O’Shea yDNA Project

Use this link to join the O’Shea Surname yDNA Project at Family Tree DNA. All men with an O’Shea/Shea/Shee paternal line can represent their O’Shea/Shea/Shee family.

O’Shea yDNA Project Administrator and Co-administrators

Administrator: Margaret Jordan, Email: m.jordan246@gmail.com

Administrator: James O’Shea, Email: joshea@douglas-esl.ie

Administrator: Dick Shea, Email: sheadick@yahoo.com

Here is a link to the O’Shea yDNA Project Results webpage. Results are updated regularly.

When that paper trail fizzles out or hits a brick wall, what can you do?

While the paper work is still a vital part of the research, another tool is DNA. DNA has become a significant tool in genealogical research. yDNA is used to trace the male or paternal line and mtDNA is used to trace the female line

The O’Shea yDNA Project uses yDNA (y-chromosome DNA) to trace the paternal line. O’Shea men, as only men have yDNA, are welcome to represent their O’Shea (and variant surnames) family and join the O’Shea yDNA Surname Project. This project aims to help people with their genealogical research and to establish the history of the O’Shea Clan.

The O’Shea Surname yDNA Project at Family Tree DNA was initiated in 2003. By 2014, we have over 160 participants. While most of them are from far-flung places, several members are living in Ireland.

We have had financial contributions, which have helped us pay for some kits for Irish-based O’Sheas. Some of these results can be treated as “benchmarks” for yDNA for O’Sheas in areas in Kerry and the other counties associated with O’Sheas, where Sheas and Shees lived in the past. We always need more Irish-based O’Sheas who know their O’Shea family history to help the O’Shea diaspora to re-connect with their Irish roots. Irish-based O’Sheas can also re-connect with relatives who emigrated in hard times. So, in 2010, we want to encourage Irish-based O’Sheas to do the simple mouth swab and help us progress the project. We also welcome donations to our project fund to help sponsor kits for Irish-based O’Sheas.

How to Join the Project

The testing company used for the project is: Family Tree DNA, based in Texas, USA.


O’Shea yDNA Surname Project for details. The order form is available online, follow the instructions to order and pay for the kit, do the simple mouth swab at home and then mail it back and wait for the results to be emailed to you a few weeks later.

The O’Shea yDNA Surname Project suggests doing a 67 marker test. This level of testing helps to identify close relationships. A 111 yDNA marker test is also available and many members have upgraded to this level.

Here is a link to a a YouTube video of how the swap is taken:

Family Tree DNA Learning Center has useful information and covers many topics which might be of interest.

The yDNA results can be compared to others at YSearch. Ysearch is very useful, so make sure you upload your results to it to compare results with others. This is particularly interesting to see how your results compare with people in your yDNA Project and others who are not in your own project or who are using a different testing company.


Anthropologists classify the Y-chromosome into branches called Haplogroups or clades. Letters, such as J, Q, R etc classify Y-chromosome haplogroups on the yHaplotree. Haplogroups are subdivided into smaller groups or clades. For example, Haplogroup R is divided into “R1a” and “R1b” and R1b is further divided into R1b1 and so on.

SNP Testing

When you test your yDNA using the standard y-STR markers, your y-haplogroup can usually be predicted. Once your Haplogroup is predicted, you can then do SNP testing
to learn more about your position on the y-haplotree.

Here are links to useful sites:

ISOGG yDNA Hapogroup Tree

Eupedia European Haplogroups and Subclades

Sources for Information on DNA

Glossary of Genetic Terms

The Blood of the Irish on RTE, Irish tv in January 2009

Eupedia. It gives useful information on haplogroups.

Sites dealing with genetic genealogy include:

FTDNA DNA Forum which is the Family Tree DNA Forum.

Kerchner’s DNA Resource Page is very informative.

The International Society of Genetic Genealogy(ISOGG) where there is a message group and some excellent resources.