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.26 of our Study.  Highlights include:

  • We now have nearly 500 participants with STR test results, of whom 40 have BigY test results and a further 80 have SNP Pack Test results. 

  • We have identified over 40 genetic families (branches of the surname) which are unrelated to one another during the surname era but whose members use the Irwin surname or variant spellings thereof.

  • Our largest genetic family, the Border Irwins, has 320 participants, of whom 53% can now be included in the L555 haplotree.

  • 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. 

  • Our Study remains amongst the leaders in the rapidly evolving field of Surname DNA projects, particularly in its ability to connect the human haplotree to conventional pedigrees. 

Digesting the more subtle implications of the hg38 BigY500 results continues to be a challenge, as will the results of BigY700 tests that have been ordered by 20 participants, mostly those who already have BigY500 results. 

Our Study remains compliant with GDPR (the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation) and FTDNA's evolving documentation.  We have not lost any members due to GDPR, and although I have had to remove the results of a few individuals (all either adoptees or non-Irwins) who had already left the Study for other reasons, these losses have been numerically offset by new members, so our Study has continued its growth.  I am grateful to those members who have responded to my requests to update features of their FTDNA Accounts by ticking "Opt in to Sharing" and granting co-ordinators "Advanced" or "Limited" access.  For the few (4%) who have not yet opted in to sharing I have had to expunge their results from our main Results table as reproduced on this website, but I will be happy to restore these details if and when they ask me to do so.

In February I spoke at GGI 2019 in Belfast on "Using Y-DNA in practice", and in March I was privileged to speak again at FTDNA's annual conference in Houston, this time on GDPR.  At both events I was able to confirm our Study remains at the forefront of DNA surname projects.   

                            James M Irvine,  Surrey, UK;

 Study Administrator, 7 May 2019;