The Bruce Surname Y-DNA Project
  • 247 members

About us

 The Bruce Surname Y-DNA Project

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All Y-DNA tests with the surname of Bruce and variants are invited to join this project.

Our public project website is kindly hosted by Family Tree DNA.

Use the Join button and follow the prompts to purchase a test kit or a third-party test transfer from FTDNA.

If you have a Y-DNA test and your surname is not Bruce or a variant, AND you believe you have

direct male line Bruce heritage (i.e, for NPE cases) then please contact us to discuss.

Contact us if you need any assistance or further details.

Navigating this project:
  • You are here at the Main project page.

  • The Paternal Lineages page where the lineages for some of our members are displayed.
  • The Data Analysis page contains phylogenetic trees showing member and group relationships, and other analysis.
  • The News page which now contains some miscellaneous Bruce data lists.
  • The FAQ page which contains frequently asked questions.
  • The members only Bulletins page.
  • The members only Updates page.
These pages can all be found under the About tab.
Unfortunately, FTDNA has hardwired our public webpage names to (in order of appearance above) Background, Goals, Results, and News.

All other web pages are generated automatically by FTDNA.
Use the DNA Results tab at the top left to see the standard FTDNA reports of the members' STRs and SNPs.

Member Lineages:

The collection and presentation of the members' Paternal Lineages is an ongoing task.

Members are encouraged to email theirs to us for incorporation.

Because these project pages are public, we do not publish any names or dates of any living persons.

The FamilyOfBruce website also presents an extensive collection of Bruce lineages and biographies.

Your Account Settings:

These can be set in your Account Settings from your FTDNA home page.

Please ensure that your Most Distant Ancestor and Country of Origin details are set correctly.

And please ensure that your Privacy Settings allow for other project members to see your DNA results.

Members are strongly encouraged to set up their Beneficiary Details.


If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to email the administrators here at the project.
Please include your kit number in any emails that you send, so that we can properly identify you.
This is especially important for new members and those who have had no previous contact with us.

Please ensure that your email address is kept up-to-date in your FTDNA Account Settings.

STRs, SNPs, and Grouping:
More testing of SNPs could provide a better understanding of the relationships between groups.

For example, about three quarters of our membership are under the R-M269 branch,

but only about a quarter of those tests have any SNPs resolved below that R-M269 point.

In many cases, upgrading to more SNP and STR tests will improve grouping and matching.
But there are cases where further testing is unwarranted.
For example, where a group contains two members who are already known (by paper trail) to be closely related,
then it is only useful for one of them to extend their testing, as their DNA will be almost identical.

For genealogical research FTDNA recommends a 37 STR marker test as the minimum useful entry level.

The more markers you have tested, the more resolution is possible.

FTDNA offers an a la carte menu for individual SNP tests.

Y-700 and Big-Y tests provide great detail, but are fairly expensive.

Some, but not all, 3rd party dna tests can be 'unlocked' by FTDNA - at a cost.

There are of course other vendors providing comprehensive tests such as Geno 2.0

Old Members Forum:

Our Activity Feed now provides a good forum for member communications,

but our old members forum at Family Tree DNA Forums is still useful for...

  • General public and non member inquiries.

  • For member to member communications when FTDNA matching does not provide you with an email icon.

You need to be registered with Family Tree DNA Forums before you can access the old members forum.

Once registered, log in to the forums and then use this link Bruce Project Member Forum.

Project history:
In its earliest form, our project started in May 2002, when Dean Bruce and Thomas B. Bruce first got their DNA tested.  They were participating in a Scottish/Melungeon project run by a university graduate student, to determine the relationships between Scottish families and their origins.
At that time there were very few companies doing DNA tests for the public and FamilyTreeDNA had only recently started doing business.  FTDNA seemed to be the most credited and scientific company pioneering this new approach in genealogical research.
The founders recruited their cousins and other acquaintances, and foot the bill for quite a few of those first tests as many were skeptical on the new technology.
The Bruce Y-DNA Surname Project made its first appearance on the internet around 2004 and was hosted and maintained on another website.

Thomas took over the project administration reins around 2005, and he hosted the website at
Through education and promotions on websites such as and, the DNA results and lineages were gradually accumulated and presented.
These were found to be invaluable to those researching their Bruce ancestors, as they provided insight into the relationships within and between subgroups.
Much effort went into project management and recruitment in the first five years or so until DNA testing started to catch on, and it was a great education for all involved, as it grew from just a few individuals too well over 200.

Rod Bruce was added as a co-admin in 2013 to provide some assistance with the workload (he first tested in 2008).
Around 2014 FTDNA began to enforce the rule that all project pages be 'hosted' by them on the FTDNA servers.
Rod then migrated our project from to the FTDNA domain where it now resides.

Our project website continues to evolve, as FTDNA evolves. Their Facebook-style ‘Activity Feed’ was introduced in 2015. 
We find that our project is to some extent co-opted and shoehorned to fit into FTDNA’s paradigms. But such is progress.

Related Links:

Bruce members forum at Family Tree DNA

Family of Bruce International, Inc

Bruce Surname forum at

Our old Bruce Y-DNA website

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