Free DNA test

Note – this offer may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the sponsor.

Who can take the free test?

The Y-chromosome is passed from a father to his son, who would pass it to his son.  As the Y-chromosome is passed down the generations in this manner we can use it to research surnames and lineages back into the medieval period and earlier. 

At this point we need to highlight that testing might show that your male DNA is connected to men who carry a different surname to yourself.  This scenario is not unusual with West Highland Clans where fealty and allegiance to the local district chief along with adoption of their Clan name was commonly practiced.

However, each lineage has its own history and a Y-DNA result will inform further research rather than hinder it.

How is the sample taken?

Testing is undertaken by a mouth swab that collects loose cells from the inside of each cheek. It only takes a couple of minutes to do the scraping. The sample is then sent off to the laboratory in Houston, Texas. Once it arrives your DNA will be extracted and a small portion of it sequenced. This will then be compared to that of over 730,000 other test takers in the database.

What happens next?

The MacDougall DNA Research Project coordinator will evaluate your result looking for patterns and similarities to other MacDougalls (or derivitively named) participants. The evaluation will seek to tentatively draw conclusions regarding: genetic linkage to particular branches of the Clan; the geographical focus of the lineage; the approximate time to a shared common ancestor with matches; and if possible, how test takers who match each other are genealogically connected.

How can I take part?

The project is open to men who carry the MacDougall surname or a variant spelling of the name. The Y-chromosome is only passed from a father to his son, who in turn passes it to his son. As women do not have a Y-chromosome, any female who would like to join should ask a male relative bearing the surname to take the test. The inheritance pattern of the Y-chromosome therefore makes it ideal for tracking the ancestry of male lineages and identifying linkage between test takers.

If you would like to apply to join the MacDougall DNA Research Project, please go to:

Project participation

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