How does family dna testing work?

Taking the Test: This is as simple as 1) ordering the test on-line from FamilyTreeDNA, 2) using the swab they send you to rub the inside of your cheek, and 3) posting this back to them in the self-addressed envelope. Some 6 weeks later they will e-mail you and our Clan Maelanfaid DNA program your test results. For us to receive the results please remember to fill in and sign the optional 'Release Form' that comes with the package. Please also confirm to them in your form, that you wish them to keep your sample for possible future improved tests. This is important because the tests get better with time and your sample will allow you to get even better results with these upgrades.

How and What to Order:  To order, please:

  1.  Click on the 'Click here to take the FTDNA test' tab on the top right-hand corner of this page. This will open a new page, whilst leaving this page open behind it.
  2. On the newly opened 'FamilyTreeDNA Clan Maelandfaid' page, in the top right-hand corner, click on the following 'Join' tab . This will open another page.
  3. On the newly opened page, at the bottom, click on the following tab:                                                                                                  'Purchase a Test to Join This Program'
  4. On the newly opened page, part way down the page, click on the following 'Order Now' tab for the Y-DNA111 option:                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  5. On the newly opened page, on the right-hand side, click on the following tab and fill in your credit card and contact details:                                                            

A Canadian Maelanfaid (by marriage) by

Macaloney Lake, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

Clan Maelanfaid DNA

The Y-DNA111 test normally costs US$359, but you get a US$20 discount since you are ordering via our Maelanfaid program. Even though you registered via our program, you can subsequently join other programs such as the various Scotland DNA, Ireland DNA or Ulster DNA programs or other clan programs.

As we accumulate more names and their test results we will compare these to discern relationships between the names, and update the Scotland, Ireland and Ulster pages accordingly. You can also do our own research on the FTDNA web site. Your individual details (address and contact details) will not be released on this web site without your permission.

Boys only, I am afraid!, but the girls are really important :)

The test being used in this and all other clan Y-DNA programs is based on Y-DNA. This Y-DNA is only carried by men which is fortunate for us of Scots & Irish ancestry because historically we came from a traditional patriarchal culture. Thus, we can compare our male Y-DNA results with the various branches of the clan or forms of the name and also with the clan genealogies which are based upon the male chiefs of the clans and their male descendants. So, if you are a daughter or wife of a Maelanfaid ( i.e. Macaloney / McAlonan / Malanaphy / McMartin / McPhail / McBean / McBain / MacClellan / Cowan, Macintagart, Priest, etc)  then please do not take this test yourself. However, you can make a vitally important contribution by getting your father, son or male cousin to take the test. This is an important contribution because the more participants we accumulate, then the greater familial insights we'll gain, and historical questions we can answer!

Some female insights can still be gained from your male relative's DNA test. This comes from his mitochondrial DNA (aka mtDNA) which he got exclusively from his mother. This mtDNA is only passed from mother to child but not from father to child. Thus, if you want to see where your mothers mother and her mother, etc came from, then you can upgrade your test via the FTDNA website. This mtDNA is very different from the Y-DNA in that it only changes slightly (mutates) very, very, very slowly, perhaps every 10,000 years. This means you will not get the same insights (resolution) as compared to the male Y-DNA which may see a single mutation every 130 years, on average. Thus, mtDNA may let you know broad population movements for how your mothers mothers ancestors came out of Africa and moved across Europe to end up in Scotland or Ireland. By comparison, the male Y-DNA test has the potential to give much greater insights including confirming common great-great grandfathers that you share with long lost 3rd cousins that you never knew you had!

You can do your own research and help us even more. There are three ways you can do your own research and improve ours, thereby making even more family connections and bringing greater ancestral insights. These include 1) sharing your family tree, 2) using FTDNA to search for genetic matches (ie unknown relatives), and 3) sharing any research you may have on the origins of the various Maelanfaid names (i.e. Macaloney / Malanaphy / McAlonan / McMartin / McPhail / MacBean / MacBain / MacClellan / Cowan), as follows:

1) Family Tree Research: If you are working on a family tree then you can posted it on-line at any of the on-line ancestry web sites such as or its equivalent. We will post your web-link on our web site (see the Members Family Trees page on this site). This can give you, and our web site participants, truly powerful insights, indeed! For example, one of the Administrators for this site (Graeme Macaloney), who was born in Scotland has a g-g-g-grandfather, Thomas McAlonan b. 1816 in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Ulster. However, there were no insights beyond Thomas or if he had any brothers or sisters and therefore any potential 4th cousins that Graeme may be unaware of. By comparing to the family trees researched and published by Margie Tuttle in her book, The McAloney Family of North America, Graeme was able to see that John McAloney of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada, b.1811 in Co. Antrim, Ulster was Thomas' brother! Furthermore, this John may be descended from a Willam Baine McOloney from Islay in 1686. This connection, only made possible from comparing family trees, means that Graeme's dozens of Scottish cousins, nieces and nephews now have 4th cousins or 4th cousins once removed in Nova Scotia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan & Massachusetts.

2) Using FTDNA to find genetic matches / unknown relatives: The FamilyTree DNA web site has many products and services. One of these is to do your 'Autosomal DNA test' which is an extra test you can order to be conducted on your mouth swab sample. It goes beyond the Y-DNA test to look at your other 22 chromosomes and compares the markers it finds there with the 100,000's of other tests that they have done for people all over the world. If they find a close match (e.g. someone also descended from your g-g-grandfather) then they will let you know who they are and how to contact them. This approach has led to other family researchers finding relatives in Eastern Europe whom they did not know but these relatives had a treasure trove of family information including family photo's, grave stones and why their family member left E. Europe for N. America. Finding unknown relatives who have already taken the DNA test will make a major contribution to this Maelanfaid program because they may have been unaware of their connection to us and may well bring invaluable new information for our program. The other fun aspect that this test does is to tell you your % make-up in terms how much Western European vs E. European, African and even Neanderthal is in you.

3) Clan Origins Research: One of the impressive aspects of the Clan Donald DNA project and the Clan Donnachaidh DNA project, two of the largest and most developed clan projects, is that they bring a thoroughly researched insight into the historically documented and oral traditions of the clan. This includes where and when the clan diverged or relocated, and ancient genealogical manuscripts showing the relationships between the clan progenitors for the various branches of the clan (the namesake founders of the clan). Comparing this historical and traditional 'structure' to the results of the DNA tests, has given them tremendous insights in their program ( and ( and allowed them to focus their efforts for better results. The founding Administrator of our Maelanfaid-DNA project has also conducted extensive research in to the Irish, Scottish and Ulster names in our project, including ancient genealogical manuscripts from both Scotland and Ireland. Some of this research can be gleaned from the summaries given on the 'History' pages within this web site. Much of this consists of hitherto unrecognized or published insights not published elsewhere, which is carefully documented in terms of its sources.

However, more can always be achieved via networking and collaboration. Therefore, if you have documented clan and name histories or traditions, then please contact to share these so that they may be brought together for the benefit of us all, and to help focus the efforts of this program.