Right from the early days of her STR analyses Colleen Fitzpatrick was able to define a group who traced themselves to County Down, in particular from the south of the County in the parishes of Kilkeel, Seapatrick and Warrenpoint.
Interestingly the STR data indicated these County Down Fitzpatricks matched the so called 'Leinster Modal', which has a strong association with the surname O'Byrne. This association is consistent with the results that are being found by NGS, which has found those of the Byrne lineage 1 are Z255 (www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/byrne/results).
Hence, our thesis regarding County Down Fitzpatricks is that they were at one time from Leinster, however there is no indication when or why they came to leave the south and settle in Ulster. But there are some clues.
Fitzpatricks are mentioned in some of the earliest County Down records. The 1659 census for 'Downe' lists 'Principall Irish names and their number' for each Barony. In the Upper Iveagh Barony there are included 10 with the surname McIlepatricke. There is no record of any others with a surname resembling Fitzpatricks in any other Barony of County Down. And the 1663 Subsidy Roll for the Lordship of Newry and Mourne, Kilkeel Parish, lists a Neese M'Ilepatrick of Ballygoan. These records establish the presence of Fitzpatricks in southern County Down from at least the mid-1600s; it is also evident that, unlike in many other parts of Ireland at that time, the surname was not yet Normanised.
Geoff Fitzpatrick has identified a possible link between County Down Fitzpatrick and the County Laois Fitzpatricks in the late 1600s. During the Williamite War (1689-1691) the people of Kilcoo, County Down went to the Earl of Ossory, who provided safe haven for papists. They stopped there with him after peace was made, most likely returning to County Down in 1704. Perhaps the Earl's sympathies extended beyond his faith to some sort of family ties.
Until April 2015 all Z16434 Fitzpatricks (Brett, Geoff and Mike) were traced to County Down, but this SNP has now been found in John Fitzpatrick, who traces himself to Monasterevin in County Kildare and also to Ian Fitzpatrick who traces himself to Dublin. Hence, the Z16434-Fitzpatrick branch can no longer described as exclusively 'County Down'. And perhaps the link to Kildare and Dublin are pointers to the Leinster roots of the County Down Fitzpatricks.
We have also recently (August 2015) recived the BigY data for Brian Fitzpatrick who is Mike's uncle. For the County Down Fitzpatricks we now see Geoff as the most upstream with Z16434>BY2849, and then Mike and Brian who are Z16434>BY2849>BY2891, and then, further downstream still, is Brett who is Z16434>BY2849>BY2891>BY2893. Data analysis at yfull.com should elucidate age estimates for when the County Down sub-branches occured.
We currently await John's BigY results to see how many of the SNPs downstream of Z16434, that are found in the Down Fitzpatricks, he possess.
By Mike Fitzpatrick, Auckland, New Zealand.
The Fitzpatricks of Down(http://fitzsoc.com/Gatherings/Fitzpatrick%202007/Fitzpatricks_of_Co._Down.pdf) by Geoff Fitzpatrick, downloaded 21 April 2015.
Please request permission before using any information posted on this site.