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2016 DNA Update


We are finally having some results come in that begin.....just begin, mind tell us something.

DF McNab is a known descendant of the cadet house of Innishewan. The exact point in time where the Innishewans 'came off' from the main line of the Chiefs is not known. At the latest, it could have been circa 1500, but most likely it was 1300 or much earlier. DF's results (at 37 markers) suggest a 45% chance that he and Jamie Macnab of Macnab share a common direct-line male ancestor within 24 generations (about 720 years, so around 1300). So we can say this result, while not conclusive of anything, is consistent with the history we have. DF's closest matches are with GJ (71% probability they have a direct line male ancestor in common in the past 240 years; 99.8% probability they share one in the past 720 years - GJ lists his earliest known male ancestor as a James McNab); V (at 75%); and a McGregor (at 72%).

Jamie, our chief, has no really close matches at all - not just within our group but with all testers with FTDNA. Within our group, his closest match at 37 markers is also with McGregor (78% within 24 generations); V (at 61%) and then with both K and DF (45%) with M just behind (at 44%).

K and V show clear evidence of being related, with a 58% chance they share a common direct-line male ancestor within 4 generations, and a 99% chance they share one within 16 generations. (I've just confirmed that V's gggg-uncle is K's ancestor - awaiting further details!)

We have an Abbott who has joined the project because his family lore is that his ancestors were once Macnabs, but changed their name on coming to America. While he doesn't show any close connections, his results at 37 markers suggest about a 45% chance he shares a direct-line male ancestor within 24 generations with M and DF, and with McGregor.

A. McNab comes from a line of McNabs who believe they may have no blood connection with the main body of the clan, being descended from a different abbot altogether from the Forfar area. Results are inconclusive, but do show an approximately 65% probability of sharing a direct-line male ancestor with GJ and V within 24 generations. It is important to stress here that these are yDNA results - meaning they tell us only about the DNA of each individual's father's father's father's.....etc. So these probable male ancestors in common can ONLY be Macnabs....which makes all of this incredibly exciting and incredibly relevant.

We hope to have results soon from a known Acharn descendant, and I'm working on Barravorich, Barrachastalain, and the French McNab line. We NEED to get as many McNabs as possible to test - the more results we have, the more we'll learn!

Please see earlier post on this page for details on how to join the project; if you have questions after reading that post, feel free to email me at

Loraine Smith

Shennachie to the Chief of Clan Macnab July 31, 2016

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