Clan MacLaren Surname DNA Project
The Clan MacLaren Surname DNA Project uses Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) to do the DNA testing. FTDNA is offering $30 discounts for their 37- and 67-marker tests. In order to get one of these discounts, you must notify me that you wish to partake. I will then place the order and you will get the DNA kit and the invoice. If you are interested, or want further details, contact me at bobmclaren(at)earthlink.net. Please note that this is a limited time offer -- the test must be paid for by 31 December 2007.
Who can participate in the Clan MacLaren Surname DNA Project? First, the participant must be a male. This is because the DNA test is done on the Y-chromosome (the male sex chromosome). The second requirement is that the participant must bear one of the surnames of the Clan. The one exception to this is if the participant is a direct male descendant of someone bearing one of the Clan surnames, but someone in his line of descent changed his name. However, the line of descent has to be male since the Y-chromosome is passed from father to son to son, etc. and not to daughters.
Women, while they cannot test, can participate by getting a male relative bearing one of the Clan surnames to test. (Women don't have a Y-chromosome or they would be quite different .)
If you have an ancestor bearing one ot the Clan surnames, but this line of descent is through a female, you cannot test directly. However, if you locate a direct-line male descendant of that ancestor, he would be a good candidate to test and explore how your lineage fits it.
DNA testing is proving to be very useful in our genealogy. Since the Y-chromosome is passed down virtually unchanged (except for a very slow mutation rate), two men with identical, or almost identical, DNA test results are related. When I add this information to what we know of the genealogies involved, we can sometimes see how they relate. I am working with a number of participants who have found unexpected matches to see how they relate. In some cases, I have already established how they relate. We have connected a Losson who only knew back to his greatgrandfather to a family of Lawsons who descend from a Lawson captured by the English in 1746. We have connected a group of Patterson of several different lines, but are still working on the exact relationship. We have connected several groups of MacLarens as well as others.
The DNA Project is still growing and now is at 285 members. We have members from the United States, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Germany. This project has been endorsed by the Clan MacLaren Society of North America and the Clan MacLaren Society (Scotland). Our Chief, Donald MacLaren of MacLaren, supports the project and is one of our tested members. Both of our Chieftains are also tested members.
Since we are Scots, now could be a good chance to get your DNA tested and get the discount!! I cannot discuss prices on this list, so contact me for price information. As to which test I recommend, I recommend at least the 37-marker test and really prefer the 67-marker test. I am finding that quite often I need to have members go to 67 markers to better understand their results and how they compare to others. Also, being Scots, you will appreciate it that gong ahead and getting the 67-marker test is cheaper that getting the 37-marker test and later upgrading to 67 markers.
Please contact me at bobmclaren(at)earthlink.net if you have any questions about the DNA testing, the Clan MacLaren Society of North America, or the Clan MacLaren Society (Scotland).
Chairman, Genealogy Committee, Clan MacLaren Society of North America
Administrator, Clan MacLaren Surname DNA Project (Worldwide)
Member, Association of Professional Genealogists