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The following Surnames are currently included in this project:

Gorman, O'Gorman, McGorman, MacGorman, Ogorman, Garmon, Garman, Goram, Gorham, Gorin, Gormally, Blue, MacGhilleghuirman

The Gorman DNA Project is open to all Gorman families, of all spelling variations, and from all locations. 

(If your surname is not included, please contact me.)


The Gorman DNA Project was started to:

1.    Help genealogical researchers from common or related families work together to find their shared heritage.

2.    Identify how the participant's families are connected, both genetically and through paper trails.

3.    Identify and confirm genetic Lineages of ancestral families.

4.    Ultimately catalog pedigrees and genetic connections of all of the known project families.


The Gorman DNA Project is a Y-chromosome project.  We do not work with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data.  If you have taken (or are now ordering) a Y-DNA test (e.g., Family Tree DNA's Y-DNA67 test), and your paternal Y-DNA lineage is known or suspected to bear the Gorman surname (or a variant), or you have some evidence that it should have borne this surname, then you are welcome to join this project.  If you are female, then you do not have the correct type of DNA for this project, but you may join on behalf of some male family member of yours who was born bearing the Gorman surname (or a variant), if you have access to his data.  Please contact me before joining, if you have any question about your qualifications for the project.

The Gorman DNA Project is made up of several very distinct subgroups of Gormans, who are not all related to each other.  This diversity within the surname is a result of at least two possibilities (and probably both):

(1) The surname has multiple independent origins.

(2) Many of the people who are now named Gorman obtained that name due to a "non-paternal event" (as it is known in the genealogical lingo) that caused somebody's name to change from their family's original name.  Some examples of events that can lead to such a change are adoption, infidelity, war (with captives or conquered peoples adopting the surname of their conqueror), divorce or death of a father (followed by the mother renaming her children to her maiden name), remarriage (followed by the children taking on the surname of the new father), a father voluntarily changing his surname (e.g., after emigrating, or to change his surname to his wife's), or several other causes.  These events are far more frequent than most people realize, and it is likely that many of us in the Gorman project originally came from families with a different surname, perhaps many centuries ago.  Today though, we are all Gormans, so be proud to bear the name, wherever it came from in your family!

I strongly encourage all members who have not already done so to transfer their results to Ysearch. This will enable you to find Gormans who have tested with different labs, or who have not chosen to join the Gorman DNA Project, and can therefore potentially augment your list of DNA matches.  If you are a current Family Tree DNA member, there is a link to automatically transfer your results to Ysearch on your "Y-DNA - Matches" page on your FTDNA personal page.  At the bottom of this page there is an orange button labeled "Upload to"  Click this button and follow the instructions.

I highly recommend that anybody who has only tested at the 12- marker level (FTDNA's YDNA12 test) should upgrade to a minimum of 37 markers.  67 or 111 markers is far better, and most serious family researchers will eventually upgrade to one of the latter two levels.  You can save a lot of time and expense by starting with this upgrade, rather than upgrading in steps.  There are several reasons for this recommendation:

(1) It is possible to be a perfect 12/12 match with somebody, yet not be closely related to them (or even distantly related).  It is a common occurrence for people who were previously 12/12 matches to "lose the match" when they test more markers, because they only happened to match on the first 12 markers by random chance (or genetic "convergence").  A close match with 37, 67, and especially 111 markers is far less likely to happen by chance, and an upgrade is the best way to confirm a tentative 12-marker match.

(2) The converse is also possible, that a mismatch on a 12-marker test (causing somebody to fail to appear at all in your list of matches) can turn into a match when more markers are tested.  This has personally happened to me with at least one of the Gorman project participants. There is another project member right now, who does not appear at all in my results list at FTDNA, due to his disparate 12-marker test results, who I have confirmed to be a distant relative of mine after examining his pedigree.  Using an extreme example, if somebody is only a 9/12 match on a 12-marker test (75% of the markers match), they will not show up at all on the list of matches on your FTDNA personal page.  If that person then upgrades to a 67-marker test, and the remaining markers are a perfect match, they now become a 64/67 match (96% of the markers match), which is highly significant and indicates a near-certain relation.  Though an example this extreme is not especially likely to happen with numbers like these, it does serve to illustrate a possible outcome.  Had I stopped testing at 12 markers, I would have never discovered any DNA matches, and I would now be wondering why nobody in the world seems to be my kin!

(3) The more markers you test, the more accurately you can narrow down the confidence level for the time to your most recent common ancestor (TMRCA).  While testing more markers will not increase your relatedness to somebody per se, it will help you say with a greater confidence level, that, for example, you shared a common ancestor with him in the last 5 generations.  For example, instead of the chance of a common ancestor within that timeframe being only 50%, you might be able to increase those odds to, say, 90%, if the markers continue to match as more markers are tested.  Please be aware, however, that estimates of TMRCA's are only statistical tools, and no degree of testing will allow you to identify the year when your common ancestor lived.  That's where supplementing your DNA data with conventional paper trails come into play.

If you have already been Y-DNA tested to 67 or more markers, then you may wish to upgrade your testing further by ordering the National Geographic Geno 2.0 test.  These results can be synchronized back into your FTDNA kit once you get your results.  This test can be ordered by going to your "Y-DNA Haplotree & SNPs" page at Family Tree DNA, and then clicking the orange button labelled, "Order Geno 2.0 Chip."  Non-FTNDA customers can order the Geno 2.0 test directly from the Genographic Project's website. If you have not taken this Geno 2.0 test, then your haplogroup assignment is only a prediction.  A Geno 2.0 test will confirm this assignment with certainty, and may also classify you to a much more specific haplogroup than you were predicted to be.  A haplogroup assignment is another very powerful tool for evaluating potential DNA matches.  While SNP testing cannot prove matches in and of itself, it can and will eliminate false matches.  If your funds are limited, then I recommend first spending your money on upgrading to 67 or 111 markers, before having a SNP test done.

It is very important to help get as many new members into the project as possible, to help tease apart the relationships between the various lineages shown in the results page.  If you discover a DNA match to you, please encourage him to join the project!  Furthermore, if your paper trail research has identified any distant cousins and you are able to make contact with them (I can help suggest ways to discover and make contact with such people), please encourage them to join.  This will help you confirm that they are indeed kin (paper trails can be very misleading at times!), and will also help determine where mutations in your lineage may have occurred.  For the latter purpose, the more distant the cousin, the better. 


Please note that new members get heavily discounted FTDNA tests by ordering through the Gorman project.

If you meet the project qualifications described above,
then you may click here to order a DNA test through the Gorman project.

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