The Surname 'Anglin'

Chapter 4

DNA and the Anglin story

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The Aims of this Chapter are:

  1. To seek understanding of relevant aspects of the Anglin DNA project
  2. To outline how this study and the DNA project are interrelated


This chapter is merely an outline of one aspect of the Anglin DNA project but one relevant to this study. The DNA project is an essential thread in the narration of the story of the Anglin name. I will not attempt to explain the DNA system, primarily as my understanding is too superficial; but I accept its broad findings in relation to the Anglin Surname. It is therefore appropriate to express thanks to Karen Parker, Joan Bulach and Robert Anglin, particularly to Karen who has invested her time, energy and expertise not only to gain an understanding of the system but applying her knowledge to advance the Anglin story. Anyone seeking further knowledge on the Anglin DNA project should go here. I simply use their findings.

The DNA findings as related to the Anglin Story

While each individual person has a unique DNA there is a close similarity in the DNA pattern of those males who are closely related to one another by physical parental descent, in ordinary speech we speak of brothers and sisters, first cousins, second cousins and so forth or indeed ‘blood relatives’. I use a ‘laypersons’ language. Again those requiring precise information please go to the web site.

Over some hundreds of years, the various O’hAngluinn / Anglin family threads have separated even to the point of people wondering if there is any relationships at all.

By analysing various individuals’ DNA this project has identified five ‘threads’ of Anglins. These five threads have ‘different’ DNA profiles, which suggest the divergence of the threads, occurred centuries ago. But the analysis has also identified individuals who unknown to one another have a DNA profile similar to other specific Anglins indicating they are ‘blood related’ i.e. they belong to the same thread, and the divergence has been more recent.

The DNA team have named three of these threads, group 2, group 3 and group 4. Since they have not as yet given group names to the other two, till they do so I refer to these as ‘Wexford Anglims’ and ‘Bristol Anglins’.

The DNA team have also examined another line of Anglins who have the surname but whose DNA profile is unrelated in any way to these five groups.

The Origin of the Anglins

The earlier chapters of this study identified the historical and geographical origin of the name O’hAngluinn/Anglin/m to be in Ireland. Investigations into possibilities of another origin for the surname outside Ireland were examined and found to be untenable; and merely for the purpose of record the details are reported in the next chapter…Five.

There are Anglin families abroad who by documentary research know their country of origin is Ireland. There are also Anglin lines throughout the world that surmise they originated in Ireland but have no documentary evidence to prove it.

Consequences of linking the DNA project results to Geographic Mapping can be stated thus: - a) If a family line is of the same DNA profile as an Irish Anglin Family line (or a family living outside Ireland who have documentary evidence of their Irish origin) then the members of both lines are one group i.e. ’cousins even if distant cousins’. But there is a second consequence both lines must have the same geographic root. In this case their root origin is in Ireland for all.

For this researcher one aspect of his efforts has been to assist the DNA project in linking Anglin lines to their geographic root origin by documentary evidence.

A closer look at one DNA group

To highlight the value of the DNA work to this study a closer look is now made of just one DNA group of Anglins, namely Group 2.

Group 2 is made up of discrete Anglin families. This grouping of families are related to one another, evidenced by their DNA profiles, but because of the divergence over the generations they did not even know they were related.

In this group 2 there are a line of Anglins who are Protestant and living in Canada, there is another Anglin line who are Catholic and living in Ireland and England: another family line in this group are Catholic Anglins of West Cork: another line is in the USA and are descendants of William of Caswell County in NC who came there c.1733; there is a family line of Anglims with some members living in England and others in County Tipperary; and there is an individual Anglin whose origin is Macroom in County Cork. All these are considered related due to the similarity of their DNA profile. Since the root origin of some of them is Ireland and specifically County Cork then the original origin of all of these is County Cork. So when the DNA profiling and the documentary evidence come together they jointly further understanding of the Anglin story.

Other aspects of the DNA Anglin project

The DNA project has a number of other benefits but those seeking further knowledge should go to the web site as other aspects are outside the objectives of this study.

Known Anglin family lines

A number of family lines have built trees; I list them in Appendix 8 G. To gain details of any of the lines one could contact the Anglin DNA project site.


At a simple level the DNA project has helped this study by identifying lines that are related closely to one another and other lines that are unrelated. In so doing it can help link lines geographically to their root origins, but it also asks the question ‘How is it there are more than one Anglin Family Thread’.