Carr Family DNA Genealogy Project
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About us

Welcome to the Carr Surname DNA Genealogy Project, where family history researchers interested in the all phonetic variations of Carr and Kerr can find their family history.  Kerr, Carr, Ker, Carre, Kear and other phonetic variations were adopted as surnames of the growing human society for identification purposes, particularly for taxes, starting in the 12th century.  The British word carr referred to a boggy or swampy area, thus someone who lived near or in a wetlands was a carr dweller.  Kerr, the northern phonetic variation also referred to a castle dweller.  This affiliation often became the family surname when surnames were imposed in what is today the United kingdom during the late 12th to early 13th centuries for taxation purposes.  The surname has been adopted by many families for many reasons since those early years as well.  As a result, many people without a common family lineage have used phonetic variations of Kerr and Carr as a surname since that time.  Early records show us that people often changed their surnames to adopt to a current situation or residence as well.  Thus a surname in use today may be different than what an ancestor used in an earlier generation.  Literacy was not common within the population until the 19th century and the surname spelling, which was done phonetically, was the interpretation of the person recording the name.  Thus family history researchers have a daunting task identifying their ancestors within the limited written records from earlier times.  Y chromosome DNA can help us with that since it has characteristics that remain unchanged across the generations. The Y chromosome is passed from father to son exclusively. In the northwestern European tradition surnames also pass from father to son.  The Carr group allows us to identify common Y DNA traits within families using the Carr surname, and all phonetic variations.  These connections and known family history and/or family lore can then be explored to identify shared ancestry. 
The goal of this project is to aid all Carr family historians in overcoming brick walls in ancestral research by establishing the probability of recent common paternal line descent between the various Carr paternal lineages around the world today.  Ancient paternal lineage population affiliation can also be identified based on Y chromosome testing

Surnames which are phonetically similar or ancestral to Carr include Kerr, Le Carre, Car, Caer, Cer, Cear, Corr, Carrach, Kaar, Kar, Kahr, Kare, Karr, Karre, Kaurr, Kay, Kear, Keir, Keire, Kehr, Kehrein, Kehri, Ker, Kere, Keyr, Kurr. Ancient names known to have been converted to a phonetic version of Carr include Mac Giolla Domhnaigh, O' Carraigh, and O'Ceardain. Current use of any of these phonetic variations does not identify a past family name usage of Carr or Kerr

Carr paternal line YDNA haplotypes established to date primarily have ancestral connections to the border lands of Scotland and England, however ancestral connections throughout Europe are present as well. Families using a phonetic variation of the Carr surname with non European ancestral origins have also been identified.

Only males can be tested for Y chromosome DNA, which is passed through the paternal line. The 37-marker YSTR-DNA test is recommended for highest fidelity results. A more limited test using fewer markers can be used to establish the probability of relatedness and expanded later if desired. 67 markers and higher are recommended for close matches at the 37 marker level. Sometimes the larger DNA profile provides a stronger connection than is indicated by a slight mismatch using fewer markers.  Ancient paternal line ancestral identity can be studied using Y SNP tests as well.

Maternal Line ancestral connections and recent common ancestry can be identified using mitochondria DNA, mtDNA, which is passed solely from a mother to her sons and daughters. Thus mtDNA tracks the maternal lineage through the generations.  Both men and women can be tested for their maternal line mtDNA.

mtDNA results are also included in the project, these results are not as useful in tracing common surname history however since most married women have adopted the husbands surname upon marriage.

Some project participants using autosomal DNA in addition to YSTR or mtDNA to establish a Carr familial connection will have YSTR results shown on the FTDNA Carr Project website as well.   Those results are segregated and are not significant in establishing Carr paternal lineage.

Information about the use of DNA in genealogy is available on the Family Tree DNA home page.

Join the adventure and learn about your ancestry, submit a request for a DNA test kit today and start your ancestral search journey as part of the Carr Family DNA Genealogy Project.