DNA Project

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Durie DNA Project

This is an exciting development by which through DNA research we can track the Durie family via the vital Y-chromosome. So far there are Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analyses and some Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers for family members from tests performed by FamilyTreeDNA (www.ftdna.com/).

As the chief’s lineal descent is through a female heiress the Y-chromosome matches to other Duries are currently poor. This is similar to Dr Bruce Durie’s descent, via a different heiress. In both cases the husbands of the female Durie took the Durie name, thus the name continued as did the legal descent. But the Y-chromosome in each case is not the same as for male Duries before the early 19th Century in the Chief's case, or the late 16th Century in Bruce Durie's, case.

We hope to identify the ‘original’ Durie Y-haplotype, if we can find someone descended in an unbroken paternal line from a point before the early 19th Century. We are keen to extend this project so please consider joining in.

The Durie DNA project is open to all, DFA members and non-members alike. To take part in it click here https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/durie/activity-feed
You are also encouraged to join the Scottish DNA Group Project

Paternal DNA test

Also known as Y-DNA or Y-line, this can only be taken by men. The test uses the male Y chromosome to track the direct paternal lineage and is primarily used for studies of surname and deep ancestry. All men who share a common paternal ancestor will share the same Y chromosome. Note that this is a gender restrictive test and females need to identify a male substitute.

What DNA testing can do and when it is useful

bulletfind connections between two individuals with the same surname

bulletindicate roughly when two individuals shared a common ancestor

bulletprove whether families with the same surname are related

bulleteliminate individuals or families with the same surname as being related

bulletidentify and find proof of change of surname, variation in surname and use of alias

bulletcompliment one-name studies - prove that everyone bearing the same surname are related

bulletreveal uncertain paternity through illegitimacy or adoption

bulletprove whether family stories and origin histories are true

bullettest and corroborate conventional documentary research linking individuals and families

bulletenable colonials and the descendants of diasporas to identify their geographical origins

bullettrack deep ancestral migration


The test analyses this single chromosome at pre-agreed markers — known as short-tandem repeats (STRs) — each of which has a tendency to mutate at a slightly different rate. The standard test today covers 37-43 markers with the option to increase that to 67 markers and beyond. A Y-DNA result on its own is of little use to a genealogist. Its value comes when comparing a result with other people's and specifically with men who share the same surname or variant.

It is not unusual for men who share their same-surname ancestor back 6-10 generations to have identical Y-DNA results at 37 markers, though the further back in time the shared ancestor lived the more likely that one or other of the tested lines of descendants will have acquired at least one mutational difference at some point since.

Note that the DNA result will not supply the name of the common ancestor and can only indicate when that ancestor lived within a span of a number of generations — this detail can only be determined by traditional documentary research.


Visit https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/durie/dna-results to see the full DNA results.

Specifically (for a full Y-DNA Classic Chart) https://www.familytreedna.com/public/Durie?iframe=yresults

Why are some Duries such a poor match?

Although both Andrew Durie and Bruce Durie descend from the original Durie line, there has been a break in the Y-chromosome inheritance in both lines, due to both lines potentially ending in female heiress.

What are the R1b and I1a2b1 Haplotypes?

There are two branches of the family, Durie of Craigluscar the present chief, and secondly Durie of Durie who lost the Barony, Rossend Castle and the lands at Scoonie in the sixteenth century.

Durie of Craigluscar is represented by kit 158844 in the Durie DNA Project. His haplogroup has been predicted as: R1b-S29-Frisian2 =>68% (S29 is also known as U198)
R1b-Irish/Continental =>11%
R1b =>9% R1b-S28 =>9%
R1b-S26 =>2% R1b-Ub =>1%

This haplogroup could be confirmed by ordering the S29/U198 SNP test from either Family Tree DNA or EthnoAncestry. S29/U198 is possibly pre-Anglo-Saxon (dubbed Frisian 2 by Ken Nordtvedt). It is unclear whether this is a marker of a Saxon invasion or an earlier Germanic migration.

Durie of that Ilk is represented by Dr Bruce Durie (kit 134963) and his haplogroup has been predicted as I2b1a-M284. (Previously called I1b2a1). I2b1a-M284-Isles/Sc is 100% Pre-Roman and typical of "Pictish" or indigenous Scotland. This haplogroup is found almost exclusively among the population of the British Isles indicating the clade may have a very long presence in that locality.

His nearest match is with a Philp possibly from Fife. As both the Durie and Philp men tested with Family Tree DNA it is possible to calculate the Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) using the TiP™ calculator available via the matches on each individuals homepage. The calculations take into account the specific mutation rates of the first 37 markers. It is also unique in incorporating marker-specific differences, generating considerably improved power relative to any other analysis. With a 35/37 match, Tip calculated that the TMRCA was 96.29% probability within 16 generations and an 98.93% probability within the last 20 generations.

There is more information on the I-M223 Y-Haplogroup and its downstream sub-clades at https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/m223-y-clan/about

How can I join the Durie DNA Project?

First, take a Y-DNA test (37 or 67 markers) at www.ftdna.com
Test kits can be purchased at the discounted project prices and paid for in £Sterling, contact Alasdair at scottishdna@strath.ac.uk

It is recommended to take the 37-marker test or the 67-marker test first, then upgrade if required to a specific SNP Pack or Big Y

You may have done so already, in which case, join the Durie Surname Project. There is more information at:


bulletScottish DNA Project: http://scottishdna.net and http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Scottishdna

Y-chromosome inheritance

Descendants of JOHN DURIE
Durie of Craigluscar Durie of That Ilk
Craigluscar-Descent Durie-of-Durie-Descent
More detail here (PDF) More detail here (PDF)

Y-DNA Tests in more detail

Y-DNA test - This test is only for males. Results identify the deep ancestral origin of the paternal line. Depending on the uniqueness of the sample tested it will also point towards a more recent geographic region or country of origin. It includes a balanced panel of thirty-seven Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. This is the recommended test to trace the paternal ancestry of males for genealogy purposes. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at thirty-seven markers indicates the two individuals share common ancestry in recent times. A haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will be able to download and print a personalized certificate and report describing the testing process. Over time, with the growth of the database and with the scientific advances in this field, the customer will see added information and matches in his personal record, at no extra cost.

Your genetic information will be added to our secure, private, and confidential non-web-based result database where you will receive an exciting potential benefit. As other people order their genetic tests, they will either be looking for a relationship to another specific individual (example above) or they will be submitting for a comparison to the database library. If a match occurs in the future, you will be informed of this relative's existence so that you can contact that person, if you so desire.

Contact Dr Bruce Durie gen@brucedurie.co.uk

Share your story

If you have a story or a history for us, please send as a Word Document or Plain Text by email, accessible from our Contact page. Photographs should be in Jpeg format (.jpg).

All information will be reviewed and may be used on the website and shared with the family genealogist.

We hope you will also help us build up our extended Family Tree - http://www.brucedurie.co.uk/TNG/

There is an historical information section on Overseas Duries included in '750 Years of Duries' by Dr Bruce Durie. Click Here


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