As of today, through tomorrow, you can get a FamilyFinder test at FTDNA for $79. Does this help the surname project? Yes, it certainly may. Even if it doesn't help the surname project, you will have some fun with it. Some things you may find, from my own experience:
- You have hundreds (thousands, actually) of cousins. In my case, over 800 matches from FamilyFinder. Each match is a cousin or relative, likely. Most are fairly distant, such as fourth cousins (in case you don't know, a fourth cousin means the common ancestor is a few more generations away than in the case of first cousin, where the common ancestor is grandparents)
- Many of those cousins are doing genealogy work and may have information that you don't have
- If you get "into" it, you can use a number of tools, programs, and spreadsheets to analyze data from many of your matches, leading to theories on how you match, specifically
- Even if you and your cousin have pretty good pedigrees and genealogy data, you may have a hard time figuring out who the common ancestor is. When you think about it, every female ancestor may have taken a new name, and that applies to children of the ancestor and so on. Each one can be a fun puzzle, though.
- It is possible to deduce much deeper insight when combining multiple people who match in a particular way. I won't describe that here, you'll have to take my word for it. Because of this aspect, I have developed a new theory for my ancestry. The theory will likely be proven using DNA results.
- While there will likely be some almost instant gratification, much of the value will come over time, as you put effort into it, and as other relatives test. For the enthusiast, it keeps on giving.
- It helps understand the results if you have a few known relatives who have also tested.
Given what you can get out of a FamilyFinder test, it is a very good value, even at the normal price of $99, assuming you have the slightest bit of curiosity about your family tree.