Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.

Helping To Connect You With Your Heritage

Twigs to Trees #30, March 2018


by Mary Helen Haines

Hello everyone, and Happy St. Patrick's Day. Now that we have changed our newsletter format, our genealogy column, Twigs to Trees, will be published directly on our website in the Genealogy section, at this time under "Other" classification. I will continue to post every three months, so expect new columns in March, June, September, and December.

I will continue to post information on the latest DNA results and genealogical histories submitted by our members. We now have over 1000 participants in the MacFarlane project administered by Terrance Gach MacFarlane at  Many people who did their Family Finder test with Ancestry have transferred their information so they can have the additional matches within our project. If you have done a test with Ancestry, please consider adding to your options

Also, do not forget to always check our database maintained by our team member Andrew Macfarlane at to look for your family line. If you see an error, please contact us in order to add or make corrections to the information we have posted. 

Please let me know if you have a particular ancestor that you would like recognized, either as part of this blog, or your own separate article.

We have come a long way with DNA testing. Years ago, when this project started, we assumed that if your STR’s matched, then somehow you were related. The fewer differences, the closer you were related. While that can be the case, what we found is that STR mutations can happen at any time, in any generation. You can have a 100% match with someone, and that person could be a 6th cousin, while another match with 2 differences could be your 1st cousin. Or, as we now know, that person could be from a different lineage all together.

It is still important to start with the STR test. My recommendation for all males is to take the 37 marker test first. That will match you with people within the time frame for possible research. After those results come in, it is time to take one of the various SNP tests to determine your haplogroup. The importance of the Big Y test is that it covers all your SNPs. It is also important that at least two people from the same lineage take the Big Y to discover if there are any particular SNPs that define your particular lineage.

I will try to explain this using my own family line; the line of Robert McFarland who died in 1751 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in northern Ireland and came to America about 1718 as part of that large migration. Because of the Big Y test taken by several men, we have discovered that the SNP BY3019 is a common SNP to our line. So far, there are 13 men who have tested positive for that particular SNP. More are awaiting results. However, a recent Big Y test, from a man who is NOT descended from Robert, but is descended from a John McFarland, also born in northern Ireland at about the same time as Robert, who came to America and died also in Lancaster County, revealed that he too had the BY3019 SNP. That means that this SNP goes back to Ireland, and not all men who carry that SNP are descended from Robert. It could be that John is a brother of Robert, but we just don’t know.

In order to reveal any more SNPs downstream from BY3019, more members need to do the full Big Y when they can afford it. For example, in order to determine if there is a common SNP for a particular lineage within the BY3019, you need more than two men from a particular lineage to take the full Big Y. Right now, two men from the line of James C. McFarland have taken the test and found a common SNP BY28612. There common ancestor is James C., so that SNP can be considered the defining SNP for this line.

For my own particular lineage, we are awaiting results from my 2nd cousin’s test, to see if we have a downstream SNP from BY3019 that would define the lineage of John “Scotland John” McFarland who was married to Mary Montgomery. This is a very large group of people, and if we can find a common SNP, then it would further prove connections for those people without a paper trail.

Member’s Genealogies:

Our first three new members are 7th cousins to me and each other:

MCFARLAND: Scott Bryan Sanders; Lillard Bryan Sanders, Nettie Louisa Hickey (TN), Louisa McFarland (TN), George McFarland (TN), John McFarland (VA to Jefferson Co. TN), Robert McFarland (1759 NC to 1837 Jefferson Co. TN), Robert McFarland (1730 PA to 1788 KY), John McFarland (born abt. 1708 in N.I., married to Mary Montgomery, died aft. 1785, probably in TN), Robert McFarland, born abt. 1680 in Northern Ireland, married to Jennet, died in 1751 in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., PA.

MCFARLAND: Patrick Allan Wilson; Victor Carl Wilson (MO to Nevada), Victor Eugene Wilson (KS to MO), Rosa Ellen McFarland (KS), James Thomas McFarland (MO), Benjamin J. McFarland (TN to MO), James H. McFarland (Jefferson Co. TN to Morgan Co. MO), Benjamin A. McFarland (TN to MO), Benjamin A. McFarland (1747 VA to 1823 Jefferson Co. TN), John McFarland (born abt. 1708 in N.I., married to Mary Montgomery, died aft. 1785, probably in TN), Robert McFarland, born abt. 1680 in Northern Ireland, married to Jennet, died in 1751 in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., PA.

MCFARLAND: John Larry McFarland; John Lovell McF. (KY to NY), Harvey Frank McF. (KY), William Fairston McFarland (born in Whitley Co. KY on May 7, 1857, married to Malinda Barrett, died before 1910), Harvey S. McFarland (Whitley Co. KY), James McFarland (VA to Whitley Co. KY), Duncan McFarland, born 1774 in VA, married to Martha Arthur, died 1860 in Whitley Co. KY. All DNA (both Y-DNA and autosomal) as well as  circumstantial evidence points to Duncan being a son of Joseph McFarland, born 1745, married to a female Gullion neighbor, who was a sister of Duncan and Barnabus Gullion. Joseph died abt. 1792 (“killed by a Doke in a fray”). Joseph was the son of John McFarland (born abt. 1708 in N.I., married to Mary Montgomery, died aft. 1785, probably in TN) and the brother to Robert (1730-1788) and Benjamin (1747-1823) above.

Now to show how things get confusing….our next member:

MCFARLAND: John Allen McFarland Smith; John Lee McFarland (Ohio), Frank W. McFarland (OH), Clay Duncan McFarland (OH), William M. McFarland, born on January 12, 1857 in KY, married to Nora Smith, died Feb. 13, 1930 in Hamilton Co. Ohio. At this time we do not know who his parents are, but Ancestry trees have the two men, William M. born Jan. 12, 1857, and William F. born May 7, 1857 mixed together.

MCFARLANE: Don McFarlane; William Melvin McFarlane (Ontario, Canada), James Henderson McFarlane (Glasgow, Scotland to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), Robert McFarlane (Glasgow to Ontario), Daniel McFarlane (Fintry, Stirlingshire, Scotland), William McFarlane, born 1786 in Stirlingshire, married to Elizabeth Morrison in 1813 in Fintry, Stirlingshire, died bef. 1861.  

MCFARLAND: Faye Dozier; Verda Irene McFarland (Kansas), Lawrence Irwin McFarland (Kansas), Samuel Edward McFarland (Ohio to Kansas), Joseph William McFarland (Ohio), Edward McFarland, born 1810 in Ohio, married Martha Noble in 1824 in Clermont Co., Ohio, and died 1899 in Pottawatomie Co., Kansas. Parents were Irish.

MCFARLAND: Todd Patrick McFarland; Joseph Frank McFarland, Jr. (Ohio to Tennessee), Joseph Frank McFarland, Sr. (OH to TN), Joseph Paul McFarland (OH), Archie I McFarland (PA), Samuel Brenneman McFarland (PA), Archibald Irwin McFarland, (PA), John McFarland, born abt. 1779 in Ireland, married to Elizabeth Irwin, died 1840 in Huntingdon,  (Blair Co. today) PA.

MCFARLAND: Eddie McFarland; William Franklin McFarland (KY to TN), William Thomas McFarland (KY to FL), Thomas Jefferson McFarland (KY to TN), Eli Palmer McFarland, born 1829 in Caldwell Co. KY, married to Louisa Pinkston in 1852, died in 1892 in Logan Co., Kentucky.

MCFARLAND: William J. McFarland; William M. McFarland, Walter William McFarland (PA to Ohio), Walter Jacob McF. (PA), William McF. (PA), Jacob (PA), John McFarland, born abt. 1795, living in Monongahlia township, Greene Co. PA in 1840, wife named Sarah, possible son of a Thomas and Eleanor McFarland from this same county. This lineage needs more local research, but is DNA Cadet lineage.

MCFARLAND: George Edward McFarland, Jr.; George Edward McFarland, Sr. (Indiana), George Haskel McF. (IN to KY), Stephen Golden McF (TN to IN), Arthur McFarland, born abt. 1795, married to Alice Hubbard abt. 1825 in TN, died after 1870 in Campbell County, TN. Waiting on Y-DNA results to find his lineage.

MCFARLAND: Carol Menager Livingston; Martha Dadisman Menager (WV to AZ), Flora Alice Colebank (WV to AZ), Hannah Jane Stewart (WV), Rebecca Jane McFarland (WV), Joseph McFarland, born abt. 1815 in Ohio, married to Mary Ann Mouser in 1834 in Monongalia Co., West Virginia.

MCFARLAND: Martha Anne Schrader; Martha Oxford Ludtke (TX), Thomas David Oxford (LA to TX), Samuel Smith Oxford (GA to TX), Jeremiah Bridges Oxford (GA), Edward Burke Oxford (GA), Nancy McFarlin (GA), Peter McFarland (Orange Co. NC to Jones Co. GA), William McFarland, born abt. 1731, married to Keziah, died before 1790 in Orange Co. NC. The descendants from William form a rather large lineage group with several cousins here. We used to refer to them as hidden MacGregors till we discovered through the Big Y results that they are not descended from MacGregors, but go back to a common source much earlier in time. Now they are classified as Scots Modal, R1b-L1065.

MCFARLAND: William James Frederick; Ramona Eugenia Wall (CA), Edith Gertrude Susan Maxim (MA to CA), Frederick William Watson Maxim (MA to CA), Watson Thomas Maxim (MA to CA), Sarah McFarlin (MA), Huit McFarlin (MA), John McFarlin (MA), Solomon MacFarland (MA), Purthe McVarlo, born 1644 in Scotland, died 1721 in Massachusetts, married to Patience Russell in 1667 in Plymouth.

MCFARLAND: Andrew MacFarlane Dinsmore; Barbara Debevoise, Ruth MacFarlane (WV to PA), George Clymer MacFarlane (NY to PA), Edward Overton MacFarlane (PA), James MacFarlane (PA), John Findley MacFarlane (PA), James MacFarlane (PA), Andrew McFarlane (PA), James McFarlan, born 1695 in County Tyrone, married Janet Buchanan in Chester Co., PA, settled in Cumberland Co. PA, died in 1770 there.

As always, feel free to contact any of us with questions about your lineage. We will help as much as we can. 

The CMW Genealogy Committee:

Mary Helen Haines: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andrew Macfarlane: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Chevalier Terrance Gach MacFarlane: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Holly Stevens: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


What A Ride!

What A Ride!

by Neal McFarland

Updated September 9, 2010

I'll never forget the first time my Dad took me to ride in his lap on The Comet roller coaster at the Forest Park Highlands amusement park in St. Louis. I was five or six years old, excited and giddy with anticipation. I had no idea what to expect when we got into the car and pulled down the safety bar. As we slowly climbed up the first long hill, leveled off, then plunged down the deep chute, it took my breath away and with every unexpected twist, turn, climb and drop, my heart pumped faster and faster. The 60-second ride scared the bejabbers out of me. When we finally stopped, I begged my Dad for a re-ride, which he agreed to. I was hooked! And since that first ride on the Comet, I've ridden some of the longest, fastest, steepest, meanest coasters in the country and never found one I couldn't handle.

My research into our McFarland family has been a microcosm of all those thousands of twists and turns, climbs and free fall drops. Every new discovery has been exhilarating; every dead end frustrating. But the anticipation of discovery never diminished. Like that first ride on The Comet, the search became an addiction.

As I've stated before, I started knowing next to nothing about the McFarland side of my family and only a little more about my Mother's side. Now, I can trace my McFarland line over three hundred years; my Mother's family over two hundred. And, along the way there were plenty of surprises.

Read more ...