Latest Blog Posts

In June 2018 Irish Origenes was commissioned to do a Y-DNA Case Study report for a Mr David McGinnis from Oregon in the USA. In that report (based exclusively on his commercial Y-DNA test results)... More
UPDATED October 2020, NEW (6th) McDonald Case Study Added! The McDonald surname is probably one of the most famous, spawning one of the world’s most notable brands. It is also one of the most common... More
The challenge with modern commercial ancestral mtDNA testing is linking a specific maternal Eve with a precise geographical location. However, pinpointing an origin for one’s direct female ancestor... More
The Autosomal DNA test is by far the most popular commercial ancestral DNA test worldwide (tests like’s, 23andMe, MyHeritage and FTDNA's Family Finder). BUT are you really getting the... More
Previous Scottish Origenes research has revealed how the Irish and Scottish Gaels share a common origin within the Rhineland of Central Europe, and that the progenitors of both groups sought refuge... More
The first ever Plantations Surnames of Ireland map has been completed just in time for the Back to Our Past Event in Belfast in 2019. The map details the precise location where farmers with each... More
Commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing has revealed that up to 40% of all Scottish males (and males with paternal Scottish ancestry) will have a Gaelic origin (the Y-DNA test only explores the paternal... More
Step I: When the Gaelic surname 'MacMichael' becomes Norman 'Mitchell' A change in ‘cultural identity’ can be quite rapid (think modern Americans who are a mix of almost every nation on the planet)... More
Ireland is one of Scotland's closest neighbours, and their shared heritage runs deep; it is reflected in surnames (Mac or Mc?), language (Gaelic) and not to forget their national drink (Whisky or... More
Anybody who has taken a simple painless commercial ancestral Y-DNA test (which only explores your paternal ancestry) will potentially have matched many people with lots of different surnames, and... More
Don Anderson, who is an adoptee from Oregon, has released a book which is a must read for all adoptees wishing to uncover the identities of their birth parents. Its also a must read for anyone... More
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
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
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
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
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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Don Anderson, who is an adoptee from Oregon, has released a book which is a must read for all adoptees wishing to uncover the identities of their birth parents. Its also a must read for anyone contemplating using their DNA to explore their origins! He describes in detail the clever use of both traditional papertrail genealogy and more modern commercial ancestral DNA testing to uncover a fascinating family history. Within a few years Don went form knowing absolutely nothing about his origins, to (in the case of his paternal line), linking the area identified by his paternal DNA with that of his earliest known paternal ancestor, something which only a handful of people have achieved, and which is now the ultimate challenge of modern genealogy! His book 'Paper and Spit'  is available for purchase from Amazon click here.

I recently met Don at the begining of his tour of the places associated with his ancestors (pictured). Back in 2014 when Don first contacted me for a free consultation I was still working on my Irish and Scottish maps (now fully completed here and here). Don had a very distinct set of genetic surname matches and using the limited resources available back then, I was successful in pinpointing an origin for his paternal ancestor within Southwest Scotland an estimated 1,000 years ago. The Scottish link came as a complete shock to Don, as he believed that his paternal ancestors were Irish. In truth, it can be difficult to distinguish between the Scots and Irish (there's a lot of shared ancestry) and it turns out that Don carries an paternal Y-DNA marker common within both Scotland and Ireland; a true 'Scots-Irish' DNA marker. 

BUT the story does not end there, as more and more people have participated in commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing, more and more matches have appeared in Don's results, and they have revealed a more recent location within Scotland  associated with his paternal ancestors. Recent DNA matches have revealed that Don’s paternal ancestor migrated from the Scottish Lowlands into the Scottish Highlands where he adopted a (new) distinctly 'Highlander' surname! But why his paternal ancestor migrated, and why his ancestor changed his surname remains a mystery (I'm sure there will be a part II to Don's story). Don Anderson’s fully updated Y-DNA Case Study can be downloaded and studied by CLICKING HERE.

As always, if you would like a FREE CONSULTATION on your commercial ancestral DNA results (Y-DNA, autosomal, or mtDNA) then contact me by clicking here. Or if you want to find out about a suitable DNA test for you the then click here to contact me. What will YOUR DNA reveal and where will your DNA journey take YOU?

Remember folks, your DNA test results are generated in a scientific lab, using complex scientific equipment and trained scientists. Interpretation of your scientific results should always be left to a professional scientist. ALWAYS CHECK THAT YOUR GENETIC GENEALOGIST HAS A SCIENTIFIC QUALIFICATION! IT WILL SAVE YOU BOTH TIME AND MONEY!

Author; Dr. Tyrone Bowes, Updated November 2017

Irish Origenes

English Origenes