Hamilton DNA Project

Published: 5 March 2013
Updated/Edited: 12 July 2016

The Hamilton National Genealogical Society initiated the Hamilton Surname DNA Project in 2002. The volunteer coordinator for the project is Gordon Hamilton and he can be reached at: “gah4@psu.edu”.

As of June 2016, SIXTEEN of John Hamilton’s descendants have joined the Y-DNA project and our group is represented in the Hamilton DNA Results and Discussion page in the “Group R1b-5 (Haplogroup R1b-M269>P312>L21>L1335).” There are SEVEN different surnames which match each other through their Y-DNA, they are: Hamilton, Forsyth, Nelson, Pepper, Robinson, Carnes, and Stein.

My Grandfather John Prouty Pepper’s Y-DNA identification is “P-231, Kit #64670.” I took the sample from his cheek when he was 99 years old. It was his Y-DNA that revealed that we are Scottish descendants of John Hamilton! Thank-you, Grandpa!

From the discussion page we learn:
“The R-L21 haplogroup family is the most common haplogroup family in Scotland so it is not too surprising that many Hamiltons are members of this family which includes at least Groups R1b-5 to R1b-8 and R1b-16. Further terminal SNPs are now known for Groups R1b-5 to R1b-7 but they all still have the L21 SNP. The genetic signatures of those in R1b-5 and R1b-6 are especially close to a DNA profile sometimes referred to as the Scots Modal R1b or the Dalriadic modal since the initiating ancestors of this profile are thought to have been the Dalriadic group who ruled Scotland in the early medieval period. A new terminal SNP for people with this profile has recently been identified. It is L1335 which at least one individual in each of Groups R1b-5 and R1b-6 has. This profile is very common in Highland Scotland, especially among those in Clan Donald and related septs. Participant H-154 in Group R1b-6 has this exact 25 marker profile but most of those in R1b-5 differ from this profile at only one marker, namely DYS449, where R1b-5 has a value of 26 at this site rather than the 30 of the Scots Modal profile. Although it is likely that those in R1b-5 and R1b-6 had a common ancestor in the medieval period, their 67 and 111 marker profiles differ enough that their lines must have diverged at a fairly early time.

Here is our particular line inherited by all of the sons and grandsons of John Hamilton who carry the Hamilton surname:
The paper trail indicates that participants H-018, H-094, H-031, H-397 and H- 539 in Group R1b-5 are descended from John Hamilton who emigrated from Britain to Concord, MA about 1650 so again it is not too surprising that their results match well. As a result, any direct male Hamilton descendant who suspects he may be derived from this John of Concord can now easily prove or disprove the possibility by having his DNA analyzed and comparing his results to these profiles. In this regard the close similarity of the DNA profiles for P-231, S-327, N-343, F-475 and R-481 to those of the foregoing imply that they may be derived from the same immigrant Hamilton ancestor even though their surnames are not Hamilton. Participant H-084 in Group R1b-5 does not trace his lineage to John of Concord but rather to ancestors in the 1600s in Fife and Argyll, Scotland. The observation that the profile for H-084 is reasonably close to those for the others in Group R1b-5 suggests that they probably all shared a common ancestor in Scotland prior to 1600. The FTDNATiP calculation using 67 markers indicates that there is a 63% chance that H-084 and H-031 share a common ancestor in 12 generations and a 99% chance in 24 generations.”


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