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Scottish Clans DNA Project

Scottish DNA & Ethnic Groups

Scottish DNA - Clans, Families, and Surnames (Alasdair Macdonald)
Alasdair is volunteer administrator for the Scottish DNA and R-L165 Projects at Family Tree DNA. He is a tutor and member of the core team leading the postgraduate programme in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Although located on the edge of Europe the population of Scotland has been enriched for millennia by the arrival of successive waves of immigrants. Alasdair's talk will focus on DNA testing for genealogical purposes including the origins and inter-relationships between various clans and families.

These lectures were presented at Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014 between Thurs 20th Feb and Sat 22nd Feb 2014. Please note that these videos are copyrighted to the presenter and should only be used for personal study. They are not to be used for any other purpose without the presenters express permission. Also, please note that because this is a rapidly advancing field, the content may quickly become outdated.

The lectures were sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA (at and organised by ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy at

A brief outline of the Scottish Clans DNA project is below and you can also see these details at: and

I've also posted some interesting links and links to the various DNA status reports from a number of the Scottish Clans and Families.

There is also a new  web site  at Family Tree DNA.

This web site will now publish all DNA test results where the person has been tested at FamilyTree DNA and authorized the public display of those records in our Scottish Clans DNA project. You can also join our Scottish Clans DNA project here as well if your main DNA test was done under a Surname project for instance.

Your records  are also then compared to the other records on this web site and a notice of a  match is sent to you automatically as other people submit tests or join our Scottish Clans Project.

These web sites will also continue to carry the overall description of the project and status reports. and

The private web site at will continue to carry the entire database ( 1100 results) and the associated detailed genealogy files, and other reference materials.

I've also included links to the Scottish Clans and Families at Electric Scotland. Alastair McIntyre has graciously allowed us to provide those links for a general genealogy background on most of the Scottish Clans & Families. Some of the reports also include an update on the specific DNA testing programs for those groups. He publishes a weekly letter as well that is very timely and interesting ( even sometimes  humorous).

Detailed List:

There are 4 components to the total Project. You can select any or all of these items as you wish. There is no requirement for example,  to do the DNA testing in our project. We only provide this service as a means to be able to have potential contributors obtain the discounts that are available to all registered Surname and Geographic  projects.

A:  The testing at Family Tree DNA. If you request the DNA kit through our project then I get access to the records. Your records are then compared to the other records and a notice of a match is sent to you automatically. You can also request to join the Scottish Clans  DNA project from another project so your records are then compared with the other test results in the Scottish Clans  DNA database. Family Tree is now allowing people to have their results listed in several DNA projects.

You can click on the link below to begin the process for  your DNA test at Family Tree DNA:

Please look carefully at the various tests that are  available. We are, in general, recommending the  25 or the new 37 marker test in order to establish  more meaningful results. The 12 marker test can  provide some  initial indications of a  negative or  non - connection,  but is usually too general to  indicate any positive relationships. However, You  are welcome to send in a 12 marker test for  comparison. There are  mtDNA results coming in now as well , but it is still early in that process so there is fewer results to compare to yet. It is  very beneficial to get your results listed for future reference.

You may already have DNA results,  or once you get your results and then want to share in the database. You would  then merely forward to Marsha at the email address : She will  translate those results into the format that  is used in the database.  However, we do not automatically include  any of those records in our database until the person submits  them to Marsha and also  gives us permission to publish them as  described in item D below.

B:  The mailing list as administered by Lauren Boyd.
You would join the mailing list in the normal way by sending an email to: with the one word :  Subscribe in the body of the message. There is also a  wealth of info available ( 3 years of research reports and analysis) in these mailing list  archives are at

C: The Web site as administered by Charlotte Braun. There are lots of records, genealogy trees, advices, and misc information. The main database ( 1100 Scottish DNA tests) are available through this web site. The web site is available by sending a email to Charlotte Broun at: or to

D: The "database" as administered by Marsha. This is then  posted on the private web  site for everyone. We do this since it is only accessed by people we know and not just the general public ( ala a general web site).

We would also appreciate it very much if you would let other Scottish Descendants and Clan members know of our group. Please feel free to forward this posting to anyone ( or group) that you think might be interested.

Thanks again for joining and sharing.

Best Regards
John A Hansen
Scottish Clans Project Admin

Return to our Scottish Clan Page


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