R-L165 (S68) Project FTDNA R1b1a2a1a1b5b - News

For the most up to date information regarding the project please see the ABOUT THIS GROUP>RESULTS page - Links to Genealogical Information, TMRCA determinations etc.

MARKERS 68 - 111 TESTING LEVEL RESULTS - NEW Added 7/23/2011

The emerging L165/S68 Modal Haplotype: 

To determine the emerging Modal Haplotype of any surname or Cluster, we use all known genetic matches to known L165 individuals regardless of membership in the L165 project.  Using all known data on a surname or Cluster allows us to more accurately determine the age of mutations (which are recent or since the most recent common ancestor vs those that are ancestral to the most recent common ancestor).  In example - our Brownson project member has three genetic matches.  The Brownson kit is the only DYS 458 = 17 DYS 459 = 9/9 in the group of four; the other three individuals share DYS 458 = 18 DYS 459 = 9/10.  Based upon the genetic matches and TMRCA, the ancestral alleles are that of the other three kits and is used in determining the emerging L165 Modal Haplotype. For additional information on each Cluster or Surname, please see the RESULTS page.

SNP Z196 

This SNP is UPSTREAM of R-L165/S68.  One member of our project has tested positive for Z196 to confirm (170048 Bronson Z196+/L165+). It is NOT necessary for others who have tested positive for R-L165/S68 to test for Z196.  Members of the P312 Project who have tested positive for Z196 are being encouraged to test for L176.2 and L165/S68 to determine where they fall downstream of Z196. Watch this page for updates as additional information becomes available.

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. 

Update March 5 2011 - FTDNA is now offering a universal deep clade test for $89 which will include the R-L165(S68) test; however, it may still be done as a single SNP test through the Advanced Order Menu for $29.00 (plus a small $9.95 one time transfer fee for those who have not Deep Clade or single SNP tested previously).

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.


To facilitate dialogue among our project members, Tim W. McLeod has set up a Mailing List.  For additional information or to join the list: