[This is a guest post written by Rob McFadden, of the McFadden Project. If you'd like to write a guest post for us on anything Scottish history or genealogy related, get in touch.]
For centuries, there had been just one way to determine whether or not two people were related - you travelled to distant, dusty archives, read through mountains of small print and bad handwriting, prayed to the gods of genealogy that these people knew how to spell their own names, then ultimately came down with a headache. Eyes were strained. Backs were strained. Tears were shed. They were dark times for all of us.
Ah, but now we find ourselves in 2016. The age of self-driving cars! Much of that bad handwriting can now be found on a miraculous thing called "the internet", which means you can strain your eyes and your backs from the confines of your own home. It's a new era of research and a new era of chair comfort.
However, perhaps even more interesting and exciting for genealogists and historians is the emergence of genetic genealogy. The concept is simple - spit into a tube or swab your cheek, send your stuff off to a lab, then open your e-mail to find out you're descended from royalty.
Ok, it's not really that simple. It's actually quite complex. But the bottom line is that it is now possible for people to connect with distant cousins through DNA testing. More importantly, it's now possible for men to take a specific type of test, compare their results, and determine whether or not they are of the same lineage going back centuries. This opens the door for surname studies that could never have previously been attempted.
And that is where the McFadden Project comes in. If you or someone you know is a man with the last name McFadden, Macfadyen, McFadzean, or any similar name thought to be derived from Mac Pháidín - the McFadden Project wants you! We're looking to put together the pieces of the McFadden puzzle. Are the Scottish Macfadyens and the Irish McFaddens of the same ancient clan? What about the Pedens and Padens, and Faddens and Pattersons and all the others? If not, which are related to which? Where did they originate? How long ago?
These are the questions that we're asking and that we're hoping you can help us answer. If we have your attention, our web site is here. Additionally, anyone with any interest at all in the name is welcome to visit our website and participate on our brand new message board. We're looking to develop a broader Mac Pháidín community where people can come to discuss genealogy, history, or anything at all. Looking for help with a mysterious McFadden ancestor? Have a great story about one you'd like to share? Big fan of that pop star guy? Swing on over. Thanks for your time, and don't forget to rest those eyes.
Rob McFadden, Project Admin
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