Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of this study?
- To further the knowledge of our members through a combination of genetic and historical research.
- Who may participate?
- Any male with the McManus name (including all spellings and variants) or whose family name got changed from McManus, and anyone else of a related surname (such as Maguire and O'Conor) who wants to compare YDNA to those in the project.
- Why only males?
- Only males have Y chromosomes, which pass down the direct male line (father to son to grandson, etc.), exactly as surnames do in our culture. Interested females might get a McManus-surnamed male relative (father, brother, cousin, etc.) tested.
- What might I gain from participating in the study?
- Most participants can learn the distinct McManus family and the area of Ireland from which they descend. Knowing the right area can provide direction for further research and inquiry, such as in the paper records. That can lead to finding distant cousins who share known common ancestors. Test results can also prove or disprove research or family traditions that are less than certain. Finally, your results add to the growing database from which future knowledge can emerge.
The McManus Families
- From where do the McManuses come?
- Both history and genetics show that there are at least two distinct McManus families in Ireland. One descends from Maghnus Maguire (d. 1358) and are a branch of the Maguries. They were centred on what is now Belle Isle, an island in Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh of the historic province of Ulster, now in Northern Ireland. The other descends from Maghnus Ua Conchobair (d. 1181) and are a branch of the O'Conors. They were centred in what is now Kilronan Parish in County Roscommon of the historic province of Connaught, now in the Irish Republic. These two areas are no more than 30 miles apart.
- To which McManus family do I belong?
- Some of our members can trace their ancestry to one of the other of these very areas by paper records, and their YDNA profiles closely match those of other Maguires and O'Conors. If your YDNA matches to one or the other of these groups of members, there you are!
- What if I don't match either group?
- A few of our members don't, but at least they learn that they are not of the main two families. As more persons test, YDNA profiles might be developed that will show descent from other distinct origins, such as other historical persons named Maghnus/Manus.
- Don't we all descended from common origins?
- All humans do, however the genes mutate over time, creating genetic distinctions. For instance, the Maguires and the O'Conors show genetic evidence of common ancient Celtic heritage from the remote time prior to the emergence of surnames, but there are abundant differences in their YDNA to distinguish them.
- How does the testing work?
- You receive a test kit by mail, collect specimens painlessly from inside your cheeks, send them to the lab by mail, and receive your results. It's that simple; but be sure to sign the release form, or we won't be able to see your results to assist you. You can view the test kit and instructions here.
- How do I interpret my results?
- Our experienced project administrators are available to group your results, discuss them with you, and interpret what they mean.
- How much does it cost?
- Family Tree DNA's current prices of the various tests are listed here. Our project administrators are volunteers and receive no commissions from Family Tree DNA, nor are you charged for their assistance.
- Which test should I order?
- The male-line YDNA tests are the ones used for these purposes. We recommend the Y-DNA25 test as the minimum option. The more economical Y-DNA12 test is usually sufficient to give some indication as to whether the tester matches with the McManus Maguires or the McManus O'Conors and their respective geographic origins, but it is of limited usefulness beyond that. The higher levels (Y-DNA37, Y-DNA67 and Y-DNA111) are useful to refine the closeness of relationship to other individuals. In any case, your specimens are saved, enabling you to upgrade your results to higher levels at a later time if you wish.
- Why are the results of my mtDNA test not shown on the McManus Project website?
- Mitochondrial DNA is inherited solely through the female ancestral line. Ours is a surname project, and surnames (like YDNA) are inherited through the male line. Even if your mother was a McManus, her mtDNA came from her mother. Family Tree DNA offers mtDNA tests, but there are separate projects for the comparison of mtDNA results.
- How can I learn more about YDNA test results and how to use them?
- Family Tree DNA has an extensive FAQ on these topics