Welcome to the BUCHANAN Y-DNA Project

Background
Like many of you, I have traced my Buchanan line back to a region in Scotland, Perthshire in my case, only to find that it becomes lost among other Buchanan families in the earliest years of the old parish registers. This project attempts to take the researcher back another step, into the time before the parish registers and other old documents.

Aims
* To identify the deeper‘ origins of our respective lineages.
* To group together those lineages that are shown to be closely related.
* To ascertain whether or not regional groupings of lineages are apparent.
* To assist in clarifying relationship-uncertainties in the early records.
* To serve as a forum where participants can compare results and discuss problems.

The Y-DNA Test
To discover your family‘s Y-signature, you (or a male relative) must provide a sample for testing. The test kit includes a soft brush which you rub on the inside of the cheeks to gather loose cells. We are using the services of Family Tree DNA‘ based in Houston, Texas (www.ftdna.com) to process the sample.
Because the surname-related information is carried on the Y chromosome, and only males have a Y chromosome, only males can test. However, many female genealogists are very good at persuading their brothers, male cousins, uncles or father to be a Y-DNA donor for their family.
This genetic material is passed down from father to son, unchanged (or almost unchanged), for many generations, hence its usefulness in surname studies. It does not take part in the recombination of genetic material that occurs before the making of each new individual and therefore it does not reveal our personal genetic characteristics.

To order your test, or a test for a relative, go to: http://www.familytreedna.com/surname_join.asp?code=C89438&special=true The 25Plus test ($169 US) is recommended for surname studies. The 12-marker option does not provide sufficient resolution to distinguish close family lineages.

Results Initial results show that most of us belong to Haplogroup R1b, the genetic group to which almost all Celtic people belong. One participant is in Haplogroup I1a and his nearest matches strongly indicate that he is of Scandinavian descent. Our Y-signatures are mostly rather similar, but with some important distinctions. Some participants have been surprised at their close relationship to each other, showing a surname kinship that goes back many generations. A few of us, so far, have no very close matches. Our ancestors covered the spectrum from gentry to peasants but our results reflect a different order, one of migration and settlement, of variously related families scattered among the hills of Stirlingshire and Perthshire, under the clan system.

For an up-to-the-minute view of results, see the table at: www.familytreedna.com/public/Buchanan/

Contact
I look forward to hearing from Buchanans and related families, including variant spellings such as Buchannan, Buckanan, Bohanon etc. Many of the Buchanan septs have their own projects, but if yours is not listed at FTDNA you are welcome to join this project.

Sincerely, Alex Buchanan abuchana@utas.edu.au