Picton Y-DNA


Testing and Research

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STR stands for short tandem repeat haplotypes. For example, kit B291 and B125 have allele values of 29 and 28 respectively at DYS389II. This is a difference of 1 (29-28= 1). Because this is the only difference in their Y-DNA12 profiles (haplotypes), their genetic distance is 1.

SNP markers: A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is a change to a single nucleotide in a DNA sequence. The relative mutation rate for an SNP is extremely low. This makes them ideal for marking the history of the human genetic tree. SNPs are named with a letter code and a number. The letter indicates the lab or research team that discovered the SNP. The number indicates the order in which it was discovered. For example M173 is the 173rd SNP documented by the Human Population Genetics Laboratory at Stanford University, which uses the letter M

FTDNA have recently placed the next line update on their website.


We recommend that you test at Family Tree DNA for STR markers because we have an established Picton Project there and there is a discount involved. A DNA test will indicate if you belong to the Picton families from Pembrokeshire. Please help and contribute to our family knowledge pool by contacting us and sharing what information you know about your own Picton family connections. We have DNA results from some Picton families with origins other than Wales.

We strongly recommend also that you begin by testing your Y-DNA initially first for the 37 STR markers offered by FTDNA. An additional Deep Ancestry test for the SNP L46 at FTDNA; is an additional option if you have been tested at these STR markers. Picton families from Pembrokeshire should all tests positive for this SNP as the lowest downstream Haplogroup marker. At present this is the deepest SNP applicable to the Picton surname families of Welsh origin. If you test for this SNP, you can also join the R1b-U106/S21+ Project at FTDNA which is a Yahoo Groups Forum dedicated to discussion on the origins and downstream markers from this SNP. To view FTDNA

You may match the DNA of the Picton families from Wales if you match the two STRs shown below and your last name is Picton:



If your last name is not Picton, you must also test positive for the SNP L46.

Currently 11 members belonging to the Picton Surname Project show a connection to Wales. Three other members show a totally different origin of the surname and two members are connected to Wales according to the paper records, but this is not confirmed by their DNA test results.

You should join ysearch if you have STRs tested at either company.

Picton Y-DNA Research SNP Results

The PICTON Family DNA Haplogroup was R1b1b2a1a4 (ISOGG Tree, 2009)

and now is R1b1a2a1a1c2b1a1a1a (ISOGG Tree, 2014) or called R-L493 or R-L477

The Picton Family from Wales belong to the R1b Haplogroup and in addition test positive for the following SNPs:

U106/S21+, Z381+, L48+, L47+, L44+, L46+, L525+, L45+ and L493+

A Deep-R SNP subclade test for Owen Samuel Picton was made by Ethnoancestry and by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). These tests showed the Picton families from Wales to be part of the R1b-M269 subclade called Haplogroup R1b-U106 (or R1b-U106/S21+). This was previously known as Haplogroup R1b1c9*, then Haplogroup R1b1b2g and then R1b1b2a1a*. A convenient way to describe these Haplogroups is just to use the last SNP marker which tests positive. On this basis the Picton Haplogroup is R-L493 or R-L477. An age estimate for the R-L48 ancestor is about 2661 BC (2199 BC - 1740 BC).

The Haplogroup SNP test results from FTDNA shows the Picton family tests positive for markers levels U106, Z381, L48, L47, L44, L46, L525, L45 and L493. The Picton family has a Haplogroup currently assigned as R-L493 or R-L477 because both test to the same lowest level. This Haplogroup designation may change when names are given for any new SNPs discovered. An evolving nomenclature is to name the Haplogroup after the last SNP in the descent tree. In this case it would be R-L493 or R-L477. If you are R-L493 then your are R-L477.

SNP discussion on L48, L47, L44, L46, L525, L45, and L493 or L477.

I, Owen Picton tests positive for the SNP’s L48, L47, L44, L46, L525, L45, and L493 or L477. The SNP L47 is a subclade to L48, L44 is a subclade to L47 and L46 is a subclade of L44 and so on down to the end. These SNP levels are similar to our surnames before surnames existed. Where were my male ancestors living at each of these different SNP levels? So far, besides myself, only about five other individuals, including Craig Venter have tested positive for all these SNPs down through all levels to SNP L493 or L477. Craig Venter goes one level lower to L292 and his group are generally regarded as playing a major role in the sequencing of the human genome (HUGO).

There is a greater GD (genetic distance) between us and also between those who are only L47+. This may mean that the founders for these SNP;s L48+ L47+ L44+ and L46+ all happen to live within a fairly short period of time to each other.

The GD from me for 3 of the L46+ people are:

- ysearch 3k37y has GD 20 out of 72 markers

- ysearch 6TYRN has GD 5 out of 25 markers

- ysearch EM5R3 has GD 16 out of 67 markers

Others from me who are only L47+:

- ysearch 28uta has GD 28 out of 67 markers

- ysearch 38jnr has 18 out of 67 markers

- ysearch ED28N has GD 24 out of 67 markers

- ysearch V2JBN has GD 24 out of 67 markers

To show how slow GD mutates from myself:

Another Picton (Dean A. Picton) has a GD of 6 out of 67 STR markers when tested at FTDNA. We match on 41 out of 43 markers when tested at DNA Heritage. An estimate based on paper documentation is that our common ancestor could be Jenkin Picton of Newport, Pembrokeshire, who lived almost 600 years ago in the early to mid-1400s. Another Picton family, who we can show by an established paper trail had a common ancestor with myself about 260 years ago has a match of 42 out of 43 markers when tested at DNA Heritage. This shows how slowly recent genetic changes have occurred, although this is a function of the markers selected.

Thus Dean Picton and myself have a GD of 5 when tested on the FTDNA 1-37 STR panel of markers and this only increases to 6 when markers 38-67 are added in. Markers with a high level of mutation rates include: DYS439, DYS464c, GATA A10, DYS576, CDYa and CDYb.

DNA markers of the Picton family

A comment about markers that are "DNA markers of the Picton family". Most or all Pictons share these DNA markers. These markers are separating the Picton family from others in this world. This genetic signature is like our surname.

Only the Picton family has the following criteria:

Must be L493+ or L477+ and have STR's:




No one else meets this criteria.

Markers of Owen Picton with some difference to other Picton's include:




We sometimes differ on a number of other markers within the Picton family group but we all have L493.

Unique haplogroups are like a name which would tie you to a family before the time surnames became standardized. My own family can be traced back to a Philip Picton who lived around 1260 at Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales. I have about 10 unique new SNP's which another L493 person named Hallatt does not have. It is estimated these unique SNP's occur about every 100 to 150 years. Other people with the last name Picton should also have some of these 10 unique new SNP's but those that are not in common should indicate when our common ancestor lived. There are L493 common ancestors back in an estimated time frame of about 1400 years ago in Continental Europe where the L493 founder lived (i.e. 600 A.D.). These few other L493 people with a different surname would be descendants from the same L493 common ancestor as the Picton's. Finally, if you are close to my STR pattern then I would encourage you to get a deep clade test performed to aid in determining the origin of the L48, L47, L44, L46, L45 and L493 founders.

New tests continue to be developed and used on the Picton Y-DNA

Our objective is to find new SNP's that may lie below or between our known SNP's markers. This would help segregate these markers even further. It will also be interesting to see how the Picton family compares to Craig Venter (who has had his entire DNA genome sequenced and is available online). We could even find a private Picton family SNP. We should know a lot more when various results become available on the various members of the R-L493 Haplogroup. We hope it will give when a SNP occurred, where they were living and what group of people they were with.

Picton Y DNA Research STR Results

A 67 Marker Genetic Sequence result for Owen Samuel Picton from Family Tree DNA using the DNA sample taken for the National Geographic Genographic Project in about 2006.

In addition, a 111 Marker result and GENO 2.0 test from National Geographic Genographic was done in 2013

Haplotype detail:

PANEL 1 (1-12)

DYS393: 13; DYS390: 23; DYS19: 14; DYS391: 10; DYS385a: 11; DYS385b: 13; DYS426: 12; DYS388: 12; DYS439: 13; DYS389-1: 13; DYS392: 13; DYS389-2: 29

PANEL 2 (13-25)

DYS458: 17; DYS459a: 9; DYS459b: 10; DYS455: 11; DYS454: 11; DYS447: 25; DYS437: 15; DYS448: 19; DYS449: 30; DYS464a: 15; DYS464b: 15; DYS464c: 17; DYS464d: 17

PANEL 3 (26-37)

DYS460: 11; DYSGATA H4: 11; DYSYCA II a: 21; DYSYCA II b: 23; DYS456: 15; DYS607: 15; DYS576: 18; DYS570: 17; DYSCDY a: 37; DYSCDY b: 40; DYS442: 13; DYS438: 12

PANEL 4 (38 - 47)

DYS531: 12; DYS578: 9; DYS395S1a: 16; DYS395S1b: 16; DYS590: 8; DYS537: 11; DYS641: 10; DYS472: 8; DYS406S1: 9; DYS511: 10

PANEL 4 (48 - 60)

DYS425: 12; DYS413a: 23; DYS413b: 23; DYS557: 16; DYS594: 10; DYS436: 12; DYS490: 12; DYS534: 15; DYS450: 8; DYS444: 12; DYS481: 21; DYS520: 20; DYS446: 13

PANEL 4 (61 - 67)

DYS617: 12; DYS568: 11; DYS487: 13; DYS572: 11; DYS640: 11; DYS492: 13; DYS565: 12

Haplotype detail:

A 43 Marker Genetic Sequence result for Owen Samuel Picton from DNA Heritage includes some of the above marker results plus markers below:

Additional DNA Heritage Haplotype details:

DYS425: 12; DYS461: 12; DYS462: 11; DYSA10: 15; DYS635: 23; DYS1B07: 1; DYS441: 15; DYS444: 12; DYS445: 12; DYS446: 13; DYS452: 30; DYS463: 24

I notice that the value for marker DYS442 is shown by DNA Heritage as 18 and by Family Tree DNA as 13. I talked to Family Tree DNA and they said they report the value as 5 less than DNA Heritage.

DNA Heritage records have been given to Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)

GATA-H4/TAGA-H4 - This marker is also called TAGA-H4 by DNA Heritage, Relative Genetics, and NIST, and called GATA-H4 by FTDNA. When the marker is reported as GATA-H4, its value is one less than when it is reported as TAGA-H4. Y-Search uses GATA-H4 and this will be used by the haplogroup predictor program also. If you have a value for TAGA-H4, then subtract one from the value before entering it in the Y-Search program. The reverse is true for "ybase" searches.

The above DYS389-2: is 29 by DNA Heritage but is 16 by the Genographic Project at National Geographic because for all DNA sites one must add ones results for 389-2 and 389-1 together and enter this as the total value for 389-2 which would be 29 for DYS389-2 except for the Genographic Project where DYS389-2 remains 16.

Then go down and select "Y-Search"

Then select "Search for genetic matches"

Then for my "Enter User ID" enter "HX838"

Then Click on "Search" and enter in how you want the search.

The Haplogroup is R1b

A 12 Marker Genetic Sequence result for Owen Samuel Picton from Genographic Project at National Geographic

Type: Y-Chromosome

Haplogroup: R1b (M343)

My 12 Marker STRs

What a 12 Marker exact match result means:

The 12 Marker result from the Y-chromosome test is called a Haplotype, and can help determine how common is ones DNA sample.

A 12 Marker exact match result to someone with the SAME surname, means there is a high probability that you are related.

The above DYS389-2: was 16 by the Genographic Project at National Geographic but when comparing to other DNA sites one must add ones results for 389-2 and 389-1 together and enter the total value for 389-2 which would be 29 for DYS389-2 when comparing to other sites. How to Interpret My Results

Above are results from the laboratory analysis of my Y-chromosome. My DNA was analyzed for Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), which are repeating segments of my genome that have a high mutation rate. The location on the Y chromosome of each of these markers is depicted in the image, with the number of repeats for each of your STRs presented to the right of the marker. For example, DYS19 is a repeat of TAGA, so if your DNA repeated that sequence 12 times at that location, it would appear: DYS19 12. Studying the combination of these STR lengths in your Y Chromosome allows researchers to place you in a haplogroup, which reveals the complex migratory journeys of your ancestors. Y-SNP: In the event that the analysis of your STRs was inconclusive, your Y chromosome was also tested for the presence of an informative Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP). These are mutational changes in a single nucleotide base, and allow researchers to definitively place you in a genetic haplogroup.

One is most likely "NOT recently related" on a 12 marker exact match result to someone else who does not have the same surname. The term "NOT recently related", may mean a time frame between 1000 to 2000 years ago or more.

The likelihood that we are related is much greater on a 43 marker match than on a 12 marker match, when checking matches on 12, 25, 37 or 43 markers.

Dr. Luigi Lucca Cavalli-Sforza, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, in his book: The Great Human Diasporas: The History of Diversity and Evolutions says that the total population of Europe was 60,000 people at the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. Europe now has a population of 300 million people.

So sometimes European people alive today will have a 12 marker match with other Europeans from before the time that our ancestors began using surnames. Matching someone with a different surname most likely means the connection is distant rather then recent.

Picton Family STR test results for those individuals with the surname Picton

Not quite so simple. Mainly because most of our testing has been done with DNA Heritage out to 43 markers. Nine of these markers do not overlap with FTDNA 1-37 markers.

We have 11 individuals to date in the database, including Owen Picton, who are clearly related on the basis of the DNA results. We have two testers also who should be related (both families from Pembrokeshire) - but are clearly NPEs (Non-Paternity Events), unfortunately - and 3 Picton samples which clearly represent a totally different origin of the surname; perhaps not too surprising given their locations, all of which are non-Welsh. The initial aim should be to recruit and test at least one Picton candidate in each branch of every Welsh Picton family, and longer-term ideally two candidates so that the genetic signature of that branch can be defined relatively unambiguously.

We have marker DYS385b = 13 across all 11 people. Three of these, including Owen, have a paper trail back to 1260 or thereabouts - but in fact descend from a common ancestor who lived from 1713/4 to about 1793. I can find no evidence from paper records for an earlier male branch point on this line going backwards, with a male line that survives down to the present day, until you get to the 1400s and Jenkin Picton. There is one slight possibility, but that is all. The fate of all other male branches is to die out.

All the rest of the Pictons of Pembrokeshire come from branches where it is difficult to get back on paper before about 1750, principally because of the poor survival of parish registers and transcripts in Wales. These results represent four separate lines at present, already tested (Freystrop/Burton; Martletwy; Camrose; Haroldston West) and with another four lines feasible (Carew; Cosheston; Haverfordwest; Llandisilio). The line which contains Sir Thomas Picton also remains theoretically possible, but exceptionally difficult to achieve in practice. Two of these four other lines have produced the NPE events described earlier when tested. So we are trying to work round that by finding alternative branches and candidates from the NPE line. This is a general process used in genetic genealogy called triangulation on a selected ancestor by following different male pathways to potential DNA candidates living today. One line has even taken the best part of 3 years to locate a single DNA candidate. That individual was in Washington State, USA, and then he turned out to be a NPE. The other NPE line, frustratingly, is my own Picton line (Picton of Cosheston), as an Elizabeth Picton (1805-1882) was my g-g-grandmother. Again it has taken me >2 years to locate an alternative candidate.

Owen S. Picton has DYS439 = 13; but this marker is quite variable within the whole group. One of the other two testers who share a common ancestor with Owen in the eighteenth century has 439 = 14 and the other is 13 as well. Most of the other Picton families have 439 = 12, but one has 439 = 13 also, and we have a paper trail connecting him to one of the 439 = 12 results. Until this result came in very recently, I used to think that 439 = 13 or higher was specific to Owen's branch, but this idea now has to be revised. All this just shows that DYS439 is is a very fast mutating marker, in our family at least.

YCAIIa = 21 is common across all 11 samples tested to date.

CDYb = 40 is an FTDNA-specific marker. Our other Picton candidate, has CDYb = 39.

DYS537 = 11 is an FTDNA-specific marker. Again our other candidate, has 537 = 10.

DYS481 = 21 is an FTDNA-specific marker, common to both Owen Picton and other Picton.

Other markers where the Picton of Whitechurch line and other Picton lines differ, plus others, not discussed above are:

DYS 388 - we have three samples where this is 13 the other eight are 12.

DYS 444 - we have one sample out of eleven where this is 13, all the rest are 12.

DYS 461 - we have one sample out of eleven where this 13, all the rest are 12.

DYS464c - we have nine samples with 17, one with 16 and one with 15.

All other DYS 464 markers (a, b, d) are the same across all 11 samples.

GATA A10 we have Owen's family line of three samples with 15, all other samples are 14. This is now the only marker which is specific to Owen's branch of the surname.

In addition to CDYb, above, we have DYS576 differing by one between Owen (18) and other Picton (19) and also CDYa - which is 37 for Owen and 36 for other Picton.

The more markers one tests at FTDNA, the better the results. Testing 67 markers is better than 37 markers and 111 markers is better than 67 markers. Specifically, it is better to test the fast mutating markers DYS570, DYS576, CDYa and CDYb across all samples, to provide extra discriminating power between branches of the surname. Additional FTDNA testing allows us to maintain the integrity of our database but maximise the potential for assessing branching points between families, with the goal of being able to extrapolate the order in which the STR changes occurred down the Picton family tree and hence determine the branch-point for each line.

Estimated Picton Y-DNA Past History

The Picton family tests positive for the SNP's U106/S21+, L48+, L47+, L44+, L163, L46+, L45+, L164, L237, L477, L493 and L525+. There may be more as more testing is done.

It has been established that the largest haplogroup among men of European ancestry is R1b-M269. The subclade called U106/S21+ may represents 25% of the R1b-M269 male population. It is estimated that the first U106/S21+ man lived 3,000 to 7,000 years ago. Some think the first U106 man lived somewhere in the lower part of Sweden. There is much debate about all this.

The Picton Family is part of this U106/S21+ subclade. My ancestors have been traced back to Philip Picton born about the year 1260. All my male ancestors back and including Philip Picton have to be Haplogroup U106 and have similar SNP markers. All different Picton lines DNA tested thus far from Pembrokeshire, Wales show we are related and most likely share the same ancestor line descending from Philip Picton. The problem is finding where the different lines branched off my Picton line. Very few U106 famlies can trace there ancestors back to the year 1240. This is what makes the Picton Family Tree back to the year 1240 so important for doing research on the origins of U106.

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Last Modified September 2021

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