Thanks to Y-DNA analysis and historical documents, the origin of those Griffin families, whose traditional homeland is broadly centered around Castlemaine, County Kerry, Ireland, has been uncovered. Y-DNA analysis has shown that our Griffin ancestor(s) left the Scottish Highlands during the Middle Ages, before the 17th century and historical documents show that in 1601, men with the surname Griffin were serving under Owen O'Sullivan Mór, Lord of Dunkerron, in locations just west of Castlemaine. See our Y-DNA Analysis and our Historical Documents page for more information.
The Castlemaine, County Kerry area has continuously been a stronghold of Griffin families from 1601 to the present. This area encompasses the baronies of Clanmaurice, Corkaguiny, Iveragh, and Trughanacmy. You may know the baronies of Corkaguiny, Iveragh, and Trughanacmy as the locations of the popular tourist destinations, the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula).
We are aware of two other groups of Irish Griffins, who are genetically quite distinct from those we are calling here the "Kerry Griffins".
The O'Griffy clan, with roots in County Clare, belongs to the "Irish Type III" haplotype and is more closely related to the O'Briens and the O'Deas. They have been in Ireland for a very long time.
The third group is also originally from Scotland, but from the Lowlands, not the Highlands like the Kerry Griffins. They belong to what is called the Little Scottish Cluster and seem to be more numerous around the Severn Estuary and Scattery Island.