Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Kilpatrick, Mac Giolla Phádraig, MacGilpatrick, MacKilpatrick, McElfatrick, McPatrick, Mulpatrick, Ó Maol Phádraig, O'Mulpatrick
Category: 3 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way on a global basis.
DNA website: www.familytreedna.com/groups/fitzpatrick
Guild hosted website:
Contact: Dr Mike Fitzpatrick
So far three distinct Fitzpatricks Clans have been identified based on genetic and historic data:
Fitzpatrick of Ossory
Fitzpatrick of Briéfne (mostly Co. Cavan)
Fitzpatrick of Ulster (mostly Co. Down with cousins in Co. Kildare and Co. Louth)
The aims of the Fitzpatrick of Ulster study are:
Variants in modern use are McGilpatrick, McIlpatrick, McElfatrick, Kilpatrick, McPatrick and Patrick.
Much has been written about the Fitzpatricks of Ossory. Brian Óg Mac Giolla Phádraig (c. 1485-1575) was the last claimant to the kingdom of Ossory (Osraige). Under surrender and regrant he was created the Baron of Upper Ossory in 1541 by Henry VIII, and in doing he assummed the surname Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has remained a common surname in Counties that share the territory of ancient Osraige, viz., Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary and Waterford. The vast majority of Fitzpatricks who trace to Ossory and/or live there today are readily identified by their distinctive Y-DNA signature; they are haplotype FGC5494.
Fitzpatricks have long been present in Bréifne with historians recording both Ó Maol Phádraig and Mac Giolla Phádraig throughout the country. The DNA study has identified at least three different haplotypes associated with Bréifne Fitzpatricks, but with Ó Maol Phádraig being absorbed into Fitzpatrick in the 17th Century it is not trivial to determine who is who. Advanced DNA test results have closely matched haplotype BY2630 (a branch of L513) with the surnames of several close Ó Maol Phádraig associates in the 17th century. Hence, our working thesis is that one type of Ó Maol Phadráig Bréifne may be BY2630.
There are McGilpatricks clearly identified in historical records, starting with the Patent Rolls of James I, that pertain to Down and Antrim right through the 17th Century. M’Illepatrick, a variant of Mac Giolla Phádraig, is listed as one of the principal names in Upper Iveagh in the 1659 Census. Fitzpatricks of Iveagh have been genetically fingerprinted and possess a haplotype that unique to them, BY2849 which formed ca. 1150 AD. Choosing to call them Fitzpatrick of Iveagh acknowledges: (a) their rapid proliferation in that area around in the 17th Century; (b) an association with Clan Magennis; and, (c) the general location that is the modern-day homeland for very many Fitzpatricks. These Fitzpatrick have close genetic cousins who trace to Kildare and Louth. Understanding these connections and how they arose is a key part of the study.
Fitzpatrick is best known as the translation of the surname Mac Giolla Phádraig. Gilla Patráic mac Donnchada was a tenth century king of Ossory and his sons were subsequently styled Mac Giolla Phádraig, i.e., son of Giolla Phádraig. The Mac Giolla Phádraig surname was used in Ossory until 1541 when Brían Óg Mac Giolla Phádraig, on surrender to Henry VIII, took the surname Fitzpatrick.
There are references to Ó Maol Phádraig of Meath in the Annals as early as the 9th Century. Variants are used right up until the 17th Century where it occurs in the Patent Roll of James I in Co. Cavan and Pender's Census (1654-1659). Mulpatrick disappears from the historic records after the 17th Century, adherents of the name took on Fitzpatrick in its place.
Early occurrences of Fitzpatrick surname pre-cursors in several Irish Counties occur as McGilpatrick in the Patent Roll of James I. In addition, Pender's Census records one of the 'Principal Irish Names' in Upper Iveagh as McIlepatricke; the use of McGilpatrick and similar forms ceased in Iveagh in the early 18th Century and they were replaced by Fitzpatrick.
Today Fitzpatrick ranks as about the 60th most common surname in Ireland, and significant numbers of Fitzpatricks are also found in England, Scotland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The surname Fitzpatrick is geographically diverse, both within Ireland and globally. Based on the Griffith's Valuation of the mid-1850s, 75% of Fitzpatricks in Ireland were resident as follows: County Laois (18.9%), County Cavan (14.7%), County Down (7.9%), County Cork (6.2%), County Kilkenny (6.0%), County Tipperary (5.3%), County Clare (4.0%), County Dublin (4.0%), County Kildare (3.2%), County Fermanagh (2.9%) or County Monaghan (2.7%).
The distribution of Fitzpatricks in the 1901 Ireland census is similar, although an urban shift is evident: County Cavan (13.3%), County Laois (12.7%), County Down (8.2%), County Dublin (8.0%), County Cork (6.3%), County Clare (5.1%), County Kilkenny (4.4%), County Tipperary (4.4%), County Fermanagh (3.1%), County Monaghan (3.0%), County Wexford (3.0%), or County Kildare (2.9%).
Data for the Fitzpatrick of Ulster study is drawn primarily from:
Co. Down birth and marriage records to ca. 1910 (Parish and Civil);
Ireland Census records: 1901 and 1911;
England, Scotland and Wales Census records: 1841-1911;
Co. Down rental records and valuations;
Tithe Applotment book records, and;
The Fitzpatrick DNA study.
There is significant genetic diversity associated with the surname Fitzpatrick. The Fitzpatrick DNA study has identified several major Fitzpatrick groups that are genetically unrelated prior to ca. 2500 BC. The largest groups trace their roots to Co. Cavan, Co. Clare, Co. Cork, Co. Down, Co. Kilkenny or Co. Laois. This accounts for approximately 50% of the DNA study members. About a further 25% fall into small groups of unknown origin, and the remaining 25% have not yet found matches within the study - although some have had success with matches on other surname projects.
The Y-DNA results of the Fitzpatrick surname project are found at FTDNA's Fitzpatrick Project.
The Fitzpatrick Clan Society, their Forum and their Facebook Page.
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: