Clan Pollock

Polk-Pollock-Pogue DNA Project

The Polk-Pollock-Pogue (PPP) DNA Project is open to all persons claiming Polk-Pollock-Pogue, etc, ancestry through blood or marriage who are interested in discovering or clarifying their PPP family genealogy through DNA testing and sharing of results. All variant surname spellings are welcome.

The project website is located at We primarily use FTDNA for testing purposes because they have unique capabilities for testing Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) which is essential for tracing the male line of descent. Ancestry and 23andMe only test for autosomal DNA which is helpful in determining degrees of kinship with other PPP family members up to about 4th or 5th cousin, but of limited use in determining a male line of descent. Persons who have been tested by those companies can transfer their autosomal results to FTDNA at no cost and join the project. To get started go to or just Google “FTDNA autosomal DNA transfer” and follow the indicated steps.

If you have not been tested yet go to Sign up for Family Finder (autosomal DNA) testing and join the project. Please also select either Limited or Advanced, not Minimal, for PPP Project Administrator’s access to your personal results page, so we can see your test results.

If you are a strictly male line descendant from PPP ancestry then you should also sign up for Y-chromosome DNA (Paternal Ancestry) testing. There are several choices. The recommended option is Big Y-700 or SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) testing which currently costs $450, but on sale ($380-400) several times a year. If this is not within budget then STR (Short Tandem Repeat) testing on 37 or 111 markers is a good way to start, and costs less. This will determine up front if you belong to one of the two principle Y-DNA haplogroups of our PPP family. If not, you can elect not to proceed further. If confirmed, other PPP male line project members will be identified as your near or more distant Y-DNA cousins. This will not, however, be enough to determine exactly where you fit into the Y-DNA family tree. That will require Big Y-700. If you have a known relationship with a PPP male line descendant who has already been Big Y-700 tested then it is not necessary to do it yourself, but some level of STR testing is needed to confirm your relationship.

As should be expected with any ancient family, different genetic branches have emerged from DNA testing. Not everyone with the family surname has descended in a direct line from the original Pollok family of 12th century Renfrewshire, Scotland. We are not all genetically related to each other. As surnames became more generally used in late medieval times they were not all acquired by direct birth or descent but in some cases by clan association with a family or identification with a location of origin. Surname changes in a genetic line can also be due to what is termed an NPE (Non-Paternal Event), i.e. an adoption, name change or infidelity.

As it turns out, two principle branches of our family have emerged from Y-chromosome DNA testing, plus several other much smaller ones. The largest branch is a subclade (branch) of the I-M223 haplogroup. The second is a subclade of the R-M269 haplogroup. Both of these parent haplogroups are very large and ancient, originating more than 10,000 years ago, so there is no chance that these two subclades or branches of the family could have had a common genetic ancestry originating in comparatively recent times, i.e. they could not both have originated (genetically) with the first Polloks of Renfrewshire. Based on paper trail family research and on its larger diversity it is almost certain that the I-M223 branch is the one that actually traces back to the Pollok family of Renfrewshire. Among the persons belonging to this group are the descendants of Robert Polke (c.1648-1703), the immigrant from Ireland to the eastern shore of Maryland. Among those belonging to the R-M269 subclade are the descendants of William Polk (c.1700-1758), great-grandfather of President James K. Polk, and the descendants of Charles Polk, known as the Indian Trader.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions. You will also find considerably more information at the project website. We are happy to help but please understand that we are strictly volunteers and receive no compensation from FTDNA or any other entity.

John Polk

Bill Polk

Project Administrators

Polk-Pollock-Pogue DNA Project

6 thoughts on “DNA Project”

  1. Daniel Harthcock

    I am descended from Isaac Polk born 1780 in Darlington SC and died in Prentiss Mississippi in 1759. I am trying to figure out if MS Polk’s are related to President Polk.

    1. Daniel,
      I believe that you are related to my Polk Family. We come from Thomas Polk JR and SR from Darlington and end up in MS. Wanted to see if we could compare DNA information. Our line is not related to President Polk. We descent from Robert Bruce Polk from Maryland.

      Dr. Schriver

    1. Hello,
      It turns out, it’s not just the link – the project itself has ended.

      We’re looking for more information about the matter, thanks for bringing it to our attention.


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