The Bruce Surname Y-DNA Project
  • 278 members

About us

 The Bruce Surname Y-DNA Project

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


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

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; AND you believe you have

direct male line Bruce heritage (i.e, Adoptees and NPE cases) then email us to discuss.

If you have an Autosomal test such as Family Finder or tests from other vendors such as Ancestry, 23AndMe, etc; then membership will be considered if your autosomal matches show close affinity with Bruce men. Please email us to discuss.

New Members:

Please first read this page, and also read our FAQ.
Then please acknowledge by email, so that we know you have successfully joined, or if you have any problems or queries.
At your earliest convenience, attend to your Account Settings, and prepare your Paternal Lineage.

All Members:

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.

Navigating our project:
We have public and private pages.
Use the About tab at top left to access our public pages.
Unfortunately FTDNA hardwired these page names in 2014 ...
Our Data Analysis page       
Miscellaneous lists and musters
Project Statistics                   
FAQ  Essential reading        

Use the DNA Results tab at top left to see the standard reports for STRs and SNPs.
Private pages include the Activity Feed
Updates and Bulletin which are currently used for some development work.

Account Settings:

These are set 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 project members to see your dna results.

Members are strongly encouraged to set up their Beneficiary Details.

Paternal Lineages:

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

Members are strongly encouraged to email theirs to us for incorporation.

Because the lineages are public, we do not publish any names or dates of living persons.

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

STRs, SNPs, and Grouping:

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

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

but less than half of those have any SNPs resolved below that 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 two members who already know (by paper trail) 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.

Tests with less than 37 markers are still useful, as they usually provide enough information to position the test within an existing group.

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

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

FTDNA has an a la carte menu for purchasing individual SNP tests.  This can be a cost-effective way to explore matching with specific members.

Some, but not all, 3rd party dna tests can be unlocked by FTDNA - at a cost.
With now providing autosomal dna tests, we are seeing a lot more activity with FamilyFinder matching now a focus for some members.
There are other vendors providing comprehensive dna tests.

Old Member Forum:

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

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

Member to member 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 at 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 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 that our project is to some extent co-opted and shoehorned to fit into FTDNA’s paradigms. But such is progress.


Family of Bruce International, Inc

Bruce Surname forum at

Bruce Family Genealogy - was our old Bruce Y-DNA website

Bruce members forum at Family Tree DNA

updated 12 Apr 2023