DNA testing is a powerful tool for genealogical research. Many people are submitting samples for DNA testing to confirm relationships that they cannot otherwise prove or find new connections with people they did not know and with whom they can share information. For MacRaes, the Scattered Children of Kintail, DNA testing offers the possibility of discovering connections across the world. For those with established family histories, remaining mysteries that cannot be solved any other way can often be solved through DNA testing.
Family Tree DNA established the first genealogy-driven DNA testing service and has the largest database. In December 2005, a MacRae/McRae project was created on Family Tree, ably administered by Alice M Fairhurst, herself a descendant of Christopher MacRae, Constable of Eilean Donan Castle. Alice is a member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. She has spent approximately 30 years doing genealogical research and has lectured on DNA and genealogy.
Although the project is new, it is quickly growing. The more people who join a project, the better it is for everyone. More people mean more matches and thus more answers. If you are interested, you are invited to join the project by submitting your DNA for testing. It is as simple as swabbing the inside of your cheek. There is no danger that it could be used in a negative way, because the law prohibits organizations that do testing to share the results without the persons permission. The DNA used for genealogy is sometimes called junk DNA because it is not suitable for the development of proteins necessary for life and it has no bearing on the inheritance of physical characteristics. Of course it isnt really junk. It is the chromosome that determines sex the Y chromosome in men and the X chromosome in women.
DNA that is tested for genealogical purposes is passed on exclusively through the male line for males and the female line for females. Therefore, females carrying the name MacRae or a variant spelling would need to get a male brother or cousin (who carries the surname) or if living, their father to join.
For more information about the MacRae/McRae project, go to the website below:
If you are interested in joining the project, scroll down the page. You will find an application form. When you have completed it, a kit with simple directions will be sent to you by mail, which you can then return by mail.
To view the participants and results so far, go to the website listed above and click on the underlined website at the top of the page. Then click on Y results.
Faye E. Moore