Clan MacIntyre DNA and family group reunions

Home » Clan MacIntyre DNA and family group reunions

The idea is to reunite MacIntyre families via DNA matching, culminating in family group reunions at the 2018 World Gathering of MacIntyres.

The purpose

So many Highland families were disrupted by social upheaval, the Clearances, wars, migration, and poverty; with some families losing contact as recently as two or three generations ago. A lot of us have first and second cousins we’ve never met. Most of us would have third and fourth cousins we don’t even know exist.

At the 2018 Gathering we’d like to reunite as many families as possible by working on a special MacIntyre/McIntyre DNA project.

A local member of the Clan MacIntyre Trust – Valerie Bichener in Oban – has undertaken a study of both sides of her own family through DNA and through her own genetic journey has discovered many new connections and new cousins across the globe. It is not an instant process, hence the importance of undertaking the test now, so that as more people have themselves tested, the more opportunities you will have of making matches. has the largest database: it broke the 2 Million barrier in June 2016. It started in the USA in 2012 with UK, Australia,New Zealand and Canada added in 2015.

Valerie is more than happy to share her expertise and Ancestry DNA offers the ability to share your results with others so this can help us  identify similar connections and in time, will allow us to find a possible common ancestor(s).

This could mean potentially getting in contact with long lost cousins and having the opportunity to meet at the Gathering!

The process

How to get your DNA tested:

There are several commercial organisations that will test your Autosomal DNA for a reasonable price. No blood required!! It is merely either a cheek swab or saliva sample, Here are the main Autosomal DNA testing companies.:


Family Tree DNA

23 and me:

If you want to know more about the differences between the tests this chart is useful

To help your choice of testing company, these are some figures from Valerie’s results.

  • Ancestry provides 9250 matches of which 78 are 4th cousins. Previously in 2015, there were only 16 4th cousins or closer. 4th cousins share great great great grandparents of which we all have 32 so could take us back to early 1800s or earlier.
  • One of Valerie’s 4th cousins in Tennessee USA has 1133 4th cousins and over 27000 matches
  • Family Tree DNA provides 1651 matches
  • 23 and me provides 460 matches

For tracing deep ancestry on say just the Paternal line Y Test or Maternal -Mitochondrial then Family Tree DNA offer various bundles. There is also a MacIntyre/McIntyre Forum

Once you have been tested by one of the above, you can upload the results to Gedmatch for more detailed insights and comparison tools to help us find other MacIntyre/McIntyre connections out there. NB This is only for Autosomal DNA.

Recently DNA has been used to help adoptees find their birth families and with the centenary of World War 1 there has also been a project to help identify previously unknown soldiers. There are various tools to identify who else matches you on particular segments.There are lots of webinars/you tube videos and blogs explaining these techniques.

The logistics

  • Timing:it can take up to 6-8 weeks from ordering kit to receiving results so the sooner you order the better.
  • We are posting this explanation of the Gathering DNA project on the Gathering website well in advance so everyone who wants to participate can have their DNA tested in plenty of time
  • Everyone who gets tested could share their DNA results with Val on Ancestry, who would look at the matches for them, and provide suggestions on how to proceed. We may eventually suggest a step by step guide on the website.
  • We could put people in contact before the Gathering and keep a register of all the family groups being reunited
  • The first night of the Gathering is going to be a reception in the banquet hall, but the afternoon before the reception starts will be a “Family Reunion” of all the family groups brought back together by DNA testing

Facebook Group

When you’ve had your DNA tested, please join our Facebook group for “Genealogy and DNA for the World Gathering of MacIntyres 2018” where we’ll start connecting all the dots!


Family Tree DNA and Ancestry usually do special offers around Black Friday so watch out for offers.

Please beware Groupon offer an Ancestry Kit special through which is not suitable for genetic genealogy.