Monday, November 15, 2010

Niall of the Nine Hostages and R1b-M222

High King Niall Mor Noigiallach

R1b-M222 is found in a large percentage of the population of northern Ireland (between 20-10%) and Lowland Scotland (between 5-10%). Originally it was claimed that all those of R1b-M222 were descendants of the red haired Niall of the Nine Hostages High King of Ireland in the 5th century but further research demonstrated that it was also the y-dna of those descended from the brothers of Niall. Thus we can say that it is most likely the y-dna signature of those descended from Niall's father King Eochaidh Mugmedon. Many are puzzled why there should be a large group of R1b-M222 in Lowland Scotland but I propose that this is due to the bulk of these being descended from the ancient Scottish Royal House of Athol (Dunkeld) who were in turn descended from the Irish Kings of Mide (Meath) who were descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages. I explain this in my blog on Eochocan and the Royal House of Athol.

R1b-M222 has been found in small amounts in England, France and Germany. This is no doubt due to the flight of many Irish into Europe over the centuries due to persecution by their enemies and the troubles and famine conditions that beset the Irish. I believe that the source of this y-dna is to be found in Ireland and not elsewhere as proposed by some. It is the 'father' y-dna of R1b-L21 that has its origin source outside Ireland in Ancient Israel (Western Asia). While the early O'Neill dynasties were male line descendants of Niall (until at least about 1000 AD) later O'Niells were not. The later O'Niell Kings only descend from the earlier O'Niell Kings on a female line. It is interesting that the ancient Irish Chronicles claim that Niall ruled over both Ireland (Erin) and Scotland (Alba).

Son of the noble Eochaidh of honour
Was Niall, modest in each high distinction;
He held the sovereignty of successions
In Erin and in Alba.
He got a hostage from each province
In Erin through high valour;
He brought under his sway, without blemish,
Four hostages from Alba.
Hence he was called
In the mansions of the great,
Through the gold of the prosperous kings,
Niall of the nine hostages, the heroic.

It is interesting to me that both Yair Davidy the Orthodox Jewish founder of Britam and myself belong to R1b-M222 and that we both share an interest in the idea of the Lost Tribes of Israel being found in Western Europe. Many years before either of us knew what our dna was we were in contact and I met him in Jerusalem in 2002 and spoke at one of the Britam meetings on Davidic Genealogy. My father died in 1994 and he always believed that he was a descendant of King David and the High Kings of Ireland on his direct male line. Many just thought he was just telling one of his good stories but how thrilled he would be to learn that his R1b-M222 y-dna has proved he is indeed a descendant of the Davidic Irish High Kings of the clan of R1b-M222. I learnt in 2008 that my y-dna was R1b-M222.

Familytreedna website states: "The cluster now known as the R-M222 group was first recognized in late 2004 following manual cluster analysis of several hundred R-M269 haplotypes in Ysearch. A preliminary modal haplotype was established at that time based on roughly six dozen similar haplotypes. It was noted that family names associated with the cluster were almost entirely Irish or Scottish. The cluster was initially referred to as the 25/11/14 cluster based on the dominant values for DYS390, 391 and 392.

In late 2005 a research team from Trinity College Dublin published a report that identified this cluster based on the distinctive values at DYS390 and 392. The research team called this pattern the Irish Modal Haplotype, or IMH, and provocatively suggested that the haplotype was to be associated with the Ui Neill kings of Northern Ireland who descended from the fifth century warlord, Niall of the Nine Hostages"

McEvoy and Bradley date the ancestor of R1b-M222 to about 300 AD and located in North West Ireland. They write: "The unique corpus of Irish genealogical records allow the tracing of his putative decendants to the 11th and 12th centuries where they in turn became the founding fathers of many modern Irish surnames." Dr. Anatole Klyosov has estimated the age of the founder of R1b-M222 to have existed between 400-700 AD. Some others earlier claimed that the founder lived about 1200BC but this is obviously incorrect. The founder is obviously King Eochaidh Mugmedon or possibly his father King Meredach but I do not believe the origin can be pushed back any further than this. The three Collas come from the same male lineage as Niall and they branch off only a couple of generation before Niall. The descendants of the Three collas belong to R1b-L21 and do not have M222+.

Note Added 2015: My opinion with further study has now changed in fact R1b M222's source is in southern England around 2000 years ago in the families descended from St Joseph of Arimathea. Some of the M222+ found in Lowland Ireland comes from the Jewish Christian Kingdom of Goddodin who was originally founded by the descendants of Joseph of Arimathea. From this source M222+ came into Ireland with the ancestors of Niall and Eochaidh. See my more recent posts. see New Subclades of R1b M222 ydna.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kissane and Cashman

A stone near the Ballykissane Cillin with Jewish kabbalistic symbols.

Recently I learnt of an Irish legend told about the Kissane and Cashman families. An Irish legend states that the family who originally were called Kassin (which became Ciosain in Gaelic)had a fight over "taking the soup" and the Cashman moved from Galway to Cork and the Kissane to Kerry to the village of Ballykissane. The term taking the soup referred to those who changed their religion during the potato famine in order not to starve. However the split with the Cashman and Kissane happened much earlier in the 16th or 17th century. The legend is thus a confused memory of one group who embraced Catholicism and the other remaining loyal to Judaism with a later story of those who changed from Catholic to Protestant in the 19th century. It would seem that the Kissane's who moved to Ballykissane remained loyal to the Jewish faith at least in the privacy of their homes and among their relatives. Many of these Kissane later after 1760 embraced the Frankist version of Catholicism and gradually assimilated into the Irish Catholic population. It would seem that the Cashman families of Cork descend from Shamus Ciosain (Yacov Kassin/Cassin) whose son was Joseph Cashman (c.1600).

Ballykissane was the village that the TV show Ballykissangel was based on and is a village near Killorglin on the famous Ring of Kerry. Stephen Joseph Kissane writes on the Kissane facebook page: "Ballykissane has a burial ground that is called a disused CillĂ­n and has a very sad history. It was used initially for non Christian Kissane Crypto Jews and for infants of Christian parents who died before baptism. The un-baptised infants and crypto Jews were buried away from the consecrated graveyard alongside murderers, lunatics and others deemed beyond salvation. Kissanes had ceased to live in the immediate area by 1911 but the infant burials continued until 1959.Only small broken stones now mark the graves and the graveyard very overgrown. A standing stone with a plaque of remembrance for the infant children buried here was erected recently. Kissane kabbalistic symbols exist on a stone. Along both sides of a fissure are five cup and rings and around 12 deep and rounded cup marks. Other rings may have weathered away." The number five and the symbol of the ring is a Kissane emblem as I explained in my earlier article on the Kissane/Kassin family. The cups represent their role as Swan Knights who protected the Grail which was associated with the "Cup of Blessing" mentioned in the opening of the Zohar.
Ballykissane Famine era cottage

An Irish historian David Ring also writes about the Kissane origins: "The Irish name Kissane used in County Kerry is an Anglicization of O' Ciosain. Essentially now a Munster name, it was transformed to Cashman in County Cork and Kissane in County Kerry. Father Woulfe, and early expert on names, suggests that the O'Ciosain sept originated in Ui Maine in County Galway and moved South from there. In Dublin's Royal Irish Academy, there are accounts of O' Ciosains who were scribes and writers of Irish tales and tracts on Irish grammar.
In the 1930s, John Kissane, writing as Sean O' Ciosain, translated the Vicar of Wakefield and other classics into Irish. Around this same period, the Reverend Edward Joseph Kissane was writing bible commentaries. (The Dictionary of Irish Surnames, Ida Grehan.) Other well known Kissane's include: Eamonn Kissane, a member of the Dail Eireann, first elected in 1932 as a Fianna Fail Representative, Erin Kissane, an internationally known business writer and editor, and Bill Kissane, a university professor and writer who has published many works on politics, civil wars, and particularly The Irish Civil War. Additionally, John Kissane owns a sheep farm on the Ring of Kerry that is dedicated to preserving the Irish heritage of mountain sheep. In the United States, the Kissane's have been successful in many areas, particularly business and higher education. The majority of the Kissane's that came to the United States settled in New York and Illinois. Civil War records show that five Kissane's served in that conflict, four on the Union side and one Confederate. The honor and great heritage of this family is proudly represented by our own Division 7 President Dan Kissane. Dan is truly the personification of the Kissane motto: "Nothing is difficult to the brave and the faithful.""

Jim Cashman originally from Cork writes:"...Also when I worked with an American firm I found it beneficial as the Irish Americans seemed to know the name was Irish and my Jewish customers often thought I was Jewish, which suited me fine! All in all the name 'Cashman" is a good one! When I was a child in Ireland, the everyday language was English and indeed my parents spoke very little Gaelic. But when I went to boarding school around the age of twelve, Gaelic was more often spoken in class than was English. So it came as a surprise to me to find that there were two people with different names in English which became the same as mine when in Gaelic. The name was Ciosain or O'Ciosain. I always knew this was the Gaelic for my name but when a fellow called Kissane also called himself O'Ciosain I decided I had better take a deeper look into the origins of our name "Cios" I was told by our teacher means 'tax' in Gaelic so it was likely that originally, back in one of Britain's plantations the Ciosain Clan were tax-collectors brought in from Scotland, since the Scots and the Irish are the same Celtic race, it would be mutually acceptable. It was common for England when they conquered Irish land to 'plant' it with its own people. This was particularly prevalent around 1650 when Cromwell went to Ireland to conquer the country and to change it's religion. Up until then Ireland and England had the same religion. I was further told that during the Great Famine in 1845 some of the family of O Ciosain "took the soup" and the family split. One half changed their name to Cashman and the other half to Kissane which would have been a more natural derivation than Cashman. 'Drinking or taking the soup' referred to those starving people who went to soup-kitchens which made taking soup conditional on changing one's religion. Nobody seemed to know which side drank the depended on which side of the family one came from..."
Jebel Kissane

It would seem that the Jewish Kissane/Kassin family of merchants were also to be found in Morocco where a mountain called Jebel Kissane was named after them by the Jewish inhabitants of the town of Agdz. This area of Morocco was once a centre of Jewish civilisation for many centuries. This area today is very dry and arid but it is believed to have been wetter and more fertile in the past and the Draa river extended at that time to the Atlantic. Remains of ships have been found in this area of the desert. Many of the crypto-Jews of Claddagh and the Galway Bay area were fishermen and sailors and it would seem that a group of Jews led by a Kissane went to live in the Jewish settlements of the region that surrounded what was called Jebel Kissane (the mountain of Kissane) as part of the Sephardi community called the Megorashim. In the far north of Morocco is also found the settlement of Beni Kissane (sons of Kissane). We also know that Rabbi Abraham Kassin (1810-1897 of Aleppo)[son of Rabbi Bekhor Kassin (1745-1877)]visited Morocco in the 19th century.

Ballykissane Pier on the River Laune

There is also an interesting discussion on Ballykissane in the comments to the article about the 1916 terrorist attacks and the monument in Ballykissane on the Unrepentant Communist Blog

Note: The Australian pronunciation of Kissane and Kassin sounds different but the Irish pronunciation of Kissane and Ciosain sound almost identical to Kassin. Also Kissane pronounced Kissani in Africa is the plural form. Thus Beni Kissani/Kissane means sons of the Kissan/Kassin.