My name is Chris Johnston and I am the great great grandson of Alexander Johnston co-founder of the Laphroaig distillery in Islay. I can confirm that I descend via the direct male line.
There has been much written about the history of Laphroaig and the origins of the Johnston family who founded the distillery. It has been widely quoted that the Johnston’s who settled on Islay and founded Laphroaig were McCabe’s who changed their name to Johnston. I can confirm with absolute certainty that my descendants were not McCabe’s.
Last year I conducted genealogical DNA testing to research my family history and also to provide further evidence as to the true origins of the Laphroaig Johnston’s. A DNA sample was submitted and the results were made available to the Clan Donald Genetic Genealogy Project*.
The results confirmed that the Laphroaig Johnston’s descended from the chieftain line of the Clan Donald and fell within the projects ‘Haplogroup R1a - Red subgroup’.
This subgroup contains the Clan Chiefs of the Clan Donald. Persons in this group are of Norse descent and are the likely descendants of Somerled and John, first Lord of the Isles.
This result clearly refutes the claim that the Johnston’s were McCabe’s.
The McCabe DNA signature is completely different being largely haplogroup R1b1b2.
My DNA results can be viewed via the below link and can be found under the name C.E JOHNSTON within the R1a results.
I am posting this information as I feel that it is important to clarify and correct the family history that is currently being incorrectly reported on many websites and to offer this information to others that may be researching the family.
I may be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
*Reults were also provided to the McCain / O'Kane / McKane Surname DNA Project.