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Kevan is a rare surname believed to have originated in southwestern Scotland in the counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigtown where similar place names have been recorded since at least the 15th century. (For more information, please see our next page: Kevan of Galloway).

While it is reasonable to suppose that the Kevans of Galloway descend from a common male ancestor who adopted the name when surnames first came into use in this part of Scotland, the only way to prove--or disprove--such a possibility is by DNA testing since few records exist for the years before c 1600.

Initial results for the first Kevan tested (K-1 in the Kevan project) indicate that he belongs to a “robust cluster within the Haplogroup I2a2b--Isles-C2)”, as defined by Dr. Ken Nordtvedt, physicist, population geneticist, and acknowledged authority on Haplogroup I. Dr. Nordtvedt provided this history of I2a2b on March, 10, 2010:

“I find the L161+ Isles I2a2b haplogroup one of the more interesting tales
in haplogroup I. Back in 2004 all of P37+ (xM26) was lumped together as
this "Balkan" haplogroup which sort of balanced out the I1of
western/northern Europe. But first it was found there was a strong and
extremely distinct clade of "Western" P37+ (xM26) centered in northwest
Europe, and somewhat later there was found a complicated British Isles
clade of P37+ (xM26) with hardly any continental representation. All this
was done prior to discovery of new SNPs to tag these divisions which we
now have. Today Dinaric, Western, and Isles major divisions each have SNP

I2a2b-Isles L161+ could be one of the earlier folks to repopulate the
British Isles after the LGM. I'll try to lay out the timeline as best
estimated with variance and GD measures of haplotype populations, and add
some supplementary place-of-origin information. I see 10 or more clades
(clusters) of haplotypes in I2a2b-Isles, and have little doubt that
someday SNPs will be found to tag the individual clades. But I'll work
with the division of I2a2b-Isles into its four main clades --- A,B,C,D.
Clade A is a late spin-off from clade B; Clade D is a late spin-off from
clade C, as indicated by interclade variances.

My haplotype database counts with number from continent indicated (7 of
55 indicates 7 haplotypes continental of total 55) These haplotypes range
all over the lot in number of STRs.

Clade A --- 0 of 48
Clade B --- 17 of 51
Clade C --- 7 of 55
Clade D --- 6 of 68

Note: some of the continental haplotypes have suspiciously British
looking surnames.

Timeline of key events from Interclade and Intraclade Variances

13,500 b.p. The two branch lines eventually leading to I2a2a-Dinaric and
I2a2b-Isles separate.
6,000 b.p. Two branch lines eventually leading to I2a2b-Isles-B(&A) and
to I2a2b-Isles-C(&D) separate
5,600 b.p. TMRCA for 17 Continental members of Clade B
4.800 b.p. TMRCA for 34 Isles members of Clade B (A/B node about the
same time)
3,900 b.p. TMRCA of Clade C (C/D node about the same time)
2,500 b.p. TMRCA of Clade D
1,500 b.p. TMRCA of clade A

Continental members I2a2b-Isles (with just one exception from Basque region) are spread in a swath across north German plain from Poland to low countries and France)

My present hunch from all this is that I2a2b-Isles-B L161+ arrived in the
British Isles prior to the arrival of the so-called Celtic populations.

See warpedfounderstree
at to see the
I2a2b tree within the larger context of the whole haplogroup I timeline
and phylogeny.”

Dr. Nordtvedt says further that the C-2 subgroup, to which he believes that the Kevan family belongs, is “fairly young….with time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) of I2a2b-Isles--C2 with L161+ estimated to be 1500 years ago.” The C-2 subgroup has a strong affinity for Ireland, and Dr. Nordtvedt suspects that the founder (ie Most Recent Common Ancestor) lived in Ireland.

The Kevan project’s database includes DNA results for two Irish families with similar-sounding names --Keaveney and Kavenagh--who are members of the I2a2b-Isles-C2 subgroup. These families share a common male ancestor with the Kevan family, but more testing is needed before any estimate could made as to when this common ancestor may have lived. At present, the most we can say is that he lived no more than 1500 years ago (ie he could have been the founder of the I2a2b-Isles-C2 subgroup) or he may have lived only a few generations before the mid 17th century when the first Kevan in the lineage was born.

In addition to Keaveney and Kavenaugh, K-1 in the Kevan project matches five other families on 12 of 12 markers tested. They are: Hanley, Powers, Kenny, Matthews, and Maxwell. Although these families are not included in the project’s database at the present time, they may be added later if evidence connecting them to the Kevans or to Galloway is found. The name Maxwell is of particular interest since the Maxwell family was associated with Cavens in Kirkcudbright from the 15th century. (See Kevan of Galloway)






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