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Discussion of McClure Y-DNA Results (Work is in progress)


163 Men/kits in the McClure project (Last updated 21 Jan 2016)

A few things you must know about Y-DNA;

  1. It is only found in males.
  2. It is passed on father to son virtually unchanged through millenniums
  3. We use like mutations in Y-DNA markers to associate to a lineage or even a branch
  4. Any Y-DNA marker can mutate, but some Y-DNA is very stable and hardly ever mutates, others can mutate but very slowly, and others may or can mutate rather quickly.
  5. Once a marker mutates in a man, that mutation is also passed on father to son



The McClure DNA project has been able to declare 9 separate McClure Lineages as defined by Y-DNA. At a minimum, it takes at least two testers to match with no more than a genetic distance of 6 on a minimum Y-DNA test of a 37 markers to declare a new lineage. Testers in any one lineage share a common ancestor with each other but do not share a common ancestor with testers in any other lineage going back to the advent of surnames. In the McClure Project that would be about 1000-1100AD.

Of the 9 McClure Lineages, McClure Lineage number 1 is by far the largest McClure Lineage having 99 men with Y-DNA test results. The total number of men in the other 8 McClure lineages have 25 men……. combined!

All 99 men in McClure Lineage 1 share a single common ancestor back to the advent of surnames. I call that common ancestor McClure Adam1 who most likely lived sometime in the year 1000-1100AD.

That leaves 39 men/test kits that fall into a category that contains men that have tested and have results but they do not match a single man in the project….yet! Or, men that are awaiting test results, or men that never sent back their test sample or they are test kits being held by members for future tests on McClure’s.


The Y-Results chart


Each lineage has a cell shading color designated to show the common Y- DNA within a lineage. For example, in McClure Lineage 1, all the common Y-DNA between each tester is pale yellow. Any color other than pale yellow indicates a mutation. Each McClure Lineage has a different color used for common Y-DNA.

Since McClure Lineage 1 is so large, we have enough testers that have like mutations and like pedigrees, we can tease out branches within a lineage. To date, we have identified 14 branches to the McClure 1 Lineage. Most branches are defined by common “signature” mutations.

The chart is presently displaying 111 Y-DNA markers (DYS). More may be added in the future as genetic scientists determine if there is a need for or if they discover a usefulness of other markers for genetic genealogy. All Y-DNA markers can mutate, but at different rates. Some can mutate much slower than others. When you see a DYS designation in RED, that tells you that marker tends to mutate faster than the DYS designators in BLACK. Black markers mutate very slowly if at all, and the red ones tend to mutate faster but that does not mean they will.

Besides a color shading in each Y-DNA cell, you will find a number. To keep things as simple as I can, we will call this number a marker “value”. If the number in a cell is shaded with the common YDNA color of the lineage, you will know that this value is the modal value for that marker and, the Modal value in that cell is the value the common ancestor had at the advent of the surname for that lineage.

Read your Y-DNA in ROWS. A row will contain your kit#, your “M” number (supplied by the Admin when you joined), your Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) and his wife (if known), and if known, his DOB and POB, DOD and POD, It will also show his Haplogroup supplied by FTDNA. Then the long string of cells containing the values of each marker you paid to have tested.

In the DNA Marker section. In each COLUMN you will see each Y-DNA marker (1-111) that FTDNA tests, by DYS nomenclature designation. For any particular marker, look down the column to your row and you will see your value for that marker. If your value is not the same as the modal value for that marker your cell will have a different color indicating a mutation. As you look up and down a column within your lineage and you see the same mutation value, it should also have the same cell color as your mutation for that marker. Like mutations in the same column (within a lineage) will always have the same cell color.

McClure Lineages

A lineage is the tree trunk of a family tree. What you need to do is look at that trunk as the McClure “Adam” so to speak for that Lineage. In almost all cases, the “Adam McClure” for any lineage will not be known because he probably lived in the year 1000-1100AD or the advent of surnames. He represents the Y-DNA for that lineage. His DNA IS something we know! How do we know that you might ask? No, we did not dig up ancient McClure’s so we could test their Y-DNA! But we do know the Modal values of our Adam McClure’s Y-DNA because each and every McClure carries that same Y-DNA in our own Y-DNA makeup. Remember, Y-DNA is passed down father to son virtually unchanged since the advent of surnames. So, when you look at your Y-DNA test results, you are looking back at the Y-DNA of “Adam McClure” that lived about the year 100-1100AD and he is the one man every McClure in his lineage descends from….he is the earliest common ancestor for your lineage! There are exceptions, and we call them Mutations. Y-DNA markers can and will mutate over time. Some faster than others. Some will not mutate even within 2000 years or more some could mutate in as little time as a generation or even a century. You see, some very bright genetic scientist have handpicked 111 Y-DNA markers (at present) to use for genetic genealogy. Since the mutation is passed on father to son we can develop family groupings of testers that have that same mutation. So, it is the mutations that define what branch you sit on a tree. And when we see the known to mutate faster markers change within a branch, we start to develop sub-branches and even twigs within the major branch of a Lineage. The more people we test from a lineage, the more branches, sub-branches and twigs we can identify. So when a person choses to buy a YDNA test, but has no pedigree past his father, we can, in most cases tell that person where he falls within the McClure DNA project because of the mutations that show up in his results.


McClure Lineage 1 The largest of the nine lineages, with about 100 tested members in 13 distinctive branches within the lineage. The common Y-DNA of lineage 1 is shaded in Pale Yellow. Every cell, within this Lineage that is shaded in pale yellow is that of the common ancestor, “Adam McClure”, to which they all descend! The few smatterings of other colors are mutations to the Y-DNA. The color’s themselves mean nothing other than to stand out as a mutation, the value in the off colored cell is the mutated value. The same color mutation in the same column, for a Lineage, is an identical mutation. Somewhere along the line, a descendant of the lineage 1 Adam McClure, a mutation developed, that mutation now shows up in EVERY descendant from that point on to the present. As you look at the 100 men in the McClure 1 Lineage, you will see long strings of the same mutation. Those mutations are by descent! Not by random match.

  1. Lineage 1.0 No Distinct Branch Determined by Mutation(s). The men in this branch are clearly in Lineage 1, but further research is either underway or waiting for further tests to determine if they belong to a new Branch within Lineage 1. You will note that there are several members with some common DNA Mutations. These do indicate they are by descent and may soon be new branches. Basically these folks are in a holding phase. They are all good candidates for upgrades to the full 111 markers if they don’t have that many already. They should contact the Administrator if they have questions about upgrade testing.
  2. Lineage 1.1 William McClure (m. Margaret ___) Cumberland Valley Pa Branch of McClure’s. This branch in the McClure 1 lineage is defined by either rock solid pedigrees and/or the “30” mutation at marker DYS 449. Of note, only one of the five members of this Branch has the full 111 markers, two have 67 markers and two only have 37 markers. Because there is only one person with mutations in the 68-111 markers, we do not know if they are unique or are they common to this Branch of McClure’s. This branch of McClure’s are excellent candidates for the full 111 marker upgrade because those markers are all slow to mutate and each branch should have some mutations very unique to them only. Presently this branch only has mutations in markers known to or may mutate fairly quickly, but just because they may mutate fairly quickly, we have seen some that could be dated as old as several hundred years and remained stable for the most part.
  3. Lineage 1.2 David McClure b1775 Ballynashannagh, Clondevaddog, Donegal, Ire Branch This branch of McClure’s only has two people in it, both are men residing in Ireland. This branch is a good case study in dating a mutation and noting that the mutation is from marker that is not known to mutate very often. If you look at Marker DYS 391 you will note the marker designation is in black ink. Genetic scientists have determined this marker is not one to mutate quickly or often. Yet we have two cousins with the same patriarch, M-72 and M-124, but M-72 has the mutation value, “12” while the other, M-124 has a modal value “11”. If you go to the Patriarch page and look for their pedigree, you will note that the MOST RECENT COMMON AMCESTOR is John McClure b. 1807. He had two sons, M-72 descended from son Mathew b.1845 and M-124 descends from son Thomas b. 1850. We know that if Since M-72 is the only one with the “12” mutation, it had to develop in son Mathew b 1850 or later. So, we can say that mutation of “12” at DYS 391 is no older than 1850 and had to develop in Mathew or any other descendant up and including the tester, M-72.
  4. Lineage 1.3 Will evaluate this one and others at another date.








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