MCCONNELL DNA RESULTS
83 McConnells have participated in the Clan Donald USA DNA project, the largest family DNA site in the world. DNA testing has shown that McConnells belong to many different DNA groups.
1. Descendants of Somerled and the Clan Chieftains.
About one eighth of U.S. McConnells are Somerled descendants. Somerled died in 1164 at Renfrew Scotland and at the time of his death he had driven the Vikings out of Western Scotland and Northern Ireland. His lands were inherited by his sons who formed the MacDonald, MacAllister and MacDougal Clans. Clan Chiefs of these clans have very similar DNA which can be traced back to Somerled. MacDonald/McDonald Clan chieftains, with the exception of the Earl of Antrim, are genetic descendants of Somerled and their DNA is shown on the page labeled R1A on the Clan Donald USA DNA website. Currently ten McConnell men of the total participants are in this group.
In the U.S., most Somerled are descendants of Alexander McConnell who died at Octorara Creek in Chester County, PA in 1729 or his close relatives. Descendants of early McConnells in North Carolina-- William McConnell (d. 1812 in Iredell Co., NC) and James Archibald McConnell (d. 1799 in Bourbon Co., KY) are believed to have started in Chester County, PA and later migrated south. The DNA of the North Carolina McConnells is almost an exact match of the DNA of the Alexander McConnell descendants, and there is a lot of evidence for a migration south from Chester County, PA. These McConnells tended to have large families and since they were in the U.S. at early dates, there are a lot of descendants. Descendants of this group of McConnells founded McConnellsburg, PA in Fulton County, PA and were among the early pioneers of Kentucky. Robert Patterson, the founder of Lexington, KY and Cincinnati, Ohio, was a descendant of R1A McConnells through his mother and he did much of his explorations accompanied by his McConnell cousins. William "Tanner" McConnell, a descendant of the McConnells who founded McConnellsburg, commanded the fort at Lexington during the Revolutionary War period of Kentucky history. Senator Mitch McConnell (look for Addison Mitchell McConnell in the database) is a descendant of a North Carolina branch of McConnells (through James Archibald McConnell) which had moved to Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.
2. The Leinster Modal Group-- McConnells from the Province of Leinster.
This group gets its name from known links to the Province of Leinster in Ireland. This group has also been called the Irish Sea Group. The McConnells/McDonnells/MacDonalds (remember they all had the same name in Gaelic) have a long tradition of being gallowglass soldiers-- mercenaries. They fought for the Irish Lords in the northern counties of Ireland in the 1300s through the 1600s, especially in the Province of Leinster. It is believed this line links back to the Clan Chiefs through an early female line. There are many accounts of gallowglass captains marrying into the Irish Lord's family and often became landed regional Lords themselves. There is a Leinster/Beaty/Byrne's DNA Project for person's who fit this DNA profile. There are currently eight men who are classified as members of this group, along with some possible members who need additional test results. In the U.S., this group appears to have a lot of descendants who settled in the Philadelphia/Lancaster County area of Pennsylvania in the 1700s and in the early 1800s many were in the Beaver-Mercer county areas and in Trumbull County, Ohio. A large group of these McConnells are descendants of Alexander McConnell, who settled in Washington County, PA. Many of this group are descended from the very large family of William McConnell and Mary Magdalena Barnhisel. The descendants of the William McConnell - Sarah Carter family in Wayne County, Ohio are also members of this group, these include McConnells who were related to the founders of the Firestone Tire Company.
3. The Franklin County McConnells-- Members of The Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype and some R1A McConnells.
Other R1B McConnells with a large number of descendants include...4. The McConnells from early New York, descendants of Matthew McConnell (d. 1817), a sergeant in the Revolutionary War. McConnellsville, New York, came from land obtained by Matthew's Revolutionary War service. These McConnells were early settlers in Morgan County, Illinois, and were a prominent, wealthy family in Illinois. 5. Descendants of Guian McConnell (d. 1817), who started out in Pennsylvania, and whose descendants were New York McConnells and who later settled in Ohio and Minnesota. 6 Descendants of John McConnell (d. 1839) who married Abigail Herron. There are a huge number of descendants who were early settlers in Kentucky, Indiana and Iowa. 7. Descendants of John McConell (d. bef 1850) married to Virginia Cromwell. He was an Irish immigrant and early settler in Sullivan County, Indiana. The DNA for this group is unique and connects with ancient clans in Ireland. 8. Descendants of Phillip McConnell (d. 1778) in North Carolina. Phillip was killed in action in the Revolutionary War. People expected he would be related to other North Carolina McConnells, but his DNA was completely different. Descendants include Joseph McConnell, who was a Korean War fighter pilot ace, who died serving his country testing aircraft. Joseph McConnell is the person McConnell Air Force Base is named after and he is the subject of the movie called "The McConnell Story." There are three McConnells I know who are descendants of Phillip and have tested their DNA. They all have exactly the same markers, with no variations, in their DNA, which is unusual after many generations.
9. Descendants of James McConnell (d. Nov 1764) at Tyrone Twp, Cumberland Co., PA. Colleen Eagan has written a book regarding this large family tree. Descendants were pioneers who settled in Kentucky, especially Bourbon Co. Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana. Many descendants lump these McConnells with those of Alexander McConnell (d. 1729) but DNA has shown these are McConnells with a completely different ancestry that originates in Ireland.
Questions, queries and additional information are welcome to: MAIL