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Clan Matheson DNA Project Results : Location of DNA results of groups with at least two testers. Matheson DNA Map

Only males can test Y-DNA because it is the gene that makes a male a male. It is passed directly from father to son. Haplogroups are DNA signatures that are used to look at migrations of man. A resource on this topic is Spencer Wells, Deep Ancestry.

To learn more about the haplogroups and to see research and graphics of theY-DNA tree, go to Additional information can be found by searching the internet for the haplogroup you are interested in. Be sure to specify Y-DNA Haplogroup.

The test kits have been sorted into their respective haplogroups. Those haplogroups listed in red are estimated by FTDNA. Those listed in green have been SNP tested to confirm the haplotype. More people are doing SNP tests because it can further refine what part of the haplogroup they come from. This is particularly true in Haplogroups E, G, I, J, and R. A few people do not have assigned haplogroups because their haplotype numbers are somewhat unusual. Only a SNP test can confirm the haplogroup when a haplotype (set of scores shown in DYS Values) is rare. When this happens, FTDNA performs a free “backbone” test to confirm the haplogroup.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup I overwintered in the Balkans during the last Ice Age and some members of this group also overwintered in Iberia. The subgroup I1 today is found mainly in northwestern Europe; some I1’s are Norse Vikings, and others are Anglo-Saxons. There are two Haplogroup I groups shown in the Y Results. The first is from a DNA group identified as Ultra-Norse (in other words a Viking from Scandinavia). The second is identified as Isles which may have come from Spain to the Western Isles prior to Roman times (43 A.D. to 383 A.D.).

•Y-DNA Haplogroup J began 15,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, an area that today includes Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. J1emerged during the Neolithic Revolution in the Middle East, and some moved northward into western Europe while others moved back into North Africa. J2 came out of the Near East, moved west along the Mediterranean to Italy and southern Spain. No J2’s got to Ireland, but they did get to Wales, England and Scotland in small numbers.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup R1a is thought to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas in the Kurgan culture and is associated with the domestication of the horse. There are three different Haplogroup R1a groups shown in the Y Results. The first group of R1a's, identified as Lochalsh Viking, have a related set of DNA which says they are descended from sons or close kin of Murchadh Buidhe, Chief of the Matheson clan located in Lochalsh, Ross-shire, Scotland in the 1500's. This line has the Eastern Viking signature rather than the Western Viking signature associated with Somerled, progenitor of Clan Donald. An article by Andrew MacEacharn of Australia and Anatole A. Klyosov of the USA, was published in Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy, vol. 3, No. 8, 2010 (in Russian and English). Entitled "Scotland's R1a1 Highland Clansmen, DNA Genealogy and The Search for Somerled," the article shows that the Matheson line is is relatively similar to the Russian Plain haplotype with the common ancestor existing there approximately 3600 years ago. The Matheson DNA is not close to the Scandinavian nor Central European R1a1 haplotypes. The analysis of the R1a1 Matheson clan cluster at 67 markers estimates the common ancestor lived 825±160 YBP. Click to see Lochalsh Viking Chart 73442 and 154157 are related to Somerled through the MacDonalds of Sleat on the Isle of Skye. The article mentioned in the last paragraph states that the Clan Donald R1a group is similar to the Scandinavian base haplotype and the Clan Donald group common ancestor points to a time frame in accord with the time of John, Lord of the Isles. E1829 is a Viking who went to Germany. The Vikings were world traders whose settlements are found from Newfoundland to Russia.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b is the most prolific haplogroup in Europe and its frequency changes in a cline from west to east. It reaches a saturation point of almost 100% in areas of Western Ireland and becomes uncommon in parts of Eastern Europe and virtually disappears beyond the Middle East.

`HapR1b Scots Modal (possibly Dalriada House of Lorn) has been identified due to cooperation across clans. The overall DNA pattern was discovered by Mark MacDonald in 2005 and this DNA pattern is spread through various clans. Matheson traditions state that at least some of our very early chiefs were from Gilleon na h’Aird of the House of Lorn who lived about 950. In the MS of 1467 Mathesons were mentioned as one of the ten clans claiming descent from the Cinel (Clan) Lorn through Cormac mac Aibertach. The Irish Dal Riata King Erc (d. c. 474) had three sons, Fergus Mor, Angus, and Loarn, who established the kingdom of Dalriada in Scotland. This group of Mathesons fits into the Dalriada DNA pattern. The main territory of descendants of Loarn was in northern Argyll around the first of Lorn. The chief place of the kingdom was likely near Oban. Loarn has 4 variants in spelling: Lorne, Lorn, Loarn, Loairn. Our testers trace to Argyll, Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, and Norway. Click to see Dalriada Matheson Chart

`HapR1b Group A came from Scotland and settled in Nova Scotia.

`HapR1b Group B1 is from the Isle of Lewis as is Group B2. They are two different Celtic DNA signatures on Lewis. Click to see Isle of Lewis Matheson Chart

`HapR1b Group C is from the areas in or near the Black Isle in Ross-shire. Click to see Group C (Black Isle) Matheson Chart

`HapR1b Group D is from the mainland in Golspie, Sutherlandshire.

`HapR1b Group E is from the Isle of Skye.

`HapR1b Group F may be from Golspie, Sutherlandshire.

`HapR1b Group G may be from Dornoch, Sutherlandshire.

`HapR1b Group H is from the Isle of Benbecula. Click to see Benbecula Matheson Chart

`HapR1b Group I's is from Canisbay, Caithness.

`Hap R1b Group J is from Kildonan, Sutherlandshire. Some of these families were recruited by Lord Selkirk to populate Rupertsland in Canada.

`Hap R1b Group K has not yet been defined.

`HapR1b MacWho is part of a small cluster of distinct numbers that is being researched.

`HapR1b- Matheson/Dunbar is likely descended from a younger son of the Dunbar chiefly line, a branch of which resided in Aberdeenshire. Patrick Dunbar was Chancellor of Aberdeen and also owned Bennetsfield before the Mathesons. This particular DNA signature is one of the earliest to come to the British Isles and is heavily found in Wales and in parts of Scotland.

`HapR1b – NW Irish/Scotland is often referred to as Niall of the 9 Hostages, a famous Irish King, who was a member of the Ui Neill tribe of Ireland. This group is found scattered among many Scottish clans, including the Mathesons and MacKenzies.

`HapR1b - Shiness comes from the line that owned Shiness, near Lairg, Sutherlandshire, Scotland. Some members have a paper trail to Col. George Matheson, Chieftain of the Shiness branch of the clan. The chiefly line from Lochalsh and the chieftain line from Shiness are not related genetically through the male line since they are in different haplogroups, but could have been related through the female line in the distant past. Click to see Shiness Matheson Chart

`The large Haplogroup R1b unmatched grouping shown in Y-Results includes people who are not closely related. People who moved into a Chief or Chieftain's territory often took on that clan name, so it is not surprising to find many unrelated Mathesons. When found in Scotland these R1b people are usually considered of Celtic descent.

mtDNA Results

mtDNA test kits are also arranged by mtdna Haplogroups. mtDNA is passed from the female to all of her children, so both females and males have mtDNA, but males cannot pass it to succeeding generations. mtDNA Haplogroups with the same name as Y-DNA Haplogroups have no relationship with each other. An example is that mtDNA Haplogroup K has a different history from Y-DNA Haplogroup K. mtDNA Haplogroups show the deep ancestry of the tester and are described in Spencer Wells, Deep Ancestry. Descriptions are also available on the tester's personal page under mtDNA - Results. Additional information can be found by searching the internet for the haplogroup you are interested in. Be sure to specify mtDNA Haplogroup.

• mtDNA haplogroup H (also known as Helena) comprises 40 to 60 % of the mtDNA gene pool in Western Europe and as such is considered the most successful of the mtDNA haplogroups in reproducing itself. It also comprises about 20 % of southwest Asian lineages, 15 % of central Asian lineages and 5 % of northern Asian lineages.

• mtDNA Haplogroup HV moved north across the Caucasus mountains and west across Turkey to carry their lineage into Europe about 30,000 years ago. This is a western Eurasian haplogroup.

• mtDNA haplogroup J* (also known as Jasmine) has a very wide distribution, being common in eastern and northern Europe, and is present as far east as the Indus Valley bordering Indian and Pakistan and as far south as the Arabian peninsula. mtDNA haplogroup J is largely considered one of the main genetic signatures of the Neolithic expansion and is associated with the spread of agriculture.

• mtDNA Haplogroup K (also known as Katrine) has a wide distribution including areas of Europe, northern Africa, India, Arabia, the northern Caucasus Mountains and throughout the near East. Today, mtDNA haplogroup K has three of the four most common mtDNA signatures in Askenazi Jews, but our members do not have one of these specific K signatures.

• mtDNA Haplogroup M is considered primarily an Asian lineage, as it is found in high frequencies east of the Arabian peninsula It is also found in Pakistan and northwest Indian where it constitutes 30-50% of the gene pool and there are low frequencies in east Africa. mtDNA Haplogroup M is thought to be about 60,000 years old.

• mtDNA Haplogroup T (also known as Tara) is one of the main genetic signatures of the Neolithic expansion.

• mtDNA Haplogroup U (also known as Ursula) includes the specific group U5 that broke off from the rest of the group and headed north into Scandinavia and is estimated to be 50,000 years old. It is quite common in Finland. There was a back migration to the Near East where it is relatively rare.

• mtDNA Haplogroup V (also known as Velda) tends to be restricted to western, central, and northern Europe. It is found in 12% of Basques and is thought to have been established within the European refuge during the last Ice Age.