Scottish Origenes

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Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:59 am

Scottish Origenes

Post by Alexander » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:56 pm

The R1b-L1335 Project has notified participants of a very interesting web-site run by Dr Tyrone Bowes called Scottish Origenes which can be found here He has published a Scottish Surnames and DNA Map (you have to go to Irish Origenes to see a picture of it, for some reason!) and you can also access his most informative video tutorial on the subject.


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Re: Scottish Origenes

Post by morrisondna » Tue May 19, 2015 12:23 pm

Thanks for sharing this. The technique used by Dr. Bowes is a systematic implementation of a method that many family researchers have used over the years to trace their families. While results are not definitive, they offer very good clues to ancestral homelands. These clues can be verified (or disproved) through further research.

Basically, the technique is to look for other family surnames that are consistent high resolution DNA matches to the family being researched, and then to look to church or census records to find where the group of surnames identified were clustered in past centuries. Often these families will be related before surnames were adopted or due to later non-paternal events. It is best to use the earliest records available in searching for these surnames because later migration to urban areas resulted in considerable mixing of surnames. For this same reason, Dr. Bowes recommends looking for records of farmers where possible, since they tended to stay on the ancestral lands longer.

Recently in DNA Group F, I have tried a couple of twists on this technique. In my case, I know where my Morrisons lived in Northern Ireland since the 1600's, but have had difficulty finding their exact home in Scotland. I decided to look at the surnames of other families who were settled as farmers on surrounding townlands in Northern Ireland. I then took this group of surnames and examined the Scottish Old Parish Registers at the ScotlandsPeople website to see if there was a pattern of counties and parishes where most of these neighboring surnames in Northern Ireland were found in Scotland. I was able to identify a short list of parishes where these families might have been recruited from when Northern Ireland was being settled. Using this information, I can focus on those parishes for my research in Scotland.

The other twist I used was to examine given names as clues. Several different branches of Group F Morrisons settled at various locations in Northern Ireland in the 1600's. I looked at the given names in the earliest known generation of each of these branches and chose those names that were more uncommon (such as Francis, Benjamin, Joseph, etc.). I then used the Old Parish Registers of Scotland to look for locations where each of these uncommon given names were in use by Morrison families. I can then focus on the parishes with the strongest representation of these unusual name for further research in Scotland.

As luck would have it, both of these techniques led me to one particular locale in Scotland. The next step for me is to try to verify these clues.

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Re: Scottish Origenes

Post by Scot1949 » Wed May 20, 2015 1:26 am


There is no such thing as luck! Your good fortune in this case results from intelligence and hard work. Well Done
Bob Morrison
Raleigh,NC, USA

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