• The Morrison DNA Project: Who do you think you really are?

    by  • 8 March 2011 • Genealogy, News & Events • 4 Comments

    In recent years the science of genetic genealogy has made it possible for people to find out who they are by establishing where they probably came from and who they are or might be related to.  This month there is a particularly strong interest in Scotland with the publication of Alistair Moffat’s new book The Scots – a Genetic Journey – with accompanying Scotsman serial (Part 4 does Vikings and Isles) and Radio Scotland programmes.

    The Clan Morrison Society of North America is sponsoring a project to allow people of Morrison ancestry to use this new tool, and the findings may be of significance to other old Lewis families.

    The project is based on the premise that the Y-chromosome, and thus its DNA, passes through the generations from father to son to grandson to great-grandson and so on. For this reason the project is looking for male Morrisons (or those with a related surname in the direct male line). The team would like very much to have a male descendant from the family of the Brieves at Habost come forward, which may reveal something about the Morrison history in the Western Isles.

    By becoming a participant an individual may have his YDNA compared to other Morrisons who are participants in the project. This can make family connections to other Morrisons, which can help solve puzzles posed by “paper genealogy” and gaps in family histories.

    There is a particular interest for island Smiths descended from “Gille Padruig” and his sons John and Farquhar, of Earshader.  This family is the origin of many of the Smith groups in Lewis – including those at Valtos and Lochs – and a DNA sample from a Brieve descendant could help to establish whether our Smiths are in fact Morrisons, as DNA matches are so far suggesting is a possibility.

    Family Tree DNA is the company providing the comparisons and general information is available on their website. For more information about the project, including published results to date, visit the project website at Genetic Cousins or contact Edwin Holcombe, Project Administrator.

    DNA is a new area for us (me) but our (my) interest is piqued now. If you’ve done a DNA test and have any findings regarding Uig or Lewis families, we’d be interested in hearing from you, either below or by email.


    4 Responses to The Morrison DNA Project: Who do you think you really are?

    1. Anonymous
      2 August 2011 at 12:42 am

      The Smiths at Earshader had some relationship to us, but I cannot tell you what it was apart from that it was on my grandfather’s side in Crulivig,(No.4). Mor Earshader, or Morag Brue, is the only one I know who is still living of these Smiths. (I have been away a while and could be mistaken on that score) One of her relatives was K J Smith who reported for the Stornoway Gazette for years as the Bernera Correspondent and also was an Insurance Salesman. He had the first Fiat bubble-car that i ever saw!

      Interesting connection is that my Grandfather’s wife was a Katie Ann Morrison from Ungeshader, and if the Smiths were related to him, that makes a tenuous connection between the Smiths and Morrisons.

      Most of the Morrisons came from Ness to Uig on cattle rustling expeditions and probably settled there when they saw the women and the other beauties (natural) that Uig had to offer – either that or they were too knackered to walk all the way back to Ness with a couple of fallow cows!! Note:- the latter is my guesstimate and not historical !! (Lol)

    2. Anonymous
      16 August 2011 at 9:59 pm

      Your grandfather Angus Mackay of 4 Crulivig had a sister Christina (Ciorstag) married to Kenneth Smith who was lost on the Iolaire. Ciorstag annd Kenneth Smith were the parents of Marion and Kenneth John. That is the closest family link.
      Kenneth Smith’s mother came from Ungeshader.
      Katie Ann Morrison was a daughter of Murdo Morrison and Margaret Maclean from Doune Carloway.
      But where did Murdo Morrison’s family come from? There are Morrisons in Valtos and further up in Brenish.

      • Hilda
        7 April 2013 at 7:19 pm

        Whether someone is a teannt or a lessee, the fact is that they are not the legal owner of the property, they never bought it. A teannt can be an obstacle to selling a property so owners sometimes like to give them notice before they sell. Has the club considered buying the property? Could it afford to do this? Could it raise the money from its members? It may seem expensive, but it won’t have to pay rent in future and will have an asset it can sell to raise funds one day.References : Was this answer helpful?

      • Kenny MacDonald
        20 November 2015 at 11:18 pm

        There are Morrisons in UIg – in Mangersta and Brenish, etc. – who are my own relations and came from Harris. There are two different families and they account for at least some Morrisons in Uig but certainly not all.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.