Welcome to the McQuillan DNA Project

The McQuillan DNA project started informally in February 2006 after discussions between a few McQuillan researchers about whether DNA could cast light on the controversial question of the clan’s origins, and assist in extending traditional genealogies. Growth of the project since that time has led us to create this website to publicize our study, report our ongoing findings, and offer other McQuillans an opportunity to participate. In addition to the most obvious surname variations (McQuillen, MacQuillan, MacQuillin and McQuillin), the project also includes a variety of other related surnames.

Project Objectives

The project seeks to use Y-DNA testing, both alone and in conjunction with traditional paper genealogy, to:

  1. Determine which McQuillan lines are closely related to one another. Given the difficulties in Irish family research, this could help many in providing a way to assist paper genealogy, through facilitating the sharing of leads and focusing of cooperative research on related lines, by testing findings and assumptions made through traditional genealogy research, and by linking emigrant lines with McQuillan families still in Ireland.
  2. Shed new light on the origins and history of the McQuillans. There is currently a broad range of historical theories about the origins of the clan, from claims of native Irish origin, of descent from the Norman de Mandevilles or of descent from 13th century Cambro-Norman or Scots mercenaries. There is also the strong possibility that the surname as found has multiple origins. DNA can also confirm whether some Cullens, MacWilliams, Quillens and others are really descended from earlier McQuillans.
  3. Explore the deep ethnographic origins of the McQuillans over the thousands of years before the emergence of surnames.

Please visit here to find out more.