Bowes, Bowe, Related and Similar Surnames DNA Project

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About us

Bowes, Bowe, Related and Similar Surnames DNA Project


January 24-25: 

This project's website was updated to include:

A new FAQ focused on the most important member Account Settings (see left sidebar)

A new members only Code of Conduct page (after signing in, see left sidebar)

A new members only Bulletins page with four new entries (after signing in, see horizontal menu under 'About us')

Minor content edits and changes for consistency

The new member Welcome Letter was updated and simplified.

January 14: Family Tree DNA significantly reduced prices on ALL new Y DNA kits and upgrades, including Big Y-700.


May 25: The European Union GDPR went into effect to strengthen individuals' data privacy protections and controls. This project honors these important developments.

May 15: Sadly, our co-administrator David Bachinsky passed away after a long battle with cancer. We are immensely grateful for his contributions to this project. David had an academic and career history in genetics and helped guide the project by freely sharing the breadth and depth of his knowledge. We will miss him. RIP David. 

April: FTDNA updated its Privacy & Sharing, Project Preferences, and Email Notification settings in each member's account.


The project has converted to the new myGroups format. The Activity Feed is live for members only.


The project name has changed to reflect expansion of covered surnames. It now includes many similar but uncommon ones that documents indicate could appear as variants of one another. The new, somewhat cumbersome and eccentric name, is the 'Bowes, Bowe, Related and Similar Surnames DNA Project'.


Jeane Robinson passed away and left the project bereft of a loyal and dogged 'associate' researcher into the Bowe(s) of Ireland. Jeane manually compiled and left Martha Bowes with a massive, 4300+ row spreadsheet of Irish Bowe(s) birth, marriage and death record information. Despite the growth of Irish records online, her spreadsheet is still invaluable to me when researching families. RIP Jeane.


David Bachinsky, PhD., joined as volunteer co-administrator. David has an academic and career background in genetics.

We now have three main Irish subgroups.

We began including Family Finder autosomal DNA results. The Y chromosome DNA is relatively stable over many centuries and therefore the best tool for a surname study (since Y-DNA tracks the surname, father to son, over those centuries). It requires that a male bearing one of our study surname variants test. Rather than being restricted to the patrilineal line, autosomal DNA using the Family Finder kit opens the project to women and men with Bowes (or a variant) anywhere on their ancestral tree. Family Finder is most useful for finding matches in the last seven generations.

This project opened a dedicated Facebook account since so many people want to interact on that platform.


Among the results so far, we identified an Irish subgroup whose Y chromosome matches the O'Carroll chiefs of Ely O' Carroll as well as other historic Ely Carroll surnames. The ancient Ely O' Carroll were centered in Offaly and northern Tipperary. Interpretation of the historical basis for this connection continues. 

[Update: In 2020 we still do not have a verifiable explanation for this connection, despite materials published by Irish Origenes, a company that purports to be scientific but has many critics, including population scientists at University College London who posted 'Genetic Homeland Case Reports' here. So far, based on advanced Big Y SNP testing, it appears that the common ancestor between this Irish Bowe(s) Y DNA subgroup and the Ely O' Carroll lived quite long before surnames came into use.]


We began accepting donations through the project General Fund to assist those unable to pay for a test kit. (This fund is managed independently, through Family Tree DNA.)


Martha Bowes registered the Bowes One-Name Study with the Guild of One-Name Studies. The registered names are Bowes, Bows, Bowe and Boe.

This DNA project became part of the Bowes One-Name Study.

Bowes One-Name Study website began publishing. This is an ongoing work-in-progress and subject to changes!


Martha Bowes launched the 'Bowes and Variants DNA Project' in the early days of genetic genealogy.

Copyright © Martha Bowes 2004-Present, All Rights Reserved.