Welcome to the web-site of the Clan Irwin Surname DNA Study.  This Study was launched in 2005, with the assistance of Kent Irvin, and its website was re-vamped in 2011 with the assistance of Rick Byers. 


This Study and its website are fully independent from FamilyTreeDNA and from the Clan Irwin Association, although the Study continues its support of the Association and to recognise that the interests and memberships of the Study and of the Association have considerable overlap.


This is May 2021 Update is the 30th update of our Study.  Highlights include:

  • Both FTDNA and our Study continue to weather the Coronavirus storm, with new participants joining at an increasing rate and many existing participants upgrading. 
  • Some FTDNA tests are taking longer to process, especially if re-runs are required for quality reasons, as their laboratory is also running Covid-19 tests and all but their lab staff are working from home.
  • Our Study now has 564 participants.  77 have BigY tests completed, a further 9 have BigY tests on order, and a further 65 have L555 SNP Pack Test results,
  • 96% of our participants have opted to share their results in public.
  • We have identified 45 branches of the surname ("genetic families") which are unrelated to one another during the surname era but whose members use the Irwin surname or variant spellings thereof.
  • Our largest branch, the Border Irwins, now has 368 participants, of whom 56% can now be included in the L555 genetic family tree.. 
  • The L555 haplotree has been extended to become the L555 genetic family tree, dates have been added, and further refinements continue.
  • The remainder of our Border Irwins who are not yet on this haplotree are recommended to consider taking BigY700 test, now at reduced prices. 
  • Our Study remains amongst the leaders in the rapidly evolving field of Surname DNA projects, particularly in our growing ability to connect the human haplotree to conventional pedigrees. 


I have recently published three books on Irwin genealogy.  These incorporate several decades of diligent research in many libraries and archives, public and private.  They update previous publications on the Irvings of Bonshaw and the Irvines of Drum and introduce new findings hitherto unpublished.  In particular The Irwin Surname: its Origins, Diaspora and Early Branches provides a comprehensive background and context to our DNA Study. 

All three books can now be ordered on-line from Amazon or www.waterstones.com, each for less than $20.  Proceeds go to the Bonshaw Preservation Trust. 

For more details see FURTHER READING.



James Irvine,
Ashtead Surrey UK
Kit 29479 (Orkney 1)
Study  Administrator
Trustee, Bonshaw Preservation Trust
Seneschal to the Chief of Irvine of Drum
2 May 2021

PS  The Main results table and the L555 Genetic Family Tree will be updated very shortly.