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About us

This project arose out of the interest and curious nature of Phillip Applebaum, who always wondered if the many persons named Applebaum (and the 95 variant spellings)were related or at least descended from the same ancestors.

There are hundreds of people named Applebaum (Epelbaum, etc), and yet, it seems that not all of us are related. So how is it that we all have the same name? Are we all descended from the same ancestors, or was Applebaum just a popular choice back when people had to take last names? Without a time machine to meet that first Applebaum, who could know? Of course, there is no time machine, but we do have something that can, in a way, go back in time and help us understand more about our ancestry: Y-DNA genetic testing.

Y-DNA testing is based on the fact that humans have one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell of our bodies. Males have one Y chromosome and one X chromosome, and females have two X chromosomes. The Y chromosome contains the gene that tells an embryo to grow into a baby boy. The Y chromosome is passed down from generation to generation only through the male line -- father to son, father to son. It can remain unchanged for many generations, so you likely have the same Y-chromosome as your grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather. Because fathers pass not only their genes, but also their last names to their sons, tracing the Y chromosome in men of the same last name can reveal otherwise unknown family relationships.

The project is open to men who spell their name Applebaum, Appelbaum, Epelbaum, Apfelbaum and about 95 other different ways (yes, there are that many). It also is open to any man whose name was Applebaum (Appelbaum, etc) but who changed it to something else, like Apple, Appel, Pell, or who knows what.

After your DNA is tested, your test results (represented by your ID number only, never a name) will be posted to this project's web site on a special chart (Y Results). You and everyone else can compare your numbers to all the others who have been tested. If you find a match, then you have found someone who shares your ancestry. In all likelihood, these matches form patterns: DNA sequences that reveal ancestral lines. These patterns can tell us if all the Applebaums stem from a common ancestor, or if there is more than one ancestor who chose the Applebaum name. In genetic terms, these are known as ancestral haplotypes.
We will then be able to determine (or at least, make an educated guess) if separate ancestral haplotypes founded separate Applebaum families, or if there is, indeed, a relationship among all our haplotypes, and thus, among all Applebaums.