Administrative Matters

1.  Privacy
2.  Pedigree charts
3.  ySearch
4.  Benediciary Information
5.  Updating e-mail addresses
6.  Promotion of this Study
7.  Contacting other Study Participants
8.  Study Administrator
9.  Disclaimer

The privacy of Study participants is respected at all times. The Study Administrator follows the Group Administrator Guidelines for Family Tree DNA Projects and the ISOGG Project Administrator Guidelines.  See also the Family Tree DNA Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Participants are encouraged to post their pedigrees in GEDCOM format on the FTDNA for other participants to view.  To date less than a quarter of participants have done so. Instructions for uploading GEDCOM files are at .  The procedure is not easy. 
Some Family Tree Maker files can be exported to GEDCOM thus: under “File” select “Copy/Export”, give the file a name, and change the “Save as type” to “GEDCOM (*.GED)”. is a handy tool for creating a GEDCOM pedigree.



3.  YSEARCH is FTDNA's public database, which enables participants to communicate with each other via the database (rather than through the Study Admin - see below) and individuals who have tested with other companies to sight participants' yDNA signatures and details of their earliest confirmed paternal ancestor. 

Registration with ysearch is free and neither your surname nor email address are accessible by third parties.

The Study Admin will set up your initial registration with ysearch, after which yearch e-mail participants direct with their ysearch password.  Thereafter participants are responsible for keeping their ysearch account updated with the results of higher resolution yDNA tests, ancestor and contact details.

The owner of an FTDNA account is responsible for naming a beneficiary to that account, should the test taker pass away.  If no beneficiary is named on the account, FTDNA retain ownership of the record and DNA.  If a family member or heir presents documentation of relationship to the deceased test taker, FTDNA may use its discretion to allow the family member or heir access to the account.

Study participants should be aware that Administrators cannot update individuals' Personal pages with changes to their e-mail addresses, and if they do not advise FTDNA of such changes or keep their personal pages updated themselves they will not receive contacts from other testees or bulk e-mails from the Study Administrator.

As indicated in the Guidelines just referred to, FTDNA and the Administrators of Surname DNA projects have to strike a fine balance between confidentiality and facilitating communications between interested individuals.
Matching FTDNA testees may contact one another direct using the e-mail addresses listed on their FTDNA Personal page under "Y-DNA MATCHES". 
Any individual may contact a "ysearch" testee by the "Contact this user" facility on the testee's personal page at .
Any individual may contact another participant in this Study through the Study Administrator. 

While any participant may contact any other participant by one of the above means for any reason, I do not recommend "chasing" possible genealogical links unless they are of the same genetic family and, for Borders folk, the same sub group, AND they have similar geographical origins.


This website is the principal medium through which this Study is promoted and its results promulgated.  The Study Administrator keeps a regularly updated Results table which is available by e-mail on demand.  The Analysis of the results is updated every May and November.  Participants are notified of these Updates, and of other significant developments, by FTDNA's bulk e-mail service.
In addition up-to-date test results are shown at (where FTDNA's 'Frequently Asked Questions' are also listed). 
A brief annual summary is published for members of the Clan Irwin Association in the Spring edition of the quarterly newsletter The Holly Leaf Chronicle.  


The Study is also promoted for potential new participants at .
A "Trifold" (see the accompanying Supplementary Paper No.6) , updated every April, may be downloaded and copied by participants wishing to promote our Study with relatives or associates, or at Highland Games etc.

The Study Administrator has given a series of lectures based on this Study - see Supplementary Paper No.9.


FTDNA recommend one participant from each Surname Study acts as Administrator.  Administrators are unpaid volunteers who have no financial or contractual relationship with FTDNA.  The Administrator's roles include liaising with individual participants, identifying distinctive genetic families, relating these to genealogical research, managing the application of Donations to our General Fund, and promulgating results and associated issues, all without compromising confidentialities.


This Study is administered by James Irvine, (, to whom all queries should be addressed other than those relating to autosomal DNA and Family Finder tests.  It is appreciated if existing members include their Kit No. in the message header.  Please note that he does not respond to invitations to join social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In etc. 

The Study has two co-administrators:  Kent Irvin (, who co-founded the Study, but now acts as "reserve";  and Rev. Peter Irvine ( who founded the Irvine Clan Autosomal Project in October 2014, to whom all enquiries relating to autosomal DNA tests, including FTDNA's Family Finder Test, should be directed.


Please note that The Clan Irwin Surname DNA Study is an independent study undertaken on a zero cost basis (apart from the cost of its URL). The Administrators of this Study, past or present, claim no expertise in genetic studies; they have no financial involvement with FTDNA, nor have they independently verified the claims of this organization, and they take no responsibility for any results, analyses or disclosures of private information that may arise directly or indirectly from this Study. Participation in this Study is welcome but strictly voluntary, and each participant remains responsible for satisfying themselves on issues of reliability and confidentiality.  The Administrators do not undertake any representations or assurances thereon, apart from a "best endeavours" responsibility not to disclose the name or e-mail address of individual participants to third parties, including other members of the Study, without the participant's specific permission.