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MacPherson DNA Project

Has your paper trail run dry? Do you wonder if youíll ever conquer that seemingly insurmountable brick wall? If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, then you might benefit from genetic genealogy (DNA testing).

Family Tree DNA, a Houston-based company has to date (October 30, 2009) a total of 266,195 records in its database, involving 5,636 different surname projects. See

One of these is the MacPherson-McPherson DNA Project. We are looking for men to test their Y-DNA.  Either men or women can additionally test their mtDNA, which traces the direct female line, but it wonít provide information about their male Macpherson line. It is preferable when testing Y-DNA to purchase a test that is at least 37 markers. Sixty-seven markers are even better.

To date we have a total of 79 individuals either tested or being tested. I am from the Black River (Blackstone) MacPhersons (Inverness County, Cape Breton), and my brother was tested as part of this surname project in 2006, when only a few MacPhersons had been tested. As the database grows so too will the potential for a close match with another person. Indeed, the benefits of DNA testing arenít limited to obtaining close matches. I have learned a lot about my own line just by having my brother tested. For example, I was puzzled for years about what link, if any, we had to the Clan MacPherson chiefís line. Comparing DNA results from that line with ours reveals that although we share a long-ago common ancestor, that common ancestor predates the formation of the chiefly line of Clan MacPherson by hundreds of years. In short, we are not descended from the Clan MacPherson chiefís line.

If you would like to learn more about the MacPherson-McPherson DNA Project, our website is at

and you are very welcome to contact either the Administrator at the e-mail link posted there, or me at If you decide to be tested or to have a male relative tested, be sure you do it through the surname project. Ordering a test directly from FTDNA outside a surname project is more expensive.

Allene MacPherson Goforth
MacPherson-McPherson DNA Project

Please note that the FTDNA Surname Group Administrators are not FTDNA employees. They do not receive any form of financial payment or any other incentive or reimbursement. The administrators of the project are members of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.

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