Surnames in this Project
Our project is open to any male of any of the listed surnames or to any man believing that he is descended from a variant surname. Participants are sought worldwide -- anywhere the surname may be found.
The DNA information is to be used in conjunction with historical and traditional research. DNA results do not often “prove” a relationship, but can be quite helpful in guiding research. If a DNA profile does not match traditional genealogy, a hypothesized relationship may be incorrect. At other times DNA results may point to an unknown adoption in the family, or to some other so-called non-paternity event.
Since a Surname Project traces members of a family that share a common surname, and females (a) don't carry their father's Y-DNA, and (b) acquire a new surname by the way of marriage, in order to be relevant to the Surname Project, the tested individual must be a male who wants to check his paternal line (father's father's father's...). The test to be ordered is either the Y-DNA67, Y-DNA37, Y-DNA25 or Y-DNA12, and females should look for a brother or cousin with that surname to be tested. A 111-marker test is also available.
Females can also order a test for themselves, which will be the mtDNA or mtDNAPlus, but the results of their test cannot be tied to the Surname Project.
If you have already tested with another company, please write to me so we can discuss how to include your test results in our project. For most testing companies, FTDNA offers excellent discounts. Anyone who has tested with the National Geographic/Genographic Project is welcome to join FTDNA at no charge because FTDNA does all the testing for the NG/G project and therefore already has the DNA that was submitted.
What are the specifics?
The test will be conducted by Family Tree DNA, of Houston TX, the world's leading testing company for Surname DNA Projects. The cost per participant is dependent on the number of markers tested, but all tests usually include an estimate of the Haplogroup (an indication of deep ancestry). We personally recommend the largest number of markers that you can afford. We expect that most serious researchers will eventually upgrade to 37 or 67 markers - if they don't start there. Either the 25 or 37 marker test can be useful in identifying other families that share a common ancestor. It is highly likely that a 12-marker test will ultimately require an upgrade. We recommend the 12-marker test only for those folks who are sponsoring other families in search of a match to their own family or those who cannot afford a 25 marker test.
Please go to the Order page (click on Order tab in gray bar, above) for price details and to see if you might qualify for our Sponsorship Plan.
The test is a simple cheek swab. The kit will arrive and leave your house by mail. You simply rub the inside of your cheek a number of times with a special scraper, put the kit back into the envelope, and put it in the mail.
If you are interested in participating, please contact one of the Project Administrators listed below and submit your pedigree.
Click here to provide your pedigree information for the Patriarch Page
What do I do if I have questions?
Please read the Freq Asked Questions (click on Faq, above). Also, check all the pages at this website (use the navigation bar across the top of the page). If you still have questions, please contact one of the Project Administrators listed below. We are family researchers first and foremost and are anxious to help you. We can point you to others who have already taken the test and have volunteered to share their experience.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
1. Confidentiality is assured. The only DNA that is tested is “junk DNA.” Its only value is in carrying the male genetic identity through successive generations, father to son to son. As a result, it is useful to ascertain a lineage (but not a parent-child relationship). You are given a special ID which is the only information that accompanies your sample through the testing process. Your name is never revealed.
2. The procedure is painless and private. A kit is sent to your home by the lab, and you simply swab your cheek several times with a soft miniature toothbrush-like device, insert the device in the tube containing a special solution and mail it back with a signed release to have your results matched against an ever-growing database.
3. The results are displayed as a series of numbers, meaningless in themselves. Only after they are compared to others and a reasonable match occurs are you provided with an email address for the person whom you match. You will then have an opportunity to compare notes with that person (or persons). If you do not wish to have your email address included in the matching process, you may request that the Project Administrator’s address be used for this purpose. She (I) can then serve as an intermediary.
4. The matching process is not restricted to members of our Southworth-Southard Project. The database against which your results are compared presently consists of 59,000+ Y-DNA records. There is also a universal database designed to hold the test results of everyone who has ever had a genealogical DNA test performed at any lab anywhere. You may upload your results to this database for additional matching.
5. DNA testing does not replace traditional genealogical research. It serves as an additional tool and can confirm or deny the results of that research. It can provide an element of proof that cannot be obtained in any other way.
6. The only cost you incur is for the testing itself, and you enjoy reduced costs for being part of a project. My role as project administrator is purely voluntary, and I receive no compensation – only the satisfaction of hopefully resolving some of my own questions regarding my Southard line.
Please don’t let this opportunity pass you by. The best test subject is the oldest living male in a family. With each generation, there is an opportunity for mutations to occur, and these can cloud the past (although they play an essential role in determining where lines have split off from the originating male ancestor). Samples are retained for 25 years so, as new technological advances occur, you and your descendants can benefit from newly acquired knowledge.
Click here to place an order for a DNA test at Family Tree DNA