The SNP Descendency Tree (aka the "Haplotree") for the I-Lindsays.

An excellent read is a book by Alistair Moffat entitled The Scots: A Genetic Journey.  It gives an anthropoligical backdrop for understanding our collection of genetic “signatures”.  About a third of our genetic families (I1, I2a, I2b) descend from European hunter-gatherers who moved northward as the glaciers receded after the last ice-age about 10,000 years ago. These people were survivors. During the glacial maximum they took refuge in the caves of southern Europe and left us with some fantastic depictions of the wild world on the outside, dominated by fearsome wild beasts, some who didn’t survive the glaciers, others who were subsequently hunted to extinction. Seven Lindsay genetic families descend from these survivors, including Group-01 (Kingswark), Group-07 (Jura), and Group-12 (Covington/Fairfax). These are all of macro haplogroups beginning with the letter “I” (think “Ice”).  A macro-haplogroup is a principle branch off Adam, the trunk of the tree.

Now the Group-07 Lindsays exhibit one of the founding SNPs of the Scottish people, I-M284. A SNP is a branching point at some distance from the trunk. Its caused by a mutation exhibited after the conception of a particular individual.  Somehow, one of the base pairs he inherited from his father gets swapped out with some different base pair.  I-M284 is nicknamed “Ancient British”.  It accounts for only 4% of all Scottish men, but it is very rare outside Britain and Ireland. In the Lindsay Project, all the specimens of this Group have their origins astride the North Channel separating Ireland from the West of Scotland. Certain Lindsay participants tracing to northern Ireland (Enniskillin), certain Lindsay participants tracing to Ayrshire and certain Lindsays of Jura are all distant I-M284 cousins. Now the Jura Lindsays anglicized their Celtic surname in the 17th century, possibly owing to political pressure. They have common ancestry, though, with Lindsay cousins in Ireland.  This kinship dates back before genealogical time.  We learned this when the first of the Jura participants ordered high resolution (Y-111) STR testing from FTDNA.  There were many disagreements with the Irish lineage in the upper panel (markers above 43).  We don’t know which of either of those two lineages are the nearest kinsmen of the Ayrshire line.  Group-07 can decide whether they want to pursue the answer to this intriguing question.  We will continue to keep all the I-M284 Lindsays in Group-07 until the group decides whether they want to subdivide.

Note that while, according to Moffit, I-M284 is amongst the founding SNPs of Scotland, all the I-Lindsays except for Group-14 are from branches of I-M170 senior to I-M284.  Representative lines from these senior branches, therefore, made their way into Scotland at a later date, probably via the northern parts of Europe, principally Scandinavia.

While not as deeply rooted in Scotland as Group-07, Group-01 is arguably the Project’s oldest substantial Lindsay lineage. They number 78.  The paper trail takes them back to 45 distinct “brick walls”, but the haplotree shows them springing from just a few distinct descendents of patriarch I-A16520.  He is estimated to have lived about 1000 years ago, so the SNPs downstream from him are within genealogical time, i.e., since the adoption of surnames.  Further to that point, Big-Y has basically shown that A16522 is the I-Murray SNP, and that F25958 and Y138968 are I-Lindsay SNPs.  Its even more exciting to observe that descendents of B32428 tend to be Presbyterian, and descendents of Y106756 tend to be Episcopalian.  We’re definitely within genealogical time. 

Finally, the exact placement of Group 17 cannot be predicted.  It will be determined only after advanced SNP testing.