Fifty Shades of McFaddens

With participation in the project slowly but surely increasing, I thought a brief update would be in order.

No. of Y-DNA Results submitted by surname
McFadden: 18 (+1 kit pending)
McFaddan: 3
McFaddin: 1
McFadyen: 1
McFadzen: 1

Patterson: 7
Patten: 2
Paden: 1
Paterson: 1
Peadon: 1
Peden: 1
Peyton: 1

No links have yet been found between any of the “P” names and any of the “McF” names, but the real surprising thing is that of the 24 “McF” names, there are at least 11 completely unrelated lineages. If you ignore the three kits that are known to be closely related to other members, we could potentially have 15 unique lineages out of just 21 submissions. That is incredible.

What could account for this? A few things. First of all, we simply don’t have a large enough sample size. There are thousands of McFaddens out there. Maybe we’re all spread across hundreds of lineages, or maybe one or two dominant clans will emerge. Only time and more participants will tell. That’s why the priority at the moment is just generating more interest. Do you know any other Mac Pháidíns? Are you one yourself? Get involved and come along for the ride!

Second, the relatedness of people who share the same surname tends to be grossly overestimated in today’s society. Consider that the Irish surname Ryan has one origin, meaning all Ryans are theoretically related, yet only about half the men in the Ryan DNA project belong to the same lineage. Adoptions, infidelity, and simple name changes have been extremely common throughout history. And unlike Ryan, Mac Pháidín has long been thought to have multiple origins. Everyone knows that the name means “son of Patrick,” but I think it’s safe to say at this point that we’re not talking about one Patrick. Perhaps that is why any type of origin story about “the” Patrick has been lost to history.

In any case, it’s all very fascinating and I can’t wait to see what we find out!

Posted in DNA Testing