Welcome to the MacKinnon/McKinnon DNA Project. Our objective is to help project members identify where their ancestors originated. Through this project, we hope project members will be able to connect with others who share a common heritage. Y-DNA As a surname project our primary focus is on the testing of Y-DNA. Y-DNA is what we call the sex chromosome “Y” that is passed from a father to his sons only, women do not receive a Y chromosome. Testing the Y chromosome allows for investigation into a male's paternal family line and can help identify surname lines, living relatives whose Y chromosome is similar to yours, and ancient migration routes your paternal ancestors may have taken. What is a Haplogroup? Every male individual who takes one of the FamilyTree DNA Y-DNA tests will also receive their Y-DNA haplogroup. When humans left Africa tens of thousands of years ago, they departed in small groups that migrated into different parts of the world. Over many generations, each group developed distinct mutations allowing us to identify one from the other. We call these groups of mutations haplogroups, and they can tell us which migratory routes our paternal ancestors traveled. What does SNP stand for? Single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variations. Each SNP is a mutation or new branch on the tree. The number of SNPs on which people match within a database can be used to tell how closely related they are. What is a Marker or STR? A marker is what we test in our basic Y-DNA tests. These markers are also referred to as STRs (Short Tandem Repeats) which are a series of repeating nucleotides (A, T, G, C). For example: GACTACTACTACTGG - the STR consists of the three repeated CTA segments. Y-DNA tests look for matching markers or “STRs” between two men, if they match, which would indicate a genetic relationship. Which test should I buy? According to FamilyTreeDNA, if you are looking to begin Y-DNA testing, the Y-37 Marker test allows you to become familiar with Y-DNA results. The Y-111 test is the most beneficial for joining this MacKinnon DNA Project or for those looking to confirm Y-chromosome matching at our highest level between two living men. The difference between the Y-37 and Y-111 tests is that FamilyTreeDNA analyzes more markers (STRs) with the Y-111 test, which allows for more refined results including matches. The Big Y-700 is for expert users, it provides over 200K SNPs and additional STRs; however, these markers do not provide more refined matching. This project is affiliated with Clan MacKinnon Society. More information about the Society can be found here: www.themackinnon.com, and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional inquiries.