Do You have the DNA of a Scottish Clan?

Do You have the DNA of a Scottish Clan?

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by Alasdair Macdonald

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Do You have the DNA of a Scottish Clan?


This presentation was originally given as part of Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2019.


Since the Scottish DNA Project began in 2001 there has been significant growth in Y-DNA participation.  It is now generally accepted that Y-DNA testing may present objective evidence to resolve genealogical questions and challenge received understanding.


Scottish Clans descend from a variety of peoples, including Pict, Briton, Irish, Angle and Norse.  To what extent do we know the genetic signature of lineages from these peoples?  Alasdair will discuss how advances in technology have helped us understand the origin and inter-relatedness of many Scottish Clans. The presentation will include discussion on research strategies, the limitations of current testing and include case studies detailing recent findings on the medieval origins of a number of Clans and families.


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Presenter: Alasdair Macdonald

Alasdair is a Teaching Fellow and Lead Tutor in the department of Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.  He has been involved in family history research for over 30 years and has a particular interest in the Scottish Highlands.  He completed his MSc on Scottish baronies.  His research interests focus on the use of DNA in genealogical research.  He is currently researching the origin and linkage of male lineages in the British Isles using Y-chromosomal DNA.  He also specialises in Scottish land records and palaeography.  Alasdair is a volunteer administrator of a number of Y-chromosome projects including the Scottish DNA Project and the Flemish in Scotland DNA Project.

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