Contributor Greg Spencer Mills at

After years of family research and finally some DNA testing I came across an interesting situation in my family history. My great grand father is surnamed Bellah and descends from an early immigrant to the colonies named William Ballagh, Gent. that settled in Charles Town, SC in 1692. I know that he was a British privateer and wealthy planter and because of the last name Ballagh I had assumed he was related to the MacDonalds of Scotland. However, I couple of my Ballagh/Bellah cousins took the DNA tests and came back with the Y-signature that identifies Niall of the Nine Hostages. So after looking around I noticed that there were a few O'Neill of Clanaboy Chiefs with the name Ballagh in the mix. For instance Brian Ballagh O'Neill of Clanaboy who died in 1524 I think. I also found a few more. Anyway, could this indicate that my Ballagh ancestor to America being a Landed Gentry and privateer was a recent descendant of one of these Clanaboy Chiefs now that the DNA indicates O'Neill ancestry? I am hoping to sort this out a little bit and solve the mystery. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

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