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MacDonald Genetic Project


February 24, 2004

The Clan Donald USA Genetic Project has identified the genetic signature of Colla Uais, father of Dalriada. Clan Donald has historically considered itself as a branch of Clan Colla and as children of Conn. Colla was High King of Ireland who seized Ulster and then took his followers to Scotland around 325AD. Colla’s descendants Fergus, Loarn and Angus (sons of Erc) were the principal foundation lines reestablishing the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada around 465AD. Colla was believed a great great great grandson of Conn of the Hundred Battles, High King of Ireland circa 150AD.

A predicted six mutation spread within approximately 1500 years has identified MacDonalds (MacDonnells) descended from the kindred of Colla in both the Irish and Scottish branches of Clan Donald. Not all Clan Donalds are descended from Colla but the identification of this signature is a major advance which supports the accuracy of ancient Irish and Scottish oral histories and genealogies.

Project Director, Mark MacDonald, stated:

“We have built on the data of existing genetic projects including the MacGregors, gaelic Livingstones, and Campbells to reach a common goal: understanding the genealogy and history of the Scottish highlands and its historic link to Ireland. I believe the Y-chromosome DNA signature of Colla is:

We have identified this signature and expected close mutations throughout the highlands and islands and also in Clan Colla from Ireland. We invite existing genetic projects and genetic researchers for descendants of Colla and for other Ulster and Connacht lines to join with us in joint research to further explore this significant finding. Clan Donald’s database may be confidentially examined by prospective joint research participants. In the meantime, Clan Donald hopes that publication of this genetic signature will assist other Scottish and Irish studies in understanding their data.”

Scottish and Irish clans historically descended from Colla Uais include: (a) Scotland: MacDonald, MacGregor, MacGillivray, MacEachern, MacMillian, MacKinnon, MacQuarrie, Campbell, MacPhee, MacInnes; (b) Ireland: Maguire, MacMahon, MacManus, Agnew, Alexander, Boylan, Cassidy (who were chiefs of Coole), Connolly (chiefs in Fermanagh), Duffy, Hale, Hanratty (anglicized Enright), Keenan of Fermanagh, Leahy in Galway, MacCabe of Monaghan and Caven, MacCann of Clan brassil, MacEvoy, MacVeagh, MacVeigh (anglicized form of MacUais) in West Meath, Magee in Down and Antrim, MacKenna in Monaghan, MacOscar (anglicized MacCusker), MacTully, and MacGrath in Fermanagh, MacNeny (anglicized Bird), MacRory (anglicized Rogers), MacSheehy, Madden, Norton, O’Carroll, O’Flanagan, O’Hanlon, O’Hart in Tara, and MacQuillan in Antrim.

Mark E. MacDonald Director Genetic Project and National Historian for Clan Donald USA

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