Armstrong Fairbairn I-M253 Y-DNA

The Elliott, Irwin, Farris and Fairbairn matches

from; DNA Lineages        Companion site to DNA Surnames

added 12/18/2017 MSE



Info added 10/12/2017  MSE

Armstrong Fairbain Origins;

Osberne Bulax had two sons named Siward Barn the Red and Siward Barn the White (Fairbeorn). Not much is known of Siward the Red, but it is known that Siward Barn the White became a refugee and fled to Scotland with many other men of distinguished renown including Edgar, the Atheling, the rightful King of England.

Chapter 1 Armstrong Origins

Siward, the Fairbairn, was said to be of giant-like stature and a strong
man, blue-eyed, very fair with light hair and beard.


Note; since there was a Siward Barn (bear variant), the Red (red hair) and the White (likely white hair not skin), and Fairbairn is said to be very fair, and blue-eyed, it is felt at this time that “fair” means a person which is “fair”, and “bairn” is from “barn” which is from the Germanic “bär” spell in English because the English do not have the character  “ä”, as “bear”, with the same pronunciation. There are many variants utilizing the name in many languages for “bear” which likely stems from a family northern Germany-south Denmark, and the beginnings of the spread of the influence of early Proto-Germanic languages.




After answering Rich Rucker question, am probably kicked way out of the FTDNA Armstrong project. Those Armstrong DNA guys likely do not want anything to do with me. Hopefully Fiona will forward.

Both the Armstrong and Elwald would use the Ninian name as a forename, and the pope came back on St Ninian day. There is even a St Ninian tartan which looks something like your Armstrong tartan. St Ninian, converted those Pictish Armstrong to Christianity. Do not know how well it took though. Was told when someone knocked on a door in old Liddesdale and asked if there were in Christians in there, they were told we’s Armstrang and Ellot.

The Little from Liddel, and Armstrong, most from Armystrand (army strand), Armistrang (strong army) along Liddel Water, and that is where the Picts, St Ninian of Whitethorne diocese converted to Christianity, and into northeast Scottland, where the Declaration of Abroath was signed, north of the Scandianavian Scottish Saint Andrews.

Fairbairn, is of the Germanic Bear family, of Burn, Barnes, Borne, Bourne, and many others, but likely of Siward Fairbairn, and the Y-DNA feel he carried was I-M253, because today about three forths of the family of Fairbairn carries this DNA.

Three forths of the family of Gresham, and also for the family of Scarborough carries my first twelve markers.  Likely the quarter which does not match for over a period of eight centuries is because of adoption and Non Parental Events NPE.

Croyland near the Barony of Bourne (the bear). Lincolnshire, County, where it is felt the Danish Bourne family lived, near the family of Elwald of Croyland, with bones of St/King Elwald in Hexam Abbey. There was also a Viking named Ulf and The Horn of Ulf (meaning wolf), is stored in York, and I use it for a background to represent the geological horn of Gorrenberry.

Though it is felt that the Danish Bourne family with offspring, Fairbairn (fair skin Danish male), and Osborne (white shin Danish male), and other bear, Barnes, Burn, and etc. the Fairbairn are the family which is important to the Armstrong because they went north. The Barony of the Bourne, besides lands near the Elwald of Croyland, included land of Gresham near the Elwald of Bec, and Oulton in Norfolk, where my Y-DNA arrived as Anglo-Danes, and N&S Cave-Cottingham, where a William Elwald settled in the region of the Estutville-Wake estates. The land also owned by the Estuteville-Wake family of the land of Nicolas Stuteville Forrest, and The Mote/Moat, where Liddel Strength Castle was built and where latter the Graham family built a peel tower. They also had peels at Kirkandrews but after the church (kirk) of St Andrews of St Ninian’s Whitethorne diocese was abandoned the one which in 1423 a John Elwald which once rector in 1418 St. Andrews University, the first College of Scotland. Also Grahams had a peel at Netherbye (under by), a companion to Canonbye (canopy/upper/over by), which with no peel, likely unlike the peels of the Graham on the English side, Canonbye was considered on the Scottish side.

Clan Fairbairn though today about tenth the numbers of the Armstrong, you will find if you Google “Clan Fairbairn” and go to images one would see the Fairbairn, likely more of Siward Fairbairn DNA seems to support my ideas strongly.

Mark Elliott 5/29/2016

Rich Rucker, Clan Armstrong DNA, Question

I-M253 Distribution;


Armstrong FTDNA I-M253;

(Armstrong, many of Alexandir Armystrang; and army strand of the Liddel Water)

FTDNA Armstrong I-M253

Armstrong GBname distribution 1881;

Armstrong GBname distribution 1881

Armstrong GBname statistics;

Armstrong GBname statistics


(Little-Liddel, place name of the Liddel Water)

Little of I-M253 FTDNA

Little GBnames 1881 distribution

Little GBname statistics;

Little surname statistics

Little of I-M253 FTDNA


Fairbairn of I-M253 FTDNA

Fairbairn GBname distribution 1881;

(Fairbairn; fair bear; likely offspring Dane with fair skin called Bear)

Fairbairn GBname distribution 1881

Fairbairn GBname statistics;

Fairbairn GBname statistics


(Osborn(e) likely and offspring of a white skin Dane named Bear)

(shows I-M253 in Norfolk-Lincolnshire UK region)

Osborn Osborne I-M253 Y-DNA

Osborn FTDNA I-M253

Osborn/Osborne (Danes with white skin, sometimes referred to as a Polar Bear) is felt to mainly enter into Anglia then migrate towards the west-southwest. It is felt that part of the I-M253 migrated north with the people of the Fairbairn (Danes with fair skin, sometimes referred to as a Fairy Bear).

Barony of Bourne the Danish Bear

Osborn GBname statistics Osborn GBnames distribution 1881

Osborne GBname statisticsOsborne GBname distribution 1881

Mark S. Elliott   5/29/2016

Conclusion Given;

Chronicles of the Armstrongs;by ED James Lewis A. MD, 1902

With Fairbairn surname, with about 75% having I-M253, is indicative that the body I-M253 is likely from someone with the name Fairbairn. The surnames Armstrong, which in 1376 was Armystrand, meaning army strand along a bank likely the Scottish side of the Liddel Water in which Armstrong peels were located.

Surname Little is known to be highly related to the Armstrong. and like the name is derived also as much of the Armstrong surname from the Liddel Water.

A group called Fairbairn similar group naming like religious groups, but of Fairbairn family origin. Origin Fairbairn, had an  I-M253 Y-DNA, and likely of the same individual. People of the Fairbairn in high percent of I-M253 would take the Fairbairn surname, but smaller percent of Fairbairn among the Armstrong and Little surnames for obvious reason the surname is not Fairbairn.


Chronicles of the Armstrongs;by ED James Lewis A. MD, 1902



Proto-Germanic for Bear

Burns, Byrn, Byrne & Bentley (Bear I-253 DNA);

Byrne-Burns I-M253


Burns distribution 1881

Byrne GBname 1881 distribution

Byrnes distribution 1881

Bentley distribution 1881

Bear I-M253 family;

Burn of;

Burns, Bryne, Brynes, and Bentley; (some I-M253)

has off springs Osborn(e), there offspring of likely a single male with I-M253 Y-DNA, of the Fairbairn family pre-surname which settle along the Scot-English border. The people of the Fairbairn, along the Liddel Water became Little and Armstrong, and the ones one the east side of the border, not along the Liddel Water, became Fairbairn, as shown by the high percent of I-M253 Y-DNA. The none I-M253 is felt having to been done by Non-Parental Events NPE such as adoption.

MSE 6/27/2016

For the R-M269 NPE they could be in relation to the Irvine-Elliot and other surnames;


31. Manifestations of NPEs • Egressions from a genetic family (“e-NPEs”): same DNA, but different surname e.g. Irwin DNA, but Elliot surname (possibly an Elliot step-father) • Introgressions into a genetic family (“i-NPEs”): same surname, but different DNA e.g. Elliot DNA, but Irwin surname (possibly an Irwin step-father) “One project’s e-NPE is another project’s i-NPE”. 31
32. Examples of Irwin / Elliot e- NPEs 32 ………..Elliott ………..Elliott ………..Elliott ………..Elliott ………..Irving ………..Erwin ………..Elliott ………..Erwin ………..Nipper ………..Irvine ………..McDonald ………..Armstrong …………Irwin …………Snowdon
33. Examples of Elliot / Irwin i- NPEs 33 ………. Elliott …………Fairbairn …………Fairbairn …………Elliott …………Elliott …………Elliott …………Elliott …………Farms …………Fairbairn …………Fairbairn …………Fairbairn …………Fairbairn …………Fairbairn …………Fairbairn

MSE  12/14/2016

May be interested in Irwin-Elliot(t) NPE; A Scots-Irish case study: the Irwin DNA Project (James Irvine)


above added 11-17-2017

The Carrothers/Carruthers, of Debatable Lands and Fermanagh also carry I-M253

It should be noted that Karruthers in above are of Dumbfrieshire below.


Curruthers, and variants seem to have a dominate I-253 Y-DNA, and West Scottish Border distribution. Border Reiver group has a Scottish bias, but census concentration is of the Debatable Lands region It is felt that this I-M253, could be attributed to a single individual, where the non down slope Y-DNA can be attributive to NPE, non parental event. Would like to know if any cross matches with Fairbairn. FTDNA I1; “M253 subclade SNPs, DF29, CTS6364, L22, Z58, Z63, Z131” I-1suomi “L22 > CTS11603” Curruthers likely derived from Curuthers with a single “r”.


Fermanagh, Ulster, Ireland;

‘Sheep stealers from the north of England’: the Riding Clans in Ulster by Robert Bell

Fermanagh (muster), c. 1631, copied from MSS. 4770 in the British Museum. The list is set forth by baronies and the names of the … Armstrong (41) ; Biaty (Beatty, Bayty, Baetye, Baiteye) (36) ; Ellot (33) ; Graham (29) ; Little (25) ; Irwin (17) ; Nixon (10) …
Repositories and records – Page 649 Margaret Dickson Falley – 1962 –

RJ Hunter-Ulster c1630 muster


Graham (Grame, Græme) I-M253;

Johnston(e)-Johnson, also has a high number of I-M253;

Tullykelter Castle

3/24/2017  MSE

Hamilton FTDNA results

Hamilton has a large proportion of I-M253, and many border Scots at time of Cromwellian Civil War, fought as Royalists on the side of Anglican Charles II, and the Anglican Hamilton.

10/4/2017  MSE

Garrett Hellenthal;



Shows genetic migration into Ulster (Northern Ireland), from Argyll, Glasgow Region, and Liddesdale.

Liddesdale and Northumberland region of “orange rings” is where the Burn (bear) – Fairbairn (fair bear) are concentrated.

Showing marker 33 out of Germany influencing British DNA.

Anglo-Saxons seem to stop northword migration at border. Vikings-hit the Northumberland “orange rings” and Gaelic speakers which Dumfries was an area of them. So the Fairbairns, in Scotland just north of the east end of the border, and the Carruthers, of Carruthers Town, Dumfres on the west, are predominately Viking I-M253.


Where Did The Fairbairns Come From?

By Thomas Fairbairn March 12, 2010 at 02:04:40  from;

Although there is more than one story about the origins of the Fairbairns, perhaps one of the most widely accepted is the saga of Siward.The Viking, also known as Siward Fairbairn of the Strong Arm.Siward was the son of a Danish King and lived in England from about 995 till his death in 1056.In those days, the ruler of any small territory was a king, so exactly where his father, Hringo, King of Upland, also known as Earl Beorn, would fall on the yardstick of earthly royalty is not clear; however, at the very least, he would be considered of noble birth.

Whether Siward was born in England is also not known for certain.However, he was the first to carry the name of Armstrong and was listed in the History of England as having earned the right to the title of Earl of Northumbria (Northumberland) having been conferred the title by Edward the Confessor.
Siward, the Fairbairn, was said to be of giant-like stature and a strong man, blue-eyed, very fair with light hair and beard.The legend goes that Siward took ship and sailed with 50 of his men from Danemark, arriving at what is today called the Shetland Islands, where he is said to have encountered a dragon which he slew in single combat.Dragons, as most of us know, are mythical creatures which the dictionary states were first defined as a large serpent.He apparently got a kick out of killing serpents, as he put out to sea again and finally landed in Northumbria where he began looking for another one to fight with.Here he met an old man who he thought was his god, Odin, who told him he had already killed the dragon and for him, Siward, to sail southward to the mouth of the Thames river which could bring him to the wealthy city of London (one would think that there would have been plenty of serpents there).The old man then gave him a standard (flag) to carry which signified The Raven of Earthly Terror (Edgar Allen Poe must have read about our ancestor!)He was received by Edward the Confessor, the King of England, with much ceremony and was made many promises if he would stay with the King and help him fight to retain his kinship.
The following story about Siward had endured.One day, as he was leaving the court after an audience with King Edward, he was confronted by Tostig, Earl of Huntington, on a bridge, who insulted him by throwing dirt upon him.Siward took no offense at the time, but on confronting him on his return on the same bridge, the story goes that he decapitated Earl Tostig and carried his head back to the King.The king, being suitably impressed by this brawny warrior with violent tendencies, wisely awarded Siward the Earldom of Huntington in addition to Northumbria.
As Siward’s reputation as a brave and valiant knight continued to increase, so also did the kingdom of Edward continued to be visited by other Danes who held him and his people in much less esteem than did our good Siward.In fact, they became an ever-growing nuisance – arriving by ship and plundering the eastern coast of England.As the most of the havoc they created was located in Westmoreland, Cumberland and Northumbria Counties, some wise soul counseled the King to put Siward in charge of defending this area.White perhaps properly descriptive if not overly flattering, it was reportedly stated that it was best that the little devil should be first exposed to the great devil.
Siward goverened in peace the territory of Northumbria which extended from the Humber River to the Tweed River on the border of Scotland, and was greatly respected and loved by the Northumbrians who were chiefly of Danish extraction (better a danish devil than an English saint?). He orchestrated several forays from Northumbria to the north and was successful in putting all territory under the command of the King of England.

The surname of Siward was Beorn (meaning bear) and relates to the Nordic legends of the Fairy Bear or Fay Bairn, from which the Border name of Fairbairn, originated.The name was applied to the stories of Siward and his father and were called the fairy Bear Stories.

Siward had a sister (who’s name is not known) who married Duncan, the King of Scotland from 1034-1040 AD.Prior to his death in 1056, Siward suppoeted his nephew Malcolm, the rightful heir, against Shakespeare’s famous King Macbeth of Scotland who had killed Malcolm’s father King Duncan.
By 1070, the Battle of Hastings (1066) was over and England hsd been conquered by William of Normandy.Malcolm III had been on the Scottish throne since the death of Macbeth in 1057 and Siward has been dead since 1056.His first son, Osberne Bulax, was killed in the battle of Macbeth in 1054, some say by the hand of Macbeth, himself.Osberne is also said to have married the daughter of Lady Godiva.Siward’s second son, Waltheof (which means forest thief – nice name!) is alternately in and out of favor with William the Conqueror.For example, his wife, Juditha, is a niece of William and in 1069 we find that King William restored the earldom of Northumbria to Waltheof.However, in 1076 he was betrayed by King William and brought ot the outskirts of Westminister where he was beheaded.

Osberne Bulax had two sons named Siward Barn the Red and Siward Barn the White (Fairbeom).Not much is known od Siward the Red, but it is known that Siward Barn thw White became a refugee and fled to Scotland with many other men of distinguished renown including Edgar, the Atheling, the rightful Kinf of England.

Waltheof left no male descendant.However, Matilda (called Maude), his daughter (after her first husband died) married King David I, the son of King Malcolm of Scotland and his wife Margaret, who was the sister of Edgar the Atheling mentioned above.Both the Scottish and English royalty have descended from Waltheof to the present day.
Malcolm III, the 85th King of Scotland greeted Siward Barn the White (his cousin) with great kindness, and together they fought against William the Conqueor, driving him out of Northumbria.An interesting story apparently involves Siward the White Fairbeorn during a battle against England.During this battle, King Malcolm’s horse was killed under him partially crippling him and young Soward fought his way to the King’s side.Passing his left arm around the King’s body under his arms, he reportedly fought his way with a great Sword through the enemy to a place of safety.For his courageous act he was knighted by the King, given land and a castle on the Scottish border, and from that time on was referred to as the Sword of the Strong Arm (or Armstrong).This was how he and his decendants came to inherit the lands of MANGERTON in Liddesdale.
These lands (shown above), known as the Debateable Land, were disputed for centuries by both Scotland and England.As time went on they were protected by neither nation and, as the Armstrongs were of both Anglo and Danish descent, they were entirely different from the Celtic Clans of Northern Scotland.As a result of blood ties and loyalties not unlike those of the Mafia in Sicily some centuries later, these Clans avenged bolld for blood for centuries.In this environment it is not hard to understand how a reputation for plundering, bloodshed, and violence came to be tied to these marauders of the border lands.
Little is said about the Armstrongs after the building of the Mangerton Tower, probably in 1135.Apparently no Chief was immediately recognized until 1300 when Alexander became the first Lord of Mangerton.Stories abound of the enmity between the Armstrongs and their neighbors the Lodrs of Soulis, after being invited to a feast at his castle.The Armstrong Clan flourished, however, and by the early 1500s, the Laird of Mangerton was able to gather 3,000 mounted fighters.One Scottish king said that while there were Armstrong and Elliots on the Border, Scotland was safe.The Armstrongs were ambassadors, earls, knights, farmers and above all, fighters.For example, Gilbert Armstrong, third son of Alexander, the second Lord of Mangerton, a distinguished clergyman and diplomat was the Conon Moray from 1361 to 1375.In 1363 he served as a Commissioner to England for the ransom of King David II of Scotland who was held as aprisoner in England.In all there were ten Lords of Mangerton from Alexander through Archibald Armstrong who was denounced as a rebel in 1603, deprived of his lands in 1610, and executed at Edinburgh.
What happened to change our fortunes so greatly ? James IV of Scotland was on good terms with the Scottish Border chiefs and he regularly visited and was entertained by them.His son, James V of Scotland, on the other hand, ruled by decree from distant Edinbaugh and did little to protect his Border subjects or support them against repeated English incursions.In fact, in 1530, James V, with some 8000 men at arms surged into the borderlands and the betrayal of the Armstrongs began.Johnnie Armstrong, Laird of Gilnockie, was a much beloved nad highly respected member of the Armstrong Clan, who James V invited to parlay.Accepting the King’s invitation, he and 50 of his men went to meet with the King in good faith.Instead, they were seized and summarily executed.This incendiary act outraged the Armstrongs and their allies and set the Borders ablaze with rage and indignation – increasing the violence and bloodshed it was intended to suppress.At the prodding of the King, the Church also entered the fray and the Armstrong’s and other Border reivers were cursed by the Church excommunicated enmasse.The Armstrongs, with other Borderers, were thus left to their own devices so far as mutual self-defense was concerned.
Receiving neither aid nor comfort from the Scottish or from the English Crowns, the Armstrongs and other Border clans were forced to become makers of their own laws and protection.After Edward I of England slaughtered a thousand of Scots at Berwick, self-defense and preservation became their paramount endeavor.The Borderers were forced to become the best in what had become a profession – a greater thief (raider) did never ride was one complimentary description of an Armstrong.Jock O’Syde, in Liddesdale.They would raid by night and attend Carlisle Market by day, greeted by all who knew them.Unable to do more than bare subsistence farming, the cupboard was frequently bare.When the lady of the house served her Laird a pair of spurs on a plate, this meant it was time to ride and raid the other side of the Border yet again.
The bloodshed and violence continued.In 1603, Elizabeth I died and James VI of Scotland (James I Of England) was declared her heir.After a splendid coronation at Westminister Abbey, James settled down to life at the English Court.One of his highest priorities was the suppression of the Border families like the Armstrongs, as he was afraid that their incursions would make him unpopular in England.As a result, he established powerful landlords in the Debateable Land around Liddesdale and Eskdale, and appointed Sir William Cranston to put to death all within two miles of the border.A large number of Armstrong reivers were tortured and hung at the Market Cross in Edinburgh, at Carlisle and no doubt on a number of local gibbets.The last Armstrong raid of any importance took place in 1611 and for it, Lance Armstrong of Whithaugh – along with others – was executed a year later.Cranston generated the first forced migrations to Ireland and the subsequent Undertaking of the Plantation of Ulster in 1608.In the 18th century, farms were merged and more migrations followed.
The Armstrong lands of Mangerton passed into the hands of the Buccleuchs.Many members of the once powerful Armstrong Clan were shipped off to Ireland, including Johnnie Armstrong’s grandson, William who settled in Fermanagh.Thus, many who had survived found themselves on the Solway shore waiting for emigrant ships to take them from an inhospitable homeland.Homeless, leaderless, and sometimes penniless, they went westward to Ireland and North America, and south to Australia and New Zealand in search of new beginnings.Perhaps the most famous descendent of the Fermanagh Armstrongs was Neil Armstrong, the Americam astronaut and the first human to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
The dissolution and dispersal of the Armstrongs followed some two hundred years of Border brigandage and treachery, ending in the depopulated areas and vast estates of the present day Whithaugh, Mangerton and Gilnockie, which had at one time been the Clan’s greatest strongholds.A proud and courageous family had been reduced to a smattering of broken men.The Armstrongs have been scattered and now have neither chief nor recognized leader.However, as individuals the Armstrongs have survived and have lived up to their clan motto of ” Invictus maneo “or” We Remain Unvanquished. ”


P.S. According to recent DNA Testing, The Armsrongs are not related to the Fairbairns. This is according to Lorna Henderson. Someday we will have our own clan, without being part of the Armstrong clan.

Robin Hood is sometimes said to be the Earl of Huntington. Perhaps he is the son of The Fairbairn Earl of Huntington by another woman. I have found evidence online to support this theory.

Tom Fairbairn

11/5/2017 MSE




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