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January 23, 2016 / sennettfamilytree

Are all Sinnotts Irish?

The Sinnott/Sennett (and variants) one name study is rapidly increasing in size now with in excess of 45,000 people in my database – the bulk of whom are connected into at least three generation family trees, and some to trees with in excess of 600 linked people.

One of my big goals with the project was to identify the families of Irish origin, and to make every attempt to find evidence to link these Irish families together and identify common ancestors.   The Y-DNA surname project was started with this in mind, again with a goal of having at least one male from each tree testing their Y-DNA.   So far numbers are too small to draw any conclusions but already there is a cluster of results in families of Irish heritage showing an E haplogroup.   My theory now is that S-NN-Ts with this E haplogroup will eventually be able to be linked together, and will all descend from the most distant known Sinnott (Adam, son of Synad) who arrived in Co Wexford in the 12th century via Wales.

But this isn’t all the Sinnotts.   There are SENNITTs in Cambridgeshire, UK, who appear to have a completely separate origin, with some early spellings that look more like SENNIGHT.   There are also a variety of european surnames that have been anglicised to Sennett or Sinnott or Sinnett – Sinitzky, Senet, Seminoff being three I have come across.  And there may be more than one Irish origin as well.  SENNETT from Cornwall has now been shown to be linked to the Co Wexford SINNOTTs, and though there hasn’t been a SINNETT from Wales tested yet, I’d be surprised if there also wasn’t a link to Cornwall and Ireland in the genes.

Sinnott/Sennett and variant names do seem to link back to Ireland in a lot of cases, but they clearly aren’t the only origin of the SINNOTT surname.  This is an excellent name to have a DNA study for though, as eventually the different branches will become clear.

In the meantime, its back to the documentary research, and to promoting the DNA surname project (at familytreedna.com ) for me.

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