Clan MacRae DNA Project
Who can be included?
The Clan MacRae DNA Project is open to males with the following spellings of MacRae:
Any male who submits DNA can have his results compared with all other participants in the Family Tree database regardless of surname. We have, for example, discovered that some MacRaes are more closely related to Malcolm MacGregor, Chief of Clan MacGregor, than are many MacGregors.
What is it?
The Clan MacRae DNA Project assembles and compares genetic material from men whose surname is recognized as a variant of MacRae. It is one of a number of such surname projects. Family Tree DNA does the testing and Ms. Alice Fairhurst coordinates the findings. Alice is our Clan MacRae Society DNA expert and currently is President of the Genealogical Society of Southern California. The basic object is to find matching segments of DNA among the participants, indicating a common ancestor.
Comparing samples from participants has allowed the Project
- to identify relatives who were unaware of the other so they can compare genealogical notes,
- to identify closely related groups of MacRaes and establish their geographic origins,
- to establish, for some individuals, their line of descent,
- to facilitate communications among participants in the project.
Among recent developments, the Project has tentatively concluded that a large group of MacRaes, the Kintail or “Dalriada” MacRaes, are of Pictish descent, not migrants from Ireland but part of the aboriginal population of Scotland. Another large group of MacRaes are Irish in origin and apparently descend from “Niall of the Nine Hostages.”
Why only males?
The technique used in the Project examines the participants’ Y chromosomes, the chromosome that determines maleness. Women have two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome. The Y chromosome does not vary over generations, but the X chromosomes, one inherited from each parent, are jumbled and “recombined” with each generation so that examining X chromosomes is confusing in tracing family connections. Women who wish to use the MacRae DNA Project for genealogical research should ask a male relative – brother, father or cousin or uncle on the father’s side – to submit DNA for examination. Women interested in their own DNA may look at “Mitochondrial DNA” or “Family Finder” from Family Tree, but these tests are less specific.
How much does it cost?
The 11 marker panel is $249 and the Big Y-700 is $449 when ordered online through the MacRae DNA project. Tests that examine smaller numbers of markers are available at lower cost, but the full panel is recommended. Notice that since fathers, brothers and even paternal cousins share the same Y chromosome, several members of a family can pool their funds and order a single test – the results will apply to all close relatives through the male line, especially those of the same generation.
What does the test NOT do?
The tests are conducted on DNA sections that have no known purpose in determining an individual’s characteristics. None of the results involve genetic diseases or their detection, and none of the DNA collected is, or ever will be, part of any criminal data base.
What does the test require physically?
Participants collect a DNA sample by using a plastic swab to scrape the inside of their cheeks. It is painless and harmless.
For more information on the MacRae DNA Project, click on the link below:
At this location, you can find information about the project’s results to date, as well as information about pricing and obtaining the test kit. Again, we recommend the 111 marker panel for $249 (which is a discounted price!) at a minimum or the Big Y-700 for $449.
Project Administrators: Any of the following Clan MacRae Society members who are also Group Administrators of this project will be pleased to give you more information about the project.