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HistoryScotland Magazine Features Clan Forbes Family History

The January / February edition of HistoryScotland magazine has just hit the virtual stands with a two-page spread featuring the study of DNA genealogist Philip Stead, of the Genealogical Studies programme within the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Strathclyde. The article summarized his findings on the degree of relationship between Clan Forbes members and the Forbes Chieftain lineage.

The study utilised the BigY700 data (a male specific test) of project members of the Forbes Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) project with the surname Forbes or spelling variation. The BigY700 test is a Next Generation Sequencing test (NGS) which sequences 23 million base-pairs of the readable Y-chromosome. The BigY700 test allows scientists to detect single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutations that occur at specific positions of the Y-chromosome, and if two or more individuals share a SNP, the variant becomes a marker that defines a common ancestor via the direct paternal line.

One of the main findings of the study was that a significant Y-chromosome diversity was observed among the male participants with the surname Forbes, plus spelling variants. The results showed that 28 per cent of project members were direct paternal descendants of a Forbes chieftain, and similar findings have been observed in other Scottish clan DNA projects.

You can purchase back issues of the magazine here:

If you are an Active Member of the Clan Forbes Society, you can request a copy of the full report by contacting Bart Forbes, President of the Clan Forbes Society, at

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