Genetic genealogy is an exciting and quickly evolving tool that, when combined with traditional genealogy, can be a game changer in breaking through brick walls that have stood for generations. There are four types of DNA tests: Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA, Autosomal DNA, and X-Chromosome DNA. Since only males carry the Y chromosome and surnames generally follow paternal lines, Y-DNA is the most useful DNA test for surname research.
The Strother Surname Project is one of the many surname projects online at Family Tree DNA. The project is currently in the process of upgrading member kits to the most advanced Y-DNA testing available called BIG Y-500. Several upgrades are still out, but the results received so far are promising. The field of genetic genealogy, using DNA analysis as a genealogical tool, is very complicated and still emerging. With that in mind, the Strother Surname Project has two main goals:
- to shed light on William the Immigrant's European origins, and
- to identify genetic variants unique to the lineages of William's sons and their descendants.
All upgrade results are due by the end of March of 2019. Michael Cooley, one of our project administrators, is working tirelessly to analyze the data from the BIG Y-500 upgrades. So far Michael has discovered some unique genetic variations, called novel SNPs, which are helping to define the lineages of William’s sons and some of their descendants. Michael has also made some progress in narrowing down the time frame for when the surname shift in William's line (Struthers to Strother) may have occurred.
Look for updates on the Strother Surname Project in upcoming Houses of Strother Newsletters. For a complete history of the Strother Surname Project, see the EAC Reports under the English Ancestry tab on this website.
Also, check out Michael Cooley’s explanation of the Y Chromosome and its benefits in genealogical research by clicking on the following link: