Monday, 27 April 2020

Group 19 - a new group of Farrell's with origins in Africa

With the arrival of a new Farrell to the DNA Project, a new genetic group has been formed with origins in western Africa.

The group consists of three members - one Farrell & 2 Ferrell's. Although all three participants are not close matches (they each have a Genetic Distances of 4/37 to each other), they are close enough to warrant grouping together. As a result I have placed them together in a new genetic group (Group 19). You can see this on the Results Page here …

This latest group of Farrell's belongs to Haplogroup E, sub-group M132 - we know this because one of the three participants did some SNP testing (many years ago). This group sits on a particularly isolated branch of the Tree of Mankind and you can see it below and here …;name=E-M13 .

This E-M132 branch is 48,800 years old, so it is quite far “upstream” on the Tree of Mankind. In the diagram below you can see that there are 44 branches below it. We could get further information on which downstream branch the group members all sit if two or more of them were to do the Big Y test.

This branch has probable origins in western Africa. In fact, you can see in the diagram above that the top countries in which it is found are Ghana (10), Mali (8), Gambia (7) & Senegal (3). Only 2 people on this branch report Irish origins. More information about the genetic origins of this particular branch can be found here …

Looking at the matches for these three group members, ancestral locations for their matches include, Tennessee, South Carolina, & Virginia, so the common ancestor for Group 19 probably comes from somewhere in southern USA.

As a general recommendation, all project members should join any relevant Haplogroup or Geographic Projects. There are several reasons for this:
  1. the Admins of these projects have a wider overview of neighbouring branches of the Tree of Mankind and may have some specific insights that would benefit our project members in their family tree research.
  2. adding your data to these projects helps the Admins with their analysis. I work closely with a lot of these Admins and they often provide very useful insights to the Farrell DNA Project, including recommendations on further testing for specific subgroups.
Thus, all three members of Group 19 should join the following projects and ask the Admins for any insights or recommendations they may have:

There are also some useful Facebook groups that may be helpful, in particular DNA Tested African Descendants at This is a great place for asking questions, sharing information, and helping others.

The group members should also swap genealogical information with each other and see if they can spot any clues as to their possible common ancestor (perhaps a common location).

Maurice Gleeson

April 2020


  1. Hi Maurice, please advise/guide me as to how to use my brother's y haplogroup to find our Farrell root[s]. He tested with a company in South Africa where he lives. The haplogroup he has is R1b1a2a1a1 - where will he fit in? Much appreciated, thank you. Leona.

    1. Hi Leona

      You can find some useful information about the various haplogroups on Wikipedia or Eupedia.

      R1b1a2a1a1 is the old terminology and the closest I can find that equates to this (in the new format) is R-CTS5330. You can see this on row 1861 here …

      Using Admin Utilities, the path that people with this SNP took out of Africa over the past 250,000 years or so is as follows … and the age of this SNP is approximately 1500 years ago (see under SNPs tab). You can see the only goes as far as Eastern Europe - further testing might move the path closer into Europe (and within the last 1500 years). The SNP markers that characterise each branch along this pathway (so far) are as follows:
      R-L389 > R-V1636 > R-V1274 > R-CTS6460 > R-BY15391 > R-CTS5330

      Also, the branch of the Tree of Mankind (Y-Haplotree) on which your brother currently sits appears to be quite rare - there are only a few people on this branch and they are from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Belarus …;name=R-CTS5330

      So the test your brother did only gave very top-level results for his Y-DNA and if he tested at FTDNA he would receive more fine-detailed results that would place him on a more downstream branch of the Tree of Mankind. Start with the Y-DNA-37. It could also give you a list of anyone who matches his Y-DNA and these may be related to him within the last 1000 years. If he is a Farrell, lots of Farrell men should show up among his matches … but given the apparent rarity of his branch, it may be that he is sitting there on his own until someone else on that branch decides to take the test and enters the database.

      Best, Maurice

    2. Thank you Maurice, also for personal email sent.

  2. I am using my brother's dna on for family tree research. Can I transfer the information or do i need to a test of my own? Thanks!

    1. The focus of the project is Y-DNA, but if you have tested with another company, it is probably an autosomal DNA test that you have done. Nevertheless, you can still transfer your DNA to FTDNA and join the project that way (instructions at the end of this post). However, if you want to see which Y-DNA group you belong to, you will need to do FTDNA's Y-DNA-37 test ($119) in order to be allocated to a particular Y-DNA group.

      Transfer instructions here ...