Since August 2012, Y-DNA results in the MacLaren Project have been grouped at two different levels.
1. Closely related family group.
To share an MRCA within recorded history within the MacLaren project, you need a match within the following degrees of genetic distance (GD), i.e. the number of marker mismatches.
37 markers tested: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4
67 markers tested: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
111 markers tested: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
The closer the match, the closer the relationship is likely to be – more or less! This is only a rough guide, and other information should be factored into the match wherever possible.
“Within recorded history” is a very loose term. For Scotland, the ancestral home for many of the MacLarens, this would be since about 1100AD.
12 marker matches (tested: 0,1) and 25 marker matches (tested: 0, 1, 2) are also calculated for all matches tested at those levels by FTDNA but, on their own, these matches are not likely to have a common ancestor within recorded history so they are not used for family grouping within the MacLaren project.
2. Haplogroup and Subclade.
If a tester has no matches within the project the secondary grouping is by Haplogroup, and Subclade within haplogroup.
Results for testers for whom we have not yet found a match, or have too few markers tested to allow reliable matching, will be placed in one of the Unassigned Haplogroup and Subclade groups.
People in different haplogroups or subclades cannot be closely related. Men in different major groups are unlikely to have a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) within the last 10,000 years (for major haplogroups) or within 5,000 years or so for subclades within a haplogroup.
If you share a haplogroup or subclade with a person of interest, it is likely that your Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) lived within the last 5,000 years or so.
Haplogroups are determined by a small number of mutations on the Y chromosome, known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), or Unique Event Polymorphisms (UEPs). Haplogroups in green have been confirmed by SNP testing. Haplogroups in red have been predicted by Family Tree DNA based on the individual's STR results and can be confirmed by a Big Y test or an appropriate SNP Pack test.