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DNA Project



If you need any information on the DNA project please contact Colin Ferguson at colinf@sierratel.com

driscoll of cork homepage



  • Provide a means whereby participants can discover if their DNA matches with other participants to assist in their genealogy.
  • Give descendants of emigrant Dricolls a means to discover where in Cork or Ireland their family originates.
  • Create a database of DNA corresponding to different historical subdivisons that have been identified, e.g. the O Driscoll Mór of Collymore and the O Driscoll Óg of Collybeg.
  • Show that the O'Driscoll of Cape Clear Island, Spain and those of Charleston, South Carolina are related to one another as they are all supposed to lineally descend from the O Driscoll Mór.
  • Discover if there is a correlation between Haplotypes and the associated agnomina (secondary sept names).
  • Test the theory that all Driscoll, Driskell, O'Driscoll and variants descend from the Corcu Lóegde.
  • Provide a means for addressing DRISCOLL brick walls in maternal lineages.

How to Participate

  • Paternal participants must provide a sample from a male descendant of a DRISCOLL, DRISKELL, O'DRISCOLL, variants thereof or any of the agnomina such as BAWN, BOHANE, CADOGAN, COFFEY, CRONICAN, HOOLY, KERUCANE, MINEHANE, RUA, or WHOOLY. Order either the "Y-DNA 12 marker" or better yet the "Y-DNA Plus: 25 marker" paternal test from Family Tree DNA; Click here for order form at group discounted pricing.
  • Maternal participants must provide a sample from a male or female whose mother descends via a female lineage from a DRISCOLL; see further details.
  • Interact with other participants via our Mail List.
  • Do research on any of the ancient subdivisions to identify living descendants from whom we can then solicit their DNA samples.
  • Recruit other Driscolls to participate.
  • Contribute to our General Fund which is used to purchase kits for non-genealogically oriented DRISCOLL whose lineage is of interest to the group as a whole because they come from a historically interesting family key to our origins.


List of those persons participating in our project and their most ancient ancestor.


This page shows results to date for both the yDNA and mtDNA participants.



Q: My 4th great-grandfather is Denis Driscol born 1745 in Ireland. As I am female, could one of my sons do the DNA test?
A: No, the surname testing is based on the "Y" chromosome which is a paternal test and thus all samples must be derived from a male surnamed DRISCOLL or a variant thereof.

Q: My husband's mother's mother's mother is a DRISCOLL. Would he be able to participate in the DNA research?
A: It depends on your research objective. If it is directed at Mrs. Driscoll, yes as per details, otherwise no.

Q: What paternal test should I order?
A: The 25 marker test appears to be the most cost effective if one is willing to assume that sooner or later someone will join the project with whom you will match. The 25 marker test will allow you to draw some conculsions with persons with whom you match - all the 12 marker test can do is rule persons out or identify the need for further testing. Anyone who realizes a 25/25 match should then upgrade to the 37 marker test to improve the confidence levels in any conclusions drawn.

Q: If we realize a match, how far in back in time does this mean we have a common ancestor?
A: A 12 marker test gives you the following range: 14.5 generations (50%) likelihood & 48 generations (90%) likelihood. The 25 marker test drops the 50% likelihood to 7 generations and the 90% to 19.8 generations. With 37 markers one can get to 5 and 16 respectively.

Q: How long is a generation assumed to be?
A: It seems most researchers are using 25 years per generation.

Q: What is a Haplogroup?
A: Research to date has not identifed the most ancient of our ancestors as having originated from several different groups. Your Haplotype is that set of numbers which defines your DNA and your Haplogroup characterizes your most ancient ancestor. In a sense your Haplogroup is DNA's "brick wall" in your link to Adam or Eve.

Q: If we all come from Adam and Eve then don't men in turn all have the same Y-chromosome?
A: Mutations occur resulting in different lines. In fact one complication in interpreting results is that mutations can occur causing once different lines to evolve with the same Y-chromosome and effect termed 'convergence'.

Q: How can I be sure that an act of infidelity or adoption has no occured in the line between me and my most ancient paternal ancestor?
A: Convince your most distant relation sharing that ancestor to submit a DNA sample. You have to find someone who shares only that ancestor with you. If you both match then you will be sure.

Q: Should I be concerned about privacy?
A: No. The DNA testing being done has no forensic or medical value. It will not reveal any genetic defects, diseases or uniquely identify you as an individual. You may wish to review the vendor's policy statement.

Q: Please cite some examples of succesful projects as case studies.
A: Certainly! One of the best examples is: "Who Was Harvey Kelley?". In the 1990 US Census the names DRISCOLL and O'DRISCOLL rank 1569 and 17,214 respectively. The names amount to 0.009% of the population. The surnames BRANTLEY and FARR also amount to 0.009% of the population thus their projects represent reasonable benchmarks by which we can measure ours.

Q: When I order the 25 marker test on the order site, whose information do I put in the box....the person being tested...or myself..the one paying for the test?
A: Put the name of the person being tested (and let me know his name) but use your EMAIL address.