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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 Irishgathering.ie 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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Targeted Recruiting for DNA testing

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 be conclusively confirmed by DNA testing people with a particular surname from the identified area. In 2010 I identified my own paternal ancestral origin within County Laois in Ireland and independent DNA testing of males called Bowes (and Bowe) confirmed the link to that area. It’s been a few years since then and a number of customers have successfully used this approach to confirm a link to an area. Some have even featured as articles in local papers (see sample accompanying images). There are many ways to recruit from an area including the use of social media like facebook or twitter. However, feedback from my customers indicates that by far the best approach is with an old fashioned letter to a local newspaper (download samples here). A personal appeal works best, but there are some simple rules to follow:

1.    Detail your family history (briefly) and the reason why you are recruiting (i.e. your DNA indicates an ancestral origin in X location and DNA testing a person with the surname X from that location will conclusively confirm the link). 
2.    If an editor thinks that you will be visiting the area in the future they will be far more willing to assist and publish your letter. It may even feature as an article. So if you are planning on visiting then mention it. It will also do no harm to mention your love of the Country or area you intend to visit!
3.    Its best to sponsor at least one DNA test kit.
4.    Remember to stress that the DNA test is painless (a simple swab from inside the mouth).
5.    Never request family history information up front as that will put people off from replying. Ancestral history can be tentatively requested once contact is made. If you have a number of people replying then you can use their family history to determine which candidate is best to test.

If you manage to recruit and test and that person comes back as a DNA match then you can then begin to try and connect your ancestral patertrails. It can be done! If you have had a DNA Case Study done at Irish Origenes contact me if you require further advice and tips with regards targeting and recruiting. Or if you have had a DNA test done contact me (by clicking here) for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Irish Origenes

English Origenes