Limerick DNA Project to Help Decode Irish Family History

A genealogical project pioneered by Limerick’s Mary Immaculate College that uses DNA to trace the genetic history of Limerick families may serve as an inspiration to other Irish communities on how to engage with their heritage, according to Minister Jimmy Deenihan.

The aim of the project is to bring together the historical and genealogical research already collated by the many Limerick experts in these areas, and to examine them in the context of the latest discoveries in Y-chromosome DNA to research the genetic history of Limerick families and communities both here and abroad.

Y DNA tests play a very important historical tool which, according to Dr Swift, “can help rewrite our entire history as a nation.”

She explained: “Y DNA tests can help show how our island population grew, intermarried with newcomers and dispersed across the globe, bringing you past the ‘brick wall’ circa AD 1800 when many genealogical sources dry up.”

You can read more about this project in an article by Kathy Masterson in the Limerick Post at


My great great grandfather, John Seymour, lived in the city of Limerick during the first half of the 19th century. I have completed Y-DNA testing with FTDNA through 37 markers. Will be happy to share details if useful to this project.


    My ancestors also emigrated from Limerick and would be willing to share Y chromosome DNA data. How do I reach John King of IARC?


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