The Livingston/Maclea/Boggs DNA Surname Project

Founded February 2003,

This project is open to all families potentially affiliated with any Livingston(e) or Maclea family.

It is run by participants, for participants.

This is a joint genealogical effort to try to reconstruct family trees, which may contain errors. If you think you see something you want to copy, please also do me the favor of contacting the maker of this webpage (Andrew.Lancaster “at” to give me a chance to update you on the latest possibilities.


This is the results page for our “R1b” haplotypes

To go to the main page, click here.

To go straight to the table of results, click here.

To go to our web page for the other haplotypes of our project, click here.

To go to the genealogical notes on R1b results, click here.

Introduction to R1b.

R1b is a haplogroup. It is in other words a way of grouping all modern men according to male line common ancestors which we are sure they share, and which they do not share with other men.

This haplogroup is the main one for this project, and it is indeed close to the type of “DNA signature” (or haplotype) that is most common in Western Europe generally. Different types of R1b are also found in the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Africa. Genetic genealogists have coined the term “Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype” (WAMH) to describe the particular R1b-type DNA signature that is most common on the whole European Atlantic coast.

Turning to the results themselves, at first sight, the R1b types within our group are a good (or even extreme) sampling of the diversity that one might expect in the general Scottish population. Therefore it should be noted that this whole group can best be considered in relation to other Scottish DNA projects. Many people must have taken up the names Maclea, and Livingstone at different times and for different reasons. And many of those would have been R1b. Until surprisingly recently in Scotland, particularly highland Scotland, people would often change surnames during their lifetime, simply because they had moved to a new area, or taken on new allegiances or a nickname. A particularly important clan for us to consider is the Clan Donald, as this very large clan took in families from the same region where the smaller Clan MacLea lived. They have a new web page.

A “cousin” to the WAMH is the “Scots” cluster, which is important in our project (as well as the Campbells, MacDonalds, Buchanans, MacGregors and many others). It was apparently identified first by the genealogical community, especially perhaps Ken Nordtvedt and Mark MacDonald of the Clan Donald DNA project. Some people claim that it should be associated with the ancient royalty of the Argyll Scotti, the Dal Riata or Dal Riada kings who came from Northern Ireland. John McEwan’s geographical analysis does show an association with Argyll, but not with Ireland. Our project is cooperating with others to further study this subject. See

Another variant from WAMH which is important to clan historians is the North West Irish modal which was also perhaps first seen by genealogists (I think David Wilson may have been first) but which has also been the subject of an academic study of Irish surnames and Y lineages, published in 2005, which claims to have shown a link with the ancient Ui Neill dynasty. This does not seem to play a big role in our project. See for more data.

A quick introduction to the DNA results and what they mean

Background reading:


KEY. To make it easier to take this large R1b group in I have divided it into two tables and used a colour coding based which tries to make what is most unusual most obvious. Only the very fastest markers are given red titles. And all coloured cells within the table are on the following basis:

1.      Pale Yellow for 1 repeat less than the typical group value (group modal) chosen for comparison (bright green row at top).

2.      Bright Yellow for 2 repeats less than group modal.

3.      Pink for 1 repeat more than group modal.

4.      Magenta for 2 repeats more than group modal.

5.      Purple for 3 repeats more than group modal.

6.      Red for 4 repeats more than group modal.

7.      Bright green for more distant, and therefore outstanding, results.

Individuals marked as SMGF come from the Sorenson database at and are not participants of the project as such.


Table of Results for R1b Families.


Genealogical Notes on Participant Families.

Livingston 16731. This Australian Livingston has roots by paper trail back to Tranent, near Edinburgh. James Livingston married Elizabeth Lees on 20 Feb 1818, at Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. The DNA result indicates that any connection to Dr Livingstone is unlikely to be in the male line. There are no close matches known, including other surnames. Ysearch.

Livingston 113767. The grandfather of this participant was Jasper (“Jack”) Livingston, born Summers, MT. His father in turn was James or William Livingston, from Shelby, NC, who was in turn the son of William F. Livingston and his wife Carrie. When we look at 37 markers, this is a fairly unusual DNA signature with no close matches known, including other surnames.

Maclay 106058 (same family also tested by This family has been traced back to a Joseph Maclay born in Lifford, Co. Donegal, Ireland about 1871. It is interesting that this family does not match our two Donegal McClay families below in the so-called MacWho group. No close matches known, including other surnames.

Livingston 120447. This family descends from William Livingston, a civil war confederate born 1819 in Kentucky and died 1864 in Missouri. The family believes itself to be Scots Irish, which in America is the common way of referring to families originally from Scotland, who lived in Ireland for some time before moving on to America. The DNA is of the R1b "Scots" type, most commonly associated with Scottish surnames. This family has particularly close matches with families surnamed Dawe, Matney and Mattingly.

One “Scots” Dunleavy from Ireland. I have added a short haplotype from a Dunleavy match in Ireland. It appears to be of the “Scots” type which is reasonably unusual in Ireland. Throughout this project I have added all the 12 Dunleavys from an academic study of Irish DNA: Brian McEvoy, Daniel G. Bradley “Y-chromosomes and the extent of patrilineal ancestry in Irish surnames”, Human Genetics 2006. The importance to our project should be obvious when it is considered that MacLea is said to come from the surname Mac Dunleavy (various spellings) meaning “son of Dunleavy”. This one, D05, is particular important because it is so close to our main clan Maclea families.

Lee 10348 is a classic example of the R1b “Scots” haplotype (just for example: 21629, 7703, 27994, 16930, 31327), whose name might be a contraction of one of the many forms of the name MacLea. People with this typical haplotype often have many close matches. In this case the closest include a Macdonald and a Montgomery. Ysearch.

Livingston family 118685 can be traced back to John Livingston (who was recorded with various spellings) who married Mary Bryant in 1797 in Shelby Co., Kentucky. They intermarried with a McNew family, with whom they seem to have moved at the same time to Indiana and later Illinois. It is believed they are connected to the Jessamine County, Kentucky Livingstons. Connections to both the Poropotank Livingston family, mentioned below, and the Livingstons of Botetourt Co., VA., mentioned in our R1a section, have also been suggested, although the DNA shows these to be three separate male lines, even if related perhaps in some either way. This family has particularly close matches to several people with the surnames Reed, Patterson, Geddes/Gaddas, and one person named Powers.

McClain family 30521 is one of several known cases where a McLean/McLane surname closely matches McLea families. It is also yet another good example of the so called Scots signature associated with Argyll. McLea/McLean matches are likely first because the two families share an ancient association with the Lorne area in Argyll, and especially around the Isle of Lismore, and secondly because of simple spelling changes in recent centuries, after many of these families had left their highland homeland.

Livingstone 107477. This participant is the grandson of Duncan Livingstone who married to Mary Agnes O'Connell and was having children around 1920. Both were born in the US, and Duncan was possibly born in Boston, MA USA. No very close matches are known.

Our "cadet" group seem related to each other, given their unusual H4 marker values. Furthermore they seem to be distant cousins of our Bachuil group (below). Also interesting is that this is a case which shows a Maclea (MacLay) and a Livingston being related.

The DNA signature for this group is yet another example of the R1b variant sometimes called the “Scots” type, which some genealogists associate with the ancient “Scotti” kings of Dal Riata. Given the complications of a possible gene conversion, different surnames and also belonging to a common Scottish haplotype, these two families have tested several extra markers to try to determine whether they might be as closely related as they seem. Those extra markers have tended to be more different than expected. Ysearch for 21629, which is the more unusual. Ysearch for 28652.

The Lismoreor Bachuilgroup of Livingstones. The chiefly line of the Clan MacLea.

See the clan website. This family is thought to descend from very old clan leadership, going back to the Dark Ages. The name MacLea, used by their ancestors, seems to descend from an older form “Mac Dunsleibhe” (son of Dunlevy). They still hold the ancient staff (Bachuil) of the Irish Missionary St Moluag. This DNA signature has been used to try to reconstruct the signature of the leaders of the Scotti from Northern Ireland in the Dark Ages (the so called Dal Riata or Riada) and it definitely shows similarities to some other clans from the Highlands. The problem is however that this “Scots” DNA family is enormous – possibly 20% of all Scottish male lines – and much older than a Dal Riada explanation could account for. Compared to most families in this cluster however, they have rather unusual values for YCAIIb (19-22 instead of 19-24) and C4 (25 instead of 24), and looking at such details is probably going to eventually be a more fruitful approach. One theory of the ancestry of Dr Livingstone, perhaps the leading one, was that he was also a member of this family. The project appears to have disproven that. See 99507 below. SMGF search. Ysearch.

Livingstone N25124 is a member we do not know much about, and with only 12 markers it is difficult to draw many conclusions.

The SMGF Livingstone family from Rutherglen is the one with DYS385=11-13. Note that Rutherglen  is close to Blantyre, where Dr Livingstone was born. His markers are not spectacularly close to anyone in the project at first sight, but it should be mentioned that YCAIIb=22 is typical of the Lismore group and comparatively unsusual amongst “Scots” type R1b men. SMGF search.

The “Southern Irish” type Dunleavys. Next are the other three R1b Dunleavy haplotypes from Brian McEvoy and Daniel G. Bradley “Y-chromosomes and the extent of patrilineal ancestry in Irish surnames”, Human Genetics 2006. They appear not to be of the “Scots” haplotype, but rather from a type associated with Ireland, and seemingly more Southern than Northern Ireland. See and On their closest matches have the surname Shores.

The “Liebenstein” Livingstons.

31327, 7882, 26905. Only 26905 has not seemingly traced his line back to a group of German immigrants who went by the name of Liebenstein. They did not all know of their connection to Germany. They seem to come from Dühren, near Heidelberg and Heilbronn, and before that possibly Zürich in Switzerland. Ultimately, there is a story that they had Scottish ancestry, which is possible, given the military and religious links the Calvinist Scots had with this region in the early modern period (after the earlier importance of Geneva, where Scots such as John Knox studied, Zürich became very important also). Perhaps they descend from so-called “Marian exiles”. It is certain that Heinrich Bullinger preached in the same village of Albisrieden (See . With 37 markers now tested, their DNA certainly looks more Scottish than anything else (like several of our groups it has the so-called Colla signature) and searching for matches on public databases shows Livingstons with known Scottish ancestry. So while not finally proven, the case is pretty good! SMGF search for 31327.

Livingston 16930 The furthest securely traced paternal ancestor for this Livingston family is George Livingston, of Washington City, PA, b abt. 1795. The DNA signature is of the peculiarly Scottish R1b variant sometimes called the Scotstype, which some genealogists associate with the ancient Scottikings of Dal Riata in what is now Argyll. His closest match found on Ysearch, has the surname Thrasher.


Livingston 97325.  His furthest traced paternal ancestor is Barnabas Livingston b. Burke County, Georgia, 1794.


Our Livingston-Brown-Boggs family

            Contact a member of this Boggs family.

Members of this family are advised to maintain joint membership with the Boggs project also.


Livingston 92987 has a family tree connecting him to the well-known Livingstons of Clermont in New York, via John Livingston, the son of Robert Livingston the “third lord” of Clermont, who was in turn grandson of Robert Livingston the “first lord”. The DNA signature may be a distant variant of the so-called Scots type, but it does not have many close matches.


Livingston 97445. This family is said to descend from the Livingstons of Clermont via two sons of "Robert of Clermont", 3rd lord of the manor, Robert "Cambridge" Livingston (line carrying the Livingston paternal DNA), and John "of Oak Hill" Livingston (through two of his grand-daughters).

The great-grandfather of the participant was Col. Charles Edward Livingston of Red Hook, New York, who served with the Union N.Y. 76th Infantry Volunteers during the American Civil War. He was the son of Robert Francis Livingston, a Surveyor and Civil Engineer, who, in turn, was the son of Robert Swift Livingston. Robert Swift Livingston was the son of Robert "Cambridge" Livingston and Alice Swift.


Belfast. Our Livingstone who appears next was tested by Thomas McBride Livingstone, our participant’s grandfather, married Letitia Patton Crawford in Belfast 1905, and later died on the island of Walney in Lancashire about 1970. Thomas was a Pattern Maker at the time of his wedding, so may have worked in the ship building industry in Belfast. On same date, his father was named as James E. Livingstone, book-keeper. Thomas served in World War I and it's believed moved to England after completing his service.


The “Greene County, Georgia” group.

28664, 35052 , 46328,  55554 and 60881 seem definitely related both according to paper trails and DNA. They seem to descend from 2 brothers who lived in Greene, Georgia. However their parents have not been identified, though they appear to have come from Ireland, probably Northern Ireland. Some genealogists have claimed that this family descends from a Callendar Livingston family who lived in Burren in County Down, but no evidence has been found to substantiate this yet. The DNA results seem to indicate that there might be a connection with the family of Doctor Livingstone, the following group. Perhaps the Greene County Livingstons are really “highlanders” of the Clan MacLea? SMGF search for 28664.

Contact a member of this Livingston family.


Livingstone families 59765 and 99507, are both Canadian, and both of highland, Gaelic speaking heritage. The ancestry of 59765 goes back to Islay, near MacLea territory. Family 99507 on the other hand descends from John Livingstone, the brother of Doctor Livingstone the famous missionary.


Livingston tested by John Levistone (aka the Scotsman) of Billerica Massachusetts is the earliest known paternal ancestor of this participating family. He died 1735 Billerica. He is first mentioned in the History of Billerica by Hazen as working for Thomas Carrier cutting brush. The main difference with 99507, the family of Dr Livingstone, is on the multi-part marker DYS464. Because of the ways in which such markers can mutate, they may possibly be far closer than they seem.


Livingstone 62857  does not closely match any other participating families in our project yet. It is predicted that this male line probably has the ancient mutation known as S28 or U152, which some people associate with Europe more than Britain, although it is certainly found in British male lines.


Livingston 12063 and 29085. Two known relatives, thought to be related to Philip Livingston, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Ysearch.


McKinley 42636 is a joint participant in both our project and the MacKinley clan project, which we believe will often overlap with ours. So far he has no obviously related matches that I can find. Ysearch.


SMGF McKinlay. This individual found on traces his furthest paternal ancestor to James Kinlay or McKinlay born 29 Feb 1752 Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland, married 5 Feb 1775 to Jean Grieve, died 16 Jul 1810. They have a perfect match with a MacKay family who traces his furthest paternal ancestry to County Down in Northern Ireland. Normally MacKay is said to derive from MacAoidh (Aodh’s son) or MacDhai (David’s son), but perhaps in this case it does not? The oldest spellings of MacLea include versions such as MacOnlea.


Cluster 26”.

16114, 32365, N16163 and 17767. See separate webpage about this cluster. In John McEwan’s study, these are all within a very Irish-Scottish looking part of R1b cluster 26. Within this cluster are families with surnames McCain/McKean, McCauley/McColly, McDonald, Henry/Henrie, McCarter/MacArthur, Gay and Poore, which may lead to interesting clan historical and/or genealogical conclusions one day. Many of the markers of this group look deceptively average. But notice how the multi-part markers called 459, 464a&b, 464c&d, YCAII and CDY are all the same as each other. Of these 459 and YCAII are slow changing markers, and this particular signature is shared by a small cluster of Northern Irish and Western Scottish families. The McKane families all seem to belong to a Northern Irish family associated with the Route or Dal Riata area and the surnames Henry and MacArthur are also thought to come from the same general region, which was where the Argyll Scotti are said to have come from. (See and

Three surname groups within this greater family cluster are of particular interest to our project…

·         The McLea and MacLea are known relatives despite the slightly different surname spelling. The ancestry is traced back to Glasgow, but is thought to go back to Bute, whence there are some indications that the line might go back to the MacLeas of Lindsay. (This is discussed more extensively on the clan website.)

·         They have an extremely close match with our McLin participant. MacLin could either come from the same part of Northern Ireland (where it would mean “son of Flynn”) or it could be a variant of MacLean, from the same region where the MacLea clan was based in Argyll. We know that the surnames MacLea and MacLean were sometimes.

·         McCauley/McColly could easily be a derivative of some of the early predecessors of the name Maclea (or these MacLeas might descend from MacCauleys who were not MacLeas?) and so we have a McCauley in the project (17767) who is a member of another project also.

SMGF search for 16114. Ysearch for 16114.             Contact a member of the DNA family.


Livingston 32911. This is an Australian Livingston family which feels itself related to Dr Livingstone. Now that 37 markers are tested it is clear that he is not a close relative of the 12063 and 29085 group. Unfortunately for genealogical purposes, his DNA signature, while not far from several other groups in the project, is also very typical for any Western European R1b family. So it is presently hard to draw any conclusions about very distant relations. Should a relative join the project however, we would see it clearly. Ysearch.


Livingston 45347 The earliest recorded event in this Livingston family history appears to be a marriage in Dubuque Co. Iowa on 1 Aug 1842 when Ira Livingston married Mary Ann West. Our participant is interested to find any possible relations. SMGF search for 45347. Ysearch for 45347.


A second Boggs related line.


McElyea 139781. McElyea is sometimes suggested to be a MacLea variant. This kit result matches other McElyeas, but no MacLeas or similar.


Livingston 136349. This family is from Arkansas, and because there was an adoption it is difficult to trace. They have been tentatively traced back to Arthur Livingston, Kansas, around 1900. Although the basic DNA signature is very common, there are not yet any close Livingston matches.


A Highland line (we are at least sure about the ones with 67 markers, we advise the others to upgrade in order to confirm membership in this family)…


Levingston  10635 is an extremely unusual haplotype with no close matches on public databases so far found. His closest known match is a Miller from Canada. His ancestry appears to come from Ireland. Ysearch. SMGF search.


The “MacWho? group”.

These 5 results,  19583, 94244, 20565, 14518 and our Maclay tested by, are not known relatives, but they share very unusual markers, especially at 385a and 458. It was only recently confirmed that this group really is R1b. There is a website investigating this strange haplotype, apparently only found in Scotland, and the nickname “MacWho” has come into use to refer to their unknown common ancestor. Other surnames with matches include Porter and Fergus(on). Within our project, this is one of the only groups linking Maclea type names with Livingstone type names.

Strangely enough, because of the unusual mutation that kicked off this group long ago, they might be closer than it seems to our participants 32911, 15073, 15662, or 16930.

SMGF search for 19538.


The “Poropotank group”  of Livingstons. The value for DYS390, 26, is extremely unusual. 25 is much more common, though still not very common. The individuals have evidence linking them to either John (I) Livingston of Poropotank, or John Orrell Livingston. The link between these two had been suspected and is now proven. The genealogists of this family suspected a connection to the “lowland” Livingstons of Callendar, either from the New York branch of this family (some of whom owned Clermont, and another of whom signed the Declaration of Independence), or directly from the Scottish Dunipace branch. While we do not have a positive match with any of the families claiming to descend from the New York Livingstons, it must be said that old aristocratic families often quite legitimately pass on surnames with inheritance, and not strictly according to male lines. DNA can only follow pure male lines. With such an old family, it is therefore difficult to be sure what to expect.

It is potentially genealogically useful for this family, looking for possible distant matches to its unusual DNA signature, that this family has tested positive for the ancient SNP mutation U106, also known as S21 or M405 (having been discovered several times by different labs). Male line relatives will also have this mutation.

SMGF matches. Ysearch for matches.                       Contact a member of this Livingston family.


The “Northwest Irish” type Dunleavys. Next are two more groups of Dunleavys from Ireland – probably related to each other, but no one else in our study. These ones have a more peculiarly North West Irish DNA signature that has been associated with the Ui Neill dynasty, “Niall of the Nine Hostages” and the region of Donegal. Most of the data comes from the above-mentioned Trinity College study, but we now have one Dunlavy and one Dunleavy who are members of the project.


Livingston 109136 and 27752 are definitely related, based on the close DNA result. We do not yet have genealogical information concerning 27752, but 109316 is a test result from the Livingstons of Kinderhook, who are often associated with the Livingstons of Clermont, who lived nearby at a similar time. They descend from James Livingston of Kinderhook in New York, who in 1728 married Catherine Kuhn, who was a “Palatine” (early protestant German immigrant). The family is mentioned on webpages. See for example

As can be seen by the match with our Dunlavy, this family has the DNA signature associated with NW Ireland. This would not be unusual for a Scottish or English family, but the ancient ancestry is most probably Irish. This dynasty are now known to share the SNP mutation M222. See for example