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Genetic Genealogy & DNA Testing

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If you would like  to explore the potential of Genetic Genealogy (aka DNA Genealogy) in helping you to break down your brick walls, I recommend that you read the article on DNA testing and the Nolan Y-DNA project written by Ken Nowlan, the project administrator in 2015 for the Nolan Y-DNA project (test results matrix) hosted at the organisation which offers various Y-DNA tests.

There are many companies who offer DNA testing and it is reasonable to expect that not all Nolan descendants, especially those with a non-Nolan last name, will have their DNA tested with the FamilyTreeDNA organisation. However, through an intermediary resource, namely the “Matchmaker” tool at the website, it is possible to compare the Y-DNA test results from the FamilyTreeDNA organisation with those produced by other DNA-testing companies. is a free 3rd party site of tools where you can upload your DNA test results and compare them with those from people who have tested at other companies.

Since 2015, Zak Jones has taken over as the lead for the Nolan Y-DNA project and, just recently, Mark Wholihan has joined him as co-administrator.

From a recent posting in the Nolan DNA Facebook group, here is what Zak Jones recommends to newcomers to genetic genealogy:

(1)  Get an AncestryDNA test for yourself. Same thing for the oldest family member(s) descended from the same Nolan line.

(2) Push those results [i.e. upload your DNA data] to GedMatch.  And, push those GedMatch ID's to the Nolan GedMatch project too. [here is a link to the curently active GEDmatch projects].

(3) Find a living male Nolan of your line and get him an FTDNA Y37 test.  Join that test to the FTDNA Nolan project.

(4) In [the Nolan DNA Facebook group], [share] your earliest known Nolan ancestor(s), your GedMatch ID's, and if possible how we can find your online tree.

(5) Advanced YDNA work (ie: FTDNA's Y700) can also be a useful upgrade for male testers. But for best results with this form of testing, it's best to consult with admins and have quality collaboration with your tester's established Y37-Y111 matches.

Further Reading

Based upon currently known DNA test results in the results matrix mentioned earlier we already know that most modern-day Nolan descendants, like most European males, belong to the R1b haplogroup/subtree of the human family and, armed with this fact, you may also want to explore what modern-day archaeogeneticists have discovered about the early wanderings of our distant Nolan ancestors.

Roger Nowlan, webmaster

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