For those of us who are Scots-Irish or have a common ancestry in Scotland, it appears that Y-DNA testing, which is unique to the paternal line (the Y-DNA is passed only from father to son), is an opportunity to determine if we can establish that common ancestry – hopefully to the Isle of Bute. We know that several Gailey and Gayley families trace back to the Isle of Bute, via the “three Gealy brothers”, in the early 1700s.
I just completed Y-DNA testing through FamilyTree DNA. FTDNA gives all exact and “pretty close” matches, and they provide statistics on what the matches mean. The Y-Search website also facilitates the comparison of test results from all DNA testing companies, but from my limited exposure, it appears that FamilyTree DNA dominates the market.
It turns out that for people with the same surname or variant thereof, a 37-marker Y-DNA test is a “pretty good” way to determine if the people are reasonably closely related – that is, they have a common male ancestor within, say, within the past 10 generations or so. This is about what we need to get insight into the Isle of Bute business.
The cost of a 37-marker Y-DNA test is probably between $125 and $150. Sometimes they offer sale prices. (I don’t have any financial interest in FamilyTree DNA or in any other testing company.) The other consideration is that one needs only a single test from one’s extended family – because all the men will be the same. So get your siblings and cousins to kick in.
If I maintain momentum, I will set up a “Gailey, et al Scots-Irish” project on the FTDNA site. But FTDNA does all the comparisons whether one is in a project group or not.
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