Cameron YDNA Project Update

Huge progress for the Cameron YDNA Project has come this month after the Big Y700 test results, one last year and one this month of known descendants of John Cameron of Clunes born c. 1725 (who married Mary Cameron of Glennevis) came in which put their relevant shared SNP’s onto the Tree Of Mankind.

In targeting these specific testers, we were hoping to define a branch point between the main Lochiel stem, and the cadet houses of Erracht and Clunes (for this, we’ll keep Erracht and Clunes together – Clunes branches off Erracht a few generations after Erracht branches off from Lochiel (to date, we don’t have aa Erracht tester).

The new results show us that these men share several mutations that none of the other testers downstream of R-BY62864 have – 5 of them, to be exact. We know that the most recent common paternal ancestor of both of these testers was born about 1725…..which coincides very neatly with FTDNA’s estimate shown in the graph.

This has enabled us to put a label on R-BY62864 as the current Lochiel SNP which is huge for the Project.  There are another 4 distinct branches that also sit downstream from the “Lochiel” SNP which we are hoping to be able to define further in the future with further targeted Big Y700 testing that are almost certainly not Erracht or Clunes, but either unnamed offshoots of Lochiel (younger sons of younges sons who never established an official cadet house) or one of the as-yet unidentified cadets (including Kinlochiel, Druimsallie, Callart, Lundavra, Culchenna, Dungallon, Glendessary, Worcester, Fassiefern, Ardnamurchan, etc.).

The link to the current Cameron Group Time Tree can be found here, which we have labelled with the known cadets & lineages that are named: familytreednaR-A6138clancamerontree

M64 – far bottom left at just before 1300 – MacSorley

FT25194 – above M64, right on the 1300 line – Macgillonie Cameron of Strone (Invermaillie)

BY62864 – above FT25194 on the 1400 line – Cameron of Lochiel

BY178561 – below BY62864 Cameron of Erracht & Clunes (note the date here of 1750 represents not when the line broke off from Lochiel, but the MRCA for the two new tests- there are 5 SNPs in the block they share, which span the period from 1750 back to 1400, but we don’t yet know in what order they occurred. If we can find an Erracht descendant to test, that should split that block and give us a branch point between Erracht and Clunes)

BY50904 – above BY62864 just past the 1400 line – Macmartin of Letterfinlay

BY101707 – below BY50904 is Macmartin of Blarachaoran, and below it BY172820 Macmartin of Camuserracht

FT115862 – below BY50904 is Macmartin of Corriechoillie

As you can see, we’re making great progress on the central purpose of this project, which is to “map” the core lineages of Clan Cameron genetically, attaching specific mutations to specific lineages, in hopes that the day will come when any Cameron belonging to this haplogroup will be able to learn which cadet house his ancestors belonged to just by doing a BigY test. We still have a ways to go though! For anyone wishing to contribute to the effort, here’s what you can do:

1)    If you’ve done an STR (Y37, Y67, Y111) test but not BigY, consider upgrading to BigY at the next sale

2)    If you know or suspect that your ancestors came from a particular cadet, PLEASE share those details with us. Likewise, if you haven’t previously done so, please send us a short outline of your direct-male-line Cameron ancestors.

3)    If you’ve already upgraded your test, and are in a position to do so, please consider making a contribution to the General Fund. This allows us to occasionally offer ‘scholarships’ (as it were) to key testers to encourage them to upgrade. (in general, these scholarships are reserved for those with verifiable connections to known cadet houses; if you wish to earmark your donation for a tester from a specific lineage, or for a specific tester, please let us know). This page tells you how to make a contribution – be sure you choose ‘Cameron yDNA Project’ to ensure your money gets to the right place.

4)    If you are able to assist in identifying agnatic (direct male line) descendants of any of the cadets not yet genetically identified, we would be delighted to hear from you.

5)    Regarding new testers on your line or any other, please discuss with Jo and I before plunking down your hard-earned cash. Some lines are more in need of additional testers than others, and some tests are more worthwhile than others. Just as one example, testing an immediate relative (father, son, brother, uncle) when you’ve already tested is of very limited value. It’s not that we’re trying to control you – we just want to help you get the most bang for your testing buck!

As aways Loraine and I are only too happy to answer any emails and questions you have about YDNA testing and the Cameron YDNA Project.

The Project is open to all men with the surname Cameron and also those who find themselves positive for the Cameron defining STR’s at 37 markers & the INDEL R-A6138 which is discovered after taking the Big Y700 test at FamilyTreeDNA.

Loraine Smith (

Jo Cameron (