Administrative Matters

1.  Privacy
3.  ySearch
4.  Beneficiary Information
5.  Updating e-mail addresses
6.  Promotion of this Study
7.  Contacting other Study Participants
8.  Study Administrators
9.  Disclaimer

The privacy of Study participants is respected at all times. See the Privacy Statement elsewhere on this website. 

This Study does not use GEDCOM or GEDMATCH.  Whether individual members of the Study choose to upload and share their data in this way is a matter of personal choice, though details shared in this way should not include any data relating to living persons. 

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, formerly FTDNA's public database, was terminated on 24 May 2018. 

 Please  consider completing the required details under "Beneficiary Information" in the "Account Information" section of your personal FTDNA webpage so that your investment can continue to be used by your chosen relatives. 

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 careful 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 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.

When contacting other participants:
- always be polite, courteous and respectful;
- avoid religion, politics, racism and trolling;
- respect the privacy of living individuals and in particular do not share their names or e-mail or postal addresses without their specific consent; 
- do not copy material from elsewhere without the author's permission, and acknowledge the source.


This public 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 to members 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 periodically, 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 9) and written The Irwin Surname: its Origins, Diaspora an dearly Branches, a book which is structured on the principle findings of the Study and provides a comprehensive context..


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, co-founder of the Study, Trustee of the Bonshaw Preservation Trust, and Senneschal to the Chief of Irvine of Drum.  All queries concerning the Study, other than those relating to autosomal DNA and Family Finder tests, should be addressed to him at It is appreciated if existing members include their Kit No. in the message header.  Please note that he does not respond to invitations to participate in social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In etc. 

The Study has three co-administrators:  Kent Irvin (, who co-founded the Study and now acts as "reserve";  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; and Bryant McAlister ( assists with BigY data analysis.


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, present and past, are volunteers who claim no expertise in genetic studies and 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 and behaving appropriately on matters 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.