Administrative Matters


1. Privacy


3. ySearch

4. Beneficiary Information

5. Updating e-mail addresses

6. Promotion of this Study

7. Contacting other Study Members

8. Study Administrators

9. Disclaimer

1. Privacy

The privacy of Study members 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.

4. Beneficiary Information

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.

5. Updating e-mail addresses

Study members 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.

6. Contacting other Study Members

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 testers may contact one another direct using the e-mail addresses listed on their FTDNA Personal page under "Y-DNA MATCHES".

Any member of this Study may contact another member through the Study Administrator.

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

When contacting other members:

  • 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.

7. Promotion of this Study

This public website is the principal medium through which this Study is promoted. It is accepted its format is not particularly imaginative, but it is free and easy to keep updated..

The website is updated every May and November with results and analyses. Study members are notified of these Updates, and of other significant developments, by FTDNA's bulk e-mail service.

The Study Administrator keeps a continuously updated Main Results table and the L555 Genetic Family Tree which are available to members by e-mail on demand

In addition up-to-date test results are shown at

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 members at .

A "Trifold" (see the accompanying Supplementary Paper No.6), updated periodically, may be downloaded and copied by members 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.

8. Study Administrators

FTDNA recommend one member of each Surname Study acts as Administrator. Administrators are unpaid volunteers who have no financial or contractual relationship with FTDNA, Family Search or the Clan Irwin Association. The Administrator's roles include liaising with individual members, 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 Seneschal 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. He endeavours to answer every e-mail from members and prospective members as promptly as possible, but please note that he does not regularly monitor the Activity Feed page of FTDNA's Irwin Clan project website, nor does he respond to invitations to participate in social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In etc.

The Study has four 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; Bryant McAlister ( and David Stumpf ( who advise on BigY data analysis, and Brian Irwin ( who is investigating how our website might be improved.

9. Disclaimer

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 do not claim to be authoritative on 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 Study member remains responsible for satisfying themselves and behaving appropriately on matters of reliability and confidentiality. The Administrators do not undertake any representations or assurances other than those contained in the Study's Privacy Statement.