Hamilton DNA Notes

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Date: 10 Oct 2020 [unknown]
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General Comments about DNA Confirmation for Genealogy

DNA information about ancestral lines is often speculated upon. While the speculation of specific Haplogroups might be useful, it should not be assumed that the speculation is correct. For Wikitree, Y DNA matches also need well documented pedigrees. It is also possible for name changes to occur. This is not uncommon in Scottish genealogy where a male may take the name of his wife's family in order to preserve a family name. This page can be used for detailed analysis of Hamilton DNA for use in the genealogy of the family. Note that a single Y-DNA test is not sufficent to indicate the haplogroup of any individual. At least two lines to the Most Recent Common Ancestor are required.

DNA: Y-Chromosome Haplogroup I-L1237

All male line descendants of this person will be the same haplogroup. For an explanation of Y chromosome testing for genealogy purposes see Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogical_DNA_test#Y_chromosome_.28Y-DNA.29_testing. Note STR patterns can be used to predict a haplogroup wheresas specific SNP testing accurately defines a haplogroup. The current approved haplotree can be found at http://www.isogg.org/tree/index.html and the current haplogroup designations against specific SNPs can be found at http://www.isogg.org/tree/ISOGG_YDNA_SNP_IndexSource.html. The Hamilton Surname genetic genealogy project site: http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/g/a/gah4/HamDNA/GrpB.html

Sir James Hamilton 5th Laird of Cadzow

Research by the Hamilton DNA Project Group claims that his father could not have been Sir John Hamilton, 4th of Cadzow. This study claims it has conclusively proved that John isn’t his father, but none of the research “proving” this conclusion is included in the report and no source citations are given. It may be possible to validate the results, but it appears to require the reader to track down genealogies and associate individuals with a branch from anonymized data. While the study is compelling on the surface, there is so little detail that it cannot be taken with the certitude that it claims. It also requires taking the pedigrees on faith and they would be at least 17 generations long.

Other research disputes the certainty claimed and leaves this parentage as just a possiibility. Sir John Hamilton should be left as his father until such time as a peer reviewed study is published. Such a study should preferably conform to the Genealogical Proof Standard.[1] The study appears to fit the following chart:

It shows that there isn't enough data provided to concude anything definitively.

Member Comments

Comment by Michael Hamilton: As for the confusion concerning the Hamilton Y-DNA and the Douglas Y-DNA. In one instance of the Douglas Y-DNA: Y-DNA I-L338 for all of Walter Hamilton of Darngaber's male line? Possibly. (my early Great-grandfather, on my grandMother's side) Y-DNA is possibly I-Y6635 per Descendent of Walter Hamilton of Darngaber, (potentially one of my FTDNA matches). BOTH I-L338 (also known as I1a2a1a1a) and related I-Y6635 (also known as I1a3a1a1a1, Parent Branch: I-Y6624) are of Haplogroup I-M253 also known as I1 (a Y chromosome haplogroup). I-L338 is a well-known Haplogroup of the Douglases.

Walter Hamilton of Darngaber (not "of Cadzow") BIRTH 1392 • Cadzow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, DEATH 20 MAY 1441 • Trabzon, Trabzon, Turkey and his descendants were descended from the Douglases and not the Hamiltons.


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Genealogical Proof Standard," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Genealogical_Proof_Standard&oldid=930597991 (accessed June 17, 2021).






(And it is not unreasonable to, at least, consider the uncle of Walter Hamilton (of Darngarber, not "of Cadzow"), John Hamilton of Fingalton as not being a Hamilton either as their Y-DNA has been compared. Assumptions to the contrary are very risky.)

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