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 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 Update No.28 of our Study.  Highlights include:

  • Both FTDNA and our Study are weathering the Coronavirus storm, with new participants continuing to join.
  • We now have 525 participants with STR test results, of whom 75 have SNP Pack Test results, 54 have BigY test results, and of these 42 are BigY700. 
  • 96% of our participants have opted to share their results in public.
  • We have identified 44 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 339 participants, of whom 56% can now be included in the L555 haplotree. 
  • The L555 haplotree has been revised and extended to include the triangulation with the Bonshaw pedigree; further refinement is in hand.
  • The remainder of our Border Irwins who are not yet on this haplotree are recommended to consider taking the L555 SNP Pack test at $119 or the more comprehensive BigY700 test, now at reduced prices. 
  • Our Study remains amongst the leaders in the rapidly evolving field of Surname DNA projects, particularly in our 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  They update previous books on the Irvings of Bonshaw and the Irvines of Drum and introduce new findings hitherto unpublished.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 can now be ordered on-line from Amazon.  Proceeds go to the Bonshaw Preservation Trust.  For more details see FURTHER READING.



James Irvine, Surrey  UK
Study Administrator
1 May 2020