The BELL surname is said to have origined from the *Bels* of Flanders dating to before ca. 960 AD. A century later during the 1066 Norman conquest of England, our forebears were part of that invasion resulting in their receiving ownership of conquered land. From the Flanders Bells (of different spellings), their descendants became the mid-lower England Bells - the north-east England Bells - the lowland and Border Scot Bells ... and later the Ulster Scot Bells - and the Highland Scot Bells. The Y-test results of some participants of THE BELL Y-DNA PROJECT suggests that blood relatives who associated with Clan Bell were not a majority of the clan. With about half of the Bell participants having no close matches to anyone else in our study, we can be certain that the Bell surname was adopted by numerous families, each having very different origins. Please click *Links* found in the upper left-hand side of our Bell Project "Activity Feed" page.
The Haplotype is the sequential listing of the recorded Standard Tandem Repeats in your alleles (markers) that were measured during analysis at the testing lab. The likelihood that a person shares a recent common ancestor with another person diminishes rapidly as fewer matches in the markers occur. Accepted DNA protocol interpreting test results has determined that males with the same or similar surname, who match each other exactly on a 25 marker test likely share a common ancestor. If their Haplotype differs by only a single +/- one-step mutation on a single loci, they still most likely share a common ancestor. However, STR (Standard Tandem Repeats) testing ONLY has the ability to *Predict* your terminal Haplogroup assignment. The only way to irrefutably *Confirm* your Haplogroup assignment is by SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms), either by incrementally testing 'SNP Packs' or the all inclusive SNP test ----> the Big Y-700.
The belief that two participants with exact 12-marker matches are closely related, is no longer supported. Unless both individuals have the same surname and their ancestries are supported by traditional (paper trail) genealogical research and geographic location, a close relationship is not likely. Recent findings in DNA research - on the topic of rare and common surnames - suggest that a common surname will likely have dozens and dozens of 12/12 matches around the world. Relationships among them could be in a very distant past, but not as recent as previously assumed. In other words, the 12-marker test is mainly used for identifying families of the same surname who are not related!