Welcome to the Farrell DNA Project

Welcome to the blog for the Farrell DNA Project.

The DNA project has several objectives but one of the primary aims is to identify people who are close genetic cousins to each other so that these people can collaborate, share genealogical information, and thus help each other to break down the Brick Walls in their own particular family tree research. If sufficient members join, it will hopefully be possible to determine the various origins of the Farrell surname (and its many variants) and their evolution over time.

This project is hosted on FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) and you can easily access it by either googling “Farrell FTDNA” or simply following this link here.

The project is open to anyone with a suspected Farrell ancestor, especially anyone whose surname is Farrell or one of its many possible variants, including any of the following names … Faddle, Farell, Farlee, Farley, Farr, Farris, Farral, Farrel, Farrell, Farrelly, Farrol, Fearghail, Ferrall, Ferrally, Ferrell, Ferrill, Frawley, McFaddle, McFarell, McFarley, McFarral, McFarrel, McFarrell, McFarrelly, McFarrol, McFearghail, McFerrally, McFerrell, McFerrill, McFrawley, O’Faircheallaigh, O'Faddle, O'Farell, O'Farley, O'Farral, O'Farrel, O'Farrell, O'Farrelly, O'Farrol, O'Fearghail, O'Ferrally, O'Ferrell, O'Ferrill, O'Frawley

All three major types of DNA are accepted by the project, whether it is Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, or autosomal DNA (e.g. Family Finder). However, the primary focus of the project is the Farrell surname and its inheritance along the direct male line (your father’s father’s father’s line). Hence Y-DNA is of particular importance. A Y-DNA-37 test is the minimum recommended for reliable allocation to a particular genetic family and all members are encouraged to purchase (or upgrade to) at least this 37-marker test. Click on the following links to find instructions on how to Join the Project or Upgrade your Test.

Project Resources

We have a range of resources available to help you get the most out of the project.

General Info

You can view general information about the project, its goals, and some background information on the FTDNA website.

  • FTDNA Project Home Page - if you ever forget the weblink, you can easily access the project by simply googling “Farrell FTDNA”
  • Overview - some relevant details re project logistics
  • Background - this gives a brief description of the history of the project
  • Goals - a brief summary of the specific goals of the project
  • Project Statistics - this includes the total number of members to date & the tests that have been taken by group members
  • Email the Administrator - you will find my email address here

Patriarchs, Pedigrees & Profiles

We encourage all project participants to include a pedigree of their Farrell (or variant) ancestral line to facilitate collaboration between project members. This is posted on our Patriarchs & Matriarchs Page and if you haven't done so already, you should post your Farrell pedigree there.

DNA Results

  • Y-DNA Results - you can view Classic or Colorised versions of the results. The latter identifies mutations within the group and is the most useful.
  • mtDNA Results - here you can see the range of atdna data associated with the project.
  • Interpreting Results - this page gives a brief interpretation of the results. Further information will be added as blog posts from time to time.

Collaborating with other Researchers

There are several ways in which the project fosters collaboration between participants.
  • Send your match an email - just click on the email icon beside any of your matches names
  • Activity Feed - this is like a Facebook group but is only open to people who have DNA-tested and are members of the DNA Project. Thus it is a much more secure and private way of engaging in conversation with your fellow collaborators.
  • The Farrell Clan Facebook group - an excellent place to collaborate and share information with your fellow Gleason researchers
  • The Farrell Clan website - this is an excellent repository of information relating to the history of the Farrell clan and includes some excellent links to websites of interest to anyone researching their Farrell genealogy.
Educational Resources

This blog - regular updates on the project will be posted here

YouTube videos - several videos have been created, some of which are directly relevant to this DNA Project. They include the following:

  • Genetic Genealogy - what DNA can do for you ... an introduction to the 3 types of DNA test (presented at the Clare Roots Society 2015)
  • How Y-DNA can help your One Name Study ... a detailed look at how Y-DNA is used in surname studies to group people into clusters with the same (or very similar) genetic signature and how so doing can help identify closely-related individuals, facilitate collaborative research, and help elucidate the origin of a particular surname (presented at the Ontario Genealogical Society 2015)

Any questions?

If you have specific questions about the Farrell DNA Project, please post them below in the Comments section, or in the Farrell Clan Facebook group, or in the Activity Feed. I will answer all questions either individually or devote a blog to each one (so that everyone can benefit from the answer).

Maurice Gleeson
Project Administrator


  1. Question on the Farrell DNA Project - is there any intersect between the test within this project and the DNA tests done by ancestry.com ?

    1. The focus of the Farrell DNA Project is Y-DNA data. This follows the father's father's father's line, just as the surname does, hence its usefulness for surname research. However other kinds of DNA data are also welcome (e.g. mitochondrial DNA results, and autosomal DNA - like what you get with Ancestry). Your Ancestry data can be transferred to FTDNA for $39, and in that way you can "fish in two gene pools for the price of 1.5".

    2. The transfer function is currently being upgraded and is temporarily unavailable. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

  2. I would love to know more about this DNA Project, I have the surname Moriarty on both my father and mothers side of the family. can you tell me how I go about getting/giving a DNA sample I live in Co Kerry Ireland.

    Thanking you

    Martina Moriarty McCarthy

    1. Hi Martina, follow the instructions here ...http://dnaandfamilytreeresearch.blogspot.ie/2016/04/which-dna-test-is-best-for-me.html

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  4. My paternal Haplogroup is R-S846 according to 23@Me. My research on this has lead me to this page. I have found very little information about this haplogroup, and am unsure if I am looking in the right places for information about it. Any guidance to offer?

    1. Hello, I found your comment while searching the net for R-S846 which is my haplogroup as well. My surname is McDanield (with a d at the end).

  5. 1) John FERRALL b c1765 Drumcoil, Co.Donegal, d after 1796 Drumhome, Co.Donegal, m 27 Feb 1785 Margaret SCOTT, Drumhone, Co. Donegal
    2) Abraham FARRELL b 29 Mar 1792, Ballybulgan, Co Donegal, d 9 Mar 1876 Ballybulgan, Co Donegal, m 16 mar 1819 Jane CLARKE, Rathtinny Co Donegal
    3) John FARRELL bc 1822, Balybulgan, Co Donegal, d after 1851 ?Ontario, Canada, m 17 Nov 1845 Mary O’GARA, Co Sligo or Mayo
    4) John Joseph FARRELL b 27 Oct 1848 Kingston, Ontario d 20 Aug 1911 Chicago, Ill, m Ann WARD, Donaghmoyne, Co Monaghan
    5) William CROWLEY b Chicago, ILL, d 1944 Yap Island, Pacific
    Researcher: SCC
    Your email address: sharoncconnor AT gmail.com
    DNA Kits: 9197
    Link to your online tree: https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/29457793/person/12776071161/facts

  6. I to am R-S846 . My family tree stopped at my grandfather. Noone knows who his father was . Everyone has passed that knew anything

    1. Check Mayo County Ireland, follow last names, look for birth & death dates....use UK database for going back to Ireland records....