The Hoy Family

The Hoy family DNA testing

The Hoy family of Easton, PA has two members who have tested positive for M222 which is almost always found in the top part of Ireland and western Scotland. It was discovered by Brian McEvoy of Trinity College Dublin as an STR signature in 2006 and later as an SNP by David Wilson. M222 is associated with some of the leading families of ancient Connaught, Ulster, and possibly Leinster (the isolated circle on the map is right over the ancient capital of the Leinster people, but the family names are lost). Until very recently, there have been no subgroups, identified by other SNPs shared by only some of the M222 men.

Throughout 2014, several companies have offered a test which has allowed dozens of subgroups to be discovered and the process is ongoing. Two companies have especially helped in this work since they are focusing on the DNA of the Isles, primarily Scotland and Ireland. Most of the work has been done by Scotland's DNA, also doing business as Ireland's DNA. They broke the logjam around the dark area in the graphic to the right, centering on Donegal and Tyrone. Dozens of new SNPs have been discovered which belong to men from that area.

Since the Hoys are not from that area, but rather County Louth, we do not carry any of those new SNPs. But a smaller company has filled the gap. The Hoys are lucky that among the people who did not carry any of the new Donegal based SNPs, were two of the most knowledgeable people in this field. Dr. David Wilson, who discovered M222 and Iain Kennedy who has been refining this data from his home in Scotland.

The company is smaller than the others and does only specific SNPs rather than testing all possible ones as the larger companies do. David and Iain working with YSEQ and volunteer testers, have been able to discover two, smaller branches under M222 that Scotland's DNA did not pick up. Luckily for us, the Hoys carry the SNPs in one of the new, smaller sub-branches. These sub-branches are themselves branching as Iain and David continue their work.

The Hoys are in the FGC4077 branch below M222 which is northern Ireland and Scotland based. At present, out terminal SNP (the lowest one we carry), is S676: R1b>M222>FGC4077>A725>S676. S679 and S682 are equivalent to S676.

As of January 2019, there are five other men who are S676. Three have a different surname and two have an unknown surname.

Five men in total, including two Hoy men, have sent data to the YFull analysis service which now has enough data for an age estimation which is seen below. TMRCA means Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor which they estimate at 850 years or about 1150 AD. At this time, a family of five brothers each became king of the Dál Fiatach in succession until 1200 when they lost power to the Normans and left County Down. Most moved to neighboring County Louth which was ruled by their cousin, and some moved to the O'Neill lands of Donegal and Tyrone. The father of these brothers had changed their surname to MacDunleavy after his grandfather Dunleavy Ó hEochaidh who died in 1091. So, the Hoy and Dunleavy families share the same DNA. There are, however, other Dunleavy families who are unrelated to the Hoy family.

The estimate of 1650 years before the present for the formation of S676 means that one prominent man first had the S676 mutation about 350 AD. This was 100 years before Saint Patrick's arrival in County Down.



There are several important testing companies which can be used to determine one's SNP. These are arranged by the number of customers, not necessarily by the quality of the work.

Someone with a surname of Hoy should not assume that they are M222. There are known Planter families in Ireland with this surname, but with very different DNA. They are E1b which is heaviest in the Balkans, but extends to Holland from where they took part in the Plantations of Ireland by the English in the 1600's. Some of them had the surname Huey which is pronounced Hoy.

If a Hoy individual has an STR test of at least 37 markers and is predicted as an SNP of M222, then the YSEQ R1b-DF49 test for $88 is the best choice. The link is at the bottom of each page.

FTDNA is the largest of these testing companies and covers the whole world with many products. Their product seeks to discover new SNPs.

Their main SNP test is called Big Y and the current price is $565.

This is a new small company founded by the former lead scientist at FTDNA. They offer either a single SNP test or a set of packages of related SNPs. Their product tests known SNPs, not new ones.

R1b-DF49 (including M222) North West Irish Panel. $88. This kit has all known SNPs below M222. Any new ones discovered by the larger companies are quickly added.

A single SNP test costs $17.50. So, a test for FGC4077 or A725 is just $17.50.

Their service takes at most a couple of weeks, while FTDNA and FGC take months because they test so much.

Full Genomes Corporation is a company which specializes in quality and more SNPs tested that the other ones. Their product seeks to discover new SNPs.

It has two products.

Y Prime Sequencing $650
Y Elite Sequencing $975


The is from the Big Tree website which lists many of the men who have taken NGS tests (which search for new SNPs).




All of the photographs and information about the three generations of the Hoy family on these pages has been gathered by Bob Hoy of Arlington, VA. The information for the book "Story of the Hoy Family" was compiled by Bob Hoy and the artwork was done by Lou Smull. Bob is the son of Frank Hoy from the second generation born in this country and Lou is the grandson of Frank's brother Tom.