Clan Donnachaidh DNA Project

Robertson, Duncan, Reid, Donachie, McConnochie

Photo of – 
The Five Sisters

Donnachaidh DNA Project

General Fund Total: $1126.57

Queen’s View; Loch Tummel with Mount Schiehallion in the distance

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae,
On the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Oh! Ye’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye,
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond, Traditional:

The Donnachaidh DNA Project was started in 2002 by Bill Robertson, Project Emeritus, during his tenure as International Vice Chairman for the Clan Donnachaidh Society.

Bill’s foresight has enabled Clan Donnachaidh to reach many more clan members around the world and expand our clan’s educational, historical, and family history outreach.

Clan Donnachaidh (pronounced “Donna-khey”) is the anglicized spelling of the Gaelic (Gàidhlig) words meaning “Children of Duncan”. Donnchadh Reamhar (Stout Duncan), who died 1355-1357, a descendant of the Celtic Earls of Atholl and King Duncan I of Scotland, is recognized as the first clan chief.

Donnachaidh Project Administrators, Bill, Tim, & Stephanie

Organization of the DNA project:

The Donnachaidh DNA Surname Project is a clan based DNA Project that is open to all men and women, bearing or connected, with the surnames of the Clan Donnachaidh Society. The primary clan surnames are Robertson, Duncan, Donachie, McConnachie/McConechy and Reid. Most surname projects are for a single surname and its variant spellings, but our project encompasses the many Sept surnames associated with Clan Donnachaidh. The Donnachaidh DNA Project also maintains the following surname projects, Duncan, Reid, and Robertson which we use as feeder projects to the main Donnachaidh DNA Project.

Please understand that this is a collaborative research project. Many people contribute their research, knowledge, and insights into this larger project. This project recognizes that all material here is from a collaborative process.

We require the active participation of each member to further this genealogical and genetic study of our surnames and their place in history.

Please understand that There is not one single DNA test to take but a series of DNA tests to continually dig deeper into our histories.

We are based with the leading company that pioneered the use of genetics for genealogical purposes Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) of Houston Texas. Family Tree DNA is partnered with the lab of one of the leading research scientists in the genetic field, Dr. Hammer, at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Family Tree DNA allows interested parties to set up projects as a focal point where people of the same surname can share information. There is no business or financial connection between Project Administrators and FTDNA.

The Donnachaidh DNA Project is a volunteer endeavor. The administrators are hobbyists who give their time and resources to manage the project so we all can learn and expand our family history research. As with many great endeavors participants also expend their time and resources to further their genealogical interests and this collaborative effort between all of us is what makes our research work.

The project has grown significantly from its humble beginning. As the 8th largest surname project based with Family Tree DNA, we have more than 1200 participants in the project now, and we are growing at the rate of 100+ new participants each year.

The Donnachaidh DNA Project is a Y-DNA and mtDNA focused research project but the early use of autosomal tests are starting to come on line. A detailed explanation of the use of DNA is given in the ‘Genetic Genealogy & DNA’ section. Both men and women participate in these test.

Although only men carry the Y-DNA, many women help by supporting, sponsoring, leading, and getting a male relative to provide a test sample. Both men and women carry the mitochondrial DNA.

For the Y-DNA part of the project we are looking for men from all the many male lines representing the Clan surnames. Well documented lines and lines with a known connection back to Scotland & Ireland, and from Scotland or Ireland, are highly important to the DNA project. We also want to test participants from the less documented lines that are scattered around the world.

The project needs a large number of men living in Scotland and Ireland to provide a Y-DNA test. We also need more men from around the world with documented ancestry from Scotland and Ireland to test.

The use of DNA testing for Genealogical purposes started in 2000 and much progress has been made since the first 12 marker Y-DNA test from Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). One important thing to remember which will repeated often: a complete book on genetics and genealogy has not yet been written. We do not have all the answers that DNA testing can give us yet but a lot of science has been preformed and our knowledge is growing daily. This science has progressed supported by our genetic genealogy funded research.

One important thing to remember is that we are participating in a very active and exciting field of science, an exciting field of science where new knowledge is providing us a greater understanding of our shared human past.


* determine which ancestral lines are related

* help participants to confirm family trees

* help participants to obtain clues to help in research, such as clues about migration, and use them to search for paper records.

* discover more about the adoption of surnames in clan history

* determine the number of points of origin of clan surnames.

We also encourage and appreciate you spreading the word about the DNA Project to other men and woman of our clan surnames that you may know or encounter. We have project fliers and information that we can mail to you as handouts if you desire. These are great to hand out as you come across men with our surnames, or to place in libraries, histories societies, genealogy societies, and many other places.