What’s the deal?

The McFadden Project is seeking participants for the McFadden surname project at Family Tree DNA.  Potential participants are men whose last name is McFadden, Macfadyen, MacFadzen, Padden, or any name thought to be derived from Mac Pháidín or Mac Páidín.

Click here to see our project’s list of results.

Why only men?

The type of test used by surname projects deals with Y chromosomes.  Only men have a Y chromosome, therefore only men can take a Y-DNA test.

How does Y-DNA testing help the project?

Y chromosomes are passed down from fathers to sons over many generations with relatively little change.  This allows distant relationships between men to be proven or disproven by comparing their Y-DNA test results.  As more men with variations of the Mac Pháidín surname are tested, we will be able to determine whether or not they share a common ancestor, and, if so, roughly estimate how long ago the common ancestor lived. The primary goal of the project is to pair this information with more traditional research in order to learn about the origins of the Mac Pháidín clan or clans.

How much does it cost?

Prices from FTDNA can be found here: http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=McFadden.  Please note that the price listed on the McFadden project page is lower than FTDNA’s normal price, so make sure you have the lower price when ordering.  Also be aware that FTDNA occasionally offers sales that may lower the price further.  I will try to post details on any sales via the blog.

*Anyone who would like to sponsor tests for others may do so here: http://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=McFadden.

How many markers should I test for?

To be of use to the project, you should test at least 37 markers. 67 would be ideal.

Should multiple members of my immediate family take a Y-DNA test?

That shouldn’t be necessary for the purposes of this project.  Close family members will likely have the same results.

I already took a DNA test from Ancestry.com or 23andMe. Can I just transfer my results?

The tests offered by Ancestry.com and 23andMe are unfortunately different than what we are using for the project. They are “autosomal” tests, which look at parts of all your chromosomes. A Y-DNA test only looks at one chromosome – the Y.

If you have tested with 23andMe, you will have been given your Y-DNA haplogroup, which actually is relevant to the project. It gives you a slight hint about your Y-DNA results. But the testing done by 23andMe is not comprehensive enough to be compared with our results.

I’m not a McFadden, but I have a McFadden ancestor.  Can I participate in the DNA project?

Unless your McFadden ancestor is along your direct paternal line (your dad’s dad’s dad, etc. was a McFadden), your Y-DNA results would unfortunately not be of assistance to this project.  However, it would be beneficial if you have one of your male McFadden cousins test.  We’d also love for you to participate in historical and genealogical discussion on our message board.  And, if you’re feeling especially generous, you can sponsor a test for somebody else.

Ok, I’m in!  What do I do next?

Head on over to FTDNA and purchase a Y-DNA test.  After your kit has been processed, you will be able to compare your results to other Mac Pháidíns. Thanks for participating!

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  1. […] – We continue to ask men with any surname derived from Mac Pháidín to join our project. The more people that join, the more we will be able to learn! More info: DNA Testing FAQ […]