MacKenzie Clan DNA Project - Results

Clan MacKenzie DNA Project Results Report as of 14 February 2011

Y-DNA results
We can now see that the MacKenzie clan is composed of multiple patriarchs who migrated from different parts of the world to create the clan in Scotland. We have identified several lines that show relationship between two or more testers plus many others who do not yet have a MacKenzie match.

Haplogroups are DNA signatures that are used to look at migrations of man. A resource on this topic is Spencer Wells, Deep Ancestry. To see research and graphics of the Y-DNA tree, go to ISOGG YSNP Tree. The Y-DNA Haplogroups in Clan MacKenzie are: E = 0.4% I = 13.4% J = 2.5% R1a = 1.7% R1b = 81.6% T = 0.4%

The largest related group of MacKenzie men is the Hgp R1b>L21>L513 MacKenzie Core at 21.8% of the entire project. Three of the men in this group have genealogies going back to Alexander Ionriac, Chief of the MacKenzies, who is said to have died at the age of 90 in 1491.

The Dalriada DNA signature was first identified by Mark MacDonald of Clan Donald. A number of clans have a variant of this DNA signature. This group is descended from the genetic family of Erc, the king of the Irish Dal Riata in Antrim (Ulster) until 474. His sons Fergus Mor, Angus, and Loarn established the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada in 470. In the MS of 1467 MacKenzies were mentioned as one of the ten clans claiming descent from the Cinel (Clan) Lorn through Cormac mac Aibertach. This DNA signature shows up in two branches comprising 2.1% of the project.

Research by population geneticist Jim Wilson reports an influx of Irish into Scotland which shows up in the MacKenzie clan as 8.8%.

The Hebridean Isles can expect up to 40% Viking (I1 Norse Viking and R1a Viking), and the NW Scotland mainland MacKenzies show just 6.7%.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup E would appear to have arisen in Northeast Africa based on the concentration and variety of E subclades in that area today. But the fact that Haplogroup E is closely linked with Haplogroup D, which is not found in Africa, leaves open the possibility that E first arose in the Near or Middle East and was subsequently carried into Africa by a back migration. E1b1b1 probably evolved either in Northeast Africa or the Near East and then expanded to the west--both north and south of the Mediterranean Sea.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup I overwintered in the Balkans during the last Ice Age and some members of this group also overwintered in Iberia. The subgroup I1 today is found mainly in northwestern Europe; some I1’s are Norse Vikings, and others are Anglo-Saxons. The subgroup I1b expanded from the Balkans both northward and eastward.

• Haplogroup J began 15,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, an area that today includes Israel, the West Bank. Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. J1 emerged during the Neolithic Revolution in the Middle East, and some moved northward into western Europe while others moved back into North Africa. J2 came out of the Near East, moved west along the Mediterranean to Italy and southern Spain. No J2’s got to Ireland, but they did get to Wales, England and Scotland in small numbers.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup R1a is believed to have arisen on the Eurasian Steppe, and today is most frequently observed in eastern Europe and in western and central Asia. It is also associated with Vikings, particularly Norwegian Vikings.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b is the most prolific haplogroup in Europe and its frequency changes in a cline from west (where it reaches a saturation point of almost 100% in areas of Western Ireland) to east (where it becomes uncommon in parts of Eastern Europe and virtually disappears beyond the Middle East). The majority of the MacKenzie clan is found in this group.

• Y-DNA Haplogroup T was called K2 prior to May 2008. It is found at low frequencies throughout Europe and in parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and West Africa. A famous person in Haplogroup T was Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

mtDNA Results: Thirty-five people with MacKenzie ancestry have tested the female lineage. mtDNA is traced along the straight female line which changes surnames with every generation. It is extremely unusual to find mtDNA matches even if the person has tested both HVR1 and HVR2 since with both tested the match can range back 700 years. All of the mtDNA haplogroups reported in these tests are found in the British Isles and are discussed in Bryan Sykes, The Seven Daughters of Eve. All of these haplogroups are also discussed in Spencer Wells, Deep Ancestry. The mtDNA Haplogroups in Clan MacKenzie are: H = 40.0% I = 2.9% J = 5.7% K = 17.1% L = 2.9% R = 2.9% T = 2.9% U = 14.3% V = 8.6% X = 2.9%

• mtDNA haplogroup H (also known as Helena)comprises 40 to 60 % of the mtDNA gene pool in Western Europe and as such is considered the most successful of the mtDNA haplogroups in reproducing itself. It also comprises about 20 % of southwest Asian lineages, 15 % of central Asian lineages and 5 % of northern Asian lineages.

• mtDNA haplogroup I occurs in high frequencies in northern Europe and northern Eurasia. They are thought to have migrated to these areas from the Middle East and has an association with the the Aurignacian culture which is distinguished by innovations in tools and tool manufacturing.

• mtDNA haplogroup J (also known as Jasmine) has a very wide distribution, being common in eastern and northern Europe, and is present as far east as the Indus Valley bordering Indian and Pakistan and as far south as the Arabian peninsula. mtDNA haplogroup J is largely considered one of the main genetic signatures of the Neolithic expansion and is associated with the spread of agriculture.

• mtDNA Haplogroup K (also known as Katrine) has a wide distribution including areas of Europe, northern Africa, India, Arabia, the northern Caucasus Mountains and throughout the near East.

• mtDNA Haplogroup L includes mitochondrial Eve. L is the root of the mtDNA tree and is prevalent in Africa. The L3 subclade was established about 80,000 years ago and contained the first modern humans to have left Africa through heading north. The major African American subclades are L2a (18.8%), L1c (11%), L1b (9.1%), L3e2 (9.1%), L3b (8.1%), and L3d (6%).

• mtDNA Haplogroup R moved across the Middle East into central Asia and the Indus Valley and some went back into Africa. Their arrival in Europe around 35,000 years ago coincided with the end of the Neandertals.

• mtDNA Haplogroup T (also known as Tara) is common in eastern and northern Europe and found as far east as the Indus Valley and the Arabian Peninsula. It is considered one of the main genetic signatures of the Neolithic expansion.

• mtDNA Haplogroup U (also known as Ursula) has a wide distribution. Most in mtDNA haplogroup U come from a group that moved northwest out of the Near East. Today they are found in Europe and the eastern Mediterranean at frequencies of almost 7% of the population.

• mtDNA Haplogroup V (also known as Velda) tends to be restricted to western, central, and northern Europe. It is found in 12% of Basques and is thought to have been established within the European refuge during the last Ice Age.

• Haplogroup X is spread from North and East Africa, across Europe to Eurasia and also is represented in the Americas, in such tribes as the Ojibwa, Sioux, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, and Navaho.