The Bruce Surname Y-DNA Project
All Y-DNA tests with the surname of Bruce and variants are invited to join.
This public project website is hosted by Family Tree DNA.
Use the Join button and follow the prompts to purchase from FTDNA a test or a third-party test transfer.
New members with non-male-Bruce tests are normally allocated to our Associate Members group.
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 (ie, for NPE cases) then please contact us to discuss.
Contact us if you need any assistance or further details.
Navigating this project:
We have four public webpages...
You are here at the Main project page.Our collection of member Lineages.
Our data Analysis page where you will find Phylogenetic Trees showing member and group relationships and some other analysis.
Our News page.
Use the DNA Results tab at the top left to see the standard FTDNA reports of the members' STRs and SNPs.
The public URLs provided to us by FTDNA for our project webpages are
Main page - https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/bruce/about/background
Lineages page - https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/bruce/about/goals
Analysis page - https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/bruce/about/results
News page - https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/bruce/about/news
Redirects are provided for the older addresses that look like
The collection and presentation of the Lineages is an ongoing task.
Members are encouraged email their lineage 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Because these project pages are public, we do not publish any names or dates of any living persons.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:
Please ensure that your Most Distant Ancestor and Country of Origin details are set correctly.
These can be set in your Account Settings from your FTDNA home page.
Please also ensure that your Privacy Settings allow for other project members to see your DNA results.
This is especially true for new members, because the default is currently for them to be hidden.
Refer to this blog for details - http://dna-explained.com/2015/07/27/family-tree-dna-new-privacy-settings/
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.
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 (R1b1a2) branch,
but only about a quarter of these tests have any SNPs resolved below the R-M269 point.
In many cases, upgrading to more SNP and STR tests will improve grouping and matching.
But there are some 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.
The Activity Feed now provided by the new myGroups interface should provide a good forum for member communications.
Therefore our old members forum at Family Tree DNA Forums may be somewhat superseded.
But our old Members Forum is still useful for ...
General public and non member inquiries.
Members 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 forum.
Once registered, log in to the forums and then use this link Bruce Project Member Forum.
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 organised by a university graduate student to determine the relationships between Scottish families, and to investigate 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 Bruce Y-DNA Surname Project made its first appearance on the internet around 2004 and was hosted and maintained on another website.
The founders recruited their cousins and other acquaintances, and footed the bill for quite a few of those first tests as many were skeptical on this new technology.
Thomas took over the project administration reins around 2005, and he transferred the website to brucefamily.com.
Through education and promotions on websites such as familyofbruce.org and brucefamily.com, 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.
Plenty of 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 now over 200.
Rod Bruce was added as a co-admin in 2013 to provide some assistance with the work load (he first tested in 2008).
Later that year our project website was migrated into the FTDNA domain where it is now hosted.
These days almost all DNA projects are hosted exclusively within the FTDNA domain – this is not too surprising considering how FTDNA now dominates the DNA testing market.
Our project website continues to evolve, as FTDNA evolves. Their latest web offering (in 2015) is the ‘myGroups’ interface with its Facebook-style ‘Activity Feed’. We find that our project is (to some extent) co-opted and shoehorned to fit into FTDNA’s new paradigms. Such is progress.