The Irish Genetic Homeland Finder website is taking advantage of Ireland being the one country that preceded all others in using paternal surnames, by using the surnames as well as DNA and geographical place names in pinpointing direct male ancestry for approximately 1,000 years.
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder traces Irish Ancestry using DNA, place names, and surnames.

This is an interactive site available to anyone who may be curious about their Irish surname, or those interested in more detailed research into Irish surnames that appear in their family tree.

Registration for this site is free and the first six queries are free, although there are fees applied on a pay as you go basis for additional queries.

All that is necessary is to input your surname(s) of interest to find locations where farmers with that surname cluster, in addition to place names and castles associated with the surname(s). Once the search button is pressed, it is possible to zoom within the interactive map to find known areas of concentrations of the names.

This works particularly well in Ireland because original farming families of a particular surname can still be found farming the lands of their ancestors. Those farmers also used their name in naming places they lived and castles they built, owned and passed on through their families.

If there is more than one Irish surname in one’s ancestry, it is possible to input all surnames and find locations where the highest concentration of each surname can be compared and finding likely places where both surnames coexisted.

Searches can be saved to avoid ever having to pay for the same search twice.

When examined in conjunction with an ancestral DNA test, it is possible to achieve a much more detailed and precise result. The DNA test can help to reveal surnames of ancestors and neighbors up to about 1,000 years ago.

I don’t have much Irish ancestry, but I’m sure this site could be hugely valuable to those whose Irish ancestry is more significant.

photo credit: George L Smyth via photopin cc