The Y Chromosome and Genealogy

The image above is a photograph of a set of human chromosomes. There are 46 individual chromosomes organized into 23 pairs. Reading left to right, each pair is identified by a number except for the last pair. This pair is called the X and Y chromosomes. This image is of the chromosomes of a male because last pair is the X and a Y. A female would have two X chromosomes.

Each chromosome has thousands of genes which are chemical codes for all of the characteristics a human has. It has been recently discovered that humans, as well as most vertebrate animals, have approximately 30,000 genes. This has been established by the Human Genome Project. (click here for information on the project) Genes are distributed among the chromosomes and control the types of characteristics people have. They control physical traits such as hair and eye color, behavior traits such as musical or mathematical abilities and they control chemical traits such as lactose intolerence and blood types.

The Y chromosome has only one gene of any real significance. This is the gene that determines maleness. Without that gene all babies would be female. The Y chromosome is the only chromosome that is passed from father to son without fail. Every male in a family line receives the same Y chromosome.

The Y chromosome is passed unchanged from one generation to the next. However, once in a while a change takes place on the Y chromosome and a father can pass to his sons a Y chromosome with that change. This change is called a mutation. Mutations can accumulate over time and many types of Y chromosomes have resulted.

Many studies have been done on the Y chromosome and its changes. Among the world's population of six billion people there are 15 identifiable Y group clusters. These have been given the name clans. The Oxford Ancestor Paternal Clan diagram below is a chart of these 15 clans. Each clan is given a name and they are colored to designate the region of the world where each clan is the most concentrated.

I have had my Y chromosome DNA tested by Oxford Ancestors of England ( click here for Oxford Ancestors website) and I have been placed in the Re Clan. As can be seen on the Paternal Clans Chart this is one of the four most common clans found in West Eurasia.

The table below shows the present distribution of the Re Clan. An even more interesting way to look at the distribution of the Re Clan is to go to the Re Clan Distribution Map by clicking here.

By studying both the table and the map it can be seen that the British Isles have the smallest percent of the Re Clan represented in its population, only 2%. Most likely the only reason the Ra Clan even gets a mention is the fact that Oxford Ancestors is located in the Bitish Isles. This means that the direct male Field ancestors of this branch of the Field Family who "family tradition" says has been in England since the arrival of Sir Hubertus de la Feld in 1066, have a very close genetic tie to people in the Middle East. At some point several hundred years ago one of the male Field ancestors moved into the Alsace-Lorain area of France and established the Re Clan in that part of Europe. Eventually sone or more male members of the Re Clan migrated to the British Isles. This establlished the Re Clan in Britain. The only way to positively identify the direct male Field ancestors is to do a DNA test on each of them. At this point in time a rather impossible project!



The % of the Male Populaton
Belonging to the Re Clan.


Kazbegi of Georgia (Russia)


















The Berber People, Morocco &
neighboring Saharan countries


British Isles


Click on images for larger view


Links to Relationships: DNA and Genealogy


The Y Chromosome and the Field Family


Relationships: DNA and Genealogy


Oxford Ancestors Female World Clans


Oxford Ancestors Seven Daughters of Eve Chart


Dordogne River Valley in south central France, origin of the Hélèna Clan


Oxford Ancestors Y Clan World Chart


Map of the distribution of the Re Clan


Oxford Ancestors Home Page


Lucie Field Genealogy Home Page