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


Q: Where are all the project webpages hiding?
A: Use the tabs found under the About tab to access our project pages.
Refer to our Background page for 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.
The 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 only. Refer to existing lineages for 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.  Tree building and usefulness is evolving ... check their Help.
Currently the trees at FTDNA cannot be searched for Y-matches.
Regardless, there are better tools available elsewhere for 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!
If you ask them, admins may volunteer for that role in some cases.

Q: What do the Y-DNA group names mean?
A: Each group is named to show the haplotype of it's members.
And 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 Their tools are evolving - check their Help, 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 members are just those that have chosen to have their Y-DNA tested; and have chosen to use FTDNA or transferred their 3rd party tests there.
The global distribution of the Bruce surname probably doesn't reflect FTDNA's market penetration. Refer to 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.
Also we are skewed because the project was originally Y-DNA focussed.  But now is open to the wider world of Autosomal tests.

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 chose to test their dna, and chose FTDNA to present those dna results. 
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, and later.
Consider also the rate of NPEs that occur per generation.
Our project data indicates that there were probably well over 30 distinct 'founding fathers' circa 1300 AD.
It is likely that other Surname Y-DNA projects will show similar diverse haplotypes.

Q: What is the cheapest Y-DNA test?  Discontinued Dec 2022.  New pricing structure has 37 minimum.
A: Although not advertised anywhere, the 12 and 25 marker Y-DNA tests 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 10th June 24