03 January 2010

Finding your DNA matches in the Family Tree DNA website

The charts in the Clan Gregor DNA update January 2010 can now be matched to the color coded surname grouped entries on the Family Tree DNA MacGregor project website (please remember though that some surnames are found in two groups - the Grier/Greers are both 'Viking' AND 'Scots/Irish' for example - however, please do read David Grierson's extensive comments concerning the Griers, 'Irish related' and Chart 7 in the Comments section following the main 2010 DNA update post). To go to the surname grouped entries now, click here:

02 January 2010

MacGregor DNA Project update January 2010

MacGregor DNA Project – update January 2010

Welcome to the annual update for the MacGregor DNA Project. One of the principal, but happy, difficulties in presenting a report on the MacGregor DNA group is in deciding how to break the results down into small enough groupings so that the diagrams do not become so dense they are unreadable. With 439 results posted as I write this, we remain one of the biggest of the Scottish clan projects. With so many results an attempt to put them all onto one diagram would create something that was not legible. This year I have therefore decided to concentrate on surnames and the surname groups which appear when viewing the Family Tree DNA MacGregor project website (www.familytreedna.com/public/macgregor). As a result I have not made charts which link some haplogroups together (for example there is no specific chart here with both R1b, the Atlantic Modal group – sometimes associated with the ‘celtic’ and the I group, generally applied to the Viking invaders). I am always prepared to generate specific charts for individuals if they would like to contact me.

Before presenting the charts just a few words about how they are generated. I take the raw data from the results page as published by Family Tree DNA and export it into an Excel file. For the purposes of identification I keep the kit number and surname. In many of the charts then each entry is identified by its kit number and part of the surname. For some of the charts however I have cut the surname label down to a letter key only which is given under the chart. With the Excel file complete I copy and paste the whole into the online Y-DNA Comparison Utility created by Dean McGee http://www.mymcgee.com/tools/yutility.html?mode=ftdna_mode using 50% as the Probability, 30 years per generation on average, and the McDonald Mutation Rate figure. I check the box which asks if I want ‘PHYLIP’ data. Once the program generates results I go to the PHYLIP box and copy the results – these I then paste into ‘Splitstree’ a downloadable program that creates the charts www.splitstree.org:

D. H. Huson and D. Bryant,

Application of Phylogenetic Networks in Evolutionary Studies, Mol. Biol. Evol., 23(2):254-267, 2006.

I use 50% most of the time because this seems to produce dates for comparing individuals which more or less conform to what the genealogies suggest concerning family splits. The programs use a combination of number of mutations related to mutation rate to produce likely time distances between each individual’s results compared with each other person’s results. This can sometimes produce less likely groupings for some more distant connections, separating those that probably ought to be together. However for more recent splits, as will be seen, the charts give some good indicators of family groupings.

CHART 1 - MacGregor 'bloodline' 67 markers

This first chart compares all those ‘bloodline’ MacGregors (spelling is irrelevant) who have undertaken the 67 marker test. It includes 3 others, Gelston, Reid and Peterson who have similar DNA results to the MacGregors – and the chart suggests that the connection of these three is somewhat earlier in time than for the others in the group. The main group contains a McNab (60111) and a MacFarland (120820) who seem to have at least a genetic connection, which suggests either a split just at the time of the adoption of surnames or two examples of the use of an alias (not unlikely as the McNabs were numerous in the Killin area, and the MacFarlanes in the Loch Lomond area). Any results which group together on a twig are likely to have come from the same root individual. A good example of this is the Stirlings who are believed to all come from a Robert MacGregor alias Stirling born in the 1660s. This group have a distinctive mutation in the third panel which no other MacGregors share. Therefore if kit numbers 3346, 44327 and 24029 are indeed related to this branch then the split off from the Stirling group is quite likely to have happened pre-1660. This chart was generated using 95% Probability – reducing to 50% does not change the groupings at all.

It’s worth commenting that the program does not always preserve the groupings in the same way – though not presented here I have another version of this chart whose result significantly alters the position of kit 1774 – to make it an isolated branch on its own. This is interesting because we believe 1774 to be of the Glengyle family which is the sub group of MacGregors to which Rob Roy belonged.

CHART 2 - all MacGregor 67 results other than 'bloodline' (those in Chart 1)

This chart groups all those in the project who are in the haplogroup R1b (with 67 marker results) but excludes the group of MacGregors who are in Chart 1 with the exception of kit 2124 MacGregor, used for reference purposes. It’s interesting that the program groups McKinlay (17621), a more genetically distant McGregor (28296) and a Skirling (13635) into a sub group, and then connects these with another group of more genetically diverse McGregors, a Greig (9690), a McWhannel (46397), and a Macadam (49834). On the other side of the chart the two Turks are clearly related, the two Starlings (41885 and 52255), the McGehees (74970, 51942, 121911) and Welcher 93788. Peterson 15223 and Reid 153633 seem also to be related more directly.

CHART 3 - all MacGregors tested 37 markers (without 'bloodline', 'Irish' and 'Viking')

This chart includes all MacGregors who have tested at 37 markers but omitting 1) the main ‘bloodline group’, 2) those MacGregors believed to be specifically Irish in genetic origin (these are on a later chart) and 3) those MacGregors who are genetically Viking (these are also on a later chart). Here some particularly interesting groupings emerge. Kits numbered 99676, 164124, 155381 and 158870 are clearly all related and all the known genealogies point to a Rosshire origin (and they may have used Gregor as a surname at some point). Kits 129009, 94589 and 158917 are again clearly related – the only genealogy submitted there has its earliest generation in Clackmannanshire. Kits 84081, 29834, 137093 and 126138 seem to be related to the Rev William McGregor, purportedly from a place called Glen Ossian in Scotland, one of a band of brothers – Bartlett, John, Andrew and Alexander. Kits 2726, 138485 and 7183 seem to have a common origin in the vicinity (that is, within 15 miles) of Perth and may have used Gregor as a surname for a period. Kits 153532, 164088 and N62107 are certainly related but I do not have any genealogical data for these. Finally on the chart the 3 results on the far left are quite separate in origin and belong to different haplogroups from R1b to which the bulk belong. The next chart cuts out some of the other results to show three of these distinct MacGregor groups more clearly.

CHART 4 - as Chart 3 but with some detail removed

CHART 5 - Gregor, Grigor, Gregory, Greig, Gregg or Gragg.

This chart lists all participants (at 37 markers) called Gregor, Grigor, Gregory, Greig, Gregg or Gragg. The code used is as following: numbers only = Gregory; Gr = Gregor or Grigor; E = Gregg; EIG = Greig; A = Gragg. The letter N is a Family Tree DNA kit designation and has no significance. The most striking part of the chart is the collection of Gregories at the very bottom who are certainly from a common and quite recent ancestor. The program suggests that there may be some connection between Gregory 81125 and the Greig and Gregg results beneath – the time distance involved here could be as much as 500 years from the original split. Apart from these, other potentially related groups can be seen working clockwise round the chart. The two Greggs 130191 and 6979 are definitely related as are 110496 and 137236; the Graggs 81282 and 158127; the Greigs 64662 and 45360. There is a potential genetic relationship between Greig 9690 and Grigor 131056. Further information on many of these families can be found in the Gregg and Gregory DNA projects, and also some genealogies at:

CHART 6 - Irish DNA group (does not include 'Irish' McAdams)

This chart contains all the specifically Irish DNA (37 marker) results which are characterized by, in the first 12 markers, a 25 at marker 2, 11,13 at markers 4 and 5, and 14 at marker 11 though not all results will have all these mutations. The Irish results show a strong similarity to each other indicating a common ancestry in prehistory, but in more recent times the Greers (however spelt) seem to have common ancestor of that name, possibly linking with the Griersons 7874 and 94757. Again 2124 MacGregor is included for reference. White 120077, Skinner 57893 and McGregor 35727 are also more distantly related genetically. Compare this chart with the next which lists only Griers (however spelt) and Griersons – all results, and genetically Irish McGregors. The key for this is M = McGregor; S = Grierson; all others are Greer/Grier.

CHART 7 - 'Irish' results on 67 markers

This chart has the Irish based 67 marker results and shows two discrete groups all having common point of origin and indicating the close genetic ties of the Griers etc. Also on this chart are the Orrs – one in the Irish group and the rest a separate haplogroup R1a, who might also have their genetic origins in the Viking invasion of Ireland but who certainly have Irish connections at the present time.

CHART 8 - Grier(son) groups - different genetic origins

Again this is 37 marker results. The Grier/Grierson group on the right seem to share a common ancestor within the time of surnames; the Grier/Greer group in the middle has a separate origin and one might conjecture that these are the Griers of S.W. Scotland – connected to the Griersons of Lag. At the far left is a mostly very strongly related Viking group of Griers, and again these might be conjectured to have descended from a Viking settler in East Ireland.

CHART 9 - Magruder, McNie, McAdam and participants in the 'unattached' R1b group

This chart shows McAdam, Magruder, McNies and other participants whose results are listed at the FtDNA results page unattached to any specific group (37 markers). From this chart we can see that there are various groups of McAdams suggesting different origins: 83205 and 82874; 12683, possibly, with 5237, 76324, 144894, 16568, and 71022 (note this is a genetically Irish group); 54141 with 8857; 3714 with Thorn 48842. According to the groupings all other McAdams are singles or more genetically distant. The two McNies are related 66228 and 165873; the two Smiths 35819 and 32132; the Stalling(s) 21898 and 151153. All the Magruders are related 61472, 141702, 141700, 46179. MacGregor 2124 is again included for reference.

CHART 10 - MacGregor 'bloodline' on 37 markers

This chart contains all the MacGregor bloodline results with 37 markers. Some of the groupings are revealing as will be seen. The key for this is S = Stirling G = Gregory; Macp = Macpherson; C = Campbell; McNa = McNab; J = Jamieson; Ba = Bain; D = Drummond, McF = McFarland. All others are MacGregor however spelt. Kit 2124 is marked with an MM in front.

CHART 11 - Sept or like names grouping (37 markers)

This chart has all those who are listed in the group ‘Sept or like names’ with 37 markers. Kit 2124 is included for reference and interestingly there is a group of Stirlings with similar DNA to 2124 – but this group of Stirling are quite distant from the earlier group of Stirlings whose ancestor is Robert MacGregor alias Stirling. The Turks are all closely related as are all those at the bottom of the chart whose name is McGhie (however spelt) (and Welcher). Although there are Magees with the typically Irish signature, this group do not have that DNA signature and may be Scottish in origin.

Chart 12a - 'Viking' groups on 37 markers
Chart 12b - 'Viking' groups on 67 markers

These two charts show the Viking-related genetic results from the project, the first chart with 37 markers and the second, those of the group who have increased to 67 markers. There are two separate genetic groups: those on the left are I2 and those on the right I1. The testing company Ethnoancestry (www.ethnoancestry.com) says the following about each group:

‘Haplogroup I1(*) is an indigenous European group and is hypothesised to have spread out from the Iberian refugium after the last glacial maximum 18,000 years ago. I1 reaches its highest frequency in Scandinavia and has a decreasing gradient in frequency to the East and to the South and West. I1 is relatively common in the British Isles, having been taken there by Norse and Danish Vikings as well as Anglo-Saxons’.

Haplogroup I2a(*) appears to have originated in the Balkans, perhaps from a glacial refugium there; I2a is very common in Croatia and Bosnia today and decreases in frequency across Eastern Europe. A rare offshoot branch of I2a is also found further West, including in the British Isles’.

‘Haplogroup I2b(*) appears to have originated near modern day Germany, where it reaches it peak frequency. I2b is found spread across a broad area of NW Europe including the British Isles, where it has been brought by numerous historical migrations’.

For note – apart from the above results the following participants have different predicted haplogroups: Kammer R1a1; Seuch R1a; Westran R1a1; Bennett N6998 J2; Stivadoros G

If there are any comments or questions about this update please address them to me: richardmcgregor1ATyahoo.co.uk