10. Irvine Clan Autosomal DNA Project

May 2016 Report.

The autosomal project has grown by 25 percent over the past six months to 126 participants.  Many participants have had their yDNA tested to 111 markers, and many have done SNP testing, both of which bode well for the reliability of the study.  The Borders subgroup continues to be the largest, with 19 members out of a total of 77 who have tested their yDNA, or 25 percent.

Of the 126 total participants, 85 have taken Family Finder tests, and 77 of those have autosomal (atDNA) matches within the group.  In the attached table all atDNA matches are shown by kit number and rounded-off centiMorgans (cM).  Please keep in mind that these matches do not necessarily correspond to a common Irvine ancestor:  they may indicate a non-Irvine common ancestor.

We welcome inquiries as to specific atDNA matches and will assist in determining who the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) may have been.

[Signed] Peter B Irvine

November 2015 Report.
The project continues to grow.  We now have 101 participants, of whom 61 have Family Finder Matches (the equivalent figures 6 months ago were 60 and 41).   The 101 includes about 30 who are not members of the Clan Irwin Surname Project, but does not include about 40 participants in the latter project who have not yet joined the autosomal project. 
I have prepared a spreadsheet of the 61 participants in the autosomal project who have Family Finder matches, in which the cells show the relevant matching segments in centimorgans (cM).   To sight this table click here.  
[Signed] Peter B Irvine

May 2015 Report.
The new Irvine Clan Autosomal DNA Project, which started in October 2014 as an offshoot of the Irwin Clan Surname DNA Study, now has 60 participants, over 70% of whom have identified cousins within the Project.

Of the 56 participants who have received results, cousin matches within the project have been identified thus:

 No cousin matches 15     27%
 One cousin match 18 32%
 Two cousin matches 6 11%
 Three cousin matches 4 7%
 Four cousin matches 5 9%
 Five cousin matches 8 14%

The names of cousin matches are posted in the “Activity Feed” of the group, which is restricted to registered participants of the project.  Because of FTDNA privacy policies, Family Finder (autosomal DNA or atDNA) test results are not publicly displayed, but yDNA results are.  When used together with documentary evidence, these two types of DNA are powerful tools for reaching further back in a family tree to “capture” additional ancestors.  

The earliest confirmed paternal ancestor of these participants lived in a spread of countries similar to the Surname Study.   We recently gained three new members from Australia and New Zealand.  One of these suspects he is a descendant of Drum by a female line, and after paying for a “Drum” participant in the surname study to take a Family Finder test, he may be able to confirm the family tradition.  This is a classic example of the potential of autosomal DNA testing.

Perhaps the most promising aspect of autosomal DNA (atDNA) is that it typically reaches back a maximum of five or six generations, which means that whoever the common ancestor or ancestors may be, it is quite possible that documentary evidence can be found to confirm or disprove the relationship.  We must emphasize above all that atDNA by itself does not tell us very much, typically identifying a fourth cousin we did not previously know.  It is then the cousins’ job to investigate who their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) might be.  They do so by comparing family trees, which all are encouraged to upload to FTDNA, using a GEDCOM file generated by any genealogy software program.  This is the fun part and can take years, but the results can be quite enlightening.

Because much of the atDNA information is confidential, members are encouraged to contact the Project Administrator (peterbirvine@gmail.com) for help in confirming relationships (or not).  Members are also encouraged to post information about their specific family histories to the “Activity Feed,” found at https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/irvine-clan/activity-feed — the more information we share, the more we all benefit from the study.

My report would be incomplete without thanks to James M. Irvine, Administrator of the Irwin Surname Study and Co-Administrator of the Irvine Autosomal Project.  Without his guidance and unstinting spade work we would know a great deal less about the Irvine/Irving/Irwin Clan (however spelt) than we do now, and I am honored to help continue the excellent work he began a decade ago.

Peter Bennington Irvine
Irvine Clan Autosomal DNA Project
May 5, 2015
Rick Byers,
May 17, 2016, 7:56 PM