Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scots-Irish DNA Project Update 21 October 2014

Scots-Irish DNA project update 21 October 2014

The Scots-Irish DNA project has 504 participants as of this date.  Family Tree has added many new haplogroups and our project is now updated to include this.  The many new haplogroups are downstream from the major designations and represent more recent genetic mutations.  Many of the new haplogroups are linked to geographic locations.  The research is so new it is hard to post news of them as the data is still coming in.  But, eventually, those participants that have done extensive SNP testing should gain a much better understanding of their family's point of origin.

Some notes: non-surname matches are very important at the 67 and 111 levels.  In parts of Scotland surnames were not fixed until the 1600s and creation of new surnames from nicknames, aliases, or clan based surnames was common.  I have even observed several adoption of maternal surnames in paternal lines that married prominent women from another clan.  An example of a nickname being turned into a surname, Seamus Mac Dónaill Glass (the grey McDonald) living early 1700s and his sons just being known as the 'Gray' family.

One key to successful family research is observing geographic clues.  Look at the "Paternal Ancestor Names" of your match group for any geographic information.  The reason this is some important, families were in general very static and tending to stay in the same area of centuries.  Even among the Ulster Scots, this would be true in Scotland and then after migration to Ireland, they tended to stay in the district they initially settled. This pattern changed after the industrial age, but still there is general a cluster of matches where the family initially settled.

If you locate a geographic point of interest, you will want to look at the primary sources for that area.  Often you will find your surname, or some variation of it, at that location.  Some very good records for Scots-Irish families are the 1630 and 1642 muster rolls.  There function as a type a census as each family was expected to have their able bodied men report to the muster.
I also would ask everyone to go on your Family Tree page in enter your Paternal Ancestor Data. Make sure it is your direct paternal line (we have some that have enter maternal lines, again, the Y chromosome follows a man's direct paternal line, it is only passed from father to son, it cannot go through a maternal line).
If you are interested in your "Ancestral Origins"  make sure you have your 12 and 25 level results turned on.  This will show you your distant match group by geographic location.  The higher the percentage the greater the relevance.   Most of the Scots-Irish participants are descendants of the Insular Celts, these are the indigenous Celtic tribes of both Highland and Lowland Scotland.  We do have a fair number of Norse/Norman participants, and the a few haplogroups that are associated with parts of Europe that suggest a Roman Empire connection or in some cases medieval trading families.
For those of you with Highland Scot origin, Amazon has the Ulster Heritage book 'The Laggan Redshanks' on sale at present.  This book concerns the Highland Scots that settled in east Donegal and northwest Tyrone in the late 1500s.  We hope to get out a similar book on the Highland Scots that settled in north Antrim, which is the other major source of Highland Scots, or Redshanks as they were called, in Ulster.
Our blog address is:
http://thescotsirish.blogspot.com/  (The Scots-Irish Blog)

Anyone that has a family history update, interesting Scots-Irish news, and short articles on Scots-Irish people, society, culture, food, etc., are urged to submit to the blog.  You may also post news of your own personal Family Tree surname project.  It is an excellent way to get the word out and encourage men with your surname to test.  Many of our participating families have located their cousins in Ireland and Scotland by "getting the word out."
The best of luck with your research. 


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