Many of us have wondered whether or not all of the Mavers, Mavors, Mawers, etc. all over the world might actually be related. In just the last few years, it has become possible to answer this question definitively using genetic genealogy. Since all men possess a Y chromosome that they've inherited from their fathers, providing a DNA sample in the form of a simple cheek swab allows us to examine the unique Y-chromosomal signature that we've inherited along with our surname.
For the first time in history, we will be able to determine how closely related all of us are and, perhaps, discover the origin of each branch of the Maver, Mavor and Mawer families.
NEWS - July 22, 2015
We are looking for Mavers, Mavors, and Mawers from branches of the family with origins in Scotland which do not already have results. We would like to pay for your test so we can discover where your family tree may match up with the others. If you are interested in this, please contact Cai Maver by email.
My goals for this project are the following:
- Determine whether the various branches of the Maver family are related - did the surname originate independently in Scotland, Italy, Czeckoslovakia and elsewhere or do we all share a common ancestor?
- Determine how many generations back is the most recent common ancestor for Maver families that are found to be related to eachother.
- Discover whether the variations in spelling of the Maver name - Mavor, Mawer, Maor, etc. - represent distinct families or simply variations in dialect.
- See where the Maver family fits into the ancient human migration patterns by comparing our results with those in databases such as Ybase.org and ySearch.
Results so far
As of February 2015, several Mavers from two distinct lineages have received Y-chromosome SNP results which place them in the R-L21 haplogroup - a subclade of the R1b haplogroup. The R1b haplogroup is the most dominant in Western Europe and the R-L21 subclade is found most frequently in the UK and Ireland.
These results suggest that Mavers are decendants of the early Celtic inhabitants of Britain, likely belonging to the Brittonic-speaking tribal groups: the Britons or the Picts. All of the Mavers with DNA results have tested negative for the M222 subclade associated with the Dal Riata celts of Northern Ireland and Western Scotland. One participant has tested positive for the recently-discovered Z251 haplogroup - a subclade of L21.
However, early results seem to indicate that, though all Mavers descend from a common ancestor in the L21 haplogroup who lived around 4000 years ago, there are multiple unrelated branches of the Maver family in the genealogical time frame (the last 500 years or so). This may support the idea proposed by George Black in The Surnames of Scotland, that Maver evolved from the Gaelic word for "a steward". As an occupational surname, it might have been adopted independently by different families who fulfilled this role in various parts of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. We hope that more DNA results will help define these groups and make the origins of the Maver surname more clear.
The greatest need right now is to gather Y-STR results from as many branches of the Maver, Mavor, Mawer, etc. families as possible to establish a DNA signature for each branch of the family. The easiest way to do this is to join the FTDNA Maver DNA Project and order the Y-37 test. If you would like assistance or advise in ordering this test or other genetic genealogy tests, please contact Cai Maver.