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The DNA does not lie and upon commercial ancestral DNA testing the people who appear as a genetic match to you share a common ancestor with you, it is merely a matter of when that shared ancestor... More
A Sample DNA Case Study which shows how the NEW Scottish Origenes Surnames, Clans, Castles and DNA maps can be used together with a simple painless commercial ancestral DNA test to rediscover your... More
DETAILING the origin of approximately 4,000 different Scottish surnames, the Medieval territories of 400 of the most prominent Scottish Clans and Families, and the precise location of 1000 Scottish... More
Surname distribution mapping reveals that the Graham surname is associated with Scotland and bordering English Counties. Since farmers with each surname still concentrate in the area where one’s... More
The beauty with the DNA approach to researching one’s ancestral origin is that the DNA does not lie! The area identified in an Irish, Scottish, English or Welsh Origenes personalised DNA report can... More
Surnames evolve over both time and distance, and change usually at the whim of an administrator who simply records an unfamiliar surname as he hears it. In this manner similar sounding surnames... More
The New Scottish Origenes ‘Scottish Surnames and DNA Map’ can now be purchased by clicking here. The map details the precise origin of approximately 4,000 Surnames that are associated with Scotland... More
At Family Tree DNA’s  annual conference in 2012 I presented results demonstrating that the Scottish 'Valentines' were descended from a MacGregor who had changed his surname sometime in the early... More
I’ve been busy recently doing Case Studies and working on a Surnames and Y-DNA Map of Scotland (previewed here). But this Valentine Case Study is one of my all-time favourites and I’d like to share... More
Paternally inherited surnames first appeared in Scotland in an agricultural based society. Since land ownership, or rather farmland tends to be handed down from father to son through the generations... More
On the 9th of May I gave a talk at the request of to the ‘Sons of the American Revolution’ who were visiting Ireland. It was there that I met Charles McMillan. Charles had taken a... More
The more genetic markers one shares with another individual who has also taken a commercial ancestral Y-DNA test, then the more recent one’s common male ancestor lived. Hence matches at the 67 and... More
Sometimes a quite remarkable Y-DNA Case Study comes along that I will try my best to get published in a Genealogical magazine. The latest one published in Family Tree Magazine details the Paterson... More
I recently completed one of the most in-depth genetic genealogy Case Studies for a gentleman based on the Isle of Man called Bill Henderson. He had contacted me to do a free analysis on his Y-DNA... More
Every successful Irish, Scottish, or English Origenes Case Study tells an interesting story, some like the Durkin Case Study are easy to solve, others like the MacKenzie Case Study which features in... More
I was a guest speaker for Family Tree DNA at the 2013 Who Do You Think You Are LIVE event in London. The slides for that talk can now be downloaded by CLICKING HERE. This is my second set of talks... More
Mr McReynolds contacted me hoping that I would be able to interpret his commercial ancestral Y-DNA test results and help to solve the mystery as to the origins of his McReynolds ancestors. After the... More
I was invited by the world’s largest commercial ancestral DNA testing Company 'Family Tree DNA' to give a talk entitled 'Pinpointing a Geographical Origin' at their 8th Annual Genetic Genealogy... More
The Royal house of Scotland sprang from the Kings of the Scots, who constituted only one of the 6 peoples inhabiting the modern lands of Scotland. Yet when Kenneth, son of Alpin, united the Picts and... More
When one thinks of Scottish surnames, one almost always thinks of those that begin with Mc’ or Mac.’ This is an over simplification as Scottish surnames are quite diverse and reflect the various... More
Scotland was first settled roughly 10,000 years ago after the end of the last ice age. The first reference to the people of Scotland comes from Roman sources that referred to the people north of... More

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A Medieval Ethnicity Map of Scotland

The Royal house of Scotland sprang from the Kings of the Scots, who constituted only one of the 6 peoples inhabiting the modern lands of Scotland. Yet when Kenneth, son of Alpin, united the Picts and Scots, and later when the Anglian southeast, the British southwest, and the lands of the Gaels in Galloway were incorporated into the kingdom, this royal line of the Scots appears to have been accepted without difficulty by the other peoples. It is a remarkable fact that not only the royal line, but the complete history, and mythology of the 'Scots' was accepted as the common heritage of all the people from the Tweed to the Pentland Firth.

By the reign of Alexander III (1241-1286AD), it is clear that Picts, Britons, Norse, Angles, Galloway-Gaels, and Normans had all laid aside their own memories of the past and had come to regard the past of the 'Scots' as their heritage. As the Scottish kingship symbolised the acceptance of a common past, it was an important unifying factor in Scottish life. It was one of the few things contributed by West Highland Scotland to the Scottish state, and one of the very few things that linked the Highlanders with the Lowlanders. It must have amazed some contemporaries when a Highland Bard, at the inauguration of Alexander III, hailed in Gaelic this Anglicised, French-speaking king as the direct descendant of King Fergus I (the founder of Scotland). 

Whats even more amazing is that modern commercial ancestral DNA testing is showing just how diverse the Scottish nation once was! This diversity is reflected in the 8 different Case Studies that can be viewed on the Scottish Origenes website. Case study 1 features a test subject who's ancestors were Normans but who eventually became Border Reivers living on the often fluid and volatile Scots-English border. Case study 2 features a test subject who's ancestors were undoubtedly of Pictish origin but adopted the Clan system of the Scots-Gaels. Case Study 3 features a test subject who's ancestors were lowlanders from Galloway who became mercenaries serving in Ireland. Case study 4 features another lowlander Scot but  one descended from the Angles who settled in Scotlands southeast. Case study 5 features a Scots of Pictish ancestry with a surname that one almosts always assumes is of Irish origin. Case study 6 and 7 both feature Gaels from Galloway who's ancestors migrated from the North of Ireland to Scotland in the 8th or 9th Century. Case Study 8 features a test subject who's ancestors were undoubtedly Norse-Gaels who also served as mercenaries in Ireland (known as Gallowglass).  

If you have Scottish ancestry and have purchased a commercial ancestral YDNA37 test then the results can reveal your ancestors place within the ecleptic ethnic mix of medieval Scotland. The test results can also pinpoint precisely where in Scotland your direct male ancestor lived when he first picked his surname! What will your Scottish DNA reveal?

Irish Origenes

English Origenes