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Discussion of McClure Y-DNA Results

Last Update: 31 January 2010: Updated information on the McClure 1 lineage men with no distinct branches or very few mutations.

The ultimate purpose of this page is to discuss our DNA results. Looking at the results page and the Patriarch page is recommended as you read the below discussion. As more male McClures get tested and more pedigree's are submitted, the below discussion will be fine tuned. Members will use results to focus traditional genealogy. Please feel free to contact the administrators or the participants to comment on this discussion or to add input to the discussion.

Y-DNA is passed on from father to son virtually unchanged since the emergence of surnames. Surnames started to develop around 1000-1100 AD. When a male McClure looks at his Y-DNA, he is looking at the DNA from his father and his father's father and his father's father……..father, etc. During the centuries, minor mutations occur, and these mutations are also passed on. It is those mutations that help us identify the groups of McClures in this Project.

All the Y-DNA results are posted on the Y-Results page for the project. The results page is broken down by McClure Lineages, which are numbered starting with "McClure Lineage 1", which happens to be the largest of the four known lineages. Since our goal in the DNA project is genealogical in nature, one must consider the "Lineage" as a family tree. Every man listed in a lineage, belongs on that family tree per their DNA. In other words, every man listed in a lineage shares a common ancestor with the other McClures in that lineage!

The values of the DNA markers for a lineage are displayed close to the top row of each lineage on the Results chart. This is called the Modal values for a lineage. Basically these values represent the DNA of the common McClure Ancestor for that lineage. Any deviation of a members DNA when compared to these values is called a mutation. We have color coded that modal row of DNA values for each of the identified lineages. As an example, McClure 1 lineage values are a pale yellow. Every marker for a member of that lineage that matches the modal value is color coded pale yellow to visually tell you it is a match to the Modal Value. A member in a lineage is said to have a mutation when any marker does not match the modal value for any particular marker. That mutation will be color coded with a color other than the pale yellow so as to make it stand out on the chart. Any members within a lineage that have the same mutation value at the same marker will be color coded with the same color so as to show you the two men have a matching mutation at that marker.

A mutation is a naturally occurring minor change to DNA. My intent here is not to go into the science of these mutations, but rather provide a simpler description so a lay person will better understand what the DNA is telling us. If you wish to understand a deeper understanding of the science of mutations or DNA, you can find much written on the subject on the FTDNA websites, the websites, and the many other places on the internet. Each marker has the ability to mutate, but at different rates. Genetic scientists have studied many of the markers (this study is continuing to this day). They have managed to divide many of the markers into two basic groups. If you go to the Y-Results page of the McClure Project, look at the chart of results, you will see markers identified with DYS numbers across the top (ie DYS# 447 in black or DYS# 449 in red).  The black markers are considered more stable and slower to mutate.  Those with red DYS numbers are less stable and prone to mutate faster.

McClure 1 Lineage

There are presently four distinct branches that make up this lineage and two other groups of men within this lineage that have no clear distinct branch but clearly belong to this lineage. They are a group of men with very few to no mutations from the modal and the other group has mutations but not enough men to match with them to form the branch. It will take many more McClure men to step forward and be tested before some of these men can be placed onto new branches of this lineage. Every man in a lineage ultimately descends from one McClure man. Just look at the sea of pale yellow. All that pale yellow represents common DNA between all the men in the McClure 1 Lineage. The few speckles of color besides pale yellow represent mutations.

The McClure 1 Lineage is large enough that we are able to see clear, distinct groups of closely related men emerge. This allowed us to develop the four branches to the McClure 1 Lineage tree. You may ask, what enabled us to see these connections in the DNA? In a word, MUTATIONS! It was the presence of the same mutation, at the same marker number, among a group of men in the same lineage.

The Branches listed below in the McClure 1 lineage starting with an * are tentative branches. They need additional DNA matches to call the mutations defining enough to be distinct. It is hoped that more McClure men will step forward from these lines and get tested.

THE 24 BRANCH: One of the most distinctive branches to develop in this lineage is what we call the DYS 447 = "24 Branch". For short we will call it the "24 Branch" Presently we have 10 men that make up this branch of the McClure 1 Lineage. They are M-10, M-11, M-14, M-16, M-39, M-41, M-43, M-49, M-50 & M-65. All of these men have an identical "24" mutation at marker 447. Seven of these men are in the USA, and 3 of them are in Northern Ireland. The oldest paper trail pedigree of these ten men belongs to M-41. His Patriarch is David McClure born 1675/76 of Budore, parish of Tullyrusk/Glenavy, County Antrim, Ireland and married Jane Bell (second wife). We know from that pedigree that the "24" mutation is at least that old and, maybe older. Somewhere there is a common ancestor to these ten men that passed on that "24" mutation to this family of McClures, perhaps he was in Ireland, or even earlier in Scotland? The seven McClure men in the USA have not identified an immigrant ancestor… yet. Before DNA, M-49 and M-50 had had a "Fuzzy" paper trail. It is not so fuzzy right now. Before DNA, M-10 never knew he had even a fuzzy connection to this group. M-39, M-41 and M-43, all of Ireland, were total strangers before DNA. M-11 and M-16 also had a fuzzy pedigree connecting them. Once again, the pedigree is not so fuzzy any more. M-14 was a solo pedigree on our Patriarch page until M-50 came into the picture. Not only did M-50's DNA match with M-14, there was a solid paper trail to back it up!

Closer examination of this branch is seeing the emergence of smaller sub-branches or twigs. Look at the "41" mutation at marker CDYb. This is telling me that M-10, M-49, M-50, & M-65 are all very closely genetically tied together on a twig sub-branch of the larger "24 Branch". That "41" mutation did not develop independently in those three men, it was passed on to them from a relatively recent common ancestor. I also know that since M-14 and M-50 have a solid paper trail connecting them, the "42" mutation at CDYb for M-14 is even a newer mutation of the "41" mutation seen in the other three men.

The seven families of men that are in the USA for this group seem to have a strong showing in the South, Particularly in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas, and with some Texas thrown in. 

The William McClure (m. Margaret) c1690-1747 Pa. Branch (AKA Mifflin McClures): This branch of the McClure 1 Lineage is defined by the "30" mutation at marker 449. Members of this branch are M-8, M-52, M-55 & M-59 and all four of them have this "30" mutation at marker 449. This is backed up by a solid paper trail pedigree for all four men. The "39" mutation at CDYa also shows a new sub-branch of this branch which is seen in M-8 and M-52's results. This makes sense because M-8 & M-52 have a common ancestor in their direct line back to the Patriarch that the other two do not have. So this "39" sub-branch mutation developed relatively recently and only in the direct line back to the Patriarch for these two men.

The Halbert McClure of Virginia Branch: This branch of the McClure 1 Lineage was a tough nut to crack initially. We were not seeing any distinct beacon of mutations that this branch could call their own. That is until we started to see the men upgrade their DNA from 37 markers to 67 markers. Four of the five men on this branch have 67 markers and one has 37 markers. The defining mutations for this branch are the "11" mutations at marker 511 and the "16" mutations at marker 534. Members of this branch are M-3, M-9, M-22, M-29, & M-33. Before the 67 marker upgrades, we did see all the "19" mutations at marker 576, and we see many in this lineage with that "19" mutation. It was confusing us and we were not sure why we did not see a more definitive beacon for this branch. Those "19" mutations are now very powerful when combined with the "11" and "16" mutations. Another mutation that can help define sub-branches is the "39" mutation at CDYb. One can not discount the "9" mutations at 459b. In fact, M-3 never had a hint as to his ties to the Halbert McClure family. His pedigree never went further back than to Ohio. Not only does the DNA squarely tie him back to Halbert McClure, but it places him on a sub branch with M-33 with that "9" mutation. This group of McClures is beginning to display an entire bush of sub branches.

The New England John McClure b.1665 Branch:  This branch of McClures is also solidly defined by two mutations that are in the 67 panel of markers. They are the "13" mutation at marker 425 and the "12" mutation at marker 640. There are three men on this branch, M-2, M-17, & M-42. I can also see a sub branch forming which is defined by the "37" mutation at CDYa. M-42 was a Vermont McClure family, but had no solid leads as to which New England McClures were his? 37 markers did not define his branch. But, the upgrade to 67 markers did the trick. He fell right into a gold mine of data when he matched the DNA of this John McClure.

From old New England histories and a diary and early Boston church records, we have identified some of John's sons. Initially two known sons of this John McClure were known to exist. They were:

1. David McClure born 1687 in Northern Ireland and married Agnes ____. He was the patriarch of the Worcester, Massachusetts group of McClures and it was his descendants that were some of the earliest settlers in Vermont about the middle 1700's. His descendants also settled into the Cattaraugus County area of NY. And it was some of his descendants that pioneered the push west into Ohio. M-2 descends from this line.

2. Samuel McClure born about 1690 in Northern Ireland, and married a Jean ____. Samuel was an Elder in the first Ulster Scots Church set up by Rev. John Moorhead in Boston in 1729. We are still looking for a male McClure to step forward from this line and get a Y-DNA test.

Two other sons of John have since been identified. They are:

1. Richard McClure, born before 1700 and possibly married a Margaret_____. He arrived about 1727 from Ireland into Boston. He too was an Elder in the same church as his brother Samuel. He left a large family of descendants in the Boston area and his DNA is seen in member M-17.

2. Recently discovered is a son John McClure, born about 1700 and was also in Boston and has baptized some children in Rev. Moorhead's church and it was one of those children that our member M-42 descends.

It is suspected that this John may have yet another son named Charles, who also baptized children in Rev. Moorhead's church, but the children and Charles are not seen in the New England area after the Baptism. We would love to find a descendant of this Charles.

We are suggesting that M-17 obtain a DNA upgrade from 37 markers to 67 markers. We fully expect to see the same two mutations that we see for M-2 and M-42 in the 67 panel of mutations for markers 425 & 640. If that turns out to be the case we will have a definitive and distinct set of mutations that will define any descendants of this John. And it will be further proof that Richard was the son of John.

The NC Andrew McClure Branch:  Andrew McClure born circa 1740 is the Patriarch of this branch; he married Mary Wilson in Rowan, North Carolina. Three members make up this branch of McClures, M-1, M-7 and M-67 (pending results). This branch of McClures have very few mutations over the course of 67 markers, but there is a distinct and defining mutation for this line and both of them have this mutation. It is the "16" mutation at Marker 464d. Now M-7 has two other mutations that M-1 does not have. They are a "39" mutation at CDYa and a "10" mutation at marker 572. Each member has excellent separation of their respective lines back to the Patriarch, each one descending from different sons of Patriarch Andrew. So, it is a foregone conclusion that the mutations that M-7 has that M-1 does not, developed only in that portion of the line unique to M-7. Those mutations will define that sub-branch of this Branch.  Since both have this "16" mutation at 464d, it had to be passed on to all of Andrew's sons and thus will be a beacon marker for the main Branch. Some of the descendants of this branch move into Georgia and Tennessee.

*The Pa Richard McClure Branch (AKA Paxtang McClures): This branch has not been formally defined by DNA as of yet, but the pedigree paper trail is solid enough to tentatively make this a new branch of this lineage. Presently there are two members that form this branch, M-23 & M-44. The Patriarch is Richard McClure, born about 1724 in Pennsylvania and is thought to be the son of Richard McClure born in Northern Ireland.  Both members stem from the Patriarch through different sons. There is over two centuries of separation between M-23 & M-44 and one would think the DNA would be showing many differences, but not so. There are a few mutations unique to their individual sub-branches, but other than that there are few differences. They do share a common "36" mutation at marker CDYa. I would like to see at least another McClure descendant of Richard test to at least 37 markers before calling that "36" mutation the defining feature of this branch.

One thing is certain; this branch of McClures is not part of the above branch of McClures. It is of the same Lineage, but a different branch of that tree.

 *The Alexander McClure Branch of SC & ILL: Another tentative branch of the McClure 1 Lineage. M-15 and M-20 are members of this branch and call Alexander McClure Patriarch. He was born circa 1797 in possibly South Carolina, died 1845 in Illinois and was married to Eliza Gillespie. I have seen the Gillespie name associated with the Virginia Halbert McClure branch, but we are not seeing that DNA here. M-15 & M-20 are father and son, so it is not surprising the DNA is identical. This line of McClures needs another McClure with more separation to test to the full 67 markers. There is a very distinct mutation seen in the 67 panel of markers, a "22" at marker 413. This mutation is not seen in any McClure 1 lineage man that tested to 67 markers to date. It has the potential to be a very defining mutation. The question that causes the hesitation to call it the defining mutation is that it is always a possibility this mutation is unique to only M-15 and M-20's direct line back to the Patriarch.

If another male McClure tests and comes up with this "22" mutation and has the "39" mutation at CDYa, it will be a grand slam and the branch will have distinct mutations that will define it to any future McClure testees.

Lineage 1, But no Distinct Branch Determined: There are no doubts the men in this group all fall into the McClure 1 Lineage, but there is a lack of definitive matching mutations to group the men into branches. Another reason could be that the defining mutations fall into the 67 panel of markers and not everyone in the McClure Lineage 1 has that upgrade. There are some hints of possible connections to others.

M-19, M-31 & M-38 all have a very intriguing "10" mutation at DYS# 391, an otherwise very stable marker. M-38 only has a 12 marker test and no further real analysis can be conducted without at least a 37 marker upgrade. M-31 & 38 have the 37 markers but do not match any additional mutations beyond the "10" mutation at DYS# 391.

M-27 and M-62 have a solid paper trail to a common Patriarch, that of David McClure of Candia, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, b c1700 and married to Martha Glenn but fail to match with the DNA. M-62's DNA is in keeping with that of the McClure 1 Lineage and M-27's is not in keeping with the McClure 1 Lineage. It is obvious there is some type of paternal disconnect somewhere in the direct line of M-27. Both Patriarchs name, DOB, & DOD cells are color coded red on the Y-Results page to indicate a common paper trail. M-62 has a "17" mutation at DYS# 448. This marker is normally very stable marker and if not just a random recent mutation, it could end up being one of the defining mutations for this branch of McClures. Another descendant of this line needs to step forward and get tested to see if matching defining mutations exist.

M-30 has some very distinctive mutations in otherwise very stable markers, namely a "30" at 389-2, a "10" at GATA H4 and a "15" at 607. The only other mutation for this man is a "39" at CDYa. This is a fairly fast mutating marker in the McClure 1 Lineage and will not be as important in determining a connection to this man as the other three mutations. To date, no other man tested matches with him, so we don't know if these mutations are definitive or recent random mutations. I suspect they will be definitive given the fact they are known to be very slow mutating markers. The only way to know for certain is for another from this line to come forward and test. M-30 descends from a well known group of early McClure's that end up settling in the Vincennes section of Indiana. The project would love to have additional McClure men from this line test so as to determine the DNA pattern for this line.

M-25 is stuck at a stone wall. He has a fairly rare "13" mutation at DYS 439. The only other men with this mutation in the McClure 1 lineage are M-6 and M-8. M-8's "13" mutation is discounted as a random match due to the fact that he has the signature "30" mutation at DYS 449 of the William McClure born late 1600's, and married Margaret ______. This is a long established Pa branch of McClure's. Although M-25 has a Pennsylvania connection, he does not have this signature "30" mutation. M-6 and M-25 not only share the "13" mutation at 439, they share the "19" mutation at DYS 576. There is a high probability they share a common ancestor, but M-6 has a solid paper trail back to about 1690, and there is not even a hint of a connection to M-25, so it is assumed if a connection exists, it most likely takes place prior to 1690. There are many pedigree's found on the internet that connect M-25 to the line of Halbert McClure of Virginia, but M-25 fails to have the signature mutations of the Halbert line , namely the "11" mutation at DYS 511 and the "16" mutation at DYS 534.

The remainder of the McClure's that have no defined branch on the McClure 1 Lineage are in a group of men that have two or less mutations. In fact the total mutations between them are seven …… Total! One man, M-48 has ZERO mutations over 67 markers! We have three men, M-18, M-21, & M-47 with two mutations over the course of 67 markers. And, we have one man, M-32 with one mutation over 37 markers. Of these five men, none have a paper trail to connect them, and none of the seven total mutations between them match among themselves.  I have long speculated that M-47 has a good chance that he belongs to the William McClure Pennsylvania branch due to the fact that he has the signature "30" mutation at DYS 449. If even a "fuzzy" paper trail connecting them could be established, I would say the DNA evidence would support that. As more men join and grow the McClure DNA database, I am sure these mysteries will find happy endings.



McClure Lineage 2

This Lineage was declared on 9 May 2009. Although they are of the same Haplo, R1b1b2, the DNA was unique enough to declare a new McClure Lineage as soon as we had a second member test and return a very close match of DNA At present we only have one branch of this Lineage defined. Hopefully more McClures, either in Ireland, the States or other places of Uster Scot migration will step up and be tested and eventually we will find a match to this DNA modal. Right now we have one Branch identified with a Patriarch named Patrick McClure, born 1805 in Northern Ireland (Possibly in County Antrim). He married Elizabeth Asdale. The DNA of this Patrick is identified by three members, M-24, M-46, & M-58. There are some mutations between the three, but none of them match, which means the mutations are unique to each man's line and did not come from the Patriarch, Patrick.

This Lineage seems to be solidly situated in Pennsylvania, but, is in no way related to any of the other Pa. McClures presently in the project.

McClure Lineage 3

This Lineage was declared on 22 June 2009. Once again, we only have one branch of this lineage, but we have three men who match this DNA modal, M-51, M-53, & M-60. All three call Richard Renshaw McClure Patriarch of their family. Richard was born 1760 in Maryland. He was married to Mary F. Crawford. One member of this group, M-51 only has a 12 marker test and has three mutations that the others do not have. Those three mutations would have to be unique to M-51's line as the other two do not have them so we know they were not passed down from the patriarch Richard, or the other two would have those same mutations. M-53 has a 37 marker test and M-60 has the full 67 marker test. Both M-53 and M-60 have identical DNA over 37 markers.

This line appears to be a large family of descendants, and I hope to see more men from this line emerge. The line appears early in Pennsylvania, then on to Maryland, and down into Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. M-51's pedigree shows at least three generations of Native American woman married to McClure men.

McClure Lineage 4

This Lineage was declared on 28 Aug 2009. This lineage also has only one branch. In fact this lineage only has two members, which is the minimum number a lineage can have if a close match of DNA exists between them. The members are M-28 and M-57. The Patriarch for those two men is John McClure born 1841 in White County, Tennessee. He was married three times, 1st to Ella Jones, 2nd to Sally Curtis, and 3rd to Francis Mayfield. M-28 has 25 markers tested and M-57 has 37 markers. Both match exactly right now.

This Lineage is located around Tennessee and Kentucky, but could have earlier roots elsewhere. This lineage obviously needs more men to fill it out, and hopefully a match will be seen as the McClure project grows.


In my next installment of this discussion, Future discussions will involve the rest of McClure members that remain unasigned to a lineage. I also intend to build a list of "Most Wanted McClures".


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