My sister, Bonnie, has dragged me into a DNA test designed for genealogists researching family lines. This particular testing service is Family Tree DNA. I put in the order yesterday, and expect to get the test kit back in a week or so.
Turns out there’s a whole project devoted to tracing related names, Lynn-Lyne-Linn-Lind etc.
Here’s Bonnie’s quick explanation of what she’s after.
Our earliest documented ancestor is John Lind (var spellings seen) of Mosshat, Carnwath and born very roughly c 1690. Daughters chr Carnwath, sons in West Calder 1742-1759. W? are from the youngest son, am in communication with documented descendants of another brother. Looking to confirm or rule out links to Linds of Tarbrax (near Mosshat), Gordie, Ayrshire and Aberdeen. Then to see the older patterns. — Viking (based on distribution of surname in Scandinavia, Scotland, Germany) or Norman?
That drew an extended reply from Loretta Layman, who coordinates the Lynn project at Family Tree DNA. Some readers might find this of interest.
Here are pages at a website of mine devoted to Lynn/Lyne/Linn/Lind history which you may find helpful or at least interesting. The first just briefly discusses the Norwegian Bård På Lein, whom you may have seen reported at Ancestry as an ancestor of the Lynns of that Ilk in Ayrshire. The second goes into detail about the Lynns of that Ilk in Ayrshire. The third is just for fun and includes poems, ballads and folktales – including their historical background – about persons with some variation of the name Lynn in Scotland. Of course you can navigate these pages and more once you’re at the website, but the other pages all deal with those who went to Ulster.
Ian’s Y-DNA will tell you whether or not there is any likelihood of Scandinavian ancestry. The name Lynn/Lyne/Linn/Lind has more than one genetic origin, even among Scots. Here’s an excerpt from another web page, which discusses the origin of the name, the last sentence being most pertinent to your question.
“Among the Lynns, it has sometimes been thought that Lynn signified Scottish origins, Lynne signified English, Linn meant Irish, Lind Swedish, and so on. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, a single family may appear with different spellings on different occasions, or sometimes even within the same document. This phenomenon is seen in the Hunter Family Papers as published by the Scottish Record Society. These papers include a series of charters and resignations between the Hunters and a family of Lynns who owned a property called Highlees, as well as the Barony of Lynn, in Ayrshire. The Hunters were the beneficiaries concerning Highlees, and they took great care to preserve the documents, resulting in a 216-year record, beginning in 1452, in which the Lynn family name was spelled four different ways: Lin, Lyn, Lyne, and Lynn. Further, the name is found written therein with a “y” fourteen times and with an “i” only once. Three additional spellings of the surname of the Lynns, known as Lynn of that Ilk and/or Lords of Lynn, appear in documents outside the Hunter papers, their entire record spanning five centuries with seven different spellings: Lin, Lind, Linn, Lyn, Lyne, Lynn, and Lynne. Such was the nature of spelling in centuries gone by. It should be borne in mind, also, that this particular set of spellings occurred with one particular family of Lynns and that other Lynn families appeared sometimes with different variants of the name. (See also the second paragraph at the Introduction to “The Wraith of Lord Lyne”, a folk tale about the historic family known as Linn or Lynn of that Ilk.) All that being said, there are nevertheless several different genetic and national origins for the name Lynn or Linn, so that variations in spellings alone neither prove nor disprove that two persons are one and the same.”\
It’s also possible, however, that the DNA will rule out Scandinavian. There is one group of Lynns in the project (including my brother Milton) whose Y-DNA is found (in men who’ve been tested) chiefly among Ulster Scots and in the Lowlands of Scotland, southwest England, and northern France … but never in Scandinavia. At the same time, however, neither is their DNA “Celtic” in the popular concept of Celtic. In truth, Celts appear to have roamed most of western Europe before they appeared in Ireland or Scotland.
This is all new to me. It sounds like it could be a bit of an adventure.