You are here


Pinpointing A Genetic Homeland!

In 2010 I discovered that the surnames of the people with who I shared a common male ancestor as revealed by a Y-DNA were all associated with County Laois in Ireland and that my paternal 'Bowes' ancestors originate there, subsequent Y-DNA testing of people called Bowe(s) living in Laois confirmed my ancestral ties to that area. This was a surprise to me as I had always assumed that my ancestors (given my very English surname) were English. So began my research to demonstrate that Y-DNA testing could be used to pinpoint other people's paternal geographical origin. The results of that study a paper entitled 'Using Y Chromosome DNA testing to Pinpoint a Genetic Homeland' (click on the title to download) can now be accessed and studied.

I recruited 8 test subjects (some of whom are shown in the accompanying picture) to undergo commercial ancestral Y-DNA testing to see if the method of using the surnames of the people with whom one shares a common male ancestor as revealed by the Y-DNA test could be used to pinpoint a precise geographical origin. I won't spoil the paper by revealing the results but the method was reproducible. That is crucial because as a scientist one must be able to reproduce ones results. The method works remarkably well for those with Irish, Scottish, and English ancestry! The time frame for a pinpointed direct male ancestor is approximatetly 1000 years ago which is when inherited paternal surnames became common in Ireland. But one must approach the process with an open mind and be prepared for a couple of surprises!

English Origenes

Scottish Origenes