After a little more research, my understanding is that the individual with the first M222 mutation (R1b1b2a1b5b) would have lived in NW Ireland about 500 AD and this group is referred to as "Northwest Irish." While the Niall of the Nine Hostages lineage is M222+ and Northwest Irish, it has a unique haplotype among R1b1b2a1b5b so is not related to all of R1b1b2a1b5b. The reason is because the autosomal SNPs (eg M222) that form branches within a haplogroup mutate much slower than the Y-DNA STRs (1-67 markers at FTDNA). So people can share an autosomal SNP mutation that occurred long ago, while differing significantly in their Y-DNA due to more mutations occurring along the faster mutating Y-DNA more recently. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
There's a good overview of this group at the genetic level following its discovery in fall 2008 here (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DNA-R1B1C7/2008-10/1224263304)
Recent discoveries have refined the position of the M222 SNP within the Y
chromosome tree. If we were still relying on the old alternating
letter/number system, this branch would now be called R1b1b2a1b5b [apparently FTDNA still relies on this system]. As new SNPs are discovered (and they will be), this nomenclature will only get more complicated.
Perhaps it is worth reviewing the structure of what we used to call R1b1c
and now call R1b1b2. M269 is probably a fairly old SNP, though it cannot be
as old as the 25,000 to 30,000 years that was once proposed for it. Perhaps
something in the 8,000 to 12,000 year range is more likely. Three steps
downstream we find the U106 SNP, which may contain about one third of the
total M269 population of Europe. Parallel to U106 is S116 (also called
P312), which probably incorporates a little over half of the M269 population
of Europe. Only a few percent of M269 people do not belong to one of these
two groups. U106 and P312 are both probably about 4,000 to 5,000 years old.
The P312 group includes several immediate child branches including the large
S28 group (formerly called R1b1c10) as well as some smaller groups with
Iberian associations (M153 and SRY2627, most notably). Until a few days ago,
it was believed that M222 was a parallel branch to the ones I just
mentioned. But following the recognition of a major new SNP now called L21
by FTDNA and S145 by EthnoAncestry, we can now see that L21 is the true
sibling clade of S28 and the Iberian SNPs. L21 seems to constitute about
half to two thirds of P312.
And M222 is subordinate to L21. Two other rarely seen SNPs, M37 and P66, are
also under L21. But only one or two members of each of those groups can be
identified. M222, with well over a thousand recognized members, is the sole
well-establish sub-branch of L21.
It continues to be my thinking that the MRCA for most (if not all) of the
M222 group lived within the last 1500 years, give or take a couple of
The ISOGG Y-tree (www.isogg.org.tree) does not yet include all these new
SNPs, some of which do not yet have shorthand labels and are still known by
their research submission SNP numbers (for example, until last week L21 was
known only by its submission number, rs11799226). But within a month it is
likely that the ISOGG tree will be revised to reflect the additional
complexity that has been revealed in just the last couple of weeks.
--- In email@example.com, "mhbowes11" <martha.bowes@...> wrote:
> We now have two R1b groups belonging to this subclade, but they are unrelated in a genealogically meaningful time frame (which is why they are in separate subgroups). All I can find on this subclade is at Wikipedia:
> "Early results as of November 2008 suggest that R1b1b2a1b5/R-L21/R-P312 is common in the British Isles, and is yet to be observed so far in Iberian [Spanish and Portuguese] ancestry. Its subclade R-M222 is particularly associated with the Irish and Scots. In this case, the relatively high frequency of this specific subclade among the population of certain counties in northwestern Ireland may be due to positive social selection, as R1b1b2a1b6b is believed to have been the Y-chromosome haplogroup of the kings of the Uí Néill clan of ancient Ireland."
> I'm not sure I understand what is meant by "due to positive social selection" and its relationship to R1b1b2a1b6b.
> If anyone can help explain this subclade, or later finds anything on it, I hope you'll post here.
> Thanks, Martha