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DNA Project

Your interest in our y-test DNA Project is greatly appreciated by the Power, Powers, Poor, de la Poer, and de Paor Group. We hope this website will give you a better understanding of how the use of DNA samples can contribute to more accurate genealogical research. Our aim is to avoid the technical language as much as possible, and yet still give you a true insight into the process, and still answer your questions and concerns. In the first instance, our study is based on the Y chromosome. Later, if the group wishes to take it further we may consider a test on the mtDNA test. This looks at the female side of DNA and takes us back to the beginning when there were said to be Seven Daughters of Eve (Professor Bryan Sykes). This of course is not strictly genealogy of our families, but does give us an insight as to where in Europe we have evolved maternally.

The Y chromosome is passed, basically unchanged, from father to son, generation after generation (ie a son can only get the Y chromosomal genes from the father...mutations very rarely occur….every 40 generations or so). This project involves the Y chromosome testing of males who share the same surname. By comparing your test results to others with your surname, you can determine if you are related. The results do not tell you exactly how you are related but will indicate if you share a common ancestor with another participant. In addition to testing, we need information (e.g., pedigree chart) and line of descent from the oldest known male ancestor for each participant. This helps to identify the various unconnected links.

These scientific techniques are now readily available to the lay person. Genealogists have come up with a new term, "genetic genealogy", to define these new and exciting scientific applications to genealogy. These techniques will allow distant cousins, both proven and unproven, to compare genes and define a common ancestor. It may also help in finding other, presumably non related trees, relations to participants that have changed through either surname changes, or family immigration to far distant countries. Depending on how sophisticated a test we run, we will be able to predict the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) to within 3-7 generations. Therefore, those of us who are stuck at a "brick wall" genealogically, may be able to identify other common lines and therefore focus our research on a "closely related line", as a "back door" around that "brick wall."

At present we are in the early stages of our DNA Project and, although we have sufficient participants to start up, would appreciate the offer of additional participants. It takes about 8 weeks to obtain the results! We hope there will be some "surprise results" which will allow us to focus on related lines previously unknown, thus opening a connection to common lines in Ireland/France.

As soon as the participants have completed their test; sent it off; and the results returned, we will put them on to the site for all to see. Here you will be able to look at the male side of their family tree, compare the y-test results and determine whether there is an exact comparison to your own y-test. It is anticipated that the Y test, with the 12 chromosome markers will place participants into certain "families". Those who find an exact copy of their DNA test may decide to take it further by completing the 25 chromosome marker test with the corresponding participant. It is hoped that if the y-tests are taken back far enough it will eventually bring all participants into a common family. The participant's names are confidential.

A testing can be a valuable tool in genealogical research when it is combined with conventional research. Test results can be used to confirm a suspected connection between two families or disprove a connection. Although it is impossible to pinpoint a common ancestor from the test results alone, with a proper paper trail, you may be able to do so. A story told of a participant's own experience (Family Tree DNA) with DNA testing demonstrates this. "I have been working with another individual to trace his ancestry. He had traced his line back to his gr-gr grandfather, born in Vermont in 1823. My line goes back to 1700 Scotland, through Vermont. I have always thought our lines were connected but there are holes that could not be filled, and other possible lines to consider. DNA test results showed an exact 25-marker match, leaving virtually no doubt we shared a common ancestor. But the results alone could not tell us who this ancestor was. It was the other information, collected by conventional genealogical research, that allowed us to determine who our common ancestor had to be".

Should you be interested in joining us, or desire more information, please do not hesitate to call me. Thank you.

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This Page Last Updated
September 23, 2008