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Waccamaw Indians DNA & Genealogical Project

Waccamaw Research Historical Society (
  • 580 members

About us

Please note that this project is not affiliated in any way with the present day Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe of Columbus Co, North Carolina, or Waccamaw Chicora tribe of Conway, South Carolina. Nor is the purpose of this project to seek tribal membership.

The main purpose of the project is to establish a genetic profile of the Waccamaw Indian people, document their history and assist family historians and native american researchers to trace their ancestry and find common cousins related by blood ties.

The Waccamaw DNA project was launched in 2007 with the purpose of trying to help genealogy researchers break through brick walls when the paper trail leaves more questions then answers. The goal of the project is to attempt to get DNA samples of Waccamaw reference lineages (families identified as native american Waccamaws)and to look at opportunities to link current genealogy research to these lines.

The Waccamaw DNA Project was initiated to augment genealogical research and to provide general insight concerning the origins of the tribe, their overall history and genetic composition. DNA testing is not a substitute for genealogy research. Instead, it is a companion tool to prove or disprove research, determine relationships, and to provide clues for further research. DNA testing can be an extremely powerful tool when combined with your genealogy research. DNA testing can also uncover information that was not previously known, as well as confirm your research, and get leads for further research.

From elementary genetics we learn that the Y-chromosome is passed down through the male line, essentially unchanged, from generation to generation. These chromosomes "mutate" or change slowly over time allowing identification of specific families and surnames. The rate of change is extremely slow, being measured in terms of tens or hundreds of generations. The reader might want to read an excellent article about the Y-chromosome written by Dr. Mark Jobling of Leicester University entitled "The Y Chromosome as a Marker for the History and Structure of Human Populations". Additional articles and journals have reported the examination of the STRs (Short-Tandem Repeats) on the Y-chromosome to trace and analyze surnames. A well-publicized case involved the question as to whether or not President Thomas Jefferson fathered any slave children by Sally Hemings.

Many other articles such as "The Y-Chromosome in the Study of Human Evolution, Migration and Prehistory" by Dr. Neil Bradman and Dr. Mark Thomas as well as a review article by Dr. Mark Jobling entitled "In the Name of the Father: Surname and Genetics", volume 17 of Trends in Genetics are worth reading for background information as they deal with this specific subject. There are many web sites now dedicated to this subject that provide links to many excellent articles and the results from other surname projects. Thus, it has been well demonstrated through university research that an analysis of the male Y-chromosome can be used to trace the male descendants of a progenitor through many generations, all of which share a common surname.