New MacLeod DNA branch!

Exciting news from the L165 and Clan MacLeod DNA projects, there is a new subclade to the MacLeod R1b-BY3210, and it has a famous member! The new Subclade is BY19718, and it has been found positive in a descendant of Donald MacLeod of Galtrigal “Faithful Palinurus”, the boatman who aided the rebel prince Charles Edward Stuart’s escape from the failed 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. For a rough Pop Culture reference to Prince Charlie’s escapades, see series Outlander

Some background on Donald MacLeod of Galtrigal

The SNP Pathway to the MacLeod Y-DNA block for those familiar with Y-DNA:

R1b-M269>…>P312/S116 > Z40481 > ZZ11 > DF27/S250 > Z195/S355 > Z198 > L165/S68 > FGC29987 > BY3224 > BY3253 > BY3210 (STR estimate dates 1230-1350AD most recent common ancestor (MRCA), not SNP dated yet)

MacLeod Subclade Branches:

–BY13703: Isle of Harris potential association (STR estimate date 1650AD MRCA, not SNP dated yet)

–BY19718: Donald MacLeod of Galtrigal “Palinurus”

New DNA marker found for undetermined branch of Clan MacLeod

The years of research in the ACMS ( and L-165 DNA project ( has yielded a new result- The path of SNPs (a kind of DNA marker) to the Y-DNA (Male line descent) of Clan MacLeod is:



This means any male with a direct male-line descent from the predominant male ancestor of the clan will likely test positive for BY3210, which could be significantly older than the clan itself. One new marker, discovered by Clan Members testing FTDNA’s BIG-Y discovery test marks an uncertain branch of Clan MacLeod– BY13703

BY13703 has not been dated by YFull yet ( ), so it’s impossible to know exactly how old it is yet but since it is a “child” of BY3210 that known MacLeod of Lewis and Raasay kits have tested negative for, it is younger than 1200CE. Ancestry from Uist and Harris is reported by 2 of those 14 pioneers who have tested positive, and no further information will be known until more test.

The admins of the ACMS DNA project and L165 Project along with the testers who self-funded all the testing deserve all the credit for advancing our knowledge of the Ancestry of the Clan!

One potentially earth-shattering realization that may come from the project– Known Nordic branch kits in BY3253 (The “Father” of BY3210) have an STR MRCA of 840CE or later… which is after the start of the massive Viking slave trade from Ireland and the Hebrides. The SNP diversity and Hebridean spread of the remainder of L165 just might reverse the belief in an ultimate Norway origin of the Male-line DNA in favor of indigenous Gaels from a minority male-line lineage that migrated in skin boats from the Iberia peninsula in the Bronze Age to the Hebrides, and converted culturally to the Norse when heavily intermarrying with them.  Also, remember that a Majority of folks with the name MacLeod or a variation test Y-DNA R1b-L21, which is the more common Gael Haplogroup, that currently has over 1,600 SNP sub-branches– So if, like me, you are L21 you may need to ask an expert what to test for. I have recently established by own branch (shared with one other tested person) of the Human Y-DNA tree (R1b-FGC61663) with a common ancestor SNP estimated by calculation 225 years ago (Although if it is who we currently believe it is, the actual MRCA was born 252 years ago!). Since it would take way more time to describe how to do this, if you have a particular case you want advice on, write is at


DNA test Discount!

FamilyTreeDNA, the host of the Associated Clan MacLeod Society DNA project is having a very good sale:

$59 for Autosomal, which can match you with 5th cousins or closer, and estimate your continental origins of your ancestry. If primarily European, they just launched a new tool that estimates your ancient origins from the 3 basal populations of Europe. The Autosomal product is called “FamilyFinder”, and is comparable to the AncestryDNA, except it does not require any monthly subscription.

$139 is the starting discount price for Y-DNA (for genetic males only), although most will want 67 or 111 markers which cost more ($229 or $319); a good value is the $278 combo of Autosomal and 67 marker Y-DNA

DNA is not yet turn-key, it still requires lots of time and contacting people to get the best results, but it is becoming indispensable when records are in short supply, or when researching pre-1500s… be sure to join your haplogroup project in addition to the ACMS project-while about 1/5 of MacLeods test L165 and have an excellent project for that group, quite a few are L21-if you end up in the R1b-DF21 subclade (some think is Dalriadan),email us and I can tell you who to work with.

Clan Donald has vastly overtaken the Clan MacLeod project in size and results- ours languishes with many near useless 12 marker results, and few tested for SNPs. Do your part to bring us back to relevancy, especially those with known pedigrees- that can give those who lack a traditional paper trail something to start with!

Foodie destinations on the Isle of Skye

While Scotland may not be known for its cuisine, there are a few great restaurants you should try on Skye. Check out Tracey MacLeod’s article from the Evening Standard for some recommendations!