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Clan MacKenzies Norman-Irish Roots as Revealed by Commercial Ancestral DNA Testing

Every successful Irish, Scottish, or English Origenes Case Study tells an interesting story, some like the Durkin Case Study are easy to solve, others like the MacKenzie Case Study which features in the current issue of Family Chronicle Magazine take a lot of work involving research of the historical records for the surname from the medieval period. Since these records are so old, their content has fallen into the realms of myths and legends and are all too often dismissed. This is indeed true for Clan Mackenzie who’s founding ancestor was actually recorded as a ‘Peregrinus et Hibernus noblis ex familia Geraldinorum’ or ‘a noble stranger and Hibernian of the family of the Geraldines,’ being driven from Ireland with a considerable number of followers in about 1261, was received graciously by king Alexander III, and remained at court. This Norman-Irish 'Colin Fitzgerald' and his followers subsequently aided the Scots against the Vikings at the battle of Largs in 1263, for which he was rewarded the lands of Kintail, his descendants and his follower eventually became known as the MacKenzie’s.

Historically the Normans repeated a pattern of conquest and settlement, which sometimes involved assimilating the language, culture, and surnames of the people they conquered (and married into). In addition they very often took new surnames based upon, and in honour of prominent members of established families. Take for example the Norman Prendergast Family. They arrived in England in 1066AD with William the Conqueror, were granted lands in Wales which they completely vacated for new lands acquired in the Conquest of Ireland which began in 1169AD. In Ireland the Prendergast’s settled mainly in Wexford, Kerry, and Mayo. In Kerry and Mayo they adopted new surnames like Fitzmorris/Fitzmaurice and McMorris, the latter after they had completely adopted Irish ways and customs. Given this constant pattern of conquest and settlement it can be very difficult to pinpoint one’s Norman ancestors to a single specific area based on Y-DNA matches. However, in Ireland the highest density of people with Norman surnames are still found in County Wexford where the Normans first stepped ashore in 1169AD. It was County Wexford that was key to cracking the true founding of Scottish Clan MacKenzie, you can read the full Case Study report here. What will your DNA reveal? To find out contact me here for your FREE CONSULTATION

English Origenes

Scottish Origenes