Skip to Content
Project Home Page 



Surname DNA testing (using the Y-chromosome) is the newest tool available to genealogists. These tests help genealogists verify their paternal ancestry (father's father's father, and so on) in a quick and easy way. It saves time, prevents mistakes, and provides invaluable data that can be obtained in no other way.

This Family Project is started to:

1. Identify the DNA profile ("haplotype") of the immigrant ancestor Francis Kirtley, who came to Virginia around 1710, probably from England. He married Margaret Roberts by 1722 and had at least six children, four sons and two daughters. Due to county boundary changes, they lived in Spotsylvania, Orange, Culpeper, and Madison counties. Through his four sons (William, Thomas, Francis, and James), Francis Kirtley is believed to be the direct ancestor of most of the Kirtley individuals in the USA today. By analyzing the Y-chromosome DNA of living Kirtley descendants, it may also be possible (through minor mutations of the markers through the next 7+ generations) to be able to determine to which branch of this Kirtley family a living individual belongs. This is important as a number of the branches of the family are insufficiently documented. Francis Kirtley & Margaret Roberts genealogy website:

2. Determine which Kirtleys living in the USA today are not descended from the four sons of Francis Kirtley. Some Kirtleys are of African ancestry, descended from slaves of the Kirtley families in the south who took the Kirtley surname when they were emancipated after 1863.

3. Establish the relationship of Francis Kirtley to other families of the Kirtley surname (and its variants, like Kirkley) in the British Isles. Some secondary sources place Francis Kirtley's country of origin as Wales, but the surname is most common in northeast England near County Durham or County Northumberland. (See A comparison of Francis's DNA to those of other Kirtleys in the British Isles whose town of origin is known will settle this question.

Summary of Findings

One of our project participants is from the Kirkley family of County Northumberland, which is believed to be of the same family as Kirtley of that part of England. His predicted haplogroup is I1a. Results have come in from a descendant of the Virginia immigrant, Francis Kirtley. His predicted haplogroup is R1b1b1, which shows that he is not related to the Kirkley man from England. Before we can draw any definite conclusions (and to be able to rule out "non-paternal events"), we need more samples from Francis Kirtley descendants in the USA and from Kirtley descendants in the vicinity of of Counties Northumberland and Durham in England.


Useful Links

World Families Network Forums
Kirtley Family Forum
Pedigree Forum
World Families Network General Discussion

Click here to order a DNA test now

For basic information, visit World Families Network and check out the "Getting Started" block

Group admins

Project Administrators