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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

Although I have been researching my personal Lindsay history for over forty years, efforts to collect Lindsay genealogical data, on an international scale, were formally initiated in the year 2001, predating the official registration of the Lindsay One-Name Study with the Guild in 2010. In this on-going effort, identifying a documented genealogy for each Lindsay lineage found in a specific geography will be the first priority. Once the genealogical details have been fully documented and recorded, a concentrated effort will be made to identify a living male descendant, bearing the Lindsay surname at birth from this particular Lindsay lineage, who will be willing to participate in the Y-chromosome DNA testing.

Our efforts are currently centered upon identifying the founders of the Lindsay surname, with variants, simultaneously in Scotland/UK and in each of the distinct geographies or countries where the surname is now found. It is fully realized there will be multiple biological founders of the Lindsay surname in each of these geographies, including Scotland/UK.

Variant names

The Lindsay One-Name Study is officially registered to the surname Lindsay and the variant, Lindsey. However, it should be noted that Lord Crawford in his 1858 version of the €œLives of the Lindsays€, Volume I, Appendix, page 413, provided an orthography of eighty-seven different spellings of the Lindsay surname found in applicable €œcharters and other ancient documents€.

Name origin

In 1840, Alexander William Crawford Lindsay (1812-1880), 25th Earl of Crawford & acknowledged Chief of The Clan Lindsay, first published his historic, 3-volume, €œLives of the Lindsays€. Based on the extensive research performed by Lord Crawford, it was revealed that one Walter de Lindsay, the first known person on the planet bearing the Lindsay surname, was found in Scotland signing the charters of David, Prince of the Cumbrians (later King David I) in the years of 1116 to 1120.

However, the basic, open-ended question still remains ... who were the Lindsays before they became Lindsays. Lord Crawford asserted in his €œLives€ that the Lindsays were of Norman descent (without providing a definitive name) based primarily upon the €œgiven names observed to be used by the Lindsay family. In this same publication, Lord Crawford rejected the notion by the 1753 biographer/historian, Richard Rolt, and other historians, who asserted the Scottish House of Lindsay descended from the Saxon Earls of Lindsey of Lincolnshire.

Some fifteen years after the death (1880) of the 25th Earl of Crawford, author of the €œLives€, we find British historians, Sir George R. Sitwell, in 1895/1896, and John Horace Round (1895) suggesting the likely progenitor of the Lindsays of Scotland to be of Germanic descent. Thus, if we are to be thorough in our research, we cannot discount the existence and possibly affiliation with the ancient Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Lindsey in Lincolnshire which dates back to the 5th century, following the demise and exit (408 CE) of the Roman Empire from the provinces of Britannia.

In 1985/1990, British historian, Beryl Platts, published her account of the origin of the Lindsays using land records coupled with heavy emphasis on heraldic devices. Furthermore, Ms. Platts€™ concluded that Gilbert de Ghent/Gant, a Flemish knight, was the likely father of our Walter de Lindsay and thus an early progenitor of the House of Lindsay in Scotland. The current Earl of Crawford (29th) communicated directly with Ms. Platts during her study but does not necessarily agree or disagree with her conclusions which were based on strong circumstantial evidence.

Hopefully, future genealogical research and DNA studies will help to further pinpoint the true genetic origin of the man first bearing the Lindsay surname and appearing in Scottish history during the timeframe of 1116 to 1120 CE. Was he of Norman, Anglo-Saxon or Flemish descent or none of the foregoing possibilities?

Historical occurrences of the name

When family historians attempt to define the diaspora of those of the surname Lindsay, the journey must currently start in both England and Scotland, since that is the earliest known start point for our Lindsay surname. We are confident that the Lindsay surname is known to have appeared in Scotland as early as 1116. What occurred before that time remains to be discovered.

Over the centuries many of the descendants of Walter de Lindsay and others who adopted the Lindsay surname, moved away from the Scottish homeland to many parts of the world for many reasons including adventure, political and religious preferences and sometimes economic needs. The Lindsay surname is today found in many parts of the world such as Australia, Canada, England, Jamaica, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States. Now, after approximately 900 years of descent, we are trying to identify and reunite the Lindsays from around the world.

Based on the current DNA Project results, we are fully aware that all who currently bear the Lindsay surname are not descended from one common biological ancestor, apparently due to adoption, name change, etc. However, this reality does not make any one of us who bore the Lindsay surname at birth, any less a Lindsay.

Nonetheless, there is a strong and courageous desire in our efforts to determine our individual true biological origin, if that is possible. We will try to accomplish this desire through traditional genealogical research complimented by any scientific evidence that might assist us in reliably putting as many as possible of the “pieces of the genealogical puzzle” in place. The driving force behind this effort is the strong belief that the more we know about those ancestors who preceded us, the more we know about ourselves.

Distribution of the name

Great Britain (1881 Census) Total: 9761 Rank: 439 Frequency: 0.033
United States (1990 Census) Total: 29,844 Rank: 974 Frequency: 0.012

Great Britain (1881 Census) Total: 1524 Rank: 2777 Frequency: 0.005
United States (1990 Census) Total: 67,149 Rank: 411 Frequency: 0.027


In 2001, the Lindsay International web site ( was created to facilitate dialog with a broad base of worldwide Lindsay genealogical researchers. Over the past nine years, genealogical data has been collected from many Lindsays from geographies including Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Scotland, South Africa, and the United States.


The International Lindsay Surname DNA Project ( was initiated June 2001, in order to provide the tool to compliment our on-going traditional genealogical efforts. The DNA Project is designed to establish the Y-chromosome STR haplotype of any Lindsay genealogical lineage found in any geography of the world. With the use of a simple inexpensive DNA test we can compare each Lindsay lineage or individual tested and determine if they share a common biological ancestor with other Lindsay lineages already tested, within the timeframe of the common use of surnames.

It would be very meaningful for a male, bearing the Lindsay surname at birth, to establish the Y-chromosome DNA haplotype for his Lindsay lineage. This would give him the opportunity to compare his Lindsay lineage DNA, now and at any time in the future, to other Lindsays in the International Lindsay Surname Haplotype Database and arrive at the conclusion as to which, if any, he is most likely to share a common ancestor. It would also be a legacy for his family for generations to come in the event the male heirs of his lineage should die out.

The International Lindsay Surname DNA Project is currently (October 1, 2017) composed of 307 participants. In due time and with the addition of more participants, the International Lindsay Surname DNA haplotype database will expand and hopefully represent most of the distinct Lindsay lineages from around the world. It is the ambition of this Project to eventually be able to easily match any Lindsay, DNA tested, to a particular Lindsay lineage or DNA grouping that has an extensive, documented genealogical history.

Currently participating in the International Lindsay Surname DNA Project are individuals of the surnames of Lindesay/Lindsay/Lindsey/Linzee/Linzey. At the end of year 2009, the DNA Project had 202 DNA participants, resident in the following countries.

  • Australia = 10
  • Canada = 10
  • England = 5
  • Germany = 1
  • New Zealand = 1
  • Northern Ireland = 7
  • Scotland = 5
  • United States = 163

Because we test STR markers only on the Y-chromosome, all participants must be males, bearing the Lindsay surname at birth.

If you are a female with Lindsay ancestry and you wish to establish the Y-chromosome DNA haplotype for your Lindsay lineage, you will need to find a male, bearing the surname of your Lindsay lineage and convince him to provide the required DNA sample. This could be your father, brother, uncle, cousin, etc. All the Lindsay males in your direct Lindsay lineage will have the same Y-chromosome marker values, with the exception of expected occasional mutations.
One hundred sixty four (164) of the current 203 participants have been placed in one of the seventeen (17) DNA Groupings which genetically establishes, without doubt, that those within each of the DNA Grouping share a common ancestor at some point in the not-too-distant past. From the seventeen (17) distinct Lindsay genetic groupings discovered thus far, via the Y-chromosome DNA testing, Group Administrators (fellow Lindsay genealogical researchers) have been established for ten (10) of these lineages of Lindsays to help gather all the genealogical data, analyze and determine what has or can be documented and help respond to the multitude of questions that are raised daily. Four of these Group Administrators have also established their own web sites devoted entirely to their unique Lindsay lineages. The Lindsay International web site provides the DNA Group summaries and conclusions with many of the genealogical details found at the separate Group web sites.

Based on the current level of participation, the Lindsays of the world are currently grouped into two major "€œdeep ancestry"€ haplogroups. 56% of the current participants are part of the R1b "€œdeep ancestry"€ haplogroup. Another 38% are of the I "€œdeep ancestry"€ haplogroup.

The Lindsay lineages, with known UK geographical affiliations that have thus far been genetically defined, include the following.

  •  Lindsays of Birker
  •  Lindsays of Dundee
  •  Lindesays of Kingswark (Leith)

If you wish to learn more about the Lindsay DNA Project and the DNA sample collection process, copy and paste the following link in your Internet browser screen: