How Do I Find My Irish Cousins among My DNA Matches? (This Works for 331+ Other Regions, Too.)

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 16, 2018 in AncestryDNA

Isn’t It Time You Were Irish?

Has Saint Patrick’s Day left you wondering about your Irish ancestors? Who they were? Where they came from? How they got here? Whether you really have some?

Ancestry—and AncestryDNA—can help. You’ll find more than 200 million Irish records on, and AncestryDNA can help you track your Irish roots back to 20 regions in Ireland.


Where’d All These Regions Come From?

AncestryDNA test results include more than 350 possible regions. Some of these regions appear under a broader region in your results, like Ulster, Ireland, does here:

Other regions appear under the heading Migrations.

“Migrations” is used in a broad sense, meaning a movement of people from one place to another. We typically think of migrating as something people choose to do, but not all of the journeys reflected in these regions—including many by African Americans in the South or British prisoners to Australia, for example—were made voluntarily.

Regardless of how the regions display in your results, they can all help tell the story of how your ancestors got from where they came from to where you are today.


Going from Regions to Matches

So how do you find your Irish needles in your DNA matches haystack? Simple: you can sort your DNA matches by region.

Here’s how it works.

Along with Ireland, Scotland and Wales, this estimate includes the Ulster and Connacht regions.

Clicking on the Connacht, Ireland, region brings up more facts about it:









Places in This Region—narrows down the region even further to Mayo and Sligo




Overview—gives some background on the region and tells the story of people who came from or passed through the region



AncestryDNA Members—are this person’s DNA matches who also have links to this region. In this case, there are more than 1,000 of them.





From there you can drill down even further by selecting the Mayo & Sligo region.

Now you can find out who those DNA cousins are through the DNA Matches link, which will bring up the 475 DNA matches who also share a genetic link to the Mayo & Sligo region:

Notice the Regions filter at the top of the page.

You’ll find this filter at the top of your DNA matches page. Selecting it will bring up a menu of regions you can search your results by. It’s one more way of putting your AncestryDNA test results to work to connect with the stories of your past and the people of today who share them—whether they’re Irish or not.



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