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Up until recently most yDNA genealogic research has been based on the Y37, Y67 and Y111 tests that have been avaialble for the last decade.

Increasingly, we are finding that the new "New Technology" Big-Y tests are giving us much more information.   

So, y37 remains the minimum yDNA test to join project.  But if budget is not a concern, then Big Y will give you much more information.

Useful Ralston resources

   The following online reference represents one commonly repeated “origin myth” for the Surname Ralston.  There may be a kernel of truth here, but we cannot be certain.  If there was, indeed,  a single male who originated the Surname Ralston (Roulstone), it is not at all guaranteed that any of us are descended from him.   The episodes of bubonic plague around 1350 may have wiped out many family lines.  Making it more likely that the few families from Scotland that carry variations of the Ralston surname took that name from the place or settlement called “Ralston” just to the East of Paisley, where the former Ralston Estate was located.

Read more:  http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Ralston#ixzz369WGKdmx

This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is locational from a place so called, near Paisley in Renfrewshire. The place name was called after the first owner, Ralph,  according to lore, he was a younger son of one of the earls of Fife.

The commonly told version of the story is that Ralph was granted land east of Paisley, and his "Tun" or farmstead was called "Ralph's Town" or "Ralston".

We now know that the genetic line of these Paisley Ralstons traced back to haplogroup RL165, and is linked to the Vikings and the Normans.    So, it could just as easily been Raouls' town, or Rolfe's town, or Rollo's town.

So, the commonly accepted version of the story is Ralph's Town,derived from the Old Norse personal name, composed of the Germanic elements"rad", counsel advice, and "wolf", wolf, and the Old English pre 7th Century "tun", farm settlement; the personal name was introduced into Britain by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form"Rathulfr", and was reinforced after the Conquest by the Norman form"Ra(d)ulf". The surname development since 1272 (see below) includes:Thomas de Raulfrestone (1296, Lanarkshire), Jacobus de Raulyston (1346,Paisley) and John Raleston (1488, Renfrewshire). The modern surname can be found as Ralston, Raleston(e) and Raulston(e). Among the recordings in Scotlandare the marriages of John Ralston and Janet Gibson on December 11th 1708 at Paisley, Renfrewshire, and of James Ralston and Elizabeth Allan on February 29th 1724, also at Paisley, Renfrewshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Ralstoun (witness), which was dated 1272, Register of the Monastery of Paisley, Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to"develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. 


WikiTree is a free resource that includes users tracking many Ralston lines:  

For those Ralstons who find that they are in Haplogroup R-M269, there are two online Ralston family trees that may be of interest. These two Ralston'slive on opposite sides of the globe, but are clearly related by yDNA. In fact, these Ralston families likely would not have known about each other without yDNA testing.  Their family lines both track back through Kintyreand Ayrshire to Paisley in Renfrewshire.  A third Ralston family line from Paisley is also part of this triad, whoowe their connection to FTDNA and yDNA testing.

From a New Zealand Ralston, who happens to be a  professional genealogist:  https://ralstondotfamily.wordpress.com/

From an American Ralston, who keeps a very nice website: 

The following book is from the “American Ralston” family mentioned above.

Saga of Our Kintyre Kin Second Edition Paperback 2013 by GraceRalston

“A brief social history of Scotland accompanied by the genealogical record of some of those who participated in the Plantation of the Lowland Lairds into Kintyre (mid 1600s) authorized by the Duke of Argyle and lead by William Ralston of that Ilk. Those included are the Ralstons, Greenlees, Breckenridges, McPhails, Browns, Wallaces, Howies, Andrewsand others. By the early 1800s, descendants began to emigrate to the United States (northern Illinois and Ohio), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Grace Ralston and Florence Ralston Schnurr started with the intent to create a small family history, but it grew into much more. Originally published in 1984, this revision contains nearly 500, highly indexed pages.”

Available for sale on Amazon.

A list of books with the subject heading ‘Ralston family’ held in the Library of Congress https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/search?searchType=7&searchId=19711&maxResultsPerPage=25&recCount=25&recPointer=0&resultPointer=0&

===========================================History of Ayrshire==============By Paterson=========Published about 1850

Start about page 264.   This is the "classic" version of the Ralstons.   We think that it is as accurate as was possible 170 years ago, but we will learn more with the yDNA testing.  We now have good genetic evidence that the "Ralstons of that ilk" still exist, and are the "Paisley Ralstons", with a well-defined haplogroup and its own unique sublcade.