Manx Y-DNA Study
Up Manx Family Names Background DNA of the Isle of Man Scope and Objectives How to Take Part Results News about the Study Gallery


Developments in DNA testing since 2000 have contributed greatly to the recent increase in knowledge about people's ethnic and genetic origins. The availability of DNA testing to the general public, now from a range of companies in the USA and some in Europe, has meant that its application as a valuable tool to genealogists in particular has come to the forefront.

The field of knowledge about the application, relevance and meaning of DNA testing has expanded, seemingly exponentially, particularly in the last 5 years. As more tests have become available at affordable prices, more people have tested and the public database of DNA results has grown accordingly. This in turn has led to a repeating cycle of yet more new tests being developed, a greater public demand for testing being generated, and this all leading to a greater and fuller knowledge of how such personal DNA data can be interpreted and its relevance This cycle continues to repeat today.

From the increasing range of DNA tests that are publically available it has been the Y-DNA test that has proved to be the most popular, particularly when used by genealogists to increase their insights into the evidentiary research carried out on their families. The testing of the male Y chromosome has proved so far the most fruitful in this respect for two reasons:-

the male Y-chromosome is passed down largely unchanged from father to son - and therefore tracks the male genetic line (patrilineal) - and therefore tracks also all the male holders of one family name. 
there is a low rate of mutation of the Y-chromosome as it is passed from one generation to another, but the rate of change is sufficient to identify and track branches in family groups within the last 7-800 years, ie the genealogical timescale in which family names have been used.

The coordinator of this study has already completed one such Y-DNA study on the Creer family from the Isle of Man (see and this study has revealed new insights into the earlier history of this Manx family namely :-

All Creers from the Isle of Man (earlier McCrere) are descended from one man who lived on the Island around 1200-1400 AD.
There was a very close grouping of DNA profiles for the genetic descendants of this man. 
The Creers belong to the Y-DNA haplogroup designation of R1b-L21 which is indicative of a earlier Celtic origin.
In the sample of men tested there was a relatively high incidence (>20%) of non-paternal events, ie men bearing the Creer name but not showing the typical Creer Y-DNA profile.

This study of the DNA of the Isle of Man will concentrate on gathering evidence of the genetic composition of the Manx people mainly through the collection and analysis of Y-DNA data from men of Manx origin, selected on the basis of their Manx family names and their known Manx origins. Additional DNA evidence of mitochondrial and/or autosomal origin will also be considered if this is found to add new knowledge to the project.


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