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Why should you participate? and ......How to  Join a Surname DNA Project ( below)

These two pages have been combined as of April 23,2011.


You don't have to be a male Cooper descendant to participate. Women who have an interest in their Cooper family history who know of a male Cooper descendant can participate by encouraging those Cooper's to submit samples for testing.  This may take research of previous generations to identify brothers of your father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. and then tracing their lineage down to a living male Cooper.

Even if only two or three generations are known to you, we urge you to submit a DNA sample.

It is important to understand that not all male Cooper descendants need be tested. Generally, only one or two samples from a Cooper-line are sufficient to determine linkage with other Cooper-lines. With larger family groups, additional samples might be needed. The point is that for this project to provide useful results, representative sampling rather than complete testing is sufficient.

What are your expectations?

DNA testing will cause disappointment and frustration to people who have excessive expectations such as discovering legendary American heroes, English royalty or a certain ethnicity in their ancestry.  Keep in mind, your own genealogical research should not be directed at confirming a specific pre-determined notion or discovery of someone with whom you would like to be descended from, but rather direct it towards finding whomever and whatever you can, and be grateful for all of it you can find, and never be disappointed.

It is also important to understand what DNA testing will and will not tell us. If enough people submit test samples to this project, we should begin to see previously unknown linkages between and among Cooper-lines. The test results will not tell us what those relationships are, only that some ancestral relationship probably exists. The different Cooper-lines can then communicate with one another to share information and help fill in the blanks. There is a lot of important information about the Cooper's which has been uncovered. However, much of it is scattered among many researchers. When this information is combined and compared in a meaningful way, real progress in documenting family histories can be made.

You do not have to be an experienced genealogist to participate. Most of us work on our family histories in our spare time as a hobby. We are all researchers, not in the sense of being experienced professionals, but because we seek information about our past. This is good.

Benefits of Participation

●    Break through the brick walls. In some cases DNA test results provide the independent information needed to bolster or deny a questionable ancestral story. We have already had a case of two men discovering by their test results that they are rather closely related prompting them to re-examine the genealogies they have been working on for many years. They found the unnoticed connection. These two men believed they had ancestral linkage but had no proof.

●    Determine ancestral origin. Many Cooper's have wondered about the origins of the Cooper surname. Did all of the various spellings originate from a single Cooper ancestor long ago? Alternatively, are today's various Cooper families descended from different, unrelated ancestors who acquired their surnames from their occupations, geographic locations, or other means? Comparing DNA test results from enough Cooper's offers the possibility of adding new information which might help answer these questions.

●    Define and clarify the entire Cooper ancestry more fully. The Cooper Surname Project was started to allow Cooper researchers to pool their information and benefit from cooperation. Many different lineages have been defined, but they have not been reliably joined by documentary research. The Cooper DNA Project is a new type of cooperative effort, which holds great promise for all of us. As our Cooper Y-DNA  database grows, it will become possible to point to relationships not previously suspected.

●    Prove and disprove familial relationships. Keep in mind a major aspect of DNA testing, it can prove and disprove familial relationships, which could very well save you time in misdirected research and finances.

●    Posterity. One major problem many Y-chromosome researchers in the Cooper Surname Reconstruction Project have run into is Cooper-lines that daughter-out. In these cases researchers find themselves in a dilemma, wondering what to do next.  We strongly encourage male Cooper's who are the last in their Cooper-lines to share their DNA sample so as to leave a history of their Cooper-lines for their descendants.

●    Sharing with other Cooper-lines.  DNA analysis is a tool in research which allows numerous Cooper-lines to come together in a unified force to collectively help each other in their individual research.  Participation in the Cooper Surname Reconstruction Project furthers this effort and acts as a platform to summarize this collective effort.


How to  Join a Surname DNA Project

If you have not been DNA tested yet:

  • Ordering a test through the project will automatically make you a member of the project,
  • and tests at Family Tree DNA cost $50 to $80 less when you order them through a surname project.

If you have already been tested at Family Tree DNA , FTDNA makes it easy for you to join the project (there is no charge to join):

  • Go to and sign in using your  kit number and password
  • In your FTDNA personal page is a blue button labeled "join". Click on that button.
  • Select the surname of the project you wish to join.
  • Then select a second gray join button which is lower on the page.
  • When you have joined the project, the Project Administrator will be notified by FTDNA, and your results will be available for posting on the Project's Results Page.

If you were tested at the National Geographic Genographic Project (NGGP): You can transfer yourself, your results and your retained sample to Family Tree DNA.Go to your National Geographic Genographic Project page.

  • Log in using your kit number.
  • On the next page, click on "I acknowledge".
  • On the next page, scroll all the way down to the bottom.  You will see "learn more" in small blue letters near the bottom of the page.  Click on it.
  • Check "I agree".
  • Fill out the FTDNA form "Adding Your Record to FTDNA" and click "Continue"
  • You should be able to finish it from there.
  • Once you have been transferred into FamilyTreeDNA, you will be given access to a "personal page".
    • In your FTDNA page is a blue button labeled "join".
    • Click on that button, then select the surname, then select a second gray join button which is lower on the page.
    • Or, you can call or email FTDNA and ask them to transfer you into the project (713) 868-1438 or
    • When you have joined the project, the Project Administrator will be notified by FTDNA, and your results will be available for posting on the Project's Results Page.

If you were tested at another company: Contact the Project Administrator to find out if your results can be included in the project, and to receive a copy of the table. We encourage you to post your family pedigree on the project's Pedigree Forum for display on the Trees Page. In addition, Family Tree DNA now allows those who have previously tested at another company to retest at FTDNA at a reduced price.  This offer gives you many benefits:

  • Full privileges in your Surname Project
  • Only way to be included in FTDNA’s internal database
  • Facilitates membership in multiple projects (you have direct comparison in each with no additional testing and at no extra charge.)
  • Guaranteed retention of your test sample for 25 years
  • Other Important Features--see our full explanation of retesting at FTDNA here.
  • FTDNA has put their special order page back up.

If you want to join a Y-Haplogroup Project:

  • In your FTDNA personal page is a blue button labeled "join".
  • Click on that button, then scroll down to the Y-Haplogroups listing.
  • Then, locate and click on the letter of the alphabet for your Y-Haplogroup.
  • Then, select the Y-Haplogroup project which best serves you
  • (Note: you cannot join a Y-Haplogroup project if you have not done a yDNA test.)

If you want to join an mtDNA Haplogroup Project:

  • In your FTDNA personal page is a blue button labeled "join".
  • Click on that button, then scroll down to the mt-Haplogroups listing.
  • Then, locate and click on the letter of the alphabet for your mt-Haplogroup.
  • Then, select the mt-Haplogroup project which best serves you
  • (Note: you cannot join an mt-Haplogroup project if you have not done a mtDNA test.)

If you want to join a Geographic Project:

  • In your FTDNA personal page is a blue button labeled "join". Click on that button, then scroll down to the Geographic Project listings. Note - some Geographic projects are for both yDNA and mtDNA, while others are for only yDNA or only for mtDNA. Also - the Ethnic projects are included in the Geographic Projects categories.
  • Then, locate and click on the letter of the alphabet for your desired Geographic Project.
  • Then, select the project which best serves you.

If you've been tested at FTDNA and want to join the National Geographic Genographic Project:

  • Go to your FTDNA Personal page (or go to Family Tree DNA and then enter your kit number and password)
  • Open "Genographic Project"
  • Click "I agree" and then "Continue"
  • Confirm your personal details and submit your request by clicking "continue"

If you want to join more than one project: FTDNA allows each participant to belong to as many as five projects:

  • 2 surname projects
  • 1 geographic project
  • 1 y-haplogroupi project (if you have been yDNA tested)
  • 1 mt-haplogroup (if you have been mtDNA tested)

Which Surname (yDNA) Test?

  • With FTDNA's current pricing, the 37 marker test for $149 (plus $4-$6 for s/h) is an excellent choice.
  • If you are trying to match to a different surname without a paper trail - 37 markers is the minimum.   67 will be helpful in most cases.  (you'll save time if you order the 67 markers all at once)
  • If you know the surname you should match, you may get by with 25 markers, but many folks will need 37 or even 67 to get clear insight.
  • If you are only interested in your "deep ancestry" (haplotype) or in proving that you don't share a common ancestor with a specific family, 12 markers will be adequate.   12 markers are usually sufficient to confirm solid paper trails.  (for any other research application - 12 markers is almost never enough)
  • If you are serious about your genealogy - you'll probably end up with at least 67 markers.
  • If you order the 12 or 25 marker tests, you'll pay less initially, but the cost of the upgrades make the 37 marker test an overall more cost effective choice.

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.  All tests 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.

The test is a simple cheek swab.  The kit will arrive and leave your house by mail.  You simply follow the instructions.  (You'll rub the inside of your cheek a number of times with a special scraper, put the kit back into the envelope, sign the release and put the completed sample in the mail. )

What do I do if I have questions?

1.      Please read DNA Testing the Smart Way at World Families Network.

2.      Please read the Freq Asked Questions at World Families Network.

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