Recently, I had my maternal mitochondrial DNA (also known as mtDNA) tested through the web site 23andme.com. I had been interested in genetics and the connection to genealogy, and in learning about the earliest generations and what their lives were like. I was somewhat surprised to be categorized in the U5a1a supgroup of U5, because it seems like only a small population of that subgroup were “Irish”, but there is a percentage nonetheless and it is interesting to know about these roots. The haplogroup is strongly linked to Finland and later *cough cough* Scotland and England, basically the extreme Northern sections of Europe which early people migrated to as the ice retreated after the ice age. There is even a U5a connection to Cheddar Man in England, who besides the great name was a pretty interesting guy.
U5a1a – my haplogroup
Known maternal line:
1) Ellen Haley (Alternate spelling Healy) b. about 1830 + m. Maurice Ahern (Alternate spellings Ahearn and Hearn)
2) Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ahern b.1862 + m. John B. Brady
3) Mary Elizabeth Brady b.1892 + m. Flowrence H. Barrett
4) Mary Elizabeth Barrett b.1916 + m. Raymond M. Needham
5) My mother (living)
6) me (living, obviously)
The Ahern, Haley, Brady and Barrett families all emigrated to Massachusetts USA from Ireland in the mid 19th Century. They were all quiet Irish. For the most part. :) My Dad is supposedly 100% Irish, and eventually I may have to get him a DNA test to prove it.