After many years of researching, I was still brickwalled in Northland New Zealand, with my 'Wright' ancestors. In September 2004 I was approached by the Administrator of the 'Wright DNA Surname' project asking if I would like to have a DNA test. I saw this as a way of finding a location in England where I might continue my research, perhaps looking at shipping records to New Zealand.

When my 12-marker results came in, apart from being R1b, gave me no matches and little benefit.

In February 2006, I took a 43-marker y-DNA test with DNA Heritage and posted the results on GENEALOGY-DNA@rootsweb.com email list.
See this archived discussion.

The response from Dr Ken Nordtvedt said that my markers matched a small cluster that he later identified centred on the counties of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary in Ireland. He detailed the markers that defined the cluster and I matched. I was most surprised by this as I had expected my roots were in England. As two other Irish clusters had been identified as "North West Irish" and "South Irish", I started calling this cluster "Irish Type III" and the name has stuck.

The definitive markers Ken identified for this cluster are:-

DYS 439
DYS 456
DYS 459
DYS 464
DYS 463

As no one else had taken an interest in researching this cluster, I started to gather examples from Ysearch, Sorenson (SMGF), Ancestry and various Surname Projects. In December 2006 I started these webpages to share the data I had collected. We now have over 565 members in the cluster.

Common Surnames are O'Brien/Brien/Bryan/Bryant, Butler, Casey, Crow(e), O'Donoghue, Hart, Hogan, Kennedy, McCraw/McGraw/McGrath, McNamara. Most seem to be Dalcassian clans, the descendants of Cormac Cas and Brian Boru. There is other evidence that this is the signature of Brian Boru and Kings of Thomond.

My paper, A Set of Distinctive Markers Defines a Y-STR Signature for Gaelic Dalcassian Families, will be of interest to members of the cluster and has been published in the Spring 2009 issue of Journal of Genetic Genealogy www.jogg.info
A copy can be downloaded at:- www.jogg.info/51/files/Wright.pdf

The SNP L226 is the defining marker for this haplogroup. Testing positive for L226 is final confirmation that a haplotype is part of the Irish Type III haplogroup.

How did I come to have the markers of these Irish families? Some research has shown that there was a young Irish convict, John O'Brien, who in 1827 aged 19 escaped from the penal colony of Sydney, New South Wales and was never recaptured. Was it possible that he made his way to Hokianga, Northland, New Zealand and changed his name to John Wright? The Census of 1846 shows a John Wright of Hokianga, blacksmith, married with four children. Was my great grandfather, Charles, born 1832-3 one of those four children? It would certainly explain how I came to have Irish Type III style DNA.

The website devoted to this Irish Type III cluster can be found here.