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First Case Study demonstrating Norman ancestry added to Irish Origenes!

Norman KnightWhen the Normans arrived in Ireland in 1169 AD they brought with them their followers from England, Wales, and even continental Europe. Within a short time they had conquered and settled accross much of Ireland and where they settled they built their castles and towerhouses. By far the most impressive and largest of which is Trim Castle in Meath built by the de Lacy family (pictured). Trim castleIts location is probably symbolic given that Meath was where the High Kings of Ireland were crowned. There are thousands of castles scattered accross Ireland many of which are still standing and historical accounts often record the families that built them, and those that I have identified are featured on the interactive castles of Ireland Map.

But the Normans and their descendants are not scattered evenly throughout Ireland. There are areas where the Normans never permanently settled which is evident from both the Norman Castles map (pictured above) and the 16th Century ethnicity map (pictured below). Large areas avoided total Norman control and in turn many Norman families became 'more Irish than the Irish.'

Since Ireland remained essentially an agricultural based society until relatively recently, Irish surnames whether of Gaelic-Irish, Norman, Viking, or even Gallowglass-Scottish origin could still be found concentrated in the areas where the surnames first appeared or where those people settled. When one plots where Norman surnames are found distributed throughout  the 32 Counties of Ireland as a percentatge of the population in 1911 one can see where the Normans settled (pictured below). This Norman surname distribution map mimicks both the Norman castles of Ireland and the medieval ethnicity map perfectly. It should be stressed that by the 17th century a distinction was no longer made between the Irish of Norman or Gaelic-Irish ancestry.

medieval IrelandThe Normans and their followers have left an enormous legacy in Ireland, upto 15% of the population of the island of Ireland have surnames like Fitzgerald, Butler, Burke, and Power that are associated with the Normans. Norman surnames in IrelandMany with Irish ancestry today will be carrying the evidence of their Norman ancestors in their DNA but be completely unaware of it! It is with great joy therefore that I can add the first Case Study compiled for a test subject with Norman-Irish ancestry to the Irish Origenes website. The Kiely Case Study (click here to download) shows precisely where Mr Kiely's ancestors originated  prior to their arrival with the Normans in Ireland. Mr Kiely's ancestors have been associated with Ireland for over 800 years and his distant relatives still live in the areas his ancestors first conquered and then settled. With the power of modern science and commercial ancestral DNA testing it may even be possible to establish a link between Irish people alive today, their direct Norman ancestors and norman castles that they built and lived in for centuries.

English Origenes

Scottish Origenes