If you're intrigued, let's get started!
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for the Rootsweb forum discussions about our project.
The Y chromosome
is passed from father to son unchanged, except for a mutation about
every 500 generations. Testing the Y chromosome will provide us with
a genetic finger print consisting of 1 - 67 numbers. By comparing
this finger print to others with the surname RAMSEY/RAMSAY, we can
determine if we are related. If you are not a male with the last name
of RAMSEY/RAMSAY you can have someone else do it for you, your husband
if he is a RAMSEY/RAMSAY, a brother, cousin, uncle, father, or grandfather.
Will this be beneficial? Please read the following statement:
Greetings RAMSEY-DNA members,
My husband's RAMSEY line ended in 1826 in SC with no supporting
documentation or clues beyond that date. He submitted a 67 marker Y-DNA kit
about 4 years ago. Since then, we have had several close matches, including
one exact match at 37 markers. While all of the matches help add to the
reams of information we have collected, none of them explained what we knew
to be true about his family's origins.
This month, we received a notice that he had a close match to a RAMSEY in
York County, SC. This was exciting news for us; we have been looking at the
York County SC Ramsey's since 1999 for a variety of reasons. Now we have a
solid match and one that makes sense given the information we have
collected. While there is still much work to be done, we are thrilled to
finally have a specific location to research and we welcome the challenge of
trying to find how our family fits into the York County SC line.
Without strong DNA evidence to help focus our research, it would have been
very difficult, if not impossible, to identify the correct RAMSEY line with
Research Lead, RAMSEY-RAMSAY DNA Project
The objectives of Surname Projects vary. Here are a few:
*Identify others who are related
*Prove or disprove theories regarding ancestors
*Solve brick walls in your research
*Determine a location for further research
*Validate existing research
Help the Ramsey / Ramsay Heritage team solve the Ramsey mystery that has alluded
our researchers for hundreds of years by making a donation to the General fund
for use in helping those that can't afford DNA testing so we can uncover their
Ramsey heritage before the DNA evidence is lost forever! Please use the link on the left side of this page to donate.
Over the last several years, due to the unmatched growth of
our database, numerous people have confirmed and found new
connections with others of their surname, and adoptees and
descendents of adoptees have even found their biological
These successes are due in large part to the size and
quality of our database, which, with your help, has achieved
critical mass. We have made tremendous progress, but we feel
that we can do more. If you have tested 12, 25, or 37 markers,
an upgrade to 37 or 67 markers could provide the relevant
connection that you or your matches have been waiting for.
Ramsay/Ramsey Y chromosomes:
When the paper trail fades in traditional genealogy, where can you turn? Modern
science now offers a possible way forward. In the process, new insights into our
origins emerge, and we are taken on journeys we never thought we would take.
A small beginning has been made to investigate the origins of the worlds
Ramseys and Ramsays. Do we all descend from Simon de Ramesia of Huntingdon in
1140? Already the answer to that one is clear:
We now have 168 Ramsey/Ramsay we have matched and brought together with multiple families.
How, please read on:
The markers on the Y chromosome tell us a clear story: they are
passed down unchanged from father to son, like our surnames, with only occasional
mutations every few generations or so in each one. In other words, using a 12-marker
test, we can expect no Y chromosome change at all in some family lines since surnames
were adopted perhaps 700 years ago in the UK, and only a couple of changes in
What does this mean? For Ramsays (and Ramseys, the names were interchangeable
in earlier times), just as for many other surnames, it seems that our forebears
came from several different stocks. We are not Smiths, so each village did not
contribute a Ramsay based on vocation. Far more likely is that as some Ramsays
became powerful or popular, others with no surname adopted the name of their ruler
or role model adding diversity to the name. How often this took place is not
something we will know until many more Ramsays add their samples and Heritage files to the growing
Of course, there are other means of adding diversity to the Ramsay surname. Unrecorded
adoptions, illegitimacies, re-marriages and deliberate name changes could further
confuse descendents turning to family history. However, it is generally thought
that most diversity in single surnames traces back to the origin of the name.
How does the test work? Family Tree DNA sends out simple kits which involve rubbing
the inside of the cheek of a male Ramsay with a small paper scraper which is then
discharged into a small tube. Two such tubes are sent to the lab, where 12, 25
or even up to 67 positions on the Y chromosome are assessed according to the choice
of the participant. The fingerprint obtained can be compared to others in the
Ramsey DNA Project, or to others of any surname held in the Family Tree DNA
database. Confidentiality is an issue taken seriously, and your Family Tree DNA
data is treated according to your wishes, both within the Family Tree DNA system
and amongst Ramsay DNA project members. So far, many participants prefer to be
fairly open, in order to gain the greatest advantage from exchanging information
with others in the project.
What do you get from it? Straight away, on receipt of your results, you will know
whether your family joins one of those already identified or founds a new dynasty.
Linking with those already years into the study of their familys history
can give you a wealth of information on your ancestors and current-day relatives
as well as giving your new extended family valuable information on their links.
Furthermore, Family Tree DNA will give you data on the ethnic origins of your
particular Y chromosome and its near variants by comparing your Y chromosome with
those of its other customers. Some will have relatively common NW European Y chromosomes,
whereas others may have rare ones barely represented in the database. If you have
any problems with the interpretation of your results, Family Tree DNA has lots
of help pages, and there is also expertise within the group to help you out. And
finally, if you tell Family Tree DNA to regard your own data as open,
then in the years to come you can expect to hear from others who find that their
Y chromosome matches yours. - Written by Gavin Ramsay
Edited 14-Aug-2010 DR