Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who's your daddy's daddy? FTDNA y-dna projects-- excellent resource

I love to peruse the y-dna projects at FTDNA every once in awhile. The y-dna projects surname trace paternal lines in father of the father of the father of the father ad infinitum fashion. Generally a last name will continue throughout the entire line, but this is not a hard and fast rule. There are those non-paternal events, including adoptions.
he surname project page can be found at:

You can look at the projects without having any involvement in them whatsoever. Just choose a name, open up to the project, and you may be directed to the project page off-site, or there may be a page on-site. You can read about the project and its goals, and then click on  one of the "results" tabs. You will see that the individuals who tested will be grouped by haplotype. You don't need to understand all the jargon to get that the groups that are together have the most in common in their y-dna. You can check all the last names you can think of in your line, and see not only what the genetic background is, but also you'll see some of the geographical locations listed for the participants' ancestors. It is fascinating to see the history of each name line, and I think it is especially great for some of the American Colonial lines.

My suggestion is to take a look, just browse around and start learning about what is going on with the projects. Then another time, see if you can draw some conclusions about the y-dna lines you are interested in. You can see all sorts of last names from MacBean to Sanchez, and lots more.

Another place to find many of these DNA surname projects is at,

In addtion to the surname projects at FTDNA, you will see that the company also has geographical projects and mtdna (along the maternal line). Even if you don't think DNA testing is for you, there is a lot to learn by looking at the project results. You might see that one or anther of your surname lines  line is originally from England, or from South America. And there can be a number of origins, since we all have so many ancestors!

One of the more practical results for genealogy has been that lines can be sorted out from one another.

We often hear the story that three or four brothers came to America. Sometimes that is true and sometimes it isn't. Projects can help to demonstrate whether Sam who emigrated to Georgia, and Solomon, who emigrated to Pennsylvania, and John, who emigrated to Canada, are in the same line with the same surname, or in different lines with the same surname.

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