Ancestral Scotland Ltd. is a Company Limited by
Guarantee (SC244818) first registered in 2003
The Directors are: David John Bruce Durie
Alexander James Durie
Ancestral Scotland Ltd. is based in Edinburgh, Scotland
DNA test interpretation
Confused by what your DNA results mean?
Have them interpreted. Unclear on Y-DNA, autosomal DNA and
Guidance is here.
- this can link you to genetic relatives as far back as 1,000
autosomal DNA - cousin matches 5 to 6 generations back, plus
"ethnicity estimates" which are unreliable
mitochondrial DNA - maternal line from a male or a female
The Y-chromosome in
human is only found in males and is uniquely inherited from a man's
father, from his father, and so on.
In theory, this
tracks a man's paternal line and his surname. This test obviously cannot be taken by females, but
they could find a male close relative (for
example, brother, father, grandfather paternal cousin, paternal
uncle) with the appropriate surname, and ask that relative to be
The more markers
tested, the more refined you answer will be - most people start with
Y-37, but Y-111 costs about twice as much, for far more information.
These are STR
(short tandem repeat) tests. A some point, you may want an actual
Haplogroup determination, in which a direct SNP test is advised. EL
Big Y-700 is the gold standard, but there are other, cheaper tests.
Once the results
are back, you can:
check for matches - who
is similar to how, and how close or distant
join one or more
Surname, Geographical or Haplogroup projects along with others
use the range of
resources available to explore your genetic heritage further.
Linking Y-DNA to
Of course, along the
way there may be genetic "accidents" (such as illegitimacies), as
well as well as surname changes for a variety of good reasons, as
well as adoptions and other events along the way.
For example, in
the Highlands of Scotland in particular, it was not uncommon for
someone to adopt the surname of the local landowner or Chief,
especially before surnames as we now know them became fixed. This
means there may be people who consider themselves to be from a
particular Clan but do not share Y-DNA with other Clan members.
Also, in many
landed and titled Scottish families, a husband may have taken the
wife's surname if it is associated with property, titles, a Coat of
Arms, etc. and so that the children will have that surname and
inherit - this is known as an "entail".
not everyone with the same surname will necessarily have the same
not everyone with the same Y-DNA signature will necessarily have the
What is "Scottish"
There is no single
answer to that...
The Scots are a mosaic
of peoples who came together in the same place at different times.
indigenous people were the “Picts” or “Caledonii”, in Scotland for
thousands of years BC
were joined in Strathclyde (the area south of Glasgow) by related
Brythonics (Britons) speaking a language similar to Welsh ca. 700
Romans made hardly any genetic or cultural impact, except that
there are hints of Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern and Central
European Y-DNA that may reflect mercenaries who fought in the Roma
Gaels from Ireland consolidated in “Ard-Gael” (Argyll) from ca.
500 AD, then spread north and west into the Highlands and Islands
- up to 40% of all Scottish males (and those with paternal
Scottish ancestry) will have a Gael origin
Angles from Northumbria mixed with Picts and Britons in the
Norse invaders (mistakenly called "Vikings") came from ca. 800 AD
and forced the Kingdom of Alba to form in defence
Anglo-Normans arrived from ca. 1120 AD
Later, Scots were joined by other migrant peoples - Huguenot,
Italian, Jewish, Polish and others
Y-DNA testing is at its most useful when it puts an individual
within a particular known branch - for example, "Montrose" Graham as
opposed to "Borders" Graham, or one of three main three McLeod
Some surname are
of independent, multiple origin and have no genetic link to each
other. This is especially the case with occupational surnames
(Baxter, Webster, Smith). But it is also the case that a surname
(such as Currie or Paton) emerged more than once in different part
In such cases,
Y-DNA testing can confirm within which established origin - or none
- the testee falls.
A Y-signature really
represents a snapshot of related males living in a particular
location hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and surnames are a
recently modern development.
may still concentrate in the area where they first appeared, and
Y-DNA can indicate that. Of course, people have moved around,
particularly after the Lowland Clearances of the 1700s, the Highland
Clearances of the early 1800s and the growth of cities during the
Some people also take
DNA (Family Finder) - cousin matches 5 to 6 generations back, plus
"ethnicity estimates" which are generally unreliable
mitochondrial DNA - maternal
line back from a male or a female