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DNA Surname Project

A Pioneer DNA Surname Project








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History of Surnames




In Memorial of

Harold Johnson




Fortest and Tree


Wise is the person who sees the forest
From its grandeur inspiration glean.
Wiser still the person who sees the tree;
When the tree is what needs seen.

May we then in living life
Be it pleasure, pain, or strife
Steadily that wisdom learn
Their differentially discern.


(Participant 58215)






Project History

In the late 1980’s a core group of genealogical researchers through exchanges of information began to see the need for a central spokesperson to assimilate and distribute the analytical reports that was to become the mainstay of the group. Thus emerged Linda Sparks Starr, who’s web page can be found at Colonial Virginia Connections where many other Colonial surname analytical reports can be reviewed today. Frustrating Linda’s group was the fact that researching in Colonial Virginia was severally hampered because of several “burned” counties, New Kent County in particular. By the year 2000 DNA research in relation to genealogy had became a hot topic of national discussion and Linda’s group was quick to grasp the importance of this new research. At first, there were only a few individual volunteers from within the group to agree to being tested but these early DNA results soon showed that more participants would be needed for comparison. Fortunately, the lab early on initiated a program, called "Surname Projects", which enabled a group such as ours to encourage participants to take part in this DNA project for the benefit of everyone. Hence, the beginning of this project. As a result of it's early beginning, the J/J/J Surname DNA Project is historically listed as a Pioneer DNA Surname Project


 Project Objective


Our goal is to aid anyone interested in researching their family history using DNA testing. If you are a serious genealogist, sooner or later you are going to reach the end of a proven "paper trail". When this happens, looking beyond this so called "brick wall" can become very exasperating and next to impossible. Y-DNA testing offers an exciting new approach to solving this problem. Basically, a Y-DNA test is that of the y-chromosome which is passed down from father to son. Dennis West , administrator of the West surname project, has created an excellent graphic illustration of how this occurs. Thus, a surname lineage can be identified in this manner. However, the test results of a single DNA test, standing alone, is of little value. It is by comparing that single test with others in a database that it becomes valuable. That is the purpose of this project! Each participant's test results are of equal importance in this regard. So, as the Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone database grows larger with each new participant, so does the chances that another rumbling sound will be heard as one more "brick wall" comes crashing down! There is another exciting aspect of DNA testing and that is the study of  "ancient ancestry"!It goes without saying, most all of us are curious to know who we were before surnames were used to identify us! As our database grows, we will explore this new field which allows us to trace the migrations of our earliest ancestors as they populated the world. Not only can the male Y-DNA tests be used for this study but also that of the mtDNA test. Mitrocondia DNA (mtDNA) is passed down through the maternal line. Interestingly, the National Geographic Society is presently conducting a five year project called the Genegraphic Project the purpose of which is a detailed study of human migrations. Many of our J/J/J participants are participating in this exciting project! Also, see this interesting mtDNA site: The Family of Woman



Global Membership


A great advantage that we have within our Project is it size.  The Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone DNA Project is the largest single name surname Project within FTDNA’s Surname Project Groups.  Our membership spans the world, and members from any Country, or Province, is welcome to join with us.



What We Do


In order to familiarize you with our web site, and to describe what we do, please read the items below and visit the links listed after each item that it pertains to.  The links in reference are on the left side of the page.


1.        We list your DNA results as provided by FTDNA.  (Visit “Y-Results All” link or the “mtDNA link, whichever pertains to your testing kit number)


2.        Your results are then broken down by haplogroups.  A haplogroup, roughly, is the geographical region where your family’s DNA strand originated. (Visit the “Results by Haplo” link)



3.        If you have matches at the 37 marker level, you will then be broken down into family groups.  These groups are more recently, and more closely, related to your DNA values.  These family groups are on the same page as listed in # 2, and are separated by blue dividers that run across the page.  If there is a name of a Tree listed to the left of the kit numbers of your family group, then your family has worked with us to have a family member volunteer as a Group Leader, and has set up a web page to help further develop and to promote the research being done with your family.   An example of those Family Group’s with these web pages, are listed on this web page for viewing. (Visit “Family Groups” link)


4.        Pedigrees of participants are posted alongside with those who are matches at the 37 marker level.  These pages can be accessed from the Member’s Pages.  To view these pedigrees, simply click on the kit number of the participant, and the pedigree that was provided by them may be viewed.  (Visit “Members” link)


5.        We have a library on the site that is a collection of documentation on Johnson’s from several Countries.  This information has been collected from over 100 Johnson researchers for many years.  This information is broken down first by State/Region, the by County/Shire, and finally by Watercourse.  By breaking the information down in this manner, you can better see the migration patterns of the Johnson’s and their allied families that moved with them.  This information is updated bi-weekly, and we will add more Regions as information flows in, and more volunteers come forward to compile for said areas.  This is an easy way for members to contribute information, as well as to become an important part of your Project.  You don’t have to be from the area to volunteer for it.  (Visit “Library” link)



6.        Another resource section that we have added to our site is a Johnson Veteran’s section.  This section shows information on Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone Veterans that has been sent in for the English Civil War, Seven Year’s War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, American Civil War, and the Spanish-American War.  More conflicts may be added as more information comes to us.  (Visit “Veterans Section” link)


7.          In October of 2008 we were asked by FTDNA to find descendants of the two Johnson Presidents.  The descendants were searched out, their documentation double-checked, and then they were tested.  It turned out that we had pre-existing members who’s DNA matched these two Presidents.  The two President’s descendant’s DNA that was tested is now in our database.  (Visit “Presidential Page” link)


8.        In order to keep you abreast on news within the Project, and with FTDNA sales and promotions, we have included a News section.  This page should be visited often by both the members and prospective members. (Visit “News” link)



Member’s Participation


We highly encourage our member’s participation within the Project.  Simply put, the more people that are involved, the better the experience for all of project member’s involved!  We have many volunteer opportunities for members including roles as their Group Leader, Library Compilers, and more!!  These roles are simple and easy!!  If you think that you may be interested in taking on a role in the future, don’t hesitate to contact us.







Links To Sites of Interest


Our Testing Lab



Clan Johnston/e’s




Clan Johnstone

In America


Clan Johnstone

In Australia


Clan Johnstone

In New Zealand


Clan Johnstone

In the UK

Please send

Queries to Cecil Johnson


UK Clan Johnstone



 Rex Johnson


AU & NZ Johnstons’

Yahoo Group



Colonial Virginia Connections

Website of Linda Sparks Starr





Lee Johnson  Administrator | Sherrie Boone  Co-Administrator |
Barbara Hockman Pedigree Coordinator | Tony Johnson Librarian US |
Don Johnston Librarian NZ & Australia | Cathy Cadd Librarian Canada
 Euell Johnson Research Analysis



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