Attala County, Mississippi


DNA and Genealogy
Attala County Connections

DNA and Genetics

Have you hit a brick wall?
Can't find that elusive ancestor?
Can't locate your ancestor's homeland?
Wondering if you are related to another family with the same surname?
Surname DNA testing is availalbe to help find lost ancestors by locating cousins.

Surname DNA Projects

DNA studies to prove descendency from a common ancestor was almost unheard of a few years back. But today such projects are quite common.

A surname DNA project takes DNA samples from two or more people, with the same surname, and analyzes the results in an effort to find matching chromosomes. Surname testing is designed to trace the
y chromosome to prove paternal ancestry for genealogical purposes.

Generally, most surname projects are based on scrapings of cheek cells obtained with a brush from men with the same surname. An analysis is made of the samples in order to find marked genes on the Y chromosome which only men have. The Y chromosome is inherited from father to son as an exact copy of his father's, grandfather's, great-grandfather's and so on back through time for as many as 14 generations or around 500 years. There can be no female intrusion in the lineage or the Y link is broken at the point where the surname changes to the husband of that female ancestor. There are tests available for 12 markers and tests for 25 markers. Each has certain advantages.

Of course, the extracted DNA cannot be compared directly to the DNA of your ancestor, that is unless you plan to exhume him (if you can find him) and extract a DNA sample. But each descendant of a common ancestor anywhere along the line of every son and every son's son will match and each may have some information about his own heritage. As more and more matches are found within a surname group, more and more information is available to be shared.

DNA is not a substitute for research, but a compliment to that research. Just because you learn that your father is related to some man across the United States does not tell you how you are related to him. But at least you will know which line to research, especially if your surname is a common surname with some branches already researched and documented, and some of the tests can tell you where that junction is within 7 generations. Perhaps that brick wall that has been giving you so much of a problem can be torn down.

Surname Testing

Y-DNA 12 Marker Test: This test is designed to verify the y chromosome for genetic matches between males with the same surname. The test results are compared against a data base of all males that have submitted DNA samples and when a match occurs, when two people show the same identical results, both parties are promptly notified. A perfect match for 12 markers indicates a common ancestor within 14 generations. This test also allows one to identify ethnic and geographic origins.

Y-DNA 25 Marker Test: This test is an enhancement on the 12 marker test in that, when a match occurs and two people show the same identical results, this indicates that they share a common ancestor within 7 generations.

If a 12 marker test is chosen initially it can be refined, at an additional cost, at a later time without the need for submitting additional DNA samples.

The testing procedure is fairly simple and straight forward. Once you have selected a laboratory or service, paid the fee and sent the release forms, test kits are sent to participants which generally consist of materials for collecting sample DNA from inside the cheek, placing it in a collection tube and returning it for analysis.

Surname Testing Results

The Y-DNA test allows project participants to find others with matching chromosomes and it also will allow for the identity of ethnic and geographical origins, both recent and far distant.

Surname Testing Labs, Cost, etc.

The 12 marker y chromosome test is the least expensive. The 25 marker test is slightly more expensive than the 12 marker test and any additional enhancements at a later time are at added cost as one would expect. However, many laboratories allow individuals with common surnames to create a 'Surname Project' wherein one member of the group acts as the coordinator thus reducing the cost.

A listing of web sites and laboratories providing surname testing services is provided. This is not necessarily a complete list and should not be construed as an endorsement of any of the company's listed. Each individual is cautioned to thoroughly investigate and conduct their own research prior to selecting a particular company. The cost of various test are shown on the respective web sites. Cost vary greatly and must be part of your consideration.


Listing of Surname Projects with Attala County connections.

Listing of web sites for Surname DNA testing services.


Offsite Links:

Web site of Kevin F. Duerinck containing much information on DNA testing.

Cyndi's List - Genetics, DNA and Family Health .

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Our thanks to Rootsweb for providing space for this web site, the MS Query Forum and the Attala Mailing List.

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copyright © 2003 by Everette Carr. All rights reserved.

Email County Coordinator - Attala County

Attala County - MSGenWeb