was rewritten, and his family persecuted from Meath, and it happened again in the 17th century. The Crown doesn’t belong in England, nor did it belong in Scotland, and there should be a King sitting upon the Irish throne today, that of Tuathal Mael Garb’s descendants, who have been wrongfully persecuted since his murder for not accepting Christianity in Ireland. Do your research, and see for yourself. I say bring the Crown back to Ireland!!

    • Yes!!! I agree with you, completely…

    • Don Parker

      There is today a wonderful republican constitution in Ireland, which out of the painful experience of that country, wisely bars any titles of nobility. America’s, Poland’s and other constitutions also have this clause for good reason. So while it’s fun to see if our ancestors might have been from these families, as I am, certainly there should not “be a King sitting on the Irish throne today,” nor anyone legitimate as such. There is no “rightful” hereditary King, no matter whose history was correct or incorrect.

  16. Jesse Conner

    Just found my Y dna matches Niall, my name is Conner

  17. Neila Kelly

    I am Neila Kelly, believed to be a descendant of Niall.

  18. Cody Neal

    I too believe I am a descendant of king Niall

  19. I am a Strahan Descendent, and a Descendent of Naill. This was proven by The Strahan Clan Dna Profile Study Results, in 2011. I would like more Info about Naills Descendents, and how I could possibly trace my Ancestors back to him.

  20. Linda

    My grandson’s FTM YDNA links him directly to Niall of the Nine Hostages.
    R-M269 and Niall of the Nine Hostages Badge
    His last name is White, or so we believe. His father and grandfather used the last name White. We have no other info of that lineage. Is this a known Irish name from descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages?

    • Kristen

      Linda, my Molen line which is +M222 DNA linked to Niall married into the family of White in 1802. The Molens also married into the family of Dougherty, another name connected to the Niall Dynasty. It seems those who came to the U.S. stayed in their Irish groups early on from the many surnames in my tree that are Irish back then. So perhaps White is an Irish name or it was changed from a Gaelic form to White when they came to the U.S. Smith, for example, was changed from the Irish McGowan in some cases. McGowan means “blacksmith.”

      • Yes i have descendants going as far asi can see off the oniell till my grandmother and we come from bklyn and my mom’s close friend that worked in the post office is white last name so you can be sure it is Irish ancestry and one of ok ur estaminet friends was Dougherty which is a great clan of niell and O’Connor on mother’s side and gerhity

  21. Tom Barto

    Just found out today the connection to Niall of the Nine Hostages through Family Tree DNA.

  22. Cathy Mase DeLaughter

    I had my brother’s (we have the same parents), DNA done, and we show to be a descendant of Niall. This is on my Dad’s side of the family (Mase).

  23. It is now known that the prolific Irish King who left quite a mark on history (dating to around 400 AD) is in fact the ancestor of everyone with any Caucasian heritage. This is a matter of logic and mathematics and known in informed genealogy circles as the “most recent common ancestor.” That some DNA tests may not find this marker shows a flaw, or weakness in their testing methodology or other technical shortcoming. It is similarly true that Charlemagne is that same category. Again, it is math and logic that demonstrate this important genealogic fact. Doubters need to Google on “most recent common ancestor” for proof.

  24. Bob Parker

    I had my uncle’s YDNA done to get the Reed/Reid/Read etc. surname done for our family. The results show we are descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages.

    • Kristen

      Reed is a family in my husband’s family tree as well. Kizziah Reed is one of the females who married into our Molen line in the United States.

    • michael moutray read

      I have had my y dna done and trace the Read family back to 1675 in Co Down. I would be grateful to compare with yours.

  25. Cathy Monaghan

    My brother just received his DNA results. Our surname is Monaghan and we live in the USA. My brother’s haplogroup is R-M269 [subclade R1b1a2a1a1b4b] which seems to match Niall of the Nine Hostages quite closely.
    -Cathy Monaghan

  26. According to my research, Eochaid Muigh Meadhoin Mugmedon is my 43rd great grandfather!

  27. Timothy Allen Kinney

    Sorry, it appears Niall is my 42nd uncle, please remove the above

  28. Greenan is County Donegal, not Derry.

  29. Pingback: History A'la Carte 4-4-13 - Random Bits of Fascination

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  31. Nadine Farnan

    I was told as a Farnan I descend from St Farnan who was one of Nialls bastard sons?

  32. KM

    Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) may also descend from Ui Niall. He is positive at M222.

  33. Bill McKeen

    My name is Wlliam McKeen and I am M-222. I believe I am a descendant of the O’Cahan sept. of O’Niall. My 5G grandfather, according to the 1850 census of Maine was born in Scotland and came from New Brunswick.

  34. Mark Ruddy

    Yes,I am a Ruddy my youngest brother did the DNA test and the Audit trail suggest we have the Y Code of The Great King Niall of the Nine Hostages .Which could explain why Ruddys have been called to leadership roles.

  35. kittycat77

    My maiden name is Cook, and a close Cook relative, whose grandfather was my dad, just found out that we are descendants of Niall. He’s a R-M269.

    I don’t see how a Cook surname fits in here. Can someone enlighten me? I’m doing genealogy for my g-g-grandfather that I can’t find in the US, which is why we had my nephew’s DNA done. Could it be a simple fact that someone down the line changed their surname?


    • Dianna

      My last name is Clark, and through DNA have found we are also descendants of King Niall.
      I too wonder how can that be. Have heard it could be a “non-paternal event”. Meaning somewhere down the line an adoption occurred.

    • Kristen

      Yes, Kitty, it can. The surname of Cooksey is heavily involved with my husband’s Molen tree, but we are still trying to find out why and where they connect. My husband is a direct Molen descendant and carries the +M222 relation to Niall. The Molen name was not originally Molen either. They could have easily dropped the “sey” from the name of Cook. The Cooksey name is seen in Ireland.

  36. Jim Hagen

    I am a direct descendant of O’Hagan (O’Hagan -> Hagan ->), county Tyrone and county Longford. Both confirmed by paperwork trail and DNA.

  37. I’m a McVey Born in Scotland , but my Family are from County Tyrone who came to Scotland to work in the steel mills in Coatbridge……My Father said that the McVey’s were Jacobites who fought for Prince Charlie….The Names Edward,Francis and Charles run through our Family line……Just wondering , are we from the O’Neils too.

  38. Hi Cousin: I am descended from Niall’s half brother King Brion Mac Eochaid Mugmedón King of Connacht (Ireland). Very interesting. I never heard of these people until tonight, I am listing Kings from whom I am directly descended and on the British Isles list (England, Scotland, Ireland) with Biron tonight I have 100 Kings on that list.

  39. My fathers name was Walsh any relatives there with that name?

    • Michael J Trussell

      I there are Walsh in my mom’s family, they are from Ireland

      Sent from my iPhone


      • Robert Carrolan

        Hi I think the Name Walsh is of English Origin, as in Bishop Walsh of Birmingham England.

      • Rich Moran

        The Welsh were a part of the initial Cabria Norman invasion into Ireland. Today in Ireland you see Walsh, Davis and other Welsh surnames in Ireland. Through origins I discovered my Y dna connects me with M222, Campbell’s, Doherty, Gormelys, MacAdams. My Irish Family is from Sligo / Galway originally, but it appears connected with Donegal and Scotland. Made sense my father married a Norwegian woman.

  40. My fathered Leonard frank James oneill his dad was was jamespatrick o neill his mum. Was a Catherine foster 1900

  41. There is now a group on Facebook trying to tie together as many as possible to their descendance from King Niall of the Nine Hostages. Let’s everyone join together as many as possible.

    • That would be so awesome I have been told my whole childhood of the oniell heritage that I have and my family comes entirely from Ulster in the west and I think my heritage is a straight line of oniells all my research points to that so my autosomal was a start now I will get a y DNA test I am very proud just to be of Irish descent and Catholic and amseeker of history Irish history to know my family is one of the great family’s of Europe is just a great source of pride and I love my Irish family and want to meet the ones we lost during the diaspora God bless you and bring you home to the land of wire



    • Joseph McGhee

      The “Wild Geese” are the military people forced out of Ireland by the English through the Treaty of Kinsale which was treacherously violated by the English after the Wild Geese left Ireland. They joined the armies of almost every country on the continent of Europe, but always claimed the right to be in the forefront of any battle against the English. It was said that the Russian general who drove Napoleon’s army out of Russia was a descendant of the Wild Geese. Their struggle was chronicled in the poem “Fontenoy” by Thomas Davis of which the final verses are here presented: ““Lord Clare,” he says, “you have your wish—there are your Saxon foes;”
      The marshal almost smiles to see, so furiously he goes!
      How fierce the look these exiles wear, who’re wont to be so gay!
      The treasured wrongs of fifty years are in their hearts to-day—
      The treaty broken ere the ink wherewith ’twas writ could dry, 35
      Their plundered homes, their ruined shrines, their women’s parting cry,
      Their priesthood hunted down like wolves, their country overthrown—
      Each looks as if revenge for all rested on him alone.
      On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, nor ever yet elsewhere,
      Rushed on to fight a nobler band than these proud exiles were. 40

      O’Brien’s voice is hoarse with joy, as, halting, he commands,
      “Fix bayonets—charge.” Like mountain storms rush on these fiery bands!
      Thin is the English column now, and faint their volleys grow,
      Yet, mustering all the strength they have, they make a gallant show.
      They dress their ranks upon the hill to face that battle-wind— 45
      Their bayonets the breakers’ foam; like rocks, the men behind!
      One volley crashes from their line, when, through the surging smoke,
      With empty guns clutched in their hands, the headlong Irish broke.
      On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, hark to that fierce huzzah!
      “Revenge! remember Limerick! dash down the Sassenach.” 50
      Like lions leaping at a fold when mad with hunger’s pang,
      Right up against the English line the Irish exiles sprang.
      Bright was their steel, ’tis bloody now, their guns are filled with gore;
      Through shattered ranks, and severed files, and trampled flags they tore.
      The English strove with desperate strength, paused, rallied, staggered, fled— 55
      The green hill-side is matted close with dying and with dead.
      Across the plain and far away passed on that hideous wrack,
      While cavalier and fantassin dash in upon their track,
      On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, like eagles in the sun,
      With bloody plumes the Irish stand—the field is fought and won!

      • Doug Magee

        Very interesting! I had my DNA analyzed by 23 and me, and also am aM-222 Hapologroup- direct descendant of the Niall dynasty. I guess the High King Niall, his sons and their sons, and on and on, ruled for a number of generations, which explains why there are so many with the M-222 Hapologroup. We should set up, perhaps, a Facebook group
        or something like that. What I’d like to find out, is, are there any descendants in the English Royal Family, that can be traced back to M-222 and King Niall? I recall reading that one of King Niall’s son’s, or son of a son, became one of the first Kings of England. I don’t know if that’s true, but it would be interesting to find out if the Royal Family has Irish King heritage, and, if so, who it would be. My surname comes from the surname McKee, which is one of the surnames, associated with the King Niall and his descendants DNA history.

      • Robert Carrolan

        I am the Lord Robert David Carrolan 1st Baron Clondermont,I am a direct descendent of Caralain Mac Nial the son of King Nial of the 9 hostages who founded the clan Dermott and established rule over them and the land they farmed in modern day County London Derry in Northern Ireland.the O’carrolans were the high Chiefs of that clan and area,Some of our noted Famous Irish ancestors include Turlo O’carolan the ‘Irish Bard’ who was a blind harpest in 18th century County Meath in the Republic of Ireland his image also appeared on the Irish 50 Punt note before the adoption of the Euro.

  43. Shane

    Y DNA test concludes I am a direct descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin, 379 to 405 AD. My last name is DAVIS. Anyone out there a Davis that can assist me in discovering our path to the U.S.? I live in Colorado, geneology of my DAVIS line reports to Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma along with other states. Many in family fought in Revolutionary War – SAR members.

    Shane Patrick Davis

    shanedavisco (at) gmail dot com

    • michael davis

      hello Shane Patrick Davis. My name is Michael n Davis and I share a paternal line ancestor as my y paternal group is Rl21 I’m new to this but I’m trying very hard to find out where our last name got introduced.


    i have done research and I am a descent of the Clan U’Niall the High King of Ireland. I have royal blood on my mothers father side. I am Scottish and Irish and both have royal blood. the list of names is quite impressive, too bad I get non of the benefits.

  45. Robert Carrolan

    Hi my name is Robert Carrolan,and im almost certainly a direct descendant of Niall of the nine hostages, through him Eoghen U’Neill and through his son the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland, its easy to forget but those of us who descend from Niall all carry the blood Royal.

  46. Robert Carrolan

    I am an O’Carrolan,directly descended from the Irish, Scottish, and English Royal houses.

  47. Robert L Chatman

    I too have DNA and documented evidence that Niall is a direct ancestor on my mothers side, but I have about 80 Cook cousins on my fathers side. My paternal 2grgmother was Elmina Cook of North Carolina. I am a Chapman, ( changed to Chatman by my granmother) and can trace back to county cork, Ireland and then to England. Sir Walter Raliegh and his Chapman cousins defeated the Irish rebellion and where given lands and castles in county cork by Queen Elizabeth I. My mother’s line is all Roalty of Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Scotland, and England. My mother’s line includes surnames of Campbell, Home, Hume, Morrison, Plantagent, Stewart, MacAlpin, MacCrinan, McNielly, Preston, Hogg, Sloan, and O’Carroll, (changed to Carroll up on coming to America). Also have Molten cousins. Niall is my 57th ggf, and have traced on back to my 62nd ggf who was Cormac Ulfhada (Long beard) 116th King of Ireland. My DNA is 68% west European, 13% Irish, 8% Breton or Pict, 5% Scandinavian.

    • Shane

      I recently had my Y DNA 101 STR Marker test and my results are: Proto-Italo Celtic DNA

      Genotype: M343 Phenotype:
      Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b

      Gene Mutations Tested
      P256 Negative
      M69 Negative
      M170 Negative
      M173 Positive
      M174 Negative
      M201 Negative
      M242 Negative
      M130 Negative
      M91 Positive
      M60 Negative
      M231 Negative
      M184 Negative
      M9 Positive
      M45 Positive
      M89 Positive
      M96 Negative
      M175 Negative
      M207 Positive
      M304 Negative
      M343 Positive
      M20 Negative
      M230 Negative
      L62 Negative
      M479 Negative
      M168 Positive

      Genotype: S116
      Phenotype: Y-DNA Subclade R1b1a2a1a2

      Gene Mutations Tested
      P297 Positive R1b1a – 11,400 BC
      L51 Positive R1b1a2a1
      L278 Positive R1b1 – 16,800 BC
      M335 Negative R1b1b
      S127 Positive R1b1a2a1a –
      S116 Positive R1b1a2a1a2
      V88 Negative R1b1c
      L23 Positive R1b1a2a – 4,300 BC
      CTS1078 Negative R1b1a2a2
      L584 Negative R1b1a2a2a
      S21 Negative R1b1a2a1a1
      M73 Negative R1b1a1
      M269 Positive R1b1a2 – 4,400 BC

      My most recent Ancestral Origins in order are:

      1.) Navajo
      1.) Danish in Copenhagern – Denmark
      3.) Crete Island, Greece
      4.) Basque Country
      5.) Biella, Piedmont Italy
      6.) Antioquia, Columbia
      7.) Tempio, Sardinia
      8.) Irish (tested positive ancestry to Niall of the Nine Hostages)
      9.) Antioquia, Columbia
      10.) Canary Islands
      11.) Southern Brazil
      12.) Basque Country
      13.) Epirus, Greece
      14.) Peloponnese, Greece
      15.) Northeast Brazil
      16.) Sweedish Saami, Sweden
      17. Central West Brazil
      18.) Santa Catarina, Brazil
      19.) Rapanui Population, Easter Island
      20.) Albanian, Italy


      1.) How did the Celts migrate to become Navajo? How did this happen?
      2.) Milesians were considered the ‘People of the Sea’ in some texts, does the ‘island’ ancestry I have concur this?
      3.) Are there any other DAVIS derived surnames that are S116?
      4.) Am i correct in assuming we migrated West at a very early time?


      William T
      Bressett ( Brissette )direct descendant of Niall, yeah us !

  48. I am confirmed R-M222 and after doing the Big Y test with FTDNA I am narrowed down even further to R-A1742. I have never heard about Niall of the Nine Hostages before testing and being told that my DNA is tied to him. Pretty interesting.

  49. Joseph McGhee

    My haplogroup: R1b1b2a1a2f2. My father’s parents were from northwest Ireland. My family name, McGee, is translated as “Son of Hugh” which I believe refers to “Red Hugh O’Donnel” a contemporary of Elizabeth I of England. The family name can also be translated as “Son of Fire”/ “Son of Light”/ “Son of Intelligence”. My father came to the USA in 1927.

  50. My maiden name is Foster and my Paternal DNA is R1b1b2a1a2f. I’ve been told the Fosters were originally from Bamborough Castle in England but were banished to Scotland/Ireland after a dispute with the English King. My father, his parents, grandparents, g-granparents, and gg-grandparents were all redheads with freckles. Alas, all I got were the freckles.

  51. Michael J. Mangan

    My name is Michael J. Mangan. I believe I’m a relative to King Niall???
    I would love to hear more about my name. I was told that it used to be O’mangan before they came to America.

  52. Michael Murray

    Thanks for information. I too have tested positive for Niall. I suppose I descend for Muireadach son of Eoghan since my surname is Murray. Munster Irish descent I am, and somewhere in Waterford. My lowest SNP is A1336, under CTS4466, under P21, under M269.

  53. Ed Begley

    I’ve seen a new report from 23andme saying it’s rm269 as the Niall link ….i am rm222 but this is now posted


    I, too, just discovered I am a descendant of the R-M269 Niall haplogroup through my father’s side of the family. My name is Tunstall. My great-great grandmother was Elizabeth Lenigan from Dublin and her husband was William A. Tunstall Sr. Of Yorkshire,

  55. Last name Miró . From Spain to Cuba then and now Florida

  56. Robert Meuschke

    I have a German surname and my father, born 1918, was the youngest of 11 children and the only one of his siblings to be born in the USA. My son and I have the Nialls marker. My question is how did this DNA migrate to Germany(Saxony)? Crusaders? BTW I have red hair and had to quit drinking at 32 yo because I took to it too much. People have always though that I look Irish.

  57. Charles Moore

    My Y DNA is R-P311 which put me in the family of King 👑 Niall!

  58. Doug Magee

    23 and me analyzed my DNA sample and my haplo group R: M222 matches me as a direct descendant of King Niall of the Nine Hostages. Interested in connecting with others to gather more info.

  59. Lawrence Daniel Dunmon Jr

    I have recently taken the 23andMe DNA test. It says that I am a descendant of Niall as well a my son. We are very excited and take pride in our newfound heritage. Is there any suggested reading materials we can get to learn more about Niall. Thank you

  60. Jim CONGDON

    My genetic test shows I share a paternal-line ancestor with Niall of the Nine Hostages. 53.3% Irish.

  61. Angie

    Hi all. I just got my 23& Me DNA report, and I am apparently a descendant of Niall. Hello family!

  62. Maria McDonald

    Any connection with Aragon and McDonald? My father and spouse tested with 23andme and they found out to be descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

  63. socratesunited

    My name is William Frederick Hyres. I’m a descendant of Niall on my paternal side according to my DNA testing. My Father’s father, Frederick Hyres, from Connecticut, was of Irish descent. Hyres is listed in as a Scotch Irish name that came to the USA in search of freedom and fortune.

  64. socratesunited

    Reblogged this on SocratesUnited and commented:
    My DNA profile says I’m a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages. I’m adding this to my blog.

  65. Neil Earley

    My grandmother came over from Ireland with my grandfather.Her name last name was O’Neill

  66. Lady Theresa

    Hello Someone hiding their identity came into my DNA blood family connected they are r-m222. So I Google around saw this page. Thanks for the information as myself this is all new to me. United States.

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