What is Y DNA? There are several different kinds of DNA tests, but this project is a Y DNA only project. As the Y-chromosome is passed on from a father to his sons, it is only found in males. Y-DNA testing can then be used to trace clearly a direct paternal line. The Y DNA of a male will be virtually identical to the Y DNA of his direct paternal ancestor who lived hundreds of years ago. Additional information is available here.
What is a haplogroup? Y-chromosome haplogroups are the major branches on the human paternal family tree. Each haplogroup has many subbranches. These are subclades. Your Y-DNA must be in the same haplogroup as someone else in order to be a Y DNA match within a genealogical time frame.
How many markers should I test? In order to use DNA results to find matches within a recent time frame, we suggest that you start at 37 markers. If a DNA test is only necessary to determine if two people are a match, then a 12 marker kit may also be sufficient. Once results are received it may then be necessary to test additional markers depending on your match list. Some people have 100s of 12 marker matches, and even 37 marker matches. Others have very few.
How can this project benefit me? If you recognize your family on any of our family trees, we can help you determine not only the DNA haplogroup of your ancestor, but we may be able to help you link your family to another family. Please contact us, and we will try to help answer any questions. We are not genealogists for hire, so any research we do for you will be entirely free. Our goal is to document the Y DNA for all of these German families who have deep pedigrees. So we will encourage you to contact a living male offspring from your family who might be willing to test their Y DNA.