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The latest talk by Dr Tyrone Bowes at Scottish Origenes can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here. The holy grail of Academic Ancient DNA research is to accurately date the rate at which Y-DNA... More
My first talk since Covid was given at the end of March 2023 at Kihleeshil and Clonaneese Historical Societies Community Centre in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland! The talk 'Rewriting the history of... More
THE hundreds of Y-DNA Case Studies completed at Scottish Origenes have facilitated the production of the Scottish Origenes ethnicity map (pictured). Each Y-DNA Case Study has a pinpointed origin and... More
Research at Scottish Origenes has revealed that about 20% of Scottish surnames are exclusive to a single location within Scotland. Since Scottish surnames are often a genealogical record of one’s... More
Introduction (Updated September 2022) 17th Century Gaelic Ulster was one of the last redouts of the ancient Celtic world. A world that had been eclipsed in Mainland Europe by the Romans over a... More
A simple painless commercial ancestral Y-DNA test ONLY explores the paternal line, and it can therefore be used to pin one’s direct male ancestors to specific locations at specific time points in... More
A surprise finding from 10 years of Scottish Origenes Y-DNA Case Studies was the considerable number of males with Mediterranean-associated Y-DNA Haplogroups. Intriguingly, each Scottish Origenes Y-... More
Oct 2021. Scotland and Ireland are close neighbours, and it is no surprise that commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing and the resulting hundreds of Y-DNA Case Studies conducted at Scottish and Irish... More
What do >300 Scottish Origenes Y-DNA Case Studies reveal about the modern Scots? October 2021. The Y-DNA test explores the male paternal line, and anyone you match upon Y-DNA testing shares a... More
In 2021 Scottish and Irish Origenes launched a new FREE website ( dedicated to the Origenes maps series, where one can zoom in and explore the surnames, clans, castles, and DNA... More
(February 3rd 2021). When commercial DNA testing began it focused completely on Y-DNA STR testing. While Y-DNA STR results can routinely be used to pinpoint a paternal origin, the STRs themselves, as... More
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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Pinpointing your Scots-Irish origin from Autosomal DNA test Results!

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 most from your Autosomal DNA test results? Rather than exhaustively looking to see how you connect to each individual match, maybe you should take a fresh approach, and look to where all these ancestral lines originate? We know that anyone who appears as an autosomal DNA match to you shares a male or female relative with you within the last 150-200 years. Here’s the thing, approximately half of your autosomal DNA matches ALSO reveal ancestral details (ancestral surnames and ancestral locations). That detail is NOT RANDOM: they literally reflect the relationships that developed among your various ancestral lines living in various locations within that last 200 years (and more, some of your genetic relatives record surnames and locations much older than the 200 year limit of shared DNA). If there is a Scots-Irish link then the autosomal DNA test results will reveal it! The results will even allow you to pinpoint a specific location within Ireland associated with your Scots-Irish ancestors, and in turn allow you to uncover where your Scots-Irish ancestor originated within Scotland!

The following analysis and images are taken from the ‘Sloan Autosomal DNA Case study’ which can be downloaded for free and studied by CLICKING HERE.

Autosomal DNA Country Statistics A simple exercise can demonstrate the ‘NON-RANDOM’ nature of that ancestral information revealed by your autosomal genetic relatives, you can blast search the ancestral detail recorded by your genetic relatives for references to specific countries (e.g. Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany etc., see accompanying image). Once you have identified a specific country, in this instance ‘Ireland,’ you can break it down even further and identify provinces or counties within that country. In this instance a search of Irish counties detailed among the ancestral information recorded by the autosomal matches revealed DNA hotspots in Antrim and Tyrone in Ulster, and Cork in Munster (see accompanying image). Autosomal Irish County Statistics An examination of the ancestral surnames recorded by Mr Sloan's autosomal genetic relatives with recorded ancestral links within Ireland reveals that they are not random; the surnames recorded within Antrim and Tyrone are dominated by Scottish surnames (like Armstrong, Johnston and McClelland), while those with recorded links within County Cork are of Gaelic Irish origin (Kelly, Sullivan, McCarthy). This simple analysis reveals a Scots-Irish link for the test subject within counties Antrim and Tyrone in Ulster in Northern Ireland. In addition, some of one’s autosomal genetic relatives may also record locations associated with their Antrim or Tyrone ancestors, those locations are not random; plot them and they will localise to a specific area within those counties.

The Plantation Surnames on Midwest Antrim Once an area associated with your Scots-Irish (Antrim, Tyrone) has been identified, the challenge is then to link your ancestral surname with an autosomal DNA identified location. In this instance, the test subject was interested in his Scots-Irish ‘Sloan’ paternal ancestors. His Sloan ancestors were attracted to Ireland in around 1600AD by the availability of land (the same reason would entice many of them to America 100 years later). They would clear the land and pass it to their descendants, and it is no surprise to find that the Plantation Scots-Irish Sloan surname still concentrates in the areas where they first settled within Ireland. An examination of the Scots-Irish Sloans (Protestant farmers, male heads of household) in early Irish census data reveals a cluster in Antrim which gave the greatest signal from the test subject’s autosomal DNA results, see accompanying image. The autosomal DNA test results link the test subject’s Scots-Irish Sloans to the farmland of Midwest Antrim; where he can either pick up the ancestral papertrail or target Sloans for DNA testing (to confirm the ancestral link).

The surnames of Midwest Antrim link back to Southwest Scotland But that is not all! It is even possible to link one’s Scots-Irish ancestors back to their original Scottish homeland! The settlers that arrive in Ireland from the 1600AD onwards often departed together and settled together within Ireland. Hence the surnames of the Plantation community of Midwest Antrim are a mirror image of those from their Scottish homeland. The Surnames of Southwest Ayrshire One can therefore examine the surnames that surround one’s Scots-Irish ancestors in the autosomal DNA revealed Irish location, and determine their original Scottish origin! To assist in that process I produced the first ever Plantation Surnames of Ireland map (click to preview). That map reveals the Sloans of Midwest Antrim surrounded by predominantly Scottish Gaelic surnames. An examination of a selection of those surnames reveals that they are exclusive to Southwest Scotland (see accompanying image). While an examination of the surnames of Southwest Scotland (as they appear on the Scottish Origenes Surnames of Scotland Map) reveals that the test subject’s Sloan ancestors lived close to the modern town of Ayr (see accompanying image). Furthermore, an examination of the Scottish counties recorded by the test subject's autosomal DNA genetic relatives with recorded links within Scotland also confirmed an ancestral link with Ayrshire (see accompanying image).

Finally, commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing confirmed (beyond a doubt) that the test subject’s Sloan paternal line originated within Ayrshire in Southwest Scotland CLICK HERE to view Mr Sloan's Scottish Origenes Y-DNA Case Study.

What will your DNA reveal? Contact Scottish Origenes (CLICK HERE or email: for a FREE CONSULTATION on your DNA results or to find out about commercial ancestral DNA testing and a suitable test for you. Remember folks! Your DNA results are produced in a scientific lab, and worked on by trained scientists. Always check the qualifications of that blogger or person giving DNA advice (an honorary qualification is not equivalent to hard work and years of scientific experience).

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