Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: DNA update: not all that glitters is gold.

Taken from, an excellant and informative site.

It is obvious that unless research is carried out in a robust manner with good solid methodology, it can only lead to inconsistency and false outcomes. We continually attempt to ensure this doesn’t happen, but this takes a great deal of time and hard work to filter in the facts and exclude the nonsense that rises to the top. Below is an exchange between our DNA Research Team and an enquirer confused at the inaccurate information out there, but first:

Where are we to date?

As a Society we have, for quite a few years now, been researching our genetic profile through a y-DNA research program. This incorporates both our DNA and genealogical experts who are mapping out our family lines.

We know that our chiefly line began in the early 900’s with a male carrying Swedish DNA, and that DNA landed in Scotland in and around 400 BC during the Iron Age of our islands. This age ran from approximately 800 years from 750BC – 45 AD and in the most part, predated the Roman invasion which began in earnest in AD 43.

This was an age of innovation and by the end of the iron age, coinage had been introduced, wheel thrown pottery was being made, larger communities were springing up and agriculture, weaving, metalwork and mining was not uncommon. So quite a civilised environment in which to live.

According to wiki, which in this case seems well referenced:

‘It is generally thought that by 500 BC most people inhabiting the British Isles were speaking Common Brythonic, on the limited evidence of place-names recorded by Pytheas of Massalia and transmitted to us second-hand, largely through Strabo.

Certainly by the Roman period there is substantial place and personal name evidence which suggests that this was so; Tacitus also states in his Agricola that the British language differed little from that of the Gauls.[49]

Among these people were skilled craftsmen who had begun producing intricately patterned gold jewellery, in addition to tools and weapons of both bronze and iron. It is disputed whether Iron Age Britons were “Celts”, with some academics such as John Collis[50] and Simon James[51] actively opposing the idea of ‘Celtic Britain’, since the term was only applied at this time to a tribe in Gaul.

However, place names and tribal names from the later part of the period suggest that a Celtic language was generally spoken.’

The name Carruthers, taken from the fort called Caer Rydderch in the ancient Cumbric dialect, solidly backs the concept of Brythonic/Celtic place name, at least in the area of southern Scotland. However a DNA signature, traced directly to our family line has been located.

400 BC was well before the Viking age, which ran from around the 9th to the 11th century, as such and as can be seen above, trade and other exchanges from lands outside Britain were not uncommon based on the produce of the tribes themselves. As such, peoples from the European landmass traded far and wide, to include onto the shores of Britain. One has to assume that the movement of our Swedish ancestor onto our islands, could have come from any part of the European mainland.

What we do know historically, is that the region in which our family name originates was occupied by the Celtic tribe the Selgovae. Their lands and as such ‘our’ lands was to become part of the Brythonic kingdom of Strathclyde. The only historical record of the Selgovae is from a reference by Ptolemy in his Geographica, where he placed the Selgovae towns of Carbantorigum, Uxellum, Corda, and Trimontium, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and Dumfriesshire on the south west of Scotland.

We also know that on Birren’s Hill in Annandale, there is evidence of an ancient earthwork enclosure. This hill sits above and slightly to the west of the land known as locally as Carruthers.

It is upon this hill that we, and many others believe that Caer Rydderch (Ruthers in the old Brythonic Cumbric dialect) was built and it is from these lands that we take our name.

However, this aside, here is a warning: when dealing with claims, at least on the Carruthers family, keep well away from those who would deliberately lead you down the garden path, as we say here in Scotland, irrelevant of how exiting that path may seem. Fantasists remain fantasists and as such not all that glitters is gold, some is most certainly pyrite (fool’s gold).

Again, relying on solid DNA evidence, there is no proof of our ancestral links to any Scottish royalty nor in fact Caratacus, being off the CARRUTHERS line. Other than the fact that all of European ancestry have distant genetic threads linking us all together in time.

This is definitely not specific to CARRUTHERS, as if you go far enough back, this is simply being part of the human race.

So back to the DNA information and see below a personal exchange between a Swedish gentleman, which is easily verifiable, and our own DNA Research Group.

Our Society – always helping to put folks right!

Here is an living example of an exchange between a yDNA tester/member of the public and his questions on the Carruthers yDNA FTDNA Project, with our response as an example of good research over bad:

*Question from Sweden

Hi xxxxxxxxxx

My paternal haplogroup is I-CTS6364 according to my DNA test on 23andme. I have uploaded my DNA to familytree as well to try and see if there is anything i can find here.

After some Googling i saw a comment on Reddit on the topic of CTS6364 mentioning the following:-

this is Clan Carruthers Int Society CCIS and CTS6365 is one of the Carruthers genomes, through CTS11603, and about 1000 subclaves. We got all our CTS numbers from forensic testing and paying alot for it., Our DNA is over 75,000 years old. NOW, you can not find your correct path without starting from the beginning. Do you have a subclave number that begins with and L or an M, and if you do have some data, we can surely help you out. We have done three majors DNA projects in the last 10 years, and you really do n eed to know how you got to this Swedish number ..

I have no idea what this means and some assistance on how to go about researching this further or how I can contribute (if it all) would be most helpful.

Very new to this area of research so I don’t have much experience in this topic.

I’m from Sweden and so is most of my family that I know of.

Best regards,


*Response from our Research Group

Hello xxxxxxxxx !

Well, that statement is full of half truths and should be taken with a grain of salt.

First, it is true that Carruthers do carry the I-CTS6364 marker, however, so do NUMEROUS other families… it is NOT EXCLUSIVE to Carruthers.

The I-CTS6364 Marker mutated approx. 2350 BC. That is a very long time ago. Plus not all CTS markers are exclusive to the “I” Haplogroup. As CTS is the prefix for the SNP Development, for example… CTS = Chris Tyler-Smith, Ph.D., The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, England. They have discovered/named many SNP’s for multiple Haplogroups, not just “I” Haploroup. —

What we have discovered is that the Carruthers DNA came to Scotland from Sweden approx 400BC. Therefore Carruthers and Bystrom would be very ancient cousins. I would need to know your terminal SNP to determine the time frame and you only get that with a Big Y 700 test. – I hope this helps.

*The response from Sweden

Thank you for clearing this information up. That helps me understand what this actually means a lot better. Being ancient cousins sounds very interesting, I would of course love to learn more. At some point in the near future I will take the Big Y 700 test and get back to you.

*Response from our Research Group

I look forward to it! Chances are we will be more closely related than 2350BC… Hahah. But we need more markers to know for sure as this time frame is before many surnames were used.


NB: Clan Carruthers ‘International’ Society is the group (LLC) out of Minnesota in the US, whose name changes and avatars it seems occur with great frequency. They run under the guise of ‘A Lore Burn’, ‘Promptus et Paratus’, Clan-c Carruthers’ and a few others.

Their posts are more worrying however, as they continually make nonsensical claims and offer false information relating to the Carruthers family. As a group they are regularity accused of plagiarism, and there is an ever increasing evidence that respectable organisations are distancing themselves from them.

As such their existence is not our issue, the lies they tell and the complete exaggeration of the facts regarding our family causes us more work than is necessary.

We don’t even object to their false chief, as people know that is the case and fake claims to the Bruce tartan, which is between them and Bruce who are fully aware of the facts, but we do object to their dilution of our heritage and history.

However, everyone has a choice regarding what they believe. All we as a society try to do, is offer the facts and ensure that they are prominent to the family and general public.

It remains your call, and as the x-files used to say ‘the (always) truth is out there’.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.