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The Bruce Surname Project (was ... Y-DNA Project)
  • 285 members

About us

 The Bruce Surname Project (was ..Y-DNA Project)

Our project has existed since 2002 and has been hosted by Family Tree DNA since 2014.

Membership criteria:

No Joins will be accepted from people that have not read all of this criteria.

Use the Join button and follow the prompts. If needed, purchase a test kit or a 3rd party dna test/transfer.

All Y-DNA tests with the surname of Bruce and variants will be automatically accepted.

As soon as possible after any Join, confirm by email that you have read this criteria, and briefly how you fit in.

People with an Autosomal test such as FamilyFinder or tests from the 3rd party vendors accepted by FTDNA (Ancestry, myHeritage, etc)

..will need to email screenshots showing DNA affinity with Bruce males especially and Bruce families generally.

People with only a mt-DNA test - likewise show your closer matches or other strong indications.

Adoptees and NPE cases: If your surname is not Bruce and you have DNA indications of Bruce ancestry,

then please email us. You will be made welcome if the indications are real.

In all cases, we are hoping to see your matches with our members.  But even that's never guaranteed!

Eventually we would like to see your direct male Bruce Lineage supported by paper trail along with your DNA.

Genealogy depends on the paper trail, and is now supported by the DNA evidence.

New Members:

Please continue and read all of this page, and our FAQ.
At your earliest convenience, attend to your Account Settings, and prepare your Paternal Lineage.

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to email the administrators.

Please include your kit number in any emails, so that we can properly identify you.
This is essential if we've had no previous contact with you.  (but not if we know you!)

Navigating our project:
We have public and private pages.
Use the About tab at top left to access our public pages,
which now all reside under ...
Our Main Project landing page     ../about/Background
Our Paternal Lineages collection  ../about/Goals
Our Data Analysis page                 ../about/Results
Our Misc lists and musters            ../about/News
Project Statistics (by FTDNA)      ../about/Statistics
Our FAQ  Essential reading          ../FAQ

Use the DNA Results tab at top left to see the ftdna STR and SNP reports.
Our private pages currently include Activity Feed, Bulletin and Updates.

Account Settings:

From your FTDNA home page...

Your Most Distant Ancestor and Country of Origin should be set as best you know them.

Ensure your Privacy Settings allow OUR members to see your DNA results.

Visibility to the general public is also encouraged.

Please don't set your security so tight that Admins cannot see your Matches.

You are encouraged to set up your Beneficiary Details.

Paternal Lineages:

The collection and presentation of our members' paternal lineages is an ongoing task.

You are strongly encouraged to email yours to us for incorporation.

The lineages are public so we do not publish any names or dates of living persons.

The Bruce Family Genealogy Project Site presents an extensive collection of Bruce lineages and biographies.

STRs, SNPs, and Grouping; Implications of types of tests:

More testing of SNPs could provide a better understanding of the relationships within and between groups.

Just for example, many of our members are under the R-M269 branch, but less than half have any SNPs resolved below the R-M269 point.

In many cases, upgrading to more SNPs and STRs will improve grouping and matching.
But there are cases where further testing is unwarranted.
For example, where a group contains members who already know (by paper trail etc) they are closely related;

then it's only useful for one of them to extend their testing, as their DNA will be almost identical.

FTDNA recommends a 37 STR marker test as the minimum entry level.

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

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

Some, but not all, 3rd party DNA tests can be unlocked by FTDNA, usually at a cost(?)
There are other vendors providing comprehensive dna tests.

With now providing Autosomal tests, we are seeing a lot more activity with FamilyFinder matching now a focus for many.

mt-DNA tests are seen to be less useful at this time but are slowly being bought into the fold.

Old Member Forum:

Our Activity Feed provides a good forum for member communications.

Our old forum at Family Tree DNA Forums is still (possibly?) useful for...

Communications when FTDNA Matching does not provide you with an email icon, and general public communications.

You need to register with Family Tree DNA Forums before you can access it.

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 enforced the rule that all project pages be 'hosted' by them on the FTDNA servers.
Our project was then migrated from to the FTDNA domain where it now resides.

Our project website continues to evolve, as FTDNA evolves. Their  ‘Activity Feed’ was introduced in 2015. 
We find our project is to some extent shoehorned to fit into FTDNA’s presentation paradigms. But such is progress!
We are curently seeking more Co-Admins or Helpers.


Bruce Family Genealogy Project Site

Family of Bruce International, Inc

Bruce Surname forum at

Bruce members forum at Family Tree DNA

Updated 10th June 24