A lady in New Zealand named Gail Riddell and an apparently unrelated Jim Riddell in America are joint administrators for the Riddell/Riddle/Ridley/Ruddell DNA project with an American based firm called FamilyTree DNA. .
Gail's family were mostly from the Roxburghshire area but were also in Berwickshire and Lanarkshire (not to mention all through the Lothian area), depending on the lands they purchased/versus where their money was "made". Jim's forebears were from Lanarkshire in the late 16th Century and are thought to have left at the time of the Covenanters.
Gail wrote "I have many men from New Zealand, Australia, USA, one from South Africa and a few from UK who have been excited by what they have learned as a result of testing their Y-Chromosome. They have worked hard in order to raise sufficient funds for me to be able to offer totally free, a number of Y-37 tests for any man living in Northumberland, the Scottish Borders, Yorkshire or lowland Scotland who has this surname and who has a family tree of his paternal ancestry back to around 1800 or earlier.
The bottom line is to extend and "prove" our genealogy in a way that paper trails have been unable. By that, I mean if we go back into history, especially the 1600s (as an example) and look at the deaths, followed by pestilence, followed by famines and we soon begin to realise that not everyone who bears a particular surname is actually of that stock. I say this because many young women with wee ones to feed were made widows and frequently joined up with a "protector" who thus gave his name to those
For those who are anxious about DNA testing - the medical genes are not considered in the test that I am offering as a "freebie". The test itself needs just two separate cheek swabs. "
If you're a Riddle (whatever the spelling), and you've got a family tree on the paternal side back to 1800, and you would be willing to take the test, please contact Gail at the email address below.
Berwick 900 Family History Day on Saturday 16th April 2016 at Berwick-upon-Tweed.