Clan MacLean / MacLaine DNA Project Website
Y chromosome and mitochondrial results from project members are presented under the Y-DNA and mtDNA tabs on this website. In order to aid interpretation, similar results are grouped together by haplotype where possible.
Not only did the MacLean and MacLaine clans play an important part in the history of Scotland and the rest of the world but they are an ancient clan with recorded chiefly lines back to the 13th (and probably 12th century). This presents us with a great opportunity to review genealogical records and DNA evidence within the same historical context. This has to be one of the project’s long-term aims.
About 75% of the predicted Y-DNA Haplotypes for project members are R1b1a2 and its subclades compared with 71% for people in Scotland as a whole. Member results are grouped by terminal SNP where this has been confirmed which is allowing us to begin to identify clusters of individuals with a recent common ancestor. For example, SNP L193 is believed to have emerged within the last 2000 years.
Just as the Y chromosome follows the paternal line, mitochondrial DNA testing follows the maternal line. This hits an immediate problem in surname projects such as ours because a woman’s surname often changes on marriage and her daughters will normally take their father’s surname and not their mother’s. Accordingly, we would expect to see a much wider variation in DNA origins when looking at mitochondrial results (see mtDNA Results on project pages).
Further Planned Research
Relevant Research in Other Projects
The MacLean/MacLaine project covers the narrow field of one specific surname but the Scottish DNA project http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Scottishdna/ has a wider brief covering all individuals with unbroken paternal or maternal Scottish lineage.
- Prepare and publish a timeline of events in the history of the clan, of Scotland and of the wider world which would have affected the lives of ordinary clan members, perhaps causing them to move their homes or even emigrate.
- Look for links between Most Distant Ancestor / GEDCOM data and DNA Results.
- Find ways of increasing the granularity of the subgrouping of our Y-DNA results.
- If possible, investigate the chiefly lines of the clans which provide an unbroken male ancestry back to 13th century Scotland.
Our project accepts anyone with our surname irrespective of their DNA profile but many of the registered FTDNA projects take the opposite view, ie membership is open to those with a similar DNA profile irrespective of surname. One such project whose work is relevant to ours is the R1b-L513 (11-13 Combo) project http://www.familytreedna.com/public/R-L21-1113Combo/ into which many MacLeans etc fall.
Researcher Ann Stansbarger published a paper (July 2012) where she investigated a cluster of similar results within the 11-13 Combo Project, the single largest group comprising 23 MacLean/MacLaines. (Members of this group are R1b and SNP of L21 but are specifically defined by marker values 406S1=11 and 617=13.) The aim of her paper was to calculate the Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) and her conclusions confirmed that the MRCA of the cluster calculated from DNA mutation rates was consistent with the 12th to 13th century recorded ancestors of the MacLean/MacLaine chiefly line.