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Official Statement on Royal Stewart DNA in comparison with the Clan Grant Chiefs

According various research (see below) done on surviving male line descendants of Walter FitzAlan, High Steward of Scotland from 1160-1204, the SNP trail of this line is:

R-P312/S116 > Z290/S245 > L21/S145 > DF13 > Z39589 > DF41/S524 > Z43690 > S775 > L746

According to the research done in the Grant DNA Project, the DNA signature of the Clan Chiefs is:

P312/S116 >Z40481  > DF19 > DF88 > Z29041 > Z17267 > Z17281 > Z17274

L21 is over 2000+ years old, and the Grants and Stewarts break off the same tree long before L21 is established.  L21 is an Atlantic Celtic DNA model of sorts, so it does fit with the supposed history of that family.  P312 (also known as S116 in some circles) is approx. 4000 years old (see , and that is the last SNP shared by both the Clan Chiefs of Grant and the Royal Stewarts descending from Walter FitzAlan, so we can very safely assume that the Clan and the Royal Stewarts did not share a common male ancestor in the last 3000-4000 years.
In no way is this article meant to dismiss the legend of an Andrew Stewart marrying a Clan Chief’s daughter and assuming the surname to continue the line.  However, if Andrew did exist he surely wasn’t the male line product of the same Stewart family that later supplied the Kings of Scotland.

At no time was my plan to prove or disprove varies histories of the Clan.  The goal has always been to assist others with finding their ancestors and most distant cousins - genetic genealogy.  However, off and on for the past 10 years, the research I have done, and to a degree that of the other administrators of this project, has been under attack by individuals who find the truths uncovered by DNA to be inconvenient to their own pre-conceived ideas.  I want to be clear, these attacks have not come from Clan leadership - the various heads of Clan Septs, branches of this family's tree, and the Chief himself have been gracious and generous to the project from day 1.  They have been very open-minded to the research, and in some cases very bravely donating their cheek cells to help us better understand the genetic tree of Clan Grant.  As project administrators, we have been very lucky to be involved in a surname project that includes a well-known Scottish Clan with a deep history and active members that support our research.  But there are outside elements - mainly people looking to make a name for themselves with "surprising research," poorly-researched books (self-published ones at that), and wild claims on various Clan histories - that are actively trying to undermine the data the DNA research has uncovered. 

The above statement on the proven lack of genetic relationship (yDNA) between the Clan Grant Chiefs and the Stewart/Stuart family that provided Scotland and later the UK with a royal dynasty is the first of what will probably be several "official statements" by the Grant DNA Project in response to false and misleading claims by project outsiders who are uneducated in regards to genetic genealogy and possibly carrying agendas fostered by their own poorly researched articles.  One such article can be found at in regards to an independent and unfounded opinion on the DNA that has somehow found it's way onto the website.  This article was not written by a Grant DNA Project Administrator nor is it endorsed by any of the Grant DNA Project Administrators.  It is horribly out of date and was inaccurate at the time of it's publishing (assumed to be circa 2007-2008).

The DNA has never "conclusively vindicated the Grant Seannachies of the past who were unanimous that the original Grant Chiefs were of Viking stock."  The original Grant Chiefs may have been Viking, Norman, Anglo-Saxon, French, German, Frisian, Celtic, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, or even other "stocks" as the their main DNA signature group can be found in any of those peoples.  There has always been a Norman vs Viking debate within the Clan over the years (or at least since Fraser's book).  Or at least it seems this way.  I am not a Clan Historian nor do I claim to be an expert on the Clan's history.  I am unconcerned with these histories other than comparing them to what the DNA tells us.  The DNA is very clear that the Grant Chiefly line is NOT related to the Royal Stewart family via male yDNA.  It is 100% clear about this.   Does this disprove Andrew Stewart's existence?  Not in the least.  But it does prove that if the Andrew Stewart did assume the name and change the male line of Grants, he surely was not related by blood (father to father) to the Royal Stewart family.  The DNA also cannot distinguish between Norman and Viking ancestry.  Keep i mind, the Vikings were the grandfathers of the Normans genetically.  They are of the same "stock."  The Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, ect., are also of the same "stock."  We can assume that many different halpogroups would be present in these populations.  There is no one signature that defines ANY population base or ethnic group from history unless you are going back 20,000 years and looking at very specific human migrations that pre-date Western Europe altogether.

Because it is unrealistic for any of us Admins to correct the various websites with misleading information on them (and we have tried, including contacting the source of the article), we strongly encourage you to check here for reliable DNA information as it pertains to the various branches of the Clan Chiefs family tree as well as other unrelated Grant lines.  If it is important to know whether or not you are related to a specific Grant line, please email us and ask.  We would be happy to compare notes for you.  Or check the DNA results website which has been carefully organized and endorsed by several DNA experts as well as Admins from other projects (including the Stewart DNA Project Admin) as being factual and reliable.

Geoff Grant
Summer 2018

If you want to confirm a yDNA family connection to the Grant family of the Clan Chiefs, a Z17274 SNP test will confirm that connection without a doubt.  Z17274 is at least 600 years old and only found by members of this family, including the current Chief as well as the heads of the Grants of Dalvey, Glenmoriston, Shuglie, Corrimonie, Tullochgorm, Blairfindy, Craskie, Kilgraston, and the "Inverlochy" Grants who settled the Trois-Rivieres area of Canada and are likely the oldest confirmed branch of this Grant tree.

A massive re-org of the DNA results groupings has been finished as of late April 2017.  Be sure to check and see if you've been moved.  

Our pending Kilgraston Grant Big Y has come back, and they surprised us with a positive score on R-Z21133, showing that the Grants of Glenlochy, ancestors of the Grants of Kilgraston, descend from a more recent Clan Chief than expected.  A Big Y is now pending on our Dalvey kit.  Thanks to those of you who have made donations to the general fund over the years!!

The Blairfindy (Longueuil) kit has tested positive for R-Z21133.  This was expected.  A Big Y is pending on this kit.

Duldreggen has been confirmed as a Glenmoriston tree member.  They both share R-A1226 & R-A1227 exclusively (meaning nobody else has these SNPs so far).  Craskie would be almost the same as Dulgreggen genetically.

The Inverlochy Grants are confirmed descendants of the Grants of Tullochgorm.  They have exclusive SNPs R-A1324 & R-A1327 as well as share the Clan signature SNP R-Z17274.

Our New Blog Site

Recently, a Blog site was added as a way for the co-administrators to expand their thoughts on topics of interest, observations from the test results, groupings, specialty tests, etc.  To access the blog, click on the following link.  At this time, you cannot reply with comments.  This site is a work in progress, so you don't expect it to be robust at this time.  Feel free to send an email to us with your comments.


Our Discussion Group

We created a Yahoo Discussion Group for the Grant DNA Project.  It is a public forum, but you must register and be accepted to participate in the discussions.  Below is the link to the discussion group.

Yahoo Discussion 

Clan Grant - Canada Website

Penny Grant has created a website that is specific to the Grant Clan in Canada.  If you are a Grant with a Canadian background, you may find this site useful to your search.


How It All Works

The project data is based on testing "alleles" from certain "loci" on the Y-Chromosome (called Y-STR values, for Short Tandem Repeats - a recurring pattern at that position). The Y-STR "count" at each position is displayed as a number. These allele numbers are rendered for anywhere from 12, to 25, 37, 67 and 111 different loci positions on the Y-Chromosome that have been determined to have very low mutation probabilities, meaning that these values will be passed on along a given biological line with relatively few if any mutations for thousands of years. (more---->)

Over the years, many surnames have come to be associated with that of Grant. Such traditions have probably arisen from individual families with these names living in Grant territory during clan times. However it is clear that some (such as Cairns, Bisset, Suttie, etc.) are those of independent families in their own right from very early times. It must be made clear, therefore, that having such a name does NOT, , imply any connection with the Clan Grant at all. (more---->)


You do not need to belong to any society to participate in the Grant DNA Project, though you may find that one or more of the societies of interest as you search for your Scottish heritage.

Below is a link to a website authored by Donald Cameron Grant Gill which includes a substantial section devoted to the Grant of Strathspey from William Grant 1733 to Cheeryble Grants and today:

The following is a link to a very good beginners DNA guide by Kelly Wheaton:  Beginner's Guide


Project Administrators: Allen Grant, Alastair Grant, Geoff Grant and Jon Grant.