What is in the blood, cannot be removed from the bone.

Sinclair DNA  -  The Name Matching Project

As of this writing, Family Tree DNA has tested over 500,000 people worldwide, a large number of whom allow their results to be compared to other participants with differing surnames. Think what this means. People only began using surnames in the 11th century. (There are reports of early use by some Sinclair in England but I haven't seen these documents.) But DNA goes all the way back through time. People took their names from their professions (Cooper - barrel maker, Tinkler - silver smith) or from the land they lived on (St. Clair - St. Clair sur Lo). Before they took that name, they could have had wildly differing haplotypes. Or they could have had DNA that matched nearly exactly, yet they lived on different land or went into different trades, and thus had completely different names. 

On the FTDNA website, this is an ongoing process. Members of our project receive regular updates of new folks who have tested who match them, and I have access to them all. The database allows a greater genetic distance on the 67-marker test than on the 25-marker test. For our participants not in the R1b Haplogroup, these matching notifications are not as frequent. Because I’m an AMH, I get notified about once every few weeks of a new match.

It occurred to me that this could be an incredibly important tool for understanding our history just before surnames were adopted, pre-1000 AD. This, like many things in this project, must be viewed cautiously because many of us are in the AMH or at least the R1b Haplogroup.

If you match someone’s name, it means you share an ancestor. The more markers you match on, the more recent the matching. A match on your 12-marker results means you shared reindeer with their ancestors back during the last ice age. A match on the 25-marker results likely gets you all the way up to about 1000 years ago or even sooner. A match on the 37-marker results is far more recent. 

Remember, the time period we're trying to close up is that time just before the Conqueror up until the time of truly reliable documents research - about 1500-1600 AD. The Name Matching project, using the 25 and 37-marker tests, is one very powerful way to help.

As you’ll see on the Name Matching Chart below, I’ve run names from the Plantagenet families, from Norse families, names from the Templar trial records, from the Flemish, the family of Eustace II and Charlemagne’s offspring. I also ran names from our known Sinclair family history, from Native North Americans, from Acadians and Basques. In short, I checked names from any area I could think of in Western Europe which might relate to Sinclair history and, given our long story, this turned into quite a few matches.

The results of this are quite interesting. Note which lineages match which names and the geography these names may have come from. It’s fascinating that Niven and his lineage match an Italian name. I believe this matching means we have the likely correct interpretation of the Heyer Study, at least so far as pointing to this lineage’s Southern European route with their DYS390=25 results.

An important note - Those within the AMH must use caution when getting too excited about such name matches. The matching could be the result of simply cross-mutated markers as explained in the R1b section of this report. HOWEVER, now that I’ve made that careful disclaimer, let me explain why this chart still excites me so much. One day I noticed that Stan and I match the Barton family. That name sounded familiar to me. I ran it through my database of records I keep on my ancestor, Alexander Sinkler of 1698 and up popped the ship crossing record. There was a Barton on the ship with Alexander. Many other records popped up. Alexander bought land from a Valentine Barton. They lived nearly next door to one another. In short, this became a very important discovery and was one of the data points that led me to pursue the Name Matching project. The McQuiston name match + geographical proximity + family legend also gave great credence to the Name Matching project. Had I not known of this family legend, I surely would have written off a McQuiston name match as simply a result of the AMH.

As you read through the names we match below, I hope you’re inspired to continue to check your personal page at Family Tree DNA to see if new name matches pop up. As more and more people test, more name matches will come in.

Also, if you find other interesting name matches in your or other participants’ results, please let us know. After all, this is an ongoing process.

 I'll be adding the actual name match chart here this weekend. 

Sources of names -

Hardie-Stoffelen, Annette, “The Flemish Influence in Scotland,” website - http://www.amg1.net/scotland/fleminfl.html

Phone conversations with the author of “Scottish Hazzard,” Mrs. Beryl Platts of London, December, 2007.

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