By Joanne Cameron (Co-Administrator)
The tree of mankind is possibly quite good to illustrate the position of where Group A Cameron men sit, all the numbers i.e. R-A6138 represent actual men in history! We know that the progenitor of Clan Cameron was most likely R-A6138. This tree only came to be because of those who take their testing further i.e. The Big Y-700. It will only get better!
Here is the descent (shown as SNP’s) descending from R-M269 which has 10,761 downstream branches to date! R-M269 is the most common YDNA Haplogroup in Western Europe and is thought to have originated about 9,500 years ago in the region of the Black Sea, and then spread to Europe very soon thereafter.
**The Celtic people i.e. Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Scot (Royal Stewart) branch out from R-DF13 of which there are 4,485 current branches found to date. From R-DF13>R-Z39589>R-DF41 which dating as of May 2019 has as a male who lived in the mid Bronze Age (1700-1750 BC). This SNP is sometimes known as a Scot SNP but new testing is proving this to be not always the case**
R-A7298 is the progenitor of Clan Cameron, MacPhee and MacNab. R-A7300 is the progenitor of Cameron and MacPhee. The 10 branches underneath R-A6138 are a mixture of now named cadets (McMartin, MacGillonie and Clunes) and unnamed cadets still to be named.
It is pretty easy to categorise the Celts and Vikings as being one particular stock and therefore haplogroup. In reality, we have Norse Vikings and Danish Vikings both of which appear to be either R1A or of the I1 Haplogroup. It is pretty rare in England to see the R1A Haplogroup appear in areas that weren’t occupied by the Vikings but in the same breath Haplogroup I1 is found in high frequencies in Scandinavia so the reality is that both can be named “Viking”.
The same can be said for the “Celts”. The true Celts are the native people who most likely populated parts of the British Isles after the last ice age and whose populations appear in Cornwall, Wales and Ireland. The Royal Stewart Line in Scotland are “Celts” but they share the same Y Haplogroup (and paternal ancestor) as those who have the earliest roots in Cornwall. The so-called Celts of the British Isles.
This Haplogroup is part of R1B so if we go back even further in history all R1B men share the same ancestor, Camerons included (the lineage branched out many thousands of years ago from the “Celts”). Remember surnames are relatively recent in the history of mankind.
However, Group A Camerons certainly don’t appear to be of Norse origin. We have to also at this stage be careful with the known history of Clan Cameron, our aim of the Project is to sort fact from fiction so we treat all we know of the Clan with kid gloves. There are many layers of history to uncover. Loraine and I are very fortunate that we have a number of family historians that help us, including former Australian Commissioner Dr Bob Cameron.
However with each Group A BigY-700 test that does come in we increase our knowledge of the Clan. We are seeing real definition with the new testing that wasn’t there before. We are incredibly excited about it actually, the new SNP’s that are being found are also giving us better dating.
The only reason we can now align both Bob and Fraser (Fraser was our NZ Commissioner before Nick took over a couple of years ago) is because they took up the Big Y-700 test.
We know that with our Group A Camerons YSTR testing is unable to tell someone which cadet they belong to because a phenomenon called convergence or back mutation occurs in these men.
This is when a YSTR moves, mutates, either forward or backward over time. So with other surname projects YSTR testing is very heavily used and relied on for placement in their Project, but it is virtually useless for our Group A Cameron men. The only use we have for it is within the first 37-67 YSTRS there is a reliable signature that tells us whether or not the tester belongs to Group A or not.
This is the reason why we recommend our Group A testers to upgrade, we are aware of the expense, however, and totally understand those who cannot do so. Family Tree DNA hold your sample for 25 years in case you do want to future upgrade so don’t worry too much about that. However, if they do need a fresh sample they email you and send out a new test kit to use and send back.