Y-DNA update Nov. 2021

Development of deeper structure within NE Scotland Lobbans ancestors

This page will be a revision of the March 2000 report. STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION that will elaborate on the new structure for JFS0277 and above,  and the trace of the Lobban motif back before surnames

At the end of the first phase of the project, as described in the Status Report, Sep. 2019, we had established that there were 4 lines of  descent within the NE Scotland Lobbans, that the Inverness Lobbans on the basis of a single sample were unrelated to the NE Scotland Lobbans, and hypothesized that the NE Scotland Lobbans might have a Flemish origin. During the last six months we have tried to link all the remaining family trees into this framework and to analyze and map the family trees for each group in the NE Scotland Lobbans. That is now largely complete, and the remaining work to be done is to try to find more descendants of Inverness/Black Isle families to develop that side of the family (there appear to be few branches that have continued to the present day), and to find the connection of the Turriff Lobbans (descendants in Michigan) to the NE Scotland Lobbans tree. Please refer to the geographic distribution map below.

Distribution map of main NE Scotland Lobban family branches. Base map from ANESFHS. Data overlay by C.S. Lobban. The numbers are percentages and totals of Lobban births (baptisms) in the parish from parish records, i.e., through 1854. Click to enlarge.

As of March 2020, with the addition of more Y-700 samples to improve understanding of the four main lines,  we had the diagram shown immediately below. The new results narrowed the Lowland Lobbans haplogroup to JFS0277 and added the Holmes line from JFS0275, which has its origins before surnames, the second diagram below.

March 2020 structure of Lowland Lobban tree based on DNA results. Blue lines of descent are documented by written records, black lines show connections supported by Y-DNA data.


Revised tree, Nov 2021, shows change of Lowland Lobbans haplogroup to JFS0277 and new structure above that, which appears to be all those with the Lobban STR motif, going back before surnames.

Lowland Lobbans now JFS0277

The most recent common ancestor  (MRCA) of Loban/Lobban is now identified by the marker JFS0277. Based on  Y-DNA results, he was born about 1450. New evidence for the Lobban motif being present in JFS0275 before surnames (see below) makes it highly unlikely that this was the hypothetical Flemish founder is still unknown; that person might have been as far back as 1100. There are four branches arising from this common ancestor, over the next 50–100 years, or 2–3 generations. On average there is one new SNP every 3 generations, so that these four branches must have arisen in different lines — a son here, a grandson from a different son, and so on.  The four lines are now called Banffshire Lobbans (BY227100), Glass Area Lobbans (FT61976), Dutch Laban line (BY173284), and Moray Lobbans (FT75068). It is difficult to speculate on the relative ages of these branches, but the facts that the Banffshire Lobbans were most widespread and numerous, and that their MRCA has now been pushed back to about 1500, suggests that this may have been the first. However, the geographic distribution is skewed because the other three haplogroups all had early emigration events so that large parts of the descendant population do not appear on the map (in the case of the Dutch Laban line, the entire tree is in Holland).

Structure within the Banffshire Lobbans (BY227100)

We originally thought that BY227100 represented the Rothiemay Area Lobbans, but the recent finding that the Marnoch Area Lobbans are ancestral to them has led to renaming BY227100 as Banffshire Lobbans and defining the Rothiemay Area Lobbans by the new haplogroup FT14993. The Marnoch Lobban tester lacks the FT14993 marker that the four Rothiemay area Lobban testers have. The Marnoch Lobban group needs another tester before its haplogroup marker can be determined.

Within the Rothiemay Area Lobbans we have identified nine groups by mapping the family trees that are supported by written records — this accounts for 8 groups — and from Y-DNA evidence that linked the Loanend Kinnoir–Boginspro branch (FT120187) with the Knabbygates branch (BY98993), now each with two testers  (details here and here).

Structure within the Moray Lobbans (FT75068)

With the connection of the Virginia Lobbans, we also now see two levels of structure within the Moray Lobbans. The first branch, probably about 1525, split off the U.S. Logan line from Urquhart Lobbans (BY212835). The Logan line was already in Aberdeen and the name changing from Loban to Logan when they first appear in the records in the early 1600s. One of the grandchildren emigrated to South Carolina and founded an extensive tree. Within the Urquhart Lobbans this split also leads to a major tree in the US, the Virginia Lobbans.

Glass Area Lobbans

The Glass Area Lobbans appear on the map to be a small group, dominant only in Glass Parish, Aberdeenshire, but the family tree includes two major emigrant branches, one group going to Australia and the other (the US Loban line) going to Illinois, with the third branch mostly staying in Scotland. The connections between all these branches are known from written records.

Dutch Laban Line

The origin of this branch from William Lobban is well established, though his ancestry is still a mystery, beyond being established as within JFS0275.  He settled in Tholen, Zeeland, Holland, where many of his descendants still live (details).

The ancestors of the Lowland Lobbans

Thanks to results from a Holmes match to Limb 7, we now have evidence that JFS0275 was pre-surnames, perhaps back to Norman times, with the Holmes line (and probably others) arising from it, and that the Lowland Lobban STR motif goes back at least to this haplogroup. There is also another new haplogroup inserted between JFS0275 and JFS0282 and it has a branch, FTB51313, where Holmes and Limb 7 Lobbans have two matches by the name of Nash. We thus see the beginnings of a higher-level tree in which Lowland Lobbans and one of several (more likely many) families, all genetically connected by this motif but adopting different names as they lived through the 13th Century.

Non-paternity events

The tree also includes examples of inbound and outbound nonpaternity events (NPEs), i.e., when a boy for any reason does not bear the name of his father. This is not the same as illegitimate child:  baptisms records show that illegitimate children were usually given the father’s name, so not NPEs, whereas some legitimate children were later adopted.  In the Loanend Kinnoir line Ann Harper pinned paternity of her 1867 son on a Lobban, and his denial of it was recently substantiated by a specific marker test. There were also several inbound NPEs in the Glass Lobbans, including one where a man adopted the name to retain tenancy of a croft. The connection of the outbound NPE in the Laban line to JFS0275 was established early on in testing, and more recent ThruLines(R) results from Ancestry.com have narrowed down the connection to a probable MRCA.

Lobban DNA Project at FTDNA

We have established a Lobban DNA Project at FTDNA, so that, while remaining under the umbrella of the Logan DNA Project (as Limb 7) and the Pre1800sLogans social group, we now have our own identity, which will help future testers to find us, and will help me and future genetic genealogists pull up the data. The link is https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/lobban-dna-project/about.


Thanks, as always, to John Sloan, R-U198 Project, for his interpretation of the results.


Page by Christopher S. Lobban, posted 2 Dec. 2021