by Phillip G. Goff, GGFA Director of Genetic Genealogy

Ireland is the origin of Gough, Goff and McGough families, but finding the connection is challenging. When the Public Record Office in Dublin was destroyed by an explosion and fire in 1922, a large swath of civil records, such as census returns, and Church of Ireland parish records were lost. Archives and researchers have gone to great lengths to fill in the large gap with substitute records.

DNA has a major role in reconstructing Irish lineages of the Gough, Goff and McGough families. In particular, Big Y 700 can point to Ireland as the likely place of origin. Then, Irish substitute records can fill in details. In early 2024, a new Big Y 700 result uncovered a Gough family that traces to the mid-1500s and possibly to around the year 1100. There are three lineages:

This part of of the blog is reserved for members.     LOGIN      SUBSCRIBE

These early Big Y 700 findings are intriguing, potentially knitting together lineages that last connected 900 years ago. In addition, Big Y may have uncovered O’Gara as an origin of the Gough surname in Ireland. Big Y 700 can reconstruct this ancient McGough family tree. Keys to success are: additional Big Y 700 testing and collaboration with O’Gara and Hoy family researchers. All members of this extended family tracing to 1100 AD are invited to join the Goff-Gough Family Association and join in the genetic and paper trail research.

Phillip Goff is the co-author, along with Roy L. Lockhart, of The Four Goff Brothers of Western Virginia. Since 2004, he has run the Goff/Gough Surname DNA Study, which today has about 500 participants.

For more information, please check our GGFA DNA Surname Study pages or email Phil at Each new participant helps to fill in the history of the Goff/Gough families.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>