The British Isles and Beyond
  • 360 members


QUESTIONS on administrative policies, project eligibility, FTDNA account setup, eligibility for 50/50 cost splitting scholarships, and more.

  1. Does the project have test results from (relatives of) Michael Collins the Irish leader, Michael Collins the astronaut, etc.

  2. What is the origin and purpose of the project and who is eligible to join?

  3. I'm new to DNA and yDNA testing. Where can I learn more?

  4. I'm not eligible but I have Collins ancestry. Is there anything you can do for me?

  5. How much does a Y test cost?

  6. I'm eligible. How do I join?

  7. Based on my test, I believe I am a Collins. What if my last name is not eligible?

  8. Why do I have to be pre-approved?

  9. What should I do if I see the word NO when I try to access the project website?

  10. I have privacy concerns. Will my name and contact information be put on the Internet?

  11. How long does it take to get back test results?

  12. How is the project administered?

  13. What do the administrators do to recruit for the project?

  14. I'd like to donate money to the project. Can the administrators steal my donation?

  15. I'd like to contribute genealogy research records to the website. How do I do this?

  16. What am I expected to know?

  17. What is the mailing list?

  18. Will you email a project member for me?

  19. Why don't I get emails from the project administrator or the project?

  20. What is the difference between being a project member and an Active Project Participant?

  21. (for Active Project Participants) How should I set up my FTDNA Profile?

  22. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my earliest paternal ancestor?

  23. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my results to be publicly viewable?

  24. (for Active Project Participants) How do I upload a family tree into my FTDNA account?

  25. (for Active Project Participants) How do I get my results included in the extensive analysis on the project website?

  26. What other projects should I join?

  27. How can non-members contact me?

  28. Can the project help me with genealogy research?

  29. I have two kits that should be merged / can't log in / have problems with my FTDNA account. Where do I get help?

  30. What are the eligibility criteria for a Y scholarship?


1. Results of Famous Lineages Back to top

All project members have the option to remain completely private if they so choose, and testers from famous lineages are no exception. We do not answer questions about any famous lineages - not even whether they are in the project or not.


2. Origin, Purpose and Eligibility Back to top

This is a yDNA project for men named COLLINS or COLLINGS or a close variant. See SURNAMES.

The Collins project was hosted at World Families without active management. In 2014 an active project administrator signed on. Hosting and management were shifted from World Families to FTDNA. An external website for the project was launched in 2015. A skilled co-administrator also signed on. The project now has ongoing haplogroup analysis, recruitment and promotion.

The purpose of the project is to help men discover their original Collins paternal line origins, most of which are assumed to have originated in the British Isles. We aim to do this with Y DNA.

This is NOT a haplogroup (SNP) project, an autosomal DNA match project, or a mitochondrial DNA project. Female relatives; Ancestry DNA transfer or Family Finder testers may test and enroll an eligible male relative named Collins if they themselves are not eligible.

A Y test of 37 or more markers must be obtained or already have been obtained from FTDNA.

Y SNP transfers from Nat Geo, Living DNA, or other companies are not sufficient for eligibility.

If you are not eligible see Options for Non-Eligible Collins Researchers below.


3. New to DNA Testing Back to top

See our more extensive FAQ.


4. Options for Non-Eligible Collins Researchers Back to top

If you have a genuine interest in the various Collins Y haplogroups and you want to be made aware of any Collins haplogroup research developments, subscribe to our mailing list.

If you have a Collins family biography or pedigree you'd like to put on the project website we can assist with that. We can also publish a pedigree at World Families. Email Susan if you'd like to do any of this.

Research inquiries can be posted on, on World Families, on Roots Chat or some other venue of your choice.

See What Other Projects to Join below if you have an autosomal or other non-eligible test.

5. Cost of Y Test Back to top

See Part II, #4 on our extensive FAQ.


6. How to Join Back to top

Complete the pre-approval form. Once it is completed you will get a summary of your submission that also contains instructions to complete your enrollment, which will be applicable to most. The project administrator will contact you in case of an exception.

If you click the FTDNA JOIN button on the project banner on the right without first submitting a pre-approval form, you will be redirected to the form.


7. Non-Project Surname Back to top

Non paternity events (NPEs) and name changes happen to many of us. Only NPE testers with very close Collins matches at 111 markers are admitted. You will need to provide additional details about your family and your yDNA results before you are admitted to the project.

A match to a single Collins at a genetic distance of 10 at 111 markers is an example scenario that would not ordinarily qualify you. If at 111 markers you show evidence of matching several Collinses at a lower Genetic Distance, you have a better case.


8. Why do I have to fill out this pre-approval form? Back to top

-- To show you understand eligibility
-- To show you understand the implications of yDNA testing, and that you are prepared to accept whatever happens.
-- To make sure you understand what we expect you to learn over time. See: "WHAT MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW" below.
-- To save administrators valuable TIME not having to repeat what is already here.

If you want assistance and you want your results to be included in more extensive analysis and considered in project recruitment efforts, you'll have to invest a little time learning something about DNA testing, you'll have to be forthcoming with your data and you'll have to cooperate with us.


9. Cannot access project website Back to top

If you see NO when accessing a page on the project website, visit What is my IP address?, write down your IP address in dotted decimal format, then email Susan at with your IP address for assistance.


10. Privacy concerns Back to top

Most analysis we publish on the Internet is in terms of haplogroup categories. For that, we would publish your kit number.

Only your kit sample number, your results, and your lineage would ever be discussed in any extensive analysis to be published on the Internet. Your results do not reveal any particular medical problems you might be experiencing.

You have the option to not participate in external analysis at all. Only members who publicly share their results are included in any extra analysis.

We don't publish a project member list.

We don't make members' contact information known to other members, in the case of non-matches.

We don't comment to anyone on any member's participation, other than what members choose to reveal about their ancestry and test results.


11. How long to get back results Back to top

How long it will take to get your results is a matter of luck. It could take six weeks or six months. Expect results to take longer after a major sale.

The lab does misplace kits, so we recommend using a postal tracking number on your kit so you'll know when it is delivered to the lab in Houston. You may need that information to show the lab that the kit was delivered.


12. How the project is administered Back to top

Project administration is 100% volunteer work. The administrators receive no compensation from FTDNA.

We maintain these pages and those on the external project website. If you are interested in one day helping us administer the project, see this page for more details on what software tools we use.

We cooperate with haplogroup projects affiliated with Collinses, and undertake promotional efforts. Those efforts have included publication of promotional materials and travel.

We are busy people with other lives besides the Collins project, which is why your cooperation as a project member is vital and appreciated.


13. Project Promotion and Recruitment Back to top

Generally, we cannot do much active recruitment due to time, expense, and lack of manpower.

Our long term strategy is to try to promote the project through regional heritage centers and genealogical societies in the British Isles and parts of the diaspora.

In an effort to broaden the member base of testers living in certain locations that are major sources of the surname, the administrators have paid for tests on their own. However that effort is limited by available funds.


14. General Fund Back to top

Donations made to the project General Fund cannot be embezzled. Such funds must be used for Collins project testing.


15. Genealogical Record Contributions Back to top

Contact Susan if you have material you'd like to contribute to the project website.


16. What members should know Back to top

While we don't expect you to be an expert overnight, we DO expect you to develop understanding of the following, in roughly this order:
-- project eligibility
-- basic differences between DNA tests - check our testing FAQ if necessary
-- familiarity with the operation of your FTDNA accounts and account setup
-- the necessity of family tree documentation INSIDE your FTDNA account
-- project web pages

Reading this FAQ is an excellent start. If you need guidance intrepreting your Y results, you are expected to first read our testing FAQ, which also provides links to many more resources.


17. Why join the mailing list Back to top

The mailing list is a communication option for anyone interested in Collins DNA research, whether an eligible project member or not. Follow this link for instructions: mailing list.

The FTDNA bulk email is reserved more for matters related to DNA testing and for discussions about project monetary donations.


18. Email Forwarding Back to top

The project administrators are not an email forwarding service. We do not pass along messages from non-members to members or between non-matching members.


19. I never get email Back to top

Make sure email with the addresses of FTDNA (, the administrator and co-administrator are not getting filed into your spam folder.


20. Difference between project member and Active Project Participants Back to top

All project members will get their Y results categorized under a suitable cluster on our FTDNA Y results page.

Active Project Participants take additional steps #21 - #24, listed below, to fully participate in extra analysis performed by the project administrators. Active participating members share out their Y results and paternal ancestor and they edit paternal line family trees into their accounts, with names, dates, and places, taking care to share the family tree with matches. Finally, they do sufficient levels of Y testing so there is enough data to compare with others.

To access the Account and Privacy menus fly your mouse over your name in your account at the upper right of the display.


21. Set up profile Back to top

In your Profile, under About Me, state who you are and where your Collins lineage was from. If you are not the tester, state how you are related to the tester.

If you are supervising the test for someone else, enter the tester's name (or first initial and surname), then for middle name, enter C/O Your Name. Example: John C/O Jane Smith Collins. Or, leave it blank and fill in About Me as described. If you are not the tester, your name should NOT be in the spaces for the tester's name.

Maintaining the profile in this manner will make your kit super-clear to the project administrators and saves us time when looking at hundreds of kits. If you do not enter the tester's name, there is a good chance that any GEDCOM you upload will get mangled due to misalignment between the actual tester and the GEDCOM focal person.


22. Set up paternal ancestor Back to top

Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Most Distant Ancestor


When you see this screen, under Ancestral Locations, then Direct Paternal, click Update Location.


Enter the name of your earliest known direct paternal ancestor, an approximate birth date, and a location.

Example: Martin Hanrahan b.c. 1800 England l. Hamilton Co, Ohio


Enter a known location for your paternal ancestor. You can use the location search tool built into FTDNA, or you can customize your own latitude and longitude by using a tool such as iTouchMap to zoom to and get the coordinates of your own location. If your ancestor came from a townland with a frequently used name (e.g., Scart) please customize it.

If you want to participate in the extensive results analysis on the project website, go into Privacy Settings and check the box Share My Most Distant Ancestor.


23. How to make Y results publicly viewable Back to top

Access Privacy Settings | Who can view my DNA results in group projects? If you want your results to be included in extensive results analysis and group promotional efforts, set your results so they are publicly viewable.


24. How to upload a family tree Back to top

You can use the built-in editor to create a family tree if you want. However, it is far more efficient to produce a GEDCOM file externally and upload it into your FTDNA account.

To export a GEDCOM file out of

  1. Log in to your Ancestry account.
  2. Under Family Trees, click the tree to export.
  3. Under Tree Settings, view Manage your tree.
  4. Click where it says Export Tree.
  5. Save the GEDCOM file on your computer.

To create a GEDCOM file from scratch, try one of the following programs:

  1. MyHeritage Tree Builder (free)
  2. GenealogyJ (free)
  3. Personal Ancestral File (free for Macs; no longer supported)
  4. Ancestral Quest
  5. Legacy Family Tree (compatible with Family Search Family Tree)
  6. Family Tree Maker ( product; support outsourced)

To upload your GEDCOM, in your FTDNA account, click myFamilyTree. Click the Upload GEDCOM icon then choose the GEDCOM file on your computer to upload it.


25. How to get my results included in project analysis pages Back to top

If your account is set up to be an Active Project Participant, (see 20-24), plus you have done a sufficient level of testing so that your results can be better analyzed and compared to your matches, your results will be automatically included in our analysis. Otherwise we will assume you are not interested. If your results have been excluded and you wish for them to be included, follow the procedures described above then email the project administrator to notify the project of your wish to be active.


26. How can non-members contact me Back to top

If you have been reading this FAQ you know as a matter of policy we are NOT an email inquiry forwarding service so we do NOT forward email inquiries between non-members and members or between non-matching members. We do not talk about you with anybody else! However, this COULD mean a missed opportunity for you to communicate with a Collins relative.

There IS a way for non-members to make contact with you if you'd like. Let us publish your Collins pedigree at World Families, on the Collins project website, or both - WITH your email contact information. That way, you will not miss out on lost communication opportunities with relatives. Email Susan if you'd like this done.


27. What other projects to join Back to top

Project members have a diverse set of genetic backgrounds. Members are encouraged to join at least one haplogroup project. Haplogroup project administrators may prefer members who have tested 67 STR markers or better and may expect you to undergo and therefore financially commit to further SNP testing.

FTDNA makes a high level haplogroup prediction when you STR test. If you are part of a group of matches, chances are somebody in the group has undergone further SNP testing, so it may not be necessary for you to do so. Rather than encourage individual single SNP testing or SNP panel testing, our project administration policy is to encourage members of a group to pool financial resources and select one representative of that group to undergo a comprehensive deep SNP test. In such a case, the administrators might be able to assist with funds for a Big Y test. For financial assistance, priority is given to members with a project surname, who have already fully tested 111 markers and who publicly share results. However, individuals are free to undergo further SNP testing as they wish.

See the project LINKS (in the left sidebar) for haplogroup and regional projects relevant to Collinses.

Family Finder testers (or those who transferred autosomal results from another lab) may choose to upload their results to GEDMATCH or If your Collins ancestry was in a particular geographic region for a length of time (multiple generations), look for an appropriate regional autosomal DNA project or consider starting a project up for your special region. It is up to you to find the analytical venues of your choice.


28. Project help with genealogy Back to top

The project administrator (Susan) has access to resources at the headquarters LDS Family History Library (Family Search), including their subscriptions to Ancestry and to Find My Past. If you email Susan a Collins-relevant reference from the catalog, she will try to retrieve the record for you (free of charge). The reference could be on film or in a book or journal.

Because of the time required, this FREE research is reserved solely for Collins records for yDNA testers.


29. FTDNA Support Back to top

Project administrators cannot recover your password for you. They can only tell you the contact emails on an account but cannot alter that contact information. You'll need to click "Forgot Your Password?" on the login page.

Open a support request at FTDNA if you want to merge two kits or have other problems with your accounts.

30. Eligibility for Y Test Scholarships

Unconditional free tests are not given at DNA shows. We no longer offer Y37 scholarships, as they provide too little data.

If the tester has no email and Internet access, and he has no relatives with Internet access supervising his participation, the project administrator will make sponsorship decisions on an individual case basis.

We may offer partial funding on a Y111 test (approximately 50/50 split), subject to the terms and conditions below. If insufficient funds are available by October 1, no testing grant opportunities will be announced for the year.

At the present time, our paternal origin geographic areas of interest include: The province of Munster in Ireland; Shropshire in the West Midlands, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset in Southwest England, Norfolk and Suffolk in Essex (East Anglia).

The process below is designed to safeguard project funds and guarantee the project gets both family tree and genetic data for its time and financial commitment. If this process is not acceptable to you, then do not apply.

We do NOT offer funds to anyone who at any time is demanding and disrespectful to the project administrators.

Scholarship recipients must possess and be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Must be named COLLINS (or spelling variant - see surnames).

  • Must have demonstrated an interest in the COLLINS project within the past year - by correspondence with the project administrators about results, participation on the mailing list, enrollment in the project with a lower number of markers, etc.

  • Knows unequivocally the origin of the earliest known paternal ancestor, to the early-mid 19th century or earlier (pre Irish famine era), to the townland or village in Ireland, or to the district, civil parish, or borough in England.

  • Earliest known family history reflects the life of the typical 18th/19th century man in the lower classes. Tenant farmer, labourer, servant, fisherman, transport convict, etc.

  • Lineage must not already be sponsored in the project (highly unlikely).

  • Able to submit a lineage to the project with names, places, BMD years to the fullest extent possible, with brother branches. If you haven't been maintaining a family tree in an organized manner, preparing your documentation will probably constitute the bulk of your work.

  • Active in local historical and family history societies relevant to your Collins lineage and can demonstrate participation six months ago and earlier, including - helping others with their research or otherwise aiding their societies. Can demonstrate your knowledge of the historical region of your Collins lineage.

  • Curious about the ancient peoples who settled the British Isles in prehistoric and early historic times.

  • Interested in complementing their paternal line family history research with a genetics component.

  • Likes the idea of their test results helping others with the same surname in the British Isles diaspora trace their roots back.

  • Willingness to share lineage / family history and test results with the project.

  • Willingness to allow results to be published and discussed in any future project promotional efforts.

  • Ability to - communicate in a timely and courteous fashion; read some basic information, including the rest of this FAQ, our testing FAQ if you are new to testing, and FTDNA's policies on revoking test consent; follow some written instructions, and fill out some forms, which can be done online.

You are known only by your sample number, test results, and family history. Your name and contact information are NEVER publicly revealed.

How it works:

  1. About October 1, the project will announce if funds are available to split the cost of a Y111 test with a new member. This will be broadcast on the mailing list and posted in a few forums.

  2. Applicants must submit to the project administrator a family tree with names, places and approximate dates. This can be a pedigree in a Word doc or PDF file, or a GEDCOM file. Submit any additional explanation as needed if parts of the tree warrant further explanation (no places or dates).

    Three separate citations for three different people in the family tree must also be submitted - e.g., births, marriages, deaths. At least one of these people should be a man named Collins in the direct paternal line. The citations can be links to government sponsored or commercial websites with free access (no subscription).

    If a citation is from a subscription website, then -
    - submit a copy of the record
    - state the record set e.g., "Massachusetts Marriages"
    - state where the record was retrieved from (e.g. library film, repository, online website).

  3. Submit your family tree documentation to the project administrator: Deadline: October 20.

  4. Read through this FTDNA FAQ, noting #20-#24 in particular. Maintenance of this account setup is required for a cost splitting grant. Read through FTDNA's policy on revoking consent. Deadline: October 25.

  5. Fill out an online sponsorship form. It must be submitted before a kit will be mailed. Deadline: November 2.

  6. After document review, you will receive notification of a testing grant award by November 4.

  7. Acknowledge our email within 24 hours,and state that you are ready to receive a blank kit in the mail. Otherwise you forfeit your testing grant.

  8. We will mail out blank kits on November 13 (or first mailing day after) and notify you the kit was sent.

  9. When you get the kit, take the test immediately. Sign the green release form. Add postal tracking to the kit when you mail it back and email the project administrator the postal tracking number. Deadline to mail kit back and communicate postal tracking number: November 27.

    You are responsible for meeting deadlines even if you are having a relative test!

  10. Your portion of the funds for Y111 ($140 USD unless a lesser amount is stated by the project administrator) must be received by you in the Collins Project General Fund. Deadline: December 2. The SOONER you communicate your tracking number AND place your share of the funds in the General Fund, the SOONER the project can commit its funds. Failure to take these two steps by the deadline means your testing grant is forfeited and you will have to fully pay for any analysis you want done on your sample.

  11. When we have a working tracking number and your portion of the funds for Y111 is in the General Fund, the project administrator will place the order for Y111 and officially commit funds to your test. At that time, your account will be fully set up and you will be provided your login and a temporary password that you can change. The project will officially place your order by December 4 or first business day after. You are officially part of the project when the administrator places your order! Congratulations!

Christmas is an extremely busy time of year in the US postal system. You are NOT responsible for any delays within the US mail or within FTDNA's order receipt system provided that you communicated a working postal tracking number to the project within the deadline. The administrator will proceed with your funding on the assumption that the kit will arrive without issues even if there are postal delays.

If, at any time these deadlines are not met; the project does not hear from you why a deadline is not met; the project is not notified of postal tracking in order to track the kit, your testing grant is forfeited and you will have to fully pay for any analysis you want done on your kit.

That's it! Thanks for all your efforts organizing and contributing your valuable data, and WELCOME TO THE PROJECT !