My DNA Trail


Updated January 2019

It is extremely important, especially today with advancements in DNA testing to consider this as an vital tool in piecing together the branches of our surname. At the very least it will add weight to your documentation as to the relationships you have built in your tree. If you are considering DNA testing, and I hope you do, please join the Sproul DNA project at FamilyTree DNA. The group is managed by excellent, well informed administrators that will guide you through this very interesting, exciting and rewarding journey in your genealogy research. Join here Sproul FamilyTree DNA Project.

Recently I tested the 37 marker test through FamilyTree DNA. I have a positive result for the Sproul/Sprowl modal. The predicted SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) haplogroup is R-P311. Currently I’m testing for the SNP R-P312 to determine if the Sproul line is Germanic or from a more Atlantic origin. I hope to have the results for that in the next month. The plan is to follow our Y-tree as far back into our ancient lineage as possible. If you’d like to know more about my experiences with this project please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

Sprowl/Sproul and Variants are of Haplogroup R-U106

To see the burial location of an ancient R-U106 ancestor click the following link and select “RISE98, Battle Axe/Nordic LN, 2275-2032 BC” from the menu to the right (very last link in the light green section) Ancient Rise98 Burial. The man buried in this grave is of the Haplogroup U106, which is the same Haplogroup as Sproul. I’m not suggesting we are descended from this individual but of the same geographic area of the Germanic tribes. Further SNP testing will need to be done to try and chisel down a more specific ancient ancestry.

Now “Germanic tribes” is a broad description which includes the North Sea territories of the Angles, Jutes, Saxons and Danes. Future SNP testing will need to continue in order to narrow down which ethnic group we belong.

Of the above mentioned groups there are two leading contenders. We all know Sproul is of Scottish ancestry at least for recorded history. If we take a look of the ethnic breakdown of the Scottish population pre-Roman times we find two possible groups; the Angles and Danes. There are several reasons for this;

1. The Sprouls were lowland Scots. The predominate groups of R-U106 in lowland Scotland at the time were Angles and Danes.

2. The other groups were of the Celtic Haplogroup SNP  R-P312, thus immediately eliminating any connection to those groups.

3. It is also possible the Sprouls were of the Germanic/Viking group and entered into Scotland during the invasion period.

4. Sprouls could have entered Scotland during the Germanic migration period.

So as you can see, there is still much more testing to do to narrow this down. It will require increasing the number of STR markers tested. I intend to test for the 67 marker yDNA test in the near future. What this will accomplish is the ability to predict which SNP is most likely to have a positive result so to minimize wasted time and money testing indiscriminately.

Stay tuned and hope you find this informative and helps answers some questions. Please feel free to leave questions or comments.

January 2019

There has been much research going on in the Sproul DNA Project since my last post. It has been discovered that the Sproul patriarchy, undoubtedly of Saxon origin,  has a main branch unique to Sprouls of every variant known as R-FGC60974. This branch is a mutation in the Y-chromosome that occurred about 900 years ago. A second branch mutated from R-FGC60974 and this branch is known as R-FGC60992. This particular mutation is said to be roughly 475 years old, but likely later.

Through DNA discovery and the assistance of Sproule researcher Kate Tammemagi,  it is probable this branch mutation occurred during the time of James Spreul, Sr., Laird of Cowden who sold his estates in 1622. It was his son James Jr., heir, that settled in Ireland and all of his descendants can be traced back to him through the R-FGC60992 branch. This is the branch from which I descend.

All other testers who are R-FGC60974+ and negative for R-FGC60992 are most certainly descendants of Walter, High Steward to Malcolm, Earl of Lennox and connect somewhere in patrilineal descent down to the period of James the Senior, 1622.

If you would like to determine which of these two branches your family descends I strongly urge you, or a direct male Sproul descendant in your family to Y-chromosome test. If you would like more information about DNA testing please follow the link to the Sproul DNA Project found in this post or leave a comment below.

August 2017

DNA testing has come fast and furious since December 2015. Much Sproul testing has been done at FTDNA since then and so far the latest result of the Sproul group project at FTDNA has our SNP identified as R-FGC60947, just prior to genealogical recorded history or possibly about 1,000 years ago. There is currently Big Y testing happening with some members of the group and results are due in approximately late September or early October as well as Y-STR upgrades. Once these results are analyzed a comparison of the SNPs will be conducted to try and bring the timeline into a more reasonable time-frame, hopefully of the early colonial period. For timeline accuracy, much more testing must be done, especially in upgrading STR results out to 111 markers if possible. If you are a Sprowl (or variant), no matter in the US or elsewhere please consider DNA testing. It is already producing results for some of the members of the group at FTDNA. If you want to know more or interested in joining the Sproul group leave a comment or email me at and I’ll get you started. This is incredibly important if you want to advance your research and not be chasing down rabbit holes. To join the Sproul group please click here.

December 2015

The L-48 panel results came in showing the terminal SNP at this point is A2426. This is a fairly rare SNP that we share and it’s age is likely to be around 1250 BC. So, in order to reach that genealogical timeline of about 1300 AD a lot more testing will need to be done or consideration for the BigY test at FamilyTreeDNA which is on sale several times throughout the year, especially around Thanksgiving/Christmas. It would put an end to the hit and miss process of following the SNP trail. L-48 panel is the end of the line for our A2426 so will need to wait until further panels can be developed for further testing.  I’ll keep you posted!

October 2015

L-48 panel became available for further testing. The results of this panel will help get me closer to a genealogical significant timeline where relationships can be determined. Still have a long way to go to reach this period! This chart helps put the timeline together in following our DNA trail. Results of the L-48 panel are expected around the end of November.

A great tool for understanding Genetic Distance which is found on the Knowles Family Association website.

August 2015

Tested positive for the L48 SNP. Also upgraded to the 67 marker test to help predict future SNP markers.




3 thoughts on “My DNA Trail”

  1. Hi Mary

    I was just looking through Gedmatch and I notice that we share the same haplogroup (X) – I do not have the paternal one. Apart from my son, I haven’t come across someone sharing the same one before.

    I live in New Zealand and happy to correspond further.

    Warm regards


  2. Hello Ruth…..This is very exciting. However I must confess to being genealogical illiterate and find the DNA parts somewhat confusing. I have a rather clear picture of my family back to 1737 . I’d love to share and add members if and where possible. Please feel free to contact me…..Mary

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Ancient and Modern Ancestors of the Sprowl Family of New Castle County, Delaware and Camden County, New Jersey