1. Study Participants
2. Genetic Families and Clan Irwin Haplotree
3. Comments on individual gentic families, including Border Irwin L555 haplotree
LATEST UPDATE OF ANALYSIS OF TEST RESULTS (No. 21, November 2016)
The following analysis is of the Latest Main Results Table as of end October 2016. This analysis will be next updated in May 2017.
1. STUDY PARTICIPANTS
Our Study includes participants from the Erwin, Genographic and Irish Heritage projects, and participants with other surnames who appear to be close genetic matches. It also includes a few participants with yDNA test results obtained from companies other than FTDNA.
As of end Octoberl 2016 we have 424 participants with yDNA test results. This total is less than that advertised by FTDNA as the latter figure includes kits that have not been returned, kits undergoing initial analysis, and participants who have taken atDNA or mtDNA tests but no yDNA test!
Details of participants’ year of joining and country of residence are:
To place these figures in context, our participants represent about 0.14% of all Irwins alive today (or about 0.3% of all Irwin men); and while 87% of our participants reside in the New world, only 82% of the total population of Irwins etc. live there (see section 2 and Appendices A and B of the accompanying Supplementary Paper No.1 ("Towards Improvement ...."), and Supplementary Paper No.2 ("Surname Statistics").
Participants have volunteered the name, date of birth and place of origin of their earliest confirmed paternal ancestor:
The “Other” spellings are participants with surnames unlike Irwin but whose DNA indicates their ancestors were genetically related to an Irwin genetic family (see below).
Some participants have given more specific details about their earliest confirmed paternal ancestor, or where their ancestors first settled after migrating, from which the following is derived:
These distributions can be interpreted as representative of a general trend of migration from the Scottish Borders to Ulster in the 17th century and migration from Ulster to Eastern America in the 18th century.
No. of STR markers tested:
i.e. 94% of participants have tested to 37 markers or more.
Analysis to 37 markers has proved the most popular and cost effective. Lower resolution tests, i.e. with less than 37 markers, have been found to be inadequate for most participants. The 67-marker tests have yielded little additional benefits, although the initial indications of the 111-marker tests suggest these may become more interesting.
Upgrading to 37 markers is recommended for all participants with less than 37 markers. Upgrading to 67 or 111 markers is not recommended without prior consultation with the Study Administrator. For members of our Borders genetic family (see below) who have not taken a BigY test, the new L555 SNP Pack test would be a much better investment.
27 (6%) have BigY test results, with 2 tests being processed. 51 have SNP panel test results, with 3 tests being processed.
2. GENETIC FAMILIES USING THE IRWIN SURNAME (or similar)
At end October 2016, of 424 parcipants, 92% were haplogroup R1b, 5% were haplogroup I, 2% were haplogroup J, 0.5% were haplogroup G, 0.5% were haplogroup R1a, and 0.2% were haplogroup E. However of more significance it has been possible to identify 36 genetic families using our surname that are apparently unrelated to each other during the surname era (i.e. roughly the last millennium):
*: SNPs are introduced in "Interpreting yDNA Test Results", section 3.
Although these genetic families are unrelated during the surname era, all men are descended from a "genetic Adam", and the enormous haplotree of all his descendants, still being developed, can be simplified to show only how these Clan Irwin genetic families are related to one another thus:
The "codes" shown in this figure represent the gentic families indicated in the table immediately above. The dates and the surname/pre-surname threshold on the right only relate to the L555 ancestral line and are only indicative (experts disagree on many of them). The purpose of this figure is not an exercise in "deep ancestry", but simply to show that these genetic families are not related to one another within the surname era.
3. COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL GENETIC FAMILIES
3.1 Borders genetic family. This is one of the largest such families in all the DNA surname studies. It includes about two thirds of all our participants, and nearly three-quarters of those participants who can be assigned to a genetic family. Participants in this family evidently share a single paternal ancestor who lived in the Scottish Borders, probably Dumfriesshire, in the 14th century. Many of these participants who live in USA were previously unsure of their distant paternal ancestry and are gratified this has now been established. Most of these participants are probably “Scots-Irish”, i.e. had an ancestor who migrated from the Borders to Ulster, typically in the 17th century, and a later ancestor who migrated from Ireland to USA, typically the eatern seaboard states from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas, and typically in the 18th century. Both these migrations were typically for religious or economic reasons.
Several participants using surnames unlike Irwin are included in this genetic family as they evidently share this common ancestry and so are NPE's. Armstrong, Elliot, Johnston and Kincaid are common Borders surnames, while Byers was a common name in Annan. Errand is probably not a name change but a different surname. The Cahill, Hamblen and Hutchinson participants know their relevant recent ancestry included such events. However all such NPE's should take a L555 test (single or Pack Test) to confirm they are NPE's rather than False Positives - see sections 2.6 and 2.7 of Interpreting yDNA Test Results.
In early 2011 a tentative classification of most of the participants in the Borders genetic family into 14 sub-groups was attempted using cladograms and the TiP tool. The modal DNA signatures of these sub-group were denoted thus BA (modal), BB (Bonshaw), BD (Dumfries), BE (Eskdale), B9, B10, B15, B16, B17, B23, B29 and BX (for the "left overs"). For background to these sub-divisions see the accompanying Supplementary Paper No.3 ("Identifying Sub-groups ....").
This breaking down of our large Borders genetic family into sub-groups represented a significant development at the time and served well for five years even though it placed some known cousins in different sub-groups. With the arrival of BigY tests in 2015 we initially got one such test for each sub-group and this development did not it itself confirm or disprove the reliability of these sub-groupings. But with the advent of the cheaper SNP Pack tests in spring 2016 it became apparent that most of the sub-groupings were incompatible with the new SNP test results. As the sub-groupings are based on single STR results, and STRs mutate much more frequently than SNPs, the new SNP groupings must be considered to be the more reliable.
The test results for the Border Irwins in the Main results table are thus now split into two categories: B(1), for those Border Irwins who can now be placed on the L555 haplotree, and B(2), for those who have still to take the L555 SNP Pack test. Both categories still include the old sub-grouping codes.
Thanks to the investments of an increasing number of L555 participants in BigY tests and Pack tests, the L555 section of the Clan Irwin haplotree above can now be expanded downstream thus:
Parts of this haplotree can be further developed and integrated into a more conventional genealogy thus:
Please note that details in these haplotrees are evolving rapidly, and are liable to change. However already many interesting and important points emerge that relate to the Border Irwins:
All the other gentic families in the Study are much smaller than the Borders genetic family, the largest only containing only 9 participants:
3.2 Aberdeenshire participants are members of the senior line of Drum. One of the prime objectives of this Study has been to test the tradition recorded by Dr.Christopher Irvin in c.1680 that William de Irwyn, to whom Robert the Bruce gave the forest of Drum in 1323, was a son of Bonshaw. At face value these DNA results now imply the present senior male representatives of the Bonshaw and Drum lines do not share a common male ancestor. Expressed another way, these results mean that either:
(A) The 14th century ancestors of the Bonshaw and Drum lines did share a common ancestor, but there has subsequently been a Non-Paternal Event (see above) in one of the two lines, when the name passed through a female line; or
(B) Contrary to tradition, the 14th century ancestors of the Bonshaw and Drum lines did not share a common ancestor.
For further details on this issue see the accompanying Supplementary Paper No.4 ("Interpreting Drum ....") where it is shown that scenario (A) is most unlikely.
3.3 Nine participants claiming descent from ‘Orkney’ ancestors apparently represent two genetic families having different paternal ancestries and, contrary to tradition, both are clearly unrelated to either Bonshaw or Drum. A possible relationship between these two lines is shown in slide 36 of Supplementary Paper No. 9.
3.4 Two participants from 'Shetland (Fair Isle), apparently genealogically unrelated to one another, have DNA that shows them to be members of the same genetic family.
3.5 Four participants whose DNA signatures confirm they are distant cousins from a ‘Perthshire’ genetic family. It is still unclear whether this family is an NPE or adopted their name from a laird, perhaps the laird of Drum.
3.6 One participant whose ancestors came from 'Forfarshire'. As with the Perthshire name, the origins of this family are unclear.
3.7 NPEs. Although participants in the small 'NPE - Beattie, Bell, Carruthers, Dodd, Elliot (2), Fleming, Graham, Johnston, Kerr, Kincaid, Little, MacFarland, Napier, Nixon, Rutledge, Todd' genetic families today all use the surname Ervin/Irvin/Irvine/Irving/Irwin, their DNA tests show they share a common ancestor with many in the Borders clans of these surnames, implying a NPE in their ancestral lines, probably in the 13th-17th centuries. To quote the Borders Reivers website:
“The intermingling of peoples along the Anglo-Scottish border produced a tough, hybrid culture claiming many lines of descent. It is unlikely that all the members of any Border family were descended from the same ancestor. The pervasive social upheaval increased the chances that men sired by members of one clan might be born or raised under the surname of another. So did the matrimonial customs of Border families, which encouraged trial marriages and allowed wives to keep their maiden names. Moreover, the clans themselves were political entities as much as families, and many men adopted the surnames of other clans to obtain their protection and a franchise on their power. There is [also] particular uncertainty in the case of the Scotch-Irish, as much of their genealogy was lost or scrambled when they were forced to resettle in Ulster.”
3.8 Six other small genetic families have been identified (UD, UN, U3, U4, U5 UJ), but their origins are still Unknown; most are probably Scots or Scots-Irish; some may be recent NPEs.
3.9 The small 'Ireland - ?Leinster' genetic family share a common ancestor whose haplogroup 'I1a' is quite different to other participants. The origin of this group may be the gaelic family O'Hirewen from Leinster in Ireland, that was later anglicised to Irwin, but further evidence is needed to substantiate this possibility.
3.10 Three small ‘Ireland - Munster’ genetic families share a common ancestors who evidently lived Munster. One came from Co. Limerick and whose gaelic surname O’Ciarmhachain was anglicised to Irwin. It is clear these families never had Scottish connections. Members of these genetic families are recommended to also join the Munster Irish DNA Project (http://www.familytreedna.com/public/MunsterIrish/ )
3.11 The small ‘Germany/Netherlands’ genetic family share a common ancestor who evidently had the surname Arwine or Arnwine and migrated from Germany or the Netherlands (see www.jowest.net/Genealogy/John/Arnwine/Arnwine.htm). Subsequently, perhaps in the 18th century in New Jersey or SE Pennsylvania, it seems the name became confused with unrelated neighbours named Erwin. It seems likely none of these participants ever had Scottish connections.
3.12 An 'Africa' gentic family is represented by an African-american whose ancestors were slaves, and probably took their surname from their slave-master.
3.13 About 9% of the participants are classified as Singletons until a closely matching participant joins the study. Some of these Singletons may turn out to be recent NPEs.
NB Not included in these statistics are the many individuals, known as False Positives, participants whose surname does not sound like Irwin but who have a TiP Score with an Irwin of between 60% and 95% and who have tested, or are expected to be, L555-. Such “matches” can probably be attributed to "convergence" of random mutations, and are unlikely to have a genealogical relationship with any Irwin etc.