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R-L165 (S68)
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About us

New Members - FTDNA sets your results "PRIVATE" by default; please remember to set them to "PUBLIC".

Available Testing Update: February 2017

In addition to the STR testing (Marker levels 12, 25, 37, 67 & 111), there are three main SNP levels of testing.  We encourage all members to test for the Big Y to help us discover more SNP's below R-L165; however there is the less expensive Z198 panel and the Single SNP advanced testing available. 

From Co-Adminstrator Tim McLeod: 

"A single SNP test is really "just a shot in the dark".  For example, "if you test positive for BY3210, then you know that you might have had a common ancestor with the Clan MacLeod in the last 720 years.  You don’t know if that ancestor was a MacLeod or some other related clan.  If you test negative for BY3210 then you will need to back up one level and test for BY5253 which would put you on a separate branch before the formation of the Clan MacLeod".

"The second option is the Z198 SNP Panel test.  It will test for 47 SNPs within L165 including 12 in the BY3210 line.  It will not discover any previously unknown SNPs nor establish a branch for" (as an example) "Childress/McKinney, but it does cover the important SNPs we know about."

"The Big Y is really the only discovery test.  It looks beyond the known SNPs and finds previously unknown mutations that might be specific to you or your line.  To get the most from this data, we really need two Big Y tests from the same branch as their shared unknown mutations will indicate a new branch of the tree.  This new branch will contain single SNPs that others in the branch can test for."

".....the Big Y is the ultimate (and the best coverage for your money).  The Z198 SNP Panel comes in second in value and usefulness, while the single SNP tests are really just a roll of the dice." (Note: For some, the Single SNP is the best option..explained below.)

Please continue reading this page to determine which test is best for you.  As always, the Administrators will be happy to give you additional information if needed. 

Big Y Test - $575.00 (discounts available)

When this project began approximately 6 years ago, we used the STR results to a) determine a modal Haploytpe for R-L165(S68) to use to identify prospective members and b) used those STR results to form "Cluster One" and "Cluster Two"  and how to order the others within our DNA results page.  As a result of the Big Y testing of our Project Members, several Branches downstream of R-L165 have been discovered. 




An example of where the Big Y helped a large group of related individuals determine which branches they belong to is the MacDonald's and MacNeils and Buie's who made up the majority of what we used to call "Cluster One".  STR results (testing levels of 12, 25, 37, 67 and 111 markers) showed them as being related within the genealogical time frame but gave them (and us) no indication of how they were related. By the Big Y testing of several individuals, we learned the SNP's that distinguish branching within that larger group. 

R-L165>BY129>BY5109<Y5135>Y5108 was discovered through Big Y testing of several "Cluster One" members making it possible for FTDNA to offer it as part of their line of single tests; as of February 2017, others may now order the Single test to discover if they are positive or negative for this SNP. 

R-L165>BY129>BY5109>Y5135>Y5108>BY3269>A10683 again, discovered through Big Y testing of Cluster One members,  now represents MacNeil of Barra while the discovery of a second, downstream SNP called A11118 represents a second mutation; again, these two SNP's are now available as Single SNP tests to help you determine your branch of MacNeil of Barra. 

R-L165>BY129>BY5109<Y5135>Y5108>BY13651 was discovered through Big Y testing of several "Cluster One" members and now appears to represent our Buie members of Cluster One. 

R-L165>BY129>BY5109>Y17559 was discovered through Big Y testing of two MacDonald's; as of February 2017, two of the MacDonald's are positive for this SNP.

Without the Big Y participation, these Branches of Cluster One would not have been discovered.  Member participation in the Big Y testing is necessary for us to determine the Branching within large groups of related individuals.  If every member ordered the Z198 Packl or Single SNP's tests, not only would our learning about R-L165 eventually reach a stand still, our ability to discover more recent branching of our "clusters" and surnames would end as well. 

Therefore, we encourage "clusters" to contribute to the cost of Big Y testing for certain members; those genetically related to Clan MacLeod (formerly known as "Cluster Two") would greatly benefit from Big Y testing - through it, a "MacLeod SNP" called BY3210 was discovered and we have more recently discovered one branch downstream called "BY13703"; to date, we have had two additional MacLeod members test negative (for BY13703) confirming that this is a smaller branch within the larger Clan. Big Y testing has revealed that many genetically related to the Clan share an earlier SNP called BY3253 but are negative for BY3210 helping us define relationships within the formerly known "Cluster Two". 

Single SNP Testing available for $39.00

We encourage all members who have not participated in the Big Y level of testing, to take the Z198 Panel Pack.  However, as new SNP's are determined to be shared by two or more men through the Big Y testing, those SNPs can be ordered one at a time from FTDNA by logging into your myFTDNA account, selecting the blue UPGRADES button and then scrolling down to the ADVANCED TESTS box and the BUY NOW button.  We recommend these for those who have a large number of related individuals in their cluster to determine which Branch of that cluster they belong to; use the Z198 Panel Test List below to see which Single SNP Tests you should order based upon your closest surname matches.

We hope to eventually have enough R-L165 downstream SNP's to ask FTDNA to create an R-L165 Pack.

R1b - Z198 SNP Pack - $119.00 

Scotland's DNA: Who do you think you are? 

Part 4 Premium Article Published Date: 04 March 2011 By Alistair Moffat and Dr Jim Wilson"...S68. It is found in Lewis, Harris and Skye, core Macleod territory,but also in Orkney, Shetland and Norway, with a few examples in Sweden. Despite extensive screening, S68 is very specifically located, showing up only once in the east of Scotland and once in England. This is a classic pattern for a Viking marker in Britain, but one much rarer than M17."

Scottish DNA Project Blog  by Alasdair Fraser MacDonald (co - administrator of the R-L165 Project and the Scottish DNA Project)

More about membership requirements:

At this time, the eligibility requirements for membership in the project are quite broad but may require some narrowing in the future to maintain the integrity of  the long term goals of the project.  Most of our current members have received a positive test result for this SNP; however some have been added to the group based upon documentation proving a relationship and/or a close genetic match to a R-L165/S68 positive individual.

FTDNA believes that where one member of a group of individuals whose STR’s indicate a genetic match has tested positive for R-L165/S68, it is not necessary for all members of that group to test.  In cases of a common surname, common point of origin and a close genetic match that is almost always true, however the possibility that a genetic match is “random” due to convergent mutations at certain matching markers increases slightly where there is a non-surname match and/or where markers which are stable in the surname group have mutated in the non-surname match.

R-L165/S68 has certain modal alleles which indicate that an individual may be positive; however, some of those modals are found in other sub-clades of R1b as well.  In example, DYS 390 = 25 is found in almost individuals positive for L-165 but is also found in R-L21 positive individuals; likewise with DYS 534 = 16 which is modal to R-L165 but also seen in L-21. This indicates that those genetic matches who do not share all or most of the modal alleles for the surname itself (as opposed to R-165 modals) may not actually be R-L165.

In those cases where a genetic match is seen but a surname is not shared, we encourage members to test for  R-L165 to rule out that possibility of random convergence. In all cases of a non-surname match in which the genetic distance is greater than 37 - 4 or 67-7 or where several modals are not matched, testing will be recommended and/or required. 

Since R-L165/S68 is believed to be approximately 2750-3500 years old, genetic matches on 12 or 25 markers between individuals of a different surname could also be at thousand or more years in the past.  Therefore, we encourage even those members who are positive for R-L165/S68 and who genetically match one of the surnames to test to a minimum of 37 but ideally to 67 markers.  For example, if you are a non-surname genetic match to one of the surnames in our project at 25 markers, we recommend that you have not only be tested for R-L165/S68 but also increase your STR testing to at least the 37 marker level. Should your genetic match at the higher level of testing “hold together” and remain within the allowable distances of the surname group, then we would more accurately understand your relationship to them beyond simply the R-L165 relationship.

Temporary Membership will be granted to those who do not meet the requirements stated on the BACKGROUND PAGE of this site, however, the test for L165 MUST be ordered within 60 days of joining the project.