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 and again in 2021, with the assistance of Rick Byers. For the Menu to this website click on the 3 parallel lines top left.

The Study, its website and its administrators are fully independent from both FamilyTreeDNA and the Clan Irwin Association, although the Study continues to support the Association and to recognize that the interests and memberships of the two entities have considerable overlap.

This November 2022 Update is the 33rd update of our Study. Highlights include:

  • Our Study now has results for 608 yDNA testers, of whom 126 (21%) have completed BigY tests.

  • The Study has identified 48 branches, the largest of which, the Border Irwins, now has 393 testers, representing 65% of all testers.

  • The L555 Border Irwin genetic family tree now includes 97 BigY test results, 56 Pack test results and a further 82 other testers, represeting 60% of all the 393 Border Irwin testers.

  • This tree now incorporates the ages of relevant SNPs as currently estimated by FTDNA's new and powerful "Discover More" tool. Inter alia this tool estimates the age of the earliest SNP in the R-FGC136742 block as AD1325, which accords well with documentary evidence that the earliest Border Irwin was probably born during the first half of the 14th century. For more details see section 5 of "Interpreting yDNA Test Results" and the L555 genetic family tree accompanying "Latest Analysis Update".

  • A remarkable feature of this tree is the "starburst" of 17 lineages which all stem from the FGC34569 "block". The Royal Stewart haplotree includes a similar and contemporary "starburst"; both may be connected with the mid-14th century "Black Death" plague, although if so the cause of this connection is still unclear.

  • The remainder of our Border Irwins who are not yet on this genetic tree are recommended to consider taking BigY700 test.

  • Our Study remains amongst the leaders in the evolving issues addressed by Surname DNA projects, particularly in our ability to connect conventional pedigrees to the haplotree of mankind.

As Administrator I am happy at any time to answer e-mail queries members and prospective members, and to forward our Main Results table and/or L555 genetic family tree as e-mail attachments.

I have recently published three books on Irwin genealogy. These incorporate several decades of diligent research in many libraries and archives around the world, public and private. They update previous books about the Irvings of Bonshaw and the Irvines of Drum and introduce new research, hitherto unpublished.

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

In particular The Irwin Surname: its Origins, Diaspora and Early Branches provides a comprehensive background and context to our DNA Study. The Lairds of Bonshaw and Drum and the Chairman of the Clan Irwin Association recommend it to all members of our Study, and to others bearing our Surname.

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

Member, International Society of Genetic Genealogy


2 November 2022