The Bruce Surname Y-DNA Project
  • 278 members


Q: Where are the project webpages hiding?
A: Use the tabs found under the About tab to access our project pages.
Refer to our front page for more information about navigating the public and private pages in this project (About->Background).

Q: What are the Paternal Lineages all about?
A: We have a collection of our members' paternal lineages, and you can look there for any that may match with your known lineage.
That page is public, so it increases the likelihood that other family historians will find yours when searching the web.
Members are strongly encouraged to send their lineage to us for incorporation.
But if you prefer not to post publicly, please email the admins to discuss your concerns.
Send your lineage by email as plain text. Refer to our existing lineages to see the required layout and level of detail. 

Q: Should I use FTDNA's tree builder?
A: There is no compelling reason to build your tree at FTDNA.  Currently the trees at FTDNA cannot be searched for Y-matches.
Regardless, there are probably better tools available elsewhere for the purpose of building and maintaining your family tree.
FTDNA trees are unrelated to this project's Paternal Lineages page.

Q: How important is it for me to set up my Beneficiary Details?
A: Very important!

Q: What do the group names mean?
A: Each groups is named to show the haplotype of it's members.
It is numbered to show it's relative position compared to the other groups of that haplotype.  Refer to our TMRCA graphs.
In years past our groups were simply named A, B, C, etc.  Where possible these old names have been retained, eg, "09-M269 (B)".
As new members join the project, the group names and their composition evolve.

Q: How (closely) are a group's members related to each other?
A: Generally, each group will contain members that have a 75% probability of having a common male ancestor within 30 generations or less.
The groupings are estimates that use probabilistic and best-fit calculations, and the groupings evolve as new members join the project.
Refer to FTDNA's TIP tool, and our TMRCA tables and graphs.

Q: If I purchase more STR markers, will I see more matches in this project?
A: No. More STR markers will enable you to better discriminate between other members of your group.

Q: Is our membership (data) skewed or biased?
A: Yes. Our membership is directly related to FTDNA's market penetration.
Our membership consists only of those that have chosen to have their Y-dna tested; and have chosen to use FTDNA (or transferred there from 3rd party tests).
The global distribution of the Bruce surname probably does not reflect FTDNA's market penetration. Refer to our data analysis page.
Existing members may also enlist others in their region to join us, resulting in regional clusters.
Our membership is probably skewed toward the US.

Q: I have no close matches within the project. Does this mean I have no living Bruce cousins?
A: No. It may just be that that none of your Bruce cousins have yet been tested at FTDNA.
See above regarding FTDNA's market penetration.

Q: Why are there so many different haplotypes in this surname project?  Aren't we all descended from King Robert the Bruce?
A: King Robert the Bruce may have had some male descendants that continued the Bruce surname till today, and have tested their dna.  Or not.  Regardless of that...
Most people did not use surnames before the 1300s, so consider how surnames were taken up by the masses in that period.
Consider also the rate of NPEs that occur per generation.
Analysis of our project data indicates that there were probably well over 30 distinct 'founding fathers' at around 1300 AD.
It is likely that most Surname Y-DNA projects will show a similar range of diverse haplotypes.

Q: What is the cheapest Y-DNA test?  This was discontinued by FTDNA Dec 2022.
A: Although not advertised anywhere, the 12 marker Y-DNA test can still be purchased via 
This may be useful for 3rd party transfer members, and any others who are looking for the cheapest way to get their markers into our project database.

updated 12 Apr 2023