Monday, 25 March 2013

Pictish DNA marker?

Recent media coverage by a British DNA testing company claims that it has found a marker indicative of Pictish origin.  The marker S530 claimed as a new discovery is commonly known as L1335 by Family Tree DNA and was added to the ISOGG R1b Haplotree on 8 January 2013.

Members of this particular group were identified a number of years ago by their STR (Short Tandem Repeat) haplotype.  As the haplotype was predominantly carried by individuals with Scottish origin the group has been known as STR47-Scots or the 'Scots Cluster'.

Back in 2005 John McEwan highlighted the cluster on his spreadsheet

Distribution of L1335 from the R-L21 Plus Project.

L1335 is one of the known subclades of DF13 which itself is a major branch of L21 a large branch of R1b-P312 (S116) part of the R1b haplogroup.  The diagram below helps illustrate the current phylogeny of R-M269 as of 21 March 2013.  Thanks to Mike Walsh and the team at the R1b-P312-Project at Yahoo for the diagram below.

If you are R1b and wish to learn more about your deeper ancestry then why not join the R1b group at Yahoo
Click on the image to get a larger version. L1335 is at the right hand side. 

You can read more about R1b-L21 on the haplogroup project page

If you belong to R1b-L21 then L1335 can be order for $39 from Family Tree DNA via 'Order an Upgrade' > 'Advanced Tests'.

If you are interested in deeper origins then take a look at the National Genographic Geno 2 kit which tests some 12,000 Y-chromosome SNP markers
If you are interested in genealogical testing for your surname then check out the 37 Y-DNA marker or 67 Y-DNA marker test with Family Tree DNA or email

Friday, 15 March 2013

Sense About Genealogical DNA Testing

There has been some rather negative press coverage about DNA testing in recent weeks resulting from outrageous claims by one British testing company in particular.  Headlines that individuals are related to the Queen of Sheba, castrated Irish slaves, Napoleon or are descendants of Romans have been made without any data being published in peer reviewed journals.

Sense About Science a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims responded to these claims by publishing a guide to testing Sense About Genetic Ancestry Testing

Unfortunately this publication was selectively quoted by the media tarring genealogical DNA testing with the same brush.

In order to bring some balance back into the conversation Debbie Kennett, well known to many within the genetic genealogy community has been given the opportunity to complement the Sense About Science article.  In a blog post on their website she provides further details about DNA testing for genealogical purposes and why it can be used effectively and legitimately as an additional tool in family history research.

You can read her article here: