29 December 2020

Welcome to the MacGregor Project DNA annual blog for 2021.  This past year with the arrival of the virus has had an inevitable effect on the progress of the DNA project as everyone has been concerned to deal with the changes in lifestyle which have been needed.  I thought therefore that I would use some of this update to explore some ideas, opportunities and limitations of autosomal testing – typically called ‘All my Ancestry’ or ‘Family Finder’, and also to share some thinking on the MacGregor Big Y results.

     It is well known now that only males carry the Y chromosome and that this particular part of DNA is usually associated with surname (except for cases of adoption etc). It follows that for surname studies only males with the surname of interest can be tested for connection with a specific surname. For more recent family connections it can often be possible to find a male of the surname to do the test on a person’s behalf but going further back in time does not work so easily when thinking about autosomal (i.e. Family Finder) testing as I will explain. Inevitably genetic scientists will say that the following explanation does not cover all the possibilities and in some senses tends towards simplification: there is a certain inevitability about this when dealing with a wide and diverse audience.

     I have often been asked “why can’t I  be part of the surname project because my great great grandmother was a MacGregor?”, or “my ancestor was Rob Roy, can I do the DNA project to prove it (where the connection is through Rob Roy’s daughter or granddaughter)?”, or “why do the results of Family Finder not show in the surname project?”, or “why are surnames not included in the surname project?”.  I hope to answer all these with the following text.

     Everyone inherits autosomal chromosomes from their male and female ancestors. The proportions received from each ancestor varies, and also these tend to disappear over time as they are replaced by the DNA of succeeding generations. Otherwise, we would have millions of bits of autosomal  chromosome going back into prehistory: having said which it IS possible that some of a person’s autosomal chromosome has survived from prehistory to the present day. Every generation doubles the number of forebears which you have: 2 parents, 4 grandparent, 8 great grandparents, 16 great great grandparents and so on. As you go back in time that number increases, so, around 1300, in the Medieval period, each person will have over a million ancestors and working on the principle that most people are related by ‘6 degrees of separation’ there must be many common ancestors between any two individuals.   

      We all have 46 chromosomes in total and two of these are the X and the Y: if you got a Y and an X chromosome from your parents then you are a male, if you got two X chromosomes then you are female. That leaves 44 chromosomes (2 x 22 pairs) for Family Finder to compare.  Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder distinguishes between matches which arise from autosomal chromosomes (the 22 pairs) and the X chromosome and results are therefore shown for both autosomal chromosomes and also for what FtDNA refer to as X Match

[But note that, surprisingly, of the 5 matches on X Match out of the first 1000 Family Finder matches which I have, there is no detail in the graphics provided – I would be interested to know if others have found this to be the case also). 


To explain this further let’s now take a specific example or two:On the familysearch.org website you can create your own  fan chart of ancestry, and in an article Jessica Grimaud presents a filled-in fan chart: (https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/genealogy-fan-chart/)


 Fig. 1 Fan chart from www.familysearch.org


There is an amazing amount of genealogical material presented here and it is relatively rare for a researcher to be able to document quite so many generations.  As a  comparison here is my own fan tree which lacks detail from my mother’s side because I have not been able to ascertain with any certainty her Russian German mother’s ancestry.


Fig. 2 Fan chart Richard McGregor


I will begin by discussing an example of how this fan tree was used to identify a common ancestor with myself in Family Finder.  I do not have a fan chart for the person who I match but there is a family tree for this person deposited on the Family Tree DNA website which contains sufficient information.  We are listed as being 3rd to 5th cousins and these are the places that we have autosomal matches:


Fig. 3 Chromosome matches for myself and the other participant


This may look at lot but when compared with someone who is a 1st to 2nd cousin you can immediately see the difference. If you count the number of shared chromosomes in Fig 4 and Fig 5 you will see that the latter has many more. That indicates the first problem – the further back in time you go the less SNPs in common you will have with someone else and if it is 5 or 6 generations back then you have to work out which of up to 64 ancestors you actually match to:


Fig. 4: Richard McGregor matching chromosomes for 1st to 2nd cousin


Going back to the Fig 4 Family Tree DNA do a version of these results in graphic form which comes out as below (the shading represents the areas of match):


Fig. 5. Graphic form of shared SNPs between Richard McGregor and Family Finder match 3rd- 5th cousin


Working back with our researched genealogies we came back to a meeting point with a Georg Konrad Major born in 1797, two of whose children started the separate lines we descend from.  I have over 4000 matches on Family Finder and only a few of these can actually be traced back to a specific individual shared between us – part of the reason for this is that not all participants share ancestral names or genealogical trees on the website.  I have very few 1st to 3rd cousins and while it has been relatively easy to find the genealogical connections with these, when the relationship suggested is more distant, it becomes rather more difficult.   There are quite a few examples where Family Finder participants have given ancestral names which match with those in my tree but none has led to a definite link. 

 

Hopefully it is obvious that finding specific links with Family Finder relies on having access to genealogies which are as complete as possible and the closer the genetic connection the easier it is to identify the connection. When we are trying to identify a common ancestor who lived more than 250 years ago,  it is vital to  be able to eliminate other possibilities.


*    *     *


Update on MacGregor DNA


This year has seen more participants upgrading to the Y700 test which has resulted in an expansion of the genetic tree of connections. There have been a large number of terminal SNPs identified, and on the grid at www.familytreedna.com/public/macgregor these are shown in the green colour. Sometimes these just represent a SNP that has been singly tested and is not the terminal SNP, and the best way to determine if you are looking at a terminal SNP is to assume that it will have a haplogroup (such as R or I) followed by a BY, FGC, or FT number [Big Y, Full Genome Corp or FamilyTree]. Quite often individuals who have tested to Big Y have SNPs which are not shared with others who have Big Y tested: these SNPs are known as Private SNPs and will be so identified until there are other participants found who have any of these SNPs – these will then be shown as shared SNPs and will indicate common ancestry between the individuals who bear them. When there are no SNP matches  between individuals the Big Y results default back to the most commonly held SNP which is why some of those genetic MacGregors who have tested with Big Y default back to S690, which is the SNP that all genetic MacGregors have. As more results come in an individual with S690 might  find that one of the Private SNPs becomes the terminal SNP. As I just indicated, in that case it might be reasonably assumed that the two (or more) individuals concerned share a more recent ancestor normally bearing the surname of interest.


Below I have copied the Big Y Block Tree graphic which is currently shown for the MacGregor group descending from Ian Cam. It is based on the format developed by Alex Williamson [The Big Tree]. I have removed individuals’ names for data protection reasons – however the terminal SNP can be cross checked on the results grid link given above to identify the earliest known ancestor where this has been filled in by the individual participant.


 Fig 6: Block Tree (current) for MacGregor Ian Cam group


As another example I have chosen a McGregor result from what is labelled ‘McGregor distant group’ on the results grid:


 Fig 7: Block tree diagram for a McGregor in the McGregor distant group


In this case the surname of participants varies across the grouping , starting with McKellar for the first two lines of descent followed by Robertson; no name given; Campbell; Stewart; McKellar, McKellar (which is the McGregor participant’s shared match); followed by McKellar; then unnamed at the far right,  All Big Y participants can see their results presented in this way through their results page. However, it is important to say that if  an individual’s terminal SNP has been determined without going through Big Y then this block graphic is NOT given in the participant’s results because some of the other SNPs which contribute to the Block Tree  will not have been sequenced. For example, I determined my own terminal SNP BY4303 by deduction and testing, and not through Big Y, so I cannot see who else is close to me.


[Note: McKellar is considered a sept of Clan Campbell and is found across Scotland with authorities variously placing the origin in Argyllshire, Angus and/or Strathclyde].


Finally a McGregor distant result, but with a known Sutherlandshire connection:


Fig 8: Block tree result for a McGregor in the McGregor distant group whose forebear came from Sutherlandshire in the north of Scotland


In this case the rest of the Block Tree group matches are almost entirely called Nicholson (except for a solitary MacDonald).  The individual’s McGregor result box does include an additional named individual whose surname is also McGregor – and in that case this participant and the other McGregor share an ancestor in the more recent past. Who this was might be established by comparing genealogies – the difficulty being that many Sutherland parish records are deficient for pre 19th century.


[Note: the name Nicholson in Scotland is said to derive from a lawyer who lived in Aberdeen in the 16th century, but there was also a family associated with the Isle of Skye who petitioned the Lord Lyon for recognition – which they got, on condition they were designated Clan MacNeacall of Skye]


Our own analyses which have been conducted by Prof. Neil McGregor is shown below (as at October 2020, although the previous date of May has been retained). This gives broadly the same result as Fig 7 above and represents the current state of our knowledge:


Fig 9: Ian Cam group Big Y results as presented by Prof. Neil McGregor


We have however identified an issue related to the first chip used by FtDNA.

You will see from the grid given below that the top group lack some results that are available for the lower group. We have contacted FtDNA about this:


 Fig 10: Partial results grid Ian Cam group


You will have noticed that this year I have not used spider diagrams as in previous years. This is partly because comparatively little has changed over the year, but also because I prefer to offer individuals the possibility of seeing a spider diagram for their own result which is designed for them alone. You can see these spider diagrams by looking at previous versions of this blog. If you would like me to generate one for you ask me offline and suggest up to 12 individuals with whom you would wish to be compared by reference to their kit number. You can email me on chairmanATclangregor.org [change AT to @ - I just want to avoid spam!).





25 December 2019

MacGregor Project DNA Blog 2020 (number 20)




Welcome to the MacGregor Project DNA blog for 2020. This year I am concentrating on two particular subjects: 1) the search for the genetic signature of Rob Roy MacGregor and 2) Grier DNA  (including Grierson, Greer, McGreer and various other spellings).

 Note to enlarge images simply click on them, and to dismiss and return to text click the X in the top right-hand corner - back arrow works on a phone). In the analyses that follow you will need to have your kit number to hand as I am not labelling the charts with surnames.

When the DNA project for MacGregors began back in 2001 one of the key objectives was to find out how many individuals still carried surnames that were adopted because of the proscription [outlawing] of the clan name which took place from 1603-60 and again from 1693 to 1774. About six years later we started to look for evidence of particular family groupings which were known as far back as the later Medieval period, based on some characteristic of that particular family – whether it was where they came from, or, based on a family connection, or a description. So the grouping defined as Roro or Glengyle were based on places (as was later Glencarnock). There was also those MacGregors who were connected to an individual known as Gregor McIan  and this family were sometimes later referred to as ‘of Brackley’. Gregor McIan was a patronymic (for definition see later), whereas Brackley was a place in Glenorchy. All these families were understood to have originated in Glenorchy/Glenstrae in Argyllshire even if by the mid-16th century they had spread out into Dunbartonshire, Stirlingshire and Perthshire.
     The MacGregors of Glengyle were not originally designated by their place of origin but by their connection to an earlier ancestor known as Dougal Ciar. To quote from Peter Lawrie’s ‘glendiscovery’ website http://www.glendiscovery.com/amelia-vol2-chap18.html): ‘this Dougal was distinguished as Dougal Ciar from some peculiarity, probably grey or mouse-coloured hair and eyes. It was universally believed by the rest of the Clan that the House ranked fourth or fifth in point of seniority… They were a very turbulent race and seem generally to have acted independently’.
     It was natural that the search for MacGregor identities should at some point focus on one of our most famous characters, the well-known Rob Roy MacGregor who was born in 1671 and died in 1734.
     Rob Roy became particularly well-known after Sir Walter Scott wrote his novel of that name in 1817 and, a bit like spin-offs of the present day, there was quite a lot of hype round the novel, as well as derivatives such as the stage play created in 1818 (not to mention Berlioz’s Overture Rob Roy of 1831). It was not long before every MacGregor in Scotland it seemed (and beyond) assumed that they were descended from Rob Roy, through one of his male children – especially those of James More who reportedly had 14. It didn’t seem to matter that all these families came into existence in about three generations.
     In more recent times Dr John Ward, who died not long ago, made a mammoth collection of individuals’ family trees which purported to have their origins in Rob Roy. Many of these he was able to speculatively relate together in one large tree, but there were an equally large number that he simply listed in another file as Rob Roy connected. Rob Roy is buried in Balquhidder church graveyard (despite what may be claimed on the information board) but there is, or has been, no real progress in identifying positively a male individual who is definitely a descendent of Rob Roy himself. This is partly to do with the fact that parish registers are often deficient, and entries were not recorded, particularly if the birth took place at some distance from the parish church.
     Some of the claims for descent from Rob Roy are through the female line which can’t really be tested effectively, and some claims which have come through Y-chromosome DNA, but unfortunately haven’t held up genetically – assuming of course that Rob Roy was indeed descended from the Argyllshire MacGregors.
During the last year however a more credible descent has been tested.  First using a 37 marker test to ensure that the signature was what was expected from an Argyll MacGregor descendant, and then, when this proved positive, the Clan Gregor Society paid for an upgrade to Y700, formerly known as Big Y.
     The family tree begins:


What is interesting about this tree is that there are just two links for which the evidence is not completely certain and the first is verifying that the James born 1755, is the same one who married Mary Ferguson and subsequently had Donald who married Elizabeth Stewart. Such proofs are not straightforward in Scottish records when there were several McGregor children in the Balquhidder/Strathyre area with the same name. A list of those who signed the Chief’s ‘recognition’ in 1787 has three males called James any one of whom might be  married to Mary Ferguson.  However, there is also a list of children in the parish of Balquhidder. The archive handlist dates this to 1830 but it cannot be that date and comparison with the list of 1787 shows that it is from that date (and demonstrates that the list of those who recognised the Chief in 1787 were all males from a family regardless of age).
     We know from parish registers that the James who married Mary Ferguson had a male child Duncan in 1785 and that at the time he was living in Ruskachan.  The list of children  [Stirling Archive PD60/651] has the following entries:

Dougal Keers Family

Duncan in Minachallwaroo
         John           1
         Robert                 2

Patrick in Blarerioch
         Malcom     1

Dougal in woodend Stronslany
         John           1
         Gregor                 2
         Donald                3
         Malcom     4

Gregor in Gartnafuaran
         Dougal                 1
         Gregor                 2

Duncan in Stronair
         Malcom     1
         Alexr          2
         Robert                 3
         Allan          4

John in Criganmore
         Gregor                 1
         Duncan      2
         James                  3
Twins         John and Donald          2

Donld         Coock in Ruskachan
         Dougal                 1

James in Ruskachan
         Duncan      1

The last named James must be the same individual. The significance of this part of the list is that James is identified as being of the Dougal Ciar family which is the family to which Rob Roy MacGregor belonged.
     So, we know that this James had a second son Donald in 1787 and therefore the last link to be proved is whether Donald who married Elizabeth Stewart is the same Donald who married Elizabeth Stewart [or Stuart] as the death certificate of one of the family shows. There is only one existing parish register marriage entry for a Donald and Elizabeth Stewart – and that is in Port of Mentieth. However, in 1804 Donald would have been just 17, which is young for a marriage in Scotland but not impossible although the parish register does not suggest that either party was a minor. He could have misrepresented his age and said he was 21 – the marriage took place in Port of Mentieth which is a parish  some 20 miles or more from Balquhidder. If Donald did then in fact move to Ayrshire immediately after his marriage and the children were born there, then he is the Donald who appears in the 1841 census aged 60 [1841 census rounded ages down] with daughter Janet [age 30] and son Donald [age 15].  Donald declares he was not born in Ayrshire but, since he was deceased by the 1851 census, confirmation of a Perthshire birthplace is not possible. If Donald is the son of James his age should be 54 [rounded down to 50] but it is possible that he continued to falsify his actual age. However, just to add to the confusion the death certificate of Donald’s daughter Catherine [Wilkes] says that her mother’s name was Janet Stewart, but the Muirkirk parish register suggests that this death informant was wrong.
     This long genealogical diversion was a necessary preamble to considering the results of the Y700 DNA test which has been done for this line. The chart below, prepared by Prof. Neil McGregor in Australia shows the result in relation to other individuals who have tested to Y700 [result are anonymised to conform to European data protection regulations and FtDNA requirements].




Fig. 1: Argyllshire MacGregors Y700 results analysed by Prof. Neil McGregor

There are other claimants for Glengyle family heritage but as with kit IN61406 there are gaps in the parish record and more or less at the same time – the end of the 18th and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. For many years the Vice Chairman of the Clan Gregor Society, Peter Lawrie, has been trying to prove that his mother’s ancestor, Duncan, who died in 1826, having been a sailor, is the same Duncan as is stated in this extract from a genealogy of part of the Glengyle family:

Gregor McGregor  of Glengyle died  21 Aug 1777 age 88
sons     John
             Donald /Daniel  shipmaster Glasgow dsp 24 Sep 1791

              Robert of  Corarklet born 1743 m. Isobell daughter of John Graham of Drunkie
Son Donald  alive 1775
              Duncan (McGregor or Graham), sailor,  Glasgow,  served  heir 1793 to uncle     
                 Donald
              
In the chart above this line is represented by kit IN13885. The problem is that the nearest matching kit 133637 has a genealogical tree which is generally believed to go back to the MacGregors of Roro.
     So, in both cases there is one piece of genealogical information missing that is crucial to prove a definitive connection to Glengyle and would allow us to state absolutely that this was the Rob Roy’s genetic signature. Given how many families believed from Victorian times onward that they were related to Rob Roy it is ironic that just a hundred and thirty years later it is proving so difficult to assert with the same confidence as was shown in 1890 when the railings were placed round Rob Roy’s grave and the report stated that in attendance was  “Mr Norman Macgregor, Lloyds, London direct descendant of Rob Roy”.
The chart above links individuals together with shared DNA characteristics and the same relationships can be expressed as a box tree as it is on the FamilyTreeDNA website which they have based on the original work by Alex Williamson for “The Big Tree”.


Fig. 2: the Argyllshire MacGregor family groups from Y700 – FtDNA chart

The darker outline is the group within which kit IN61406 currently fits. At the moment this is our best candidate for Rob Roy’s Y chromosome signature, but as can be seen the evidence is still incomplete and whether or not we have two separate Glengyle tree claimants of which one is correct and one not, or in fact neither is correct, is still an open question!

         Clan surnames Grier (Greer, McGreer, Grierson): DNA results

Before discussing this specific surname, I thought it would be helpful to repeat the section on clan names and septs from my 2018 blog as this is an area of Scottish clan history which is not really understood well.
     What is a clan? Six hundred years ago this question was quite simple to answer. You were associated with a clan if you had been born with the name – in the MacGregors’ case that might be expressed as Gregor, Grigor, MacGregor, McGrigor, McGregor and a whole range of alternative spellings such as, for example, McGreagor (an attempt to render the Gaelic phonetically into English?). At that time too spelling had not been standardised - so one might find Mckgregor, M’gregor and so on. You were also a member of the clan if your name was an accepted variant, such as Grierson, or Grier, Greig/Grieg/Grig etc. These were considered to be shortened or anglicised versions of the main clan name. So, Grier-son equals Gregor-son and Grier is the same name without the ‘son’ on the end.
Whether or not these accepted names were genetically related to the main line was not the point, since a clan was a collection of related surnames. Members of the clan recognised as Chief the head of the main line (the Chief of the MacGregors for example), and often, especially in the early days relied on him for protection, or rather, on his ability to pull a ‘federation’ of individuals together to ensure, usually armed, protection, or, as a means of seeking retribution on another group for some offence.
     There were others associated with the clan whose names were accepted as belonging to septs of the clan. Sometimes the same name would appear several lists of accepted septs for different clans – such is the case for the surname King, for example. As well, some descriptive words used as surnames were understood to have been borne by people associated with the clan, and such descriptive surnames are found in many clan lists: Bain (or Ban) or its anglicised equivalent White; Roy meaning Red; Dhu or Dow meaning dark or black, are some examples.
     Finally, there were people who answered none of these ‘qualifications’ but who lived as ‘part-takers’ on the land which was under the Chief’s influence. Grant and Menzies rental documents of the 18th century reveal instances where individuals adopted the name of the local chief where formerly they were called only by their patronymics. A patronymic shows the genealogy of an individual back two generations – so my patronymic would be Richard McEwan VicPeter: here McEwan is not a surname but shows that my father was Ewan (not THAT Ewan). On a rental document you might find John McGregor VicPatrick which means that John’s father was Gregor and his grandfather Patrick: if John were a very poor inhabitant – a cottar – it might be that his family had lost the knowledge that they were genetic MacGregors and so they ended up taking the surname Grant. It’s unusual to find this situation among MacGregors because of their turbulent history but it happens in other clans. Paradoxically, even though the MacGregor name was proscribed [forbidden] for so long [1603-60 and 1693 to 1774] many families held on to the knowledge that they were MacGregors despite having been forced to take other surnames. Some families never changed back to MacGregor when it was finally possible to do so – which is why in the DNA project we see individuals called Drummond, Stirling, Campbell etc who are genetically MacGregors - their ancestors never readopted the name when it was safe to do so.

   Taking the Grier family as an example this year (and including all variant spellings, such as Grierson and McGreer etc.) we will first look at the 37 marker results. The number of individuals who have tested at that level  [37 markers] is over 60, but the number of results will decrease as we look at the results for 67, and then further decrease for 111 markers.



Fig 3: Grier (Greer, Grierson etc) 37 marker results

What is immediately clear from this is that there are at least 4, if not 6 or 7  different origins for the surname. A recent Facebook post which derived its information from an e-book ‘The Tribe Within’, states:
     “The Greer name is found in the British Isles, but its origin according to DNA is from the north-west coast of the Emerald Island. The Greer story [dominated by DNA tribal marker (haplogroup) R1b-L513, Subgroup A1] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Greer surname origin is from a Northern Ui Neill [R1b-L513] tribe.”  Undoubtedly this will be true for some individuals with the surname Greer but it cannot be true for all since some have a genetic origin which is clearly Norwegian Viking as well as at least one other group’s genetic origin being potentially different (for the moment we will not consider single isolated results).
     There is a possible explanation for this genetic diversity which relates to the acquisition of surnames. Surnames did not come into usage in Ireland until well after the end of the Viking invasions and it is possible that different individuals adopted the name at the same time but did not know, or it did not matter, that they were not genetically related.
That genetic diversity has a considerable time depth can readily be seen when we examine the slightly smaller group of individuals who have tested to 67 marker level.

     The diagram is very similar to the 37 marker one but with greater discrimination between individual results representing the more specific branches.



Fig 4: Grier (Greer, Grierson etc) 67 marker results

What we see from this diagram quite clearly is how close in genetic time many of the individuals are. The Viking group for example are all descended from a single individual probably branching at kit 552222. The Irish branch are very strongly related from one individual (leading for example to 97279) and then a second branch slightly later on (leading to 333215 for example).  The branching is clearer in this expanded view below:

Fig 5: Grier ‘Irish-related’ group expanded chart

In the Viking group the known ancestries (5 out of 19) are Irish: County Antrim, County Down, County Cavan, County Tyrone. Other place of origin labels say Scotland but give no detail, but of those that did 67 markers, ALL match genetically with the group who have specific Irish locations for their ancestry. In the Scots/Irish group kit 57019 has ancestry going back to County Fermanagh but all the others have no specific location declared except kit 42120 who simply locates his ancestry to Ireland. However, where the origins become particularly interesting is in the group which contains kit 7874 because a number of these participants have clear genealogical origins going back to Scotland, often to the south-west corner. There is a printed genealogy for this area for the Griersons of Lag which suggests a movement from Scotland to Ireland in the 17th century, but not the other way around, and yet this group has a Y chromosome signature which is generally associated with Ireland suggesting movement across the Irish Sea on more than one occasion. Kit 2342 locates to County Meath in Ireland.

     The next grid shows the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor [TMRCA] for the 67 testers – the figures give estimated years between any two individuals at the intersection of across and down. From this it is obvious both how close some individuals are and how far apart others. The rates of mutation are FtDNA’s based on 50% probability with generations set to an average of 30 years:


Fig 6: Time to Most Recent Ancestor grid for Grier 67 marker testers.

Finally, here is the chart for those who have tested to 111 markers.


Fig 7: Grier 111 markers with added SNP labels

In this diagram the boxed labels are the SNPs which have been tested. I-M223 and I-M253, and R1b-M269 are SNPs from many thousands of years ago whereas  those in smaller boxes are usually the currently-known terminal SNPs and may date from just a few, to several hundred, years before the present. It is likely that any others close to the individual who has tested these SNPs will themselves have this SNP (as well, perhaps, as others).
[a couple of days after this blog was posted new Y700 results in the I group split I-FGC73841 down further to I-FT32636 and I-BY1888842 as named variants - the different letters denote the naming testing company].

     I repeat the information given at the end of my 2018 blog:
Professor Neil McGregor who analyses the Clan Gregor data remarked that “the best recommendation is that people get Y700 as everybody seems to have between 3 and 8 separate SNPs which will allow them to be separated from everybody [else], other than from their own immediate family or first cousins. Some of them [those who have tested under Y700] appear to have a cluster of SNPs which appear to have mutated together and may represent one mutation. A mutation seems to be as low as once per generation through to once every 4-5 generations – seems related to the number of STR [the marker scores that participants start with] mutations as well.
      The clan seems to be divided into two major clusters and this would appear to be early on. The section I am in has at least 3-5 sub-branches as does the other major group. The dividing SNP appears to be BY28714”.
     Just to repeat that I can do comparisons of STR results for individuals – comparing the participant with up to 10 to 12 others. I would repeat Neil’s encouragement to do Y700 if you can – please ask me for further information if needed [richardmcgregor1ATyahoo.co.uk substituting @ for AT].

Charts were constructed using Dee McGee’s Utility at http://www.mymcgee.com/tools/yutility.html?mode=ftdna_mode, using a 50% level of confidence, on Doug MacDonald’s mutation rate, an average of 30 years per generation and with no modal results assigned. The graphic representations of phylogenetic trees are made by Splitstree:
D. H. Huson and D. Bryant, Application of Phylogenetic Networks in Evolutionary Studies, Mol. Biol. Evol., 23(2):254-267, 2006

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