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The Putnam DNA Project




The Putnam DNA Project is ongoing and we are learning a great deal as we progress toward identifying, describing, and understanding our Putnam heritage:   

It is our goal to understand the early and late genetic connections in each and every Putnam family . . . each and every Putnam lineage. 

The Putnam DNA Project is open to all male Putnam’s, male’s with a variant spelling of the Putnam surname, or males who believe that they are descended from a Putnam along their  direct, male, or paternal line.   

Female Putnam’s will need to use a male sibling, or cousin, for example, whose surname is Putnam, to represent their family in the Putnam DNA Project.

For males and females, an mtDNA Test is also available that looks at the mitochondrial DNA that either a man or woman inherits from the mother's mother side.  Mitochondrial DNA is compared to see if people share a common female ancestor in their maternal lineage.  This test can also be used to explore your ethnicity.  The yDNA Test, however, is the most used test, however, currently.

Our present members of the Putnam DNA Project are well represented in the USA, but we hope that Putnam families in other parts of the world with variant spellings of the Putnam name will continue to join the Putnam DNA Project including Pootman’s, Pottman’s, Puettman’s, and Putmans’ of Europe and elsewhere. 

We are also seeking new members of the Southern Putman family and the German-America Putman family whose ancestry is from the early USA because we have members in our database who seem to belong to those families and need to have another member whose Haplotype will match their Haplotype.

  •   Our goal is to define the early branches of the Putnam families after and before the time of the use of surnames. 

This will be done knowing members’ Haplogroups [SNP’s] and Haplotypes [STR’s].


SNP’s are single nucleotide polymorphisms while STR’s are short tandem repeats.  Both are changes or mutations in the yDNA.


SNP’s allow us to track ancient or deep ancestry while STR’s allow us to track more recent ancestry in the range of the relatively modern use of surnames.  




The Putnam’s in the USA represent at least four distinct genetic lineages: 

·       The Dutch-American Putman family also known as the Mohawk Valley, New York, Putman.  Its members are part of the Haplogroup I1 and Haplotype Anglo-Saxon Gen 1;  

·       The New England Putnam family from Buckinghamshire, England, to Massachusetts, USA.  Its members are part of the Haplogroup R1b1c; 

·       The Southern Putman family descended from Thomas Putnam, England.  This family’s Haplogroup and Haplotype are yet to be definitely determined or resolved.

·        The German-American Putman family of early Maryland, USA.  Its Haplogroup is also currently unresolved.

Today the largest Putnam group is likely the New England Putnam family followed by the Dutch-American Putman and then the Southern Putman group.  The German-American Putman family may represent the smallest group.  These families appear to be completely different families each with a different Haplotype.

For additional information on these families, see Bill Putman’s site at the following webpage:, and for the Dutch-American Putman family see Mark R. Putnam’s site:





Being a Member will help you discover and understand more about your heritage: 

When a Putnam researcher stumbles into a brick wall with their genealogical paper trail, an yDNA test is the best way to determine your lineage.     

While having a good but not a definite idea as to his Putnam heritage, the Co-Administrator of the Putnam DNA Project, Mark R. Putnam was able to unquestionably establish that he was a  Dutch-American Putman by taking a yDNA 37 Marker Test that showed that he matched four other Dutch-American Putman’s who also descend from Johannes Pootman the immigrant ancestor.

When we have a close match between two people, two Putnam’s, we have determined unequivocally that they have the same ancestry.  This occurs when they have the same Haplogroup, the same or close to the same Haplotype, and the same surname.  

We need two members to match to determine a lineage. 

YDNA testing will allow us to determine whether the New England Putnam family and the Southern Putman family are closely connected, genetically.  This is an example of the resolving power or gift of genetic genealogy.   

We hope to and will prove many family traditions, but we know along the way we will also disprove some of our family traditions.

It is our goal that all Putnam DNA Project Members will clearly know their genetic lineage and their family heritage.  



If your surname is not Putnam, or a similar variant spelling, and you want to be a member of the Putnam DNA Project, we do have a requirement:

·         That you, a male, must firmly believe or understand that your father's, father's, father, for example, was a Putnam.

·         Or, that you are a perfect or a near perfect Haplotype match with a Putnam or with someone with a variant spelling of the Putnam surname.





We have as a goal that every Putnam lineage should be well identified, described, and understood and that the main branches of each lineage will also be clearly defined in terms of their yDNA that includes the Haplogroup, Haplotype, and surname.     

The Putman DNA Project’s primary place for testing will be Family Tree DNA:

·    The Putnam DNA Project, however, welcomes all participants who have a paternal Putnam lineage or heritage regardless of where they tested their yDNA.

·    We will accept results from other companies and will be glad to post them on the Putnam DNA Project Website.

·    The Putnam DNA Project is currently the largest DNA program in the world for the surnames Putnam, Putman, Pootman, Pottman, Puettman, Putmans and the variant spellings of the name. 

·    We suggest that you take the yDNA 37 Marker Test or yDNA 67 Marker Test that is available through the Family Tree DNA website and that may also be obtained through the Putnam DNA Project website. 

·    An yDNA 12 Marker Test or yDNA 25 Marker Test will determine your lineage if you are a nearly perfect match with a Putnam who is a member and you have the same surname.

·    We ask that you submit your Earliest Known Ancestor for our Patriarch Page and Results Page when you submit the findings of your yDNA Test to the Putnam DNA Project.



Make sure that your Putnam family is a representative and a member!



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