Douglas (and variants) Surname Project - Results


Douglas yDNA project update. May 2012

Since 26 January 2011, Y-DNA results in the Douglas Project have been grouped at two different levels.

1. Closely related (family) groups.

To share an MRCA within recorded history, FTDNA calculates that you need a match within the following degrees of genetic distance (GD), i.e. the number of marker mismatches:

12 markers tested: 0,1

25 markers tested: 0, 1, 2

37 markers tested: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4

67 markers tested: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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 Douglases, this would be since about 1100AD.

Within the modern families who are not connected (yet) to the old lines we have had a number of matches. These families are busily looking for the common ancestor. Some of these matches were completely unexpected. Some families have proven suspected relationships and other relationships have been disproved. Some have found new cousins. One Douglas adoptee has found some cousins.

The following groupings have been made at this level to date:

E1 Group Type 1: Alexander of Reeth

G Group Type 1. Tipperary, Ireland

I1a Group Type 1: James Douglas, 1710, York, ME, probably of the "Jock & Tam" Gordon line 

I1a Group Type 2:

I1a Group Type 3: Earls of Morton, Swedish Branch

Although descendants of the Earls of Morton belong to haplogroup R1b (see below) there is another descendant of the Earls of Morton, the Swedish branch which has one representative. 

I2b1 Group Type 1: William, 1st Earl of Douglas, incl Douglas-Hamilton, Dukes of Hamilton

J1 Group Type1: (YCAII=22-22, 388=15): probably of the ancient Graham line

R1a Group: Type 1: Drumlanrig/Queensberry line

We have established the genetic characteristics of the Drumlanrig/Queensberry/Douglas of Morton (not the Earls of Morton) line back to the 1478! This is a remarkable feat and means that in three families there has been no non-paternal event (illegitimacy, adoption) for 15-18 generations each! It also means that anyone believing they are from this line can now test this out with a high degree of confidence by yDNA testing. This group is R1a Haplogroup, and all direct male line descendants of William 6th Baron of Drumlanrig must be of this Haplogroup.

R1a Group: Type 2: Possible descendants of Somerled, and almost certainly of Norse descent.

R1b Group Type 1: From an ancestor of William Douglas, 1610, New London

R1b Group Type 2. (R-P312): Ancient Douglas line: William de Duglis, lived 1174 and Earls of Morton.

We have proven the Earls of Morton line back to the 1400s, with distant cousins matching. All descendants of William de Duglis, 1174, must be R-P312 haplogroup.

The group was widened in May 2013 to include the old Type 2a subgroup. This group now can be defined by a distinctive Y-DNA signature under the haplogroup R-P312:

385b=15,16; 439=11, 447=24, 23; 456=15; 576=19,18; 395S1b=16; 534=17,16; 572=10.

It encompasses a similar subgroup from the Sutherland DNA Project, there described as 0:3 Moray Firth Group -Haplo=R-P312. This expanded group probably descends from William de Duglis's reputed father, Freskyn de Moravia.

R1b Group Type 3: Alexander Douglas, b c 1805, NC

R1b Group Type 4:

R1b Group Type 5:

R1b Group Type 6 (R-M222): Earls of Angus (Red Douglasses)

The haplogroup of our only known Angus descendant is also R1b, and is also a Niall of Nine Hostages descendant.

R1b Group Type 7 (R-M222): Domini Douglas line

Domini has emerged as a distinct yDNA line in the Douglas family. Domini was thought to be an illegitimate son of George (13th or 15th Earl of Morton), and half brother of James (14th or 16th Earl). However his DNA type does NOT match James’s son John. This has been proven by testing two men who are descended from John (5th cousins once removed), and finding that they match. This proves John’s genetic type. Similarly 2 descendants of Domini have proven his haplogroup.

So we can say with confidence now that either Domini or James or John is not descended genetically from George. And since Domini’s genetic type is distinctively Irish (and his mother was Irish) it is likely that Domini has an Irish male ancestor, possibly his father.

R1b Group Type 8: McKenzie-Douglas

We have one participant who traces his family to this line. He is haplogroup R1b.

R1b Group Type 9: Dalgliesh connection

A number of our members have strong matches with members of the Daglish family. It is known that in some cases names have changed from Dagliesh (or variant) to Douglas and possibly also vice-versa at some stage. Some of these connections are being actively researched as a result of these matches.

R1b Group Type A1: Scotti-Douglas, Fombio line

2. Haplogroup and Subclade.

Residual grouping is by Haplogroup, and Subclade within haplogroup. 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.

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 groups.

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 Deep Clade SNP test.

The following groupings have been made at this level to date:

E1: Haplogroup E1 (Unassigned)

G Haplogroup (Unassigned)

I1a Haplogroup: Unassigned

I2a Haplogroup (Unassigned)

I2b1 Haplogroup: (Unassigned)

J1 Haplogroup (Unassigned)

J2 Haplogroup (Unassigned)

R1a Haplogroup (Unassigned)

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2 (M-269) Unassigned

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1: R-P310

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1a: R-U106

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1a4 (R-U106/L48)

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1b: (R-P312) North-South subgroup (437=14 448=18) Possible Z196

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1b: R-P312

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1b3c (R-S28)

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1b4 (R-L21)

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1b4b (RM22): Niall of the Nine Hostages

The Domini line is descended from Niall of Nine Hostages (a very prolific Irish ancient line) but there are also others in the group who are descended from Niall but not through Domini. Some of these will be Irish lines of the Douglas family, but some of the sons of Niall are known to have visited Scotland and may have left behind Douglas descendants. Niall’s DNA signature is well defined and new participants with Irish heritage may well find they belong to this group.

R1b Subclade: R1b1a2a1a1b4g (R-L21/L193) Scottish Borders

T Haplogroup

We still need more men who can trace their lineage back to the Old lines.

If you are a known descendant of Willem De Duglis (1174) please consider joining our project. You will be helping lost Douglases- families who have lost their connection to the Douglas tree, to focus their research into the major lines of the family. If you represent a family line that we need for the project we might offer to pay for your test. We would likely pay for tests for proven Angus descendants or Earls of Morton descendants who are not descended from John son of James 14th or 16th Earl.

European lines of the Douglas family who have been separated from their Scottish ancestors for hundreds of years could be strategically very important for our project at this stage. These lines can give us information about the earliest Douglases when they are compared with the documented lines we have already established. We would be interested in making contact with further examples of European Douglas lines.

If you are one of the “lost” families, which cannot find their ancestor’s connection into the Douglas family, then we can now tell you with confidence whether you are from some of the lines mentioned above. If you are lucky you might immediately find your line. Otherwise a match will eventually come along, giving you a clue as to which family line you come from. You will certainly find a number of lines immediately that you can exclude from your research.