The British Isles and Beyond
  • 344 members


This information was last updated on April 7, 2019. See #18.

QUESTIONS on administrative policies, project eligibility, FTDNA account setup, scholarships for upgrades, and more.

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

  2. Based on my Y test, I believe I am a Collins/other project surname. What if my last name is not Collins or a project surname?

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

  4. Why do I have to submit the pre-check information on the About page?

  5. How do I contact the project administrator?

  6. What is the project website?

  7. Why can't I view the Y DNA results?

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

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

  10. How much does a Y test cost?

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

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

  13. How is the project administered?

  14. What am I expected to know?

  15. Will you email a project member for me?

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

  17. (Required) How should I set up my FTDNA Contact Information?

  18. (Required) Do I need to grant the administrator(s) access to my account?

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

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

  21. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my results to be shared?

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

  23. (for Active Project Participants) What else should I be doing in my account?

  24. (for Active Project Participants) How do I grant permission to the project administrator to include my results in published analysis? How do I get my PEDIGREE published ?

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

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


  1. 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.

    The primary goal of the project is to help men named Collins discover their original Collins paternal line origins, most of which are assumed to have originated in the British Isles. Our means to achieve that is by collecting and analyzing Y DNA and finding matches. The project carves out PEDIGREES (multiple testers who show the same documented paternal line ancestor) and LINEAGES (multiple testers clearly related but haven't established a documented common ancestor). See also: Project Goals.

    *** This project is for MEN whose LAST NAME is Collins, Collings, Cullen, or a spelling variation of one of the project surnames. ***

    *** A Y test of 37 or more markers must be obtained or already have been obtained from FTDNA. Many members do successive upgrades during major sales. ***

    This is NOT a haplogroup (SNP) project, an autosomal DNA match project, or a mitochondrial DNA project.

    If you have access to old Y DNA data from or from any lab that used the Sorenson 33 or 46 marker test, you may transfer it to FTDNA. A straight transfer is not sufficient. In order for it to be qualify for the project, you must order a transfer+upgrade product and do a swab from FTDNA so that your results will be better aligned with FTDNA's test and so that you'll be enabled for matches in FTDNA's database. See: Transfer DNA and also the $58 transfer+upgrade Y products.

    If your transfer+upgrade produces less than 37 markers you will need to perform a Y25 to Y37 marker upgrade at FTDNA to be eligible for the project.

    *** All prospective members submit our pre-check form. See: How to Join. ***

    Female relatives; autosomal transfer or FTDNA Family Finder testers or other non-eligible relatives may test and enroll an eligible male relative named Collins (or project-eligible last name).

    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.

  2. Non paternity events (NPEs), adoptions and name changes are very common. Non-project surname matches are expected to maintain their data and keep it upgraded as their Collins matches upgrade their data.

    ONE of the following requirements must be met if you do not have a project surname:

    You have a documented pedigree showing a NAME CHANGE from COLLINS (or other project surname) to your current surname

    • -- In the About page pre-check form that you fill out before clicking JOIN, enter your last name as COLLINS [CURRENT SURNAME], for example, if your last name is now Roberts, enter your last name as Collins Roberts. Enter your remaining information as if you are named COLLINS.

    • -- Under Part III, under "List additional information we should have explaining the name change:" describe the documentation you have (e.g., court records) showing the name change in your pedigree or how you otherwise know about your name change. Your join request will be followed up by your submission of documentation (below).

    • -- In the same section, enter your paternal line pedigree back to the name change in the following form:
      - Your father's name, BMD dates, places born and lived.
      - His parents' names, BMD dates, spouse name if possible, places born and lived.
      - His parent's names, BMD dates, spouse name if possible, places born and lived.
    • Documented Genealogical Proof: After the JOIN request is submitted, documented genealogical proof will need to be submitted to the project in a SINGLE PDF FILE, starting with the tester (birth, parents' marriage, etc) and showing proofs of lineage back to the Collins ancestor (birth records, court records, etc). Name the PDF file with your kit number and submit it to the project administrator.

    From Y testing you believe you have a Collins ancestor

    • You should be tested at 67 or 111 markers.

    • You must have at least two Collins matches at 67 or more markers. If they tested 111 markers you must match them at 111 markers.

    • Your matches must be IN the project.

    • Your matches must have granted LIMITED or better access to the administrators, otherwise they are UNclustered.

    • Your matches must be clustered together in the same LINEAGE or PEDIGREE on the FTDNA Y results page. Here is an example:

      You are NOT eligible if you match a Collins who has no Collins matches in the project and he might instead have a case for joining YOUR surname project.

    • If your Collins matches are in a PEDIGREE you must be a tight match with EXTREMELY LOW or ZERO Genetic Distance, by the judgement of the project.

    • If your matches are in a project LINEAGE, we do not expect for you to be as tight a match as to those in a PEDIGREE. However 1) the project LINEAGE should not in the project's judgement have a good case for being eligible for a DIFFERENT surname project, 2) your Genetic Distance to Collinses must be LOW, also determined at the project's discretion. If you have genealogical proofs of a name change from Collins in your paternal lineage, submit the documentation as described above.

    • You must accept that new data might come along and change our assessment as to whether you are a match.

      • Your Collins matches might upgrade their data to 111 markers. You are expected to do the same.

      • Your matching lineage might have been created in error. Occasionally, Y STR testing creates false positives that are only resolved by deep SNP (Big Y) testing. Should such deep SNP testing show our lineage cluster to be in error, your kit might be reassigned to a new cluster. Or, we might ask you to do some deep SNP testing.

      • If you don't keep your data current with your Collins matches, we will remove your kit from the project.

    • You must still submit our pre-check in the About page when you click JOIN. See How to Join (below). Since Y DNA results are kept visible only to existing project members, the administrators will have to review your submission and identify your matching lineage or pedigree and then inform you if you are eligible or not.
  3. Follow the instructions on the project About page when you fill out the information in the JOIN window.

    If you submit a JOIN request without submitting the information on the About page, your request will be DENIED. You will be redirected to the About page and told to resubmit your request.

  4. To make sure you understand:
    -- Project eligibility.
    -- Project policies.
    -- Privacy policies.
    -- Requirement for Tester Name setup in your kit profile.
    -- The importance of the administrators having at minimum LIMITED access to your account.
    -- Differences between the FTDNA website (here) and the external project website (not FTDNA's).
    -- Differences in participation levels.
    -- Published DNA testing assistance is available at the project website for those new to DNA testing.

    Your project administrators have obligations and commitments elsewhere, and do not have a lot of time to repeat the information in email what you are fully capable of reading on your own right here. If you want assistance, you'll have to invest a little time learning something about DNA testing and you'll have to cooperate with us.

  5. Email Susan at I administer or co-admin eight projects containing roughly 1000 kits, so please identify yourself clearly by project and FTDNA kit number. Put COLLINS PROJECT in the subject line and include your kit number in the subject line of your email IF YOU ARE ALREADY A PROJECT MEMBER.

    After reviewing this FAQ, please SUMMARIZE your questions BRIEFLY (300 words or less) and do NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS until they are requested.

  6. There are two websites associated with the Collins project. Because the testing lab is FTDNA, there is a representation of the project here at FTDNA ("the FTDNA website"). The second website ("the project website") at is the administrator's own hosted space and is not part of or under the control of FTDNA.

    The FTDNA website holds this page, some basic information pages about the project, and Y DNA results, viewable only to project members. The project website holds (or will hold) surname histories; pedigrees (submitted by those who wish to submit one, along with their email contact); some historical and genealogical information, and more extensive analysis of Y DNA results for those who are Active Project Participants.

    Problem accessing the project website? If you see NO when trying to access 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.

  7. The project administrators made a decision in May 2018 to make the results visible only to project members. There were several reasons for this:

    -- New regulations from Europe have raised our consciousness of our obligation to protect the private data of our project members.

    -- No matter how user friendly the FTDNA website settings become, some members who do not want their data publicly displayed might inadvertently Opt In to publicly share out their data. Locking the Y DNA results will prevent that.

    -- We wish to prevent unwarranted regulatory scrutiny of Y DNA data or misuse of that data.

    Please do not email the administrators to nag us about making the results public again. We will not budge on this decision. We are all disappointed. So you'll at least know some Y details about the project, we will update Country of Origin statistics on our News page and Haplogroup statistics on the project website Haplogroups page as soon as the project completes some major housecleaning.

  8. See Part I of our more extensive DNA testing FAQ for an explanation of three basic types of DNA tests.

  9. 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. The list is a communication option for anyone interested in Collins Y DNA research, particularly for non-members. On it we post test sale announcements, major project news and developments, etc. Project members don't need to be on it. Follow this link for instructions: mailing list. Members should post their comments and questions on the project Activity Feed.

    The project maintains a list of pedigrees. We encourage you to have yours published, and we also encourage the publication of a contact email. Email Susan if you'd like this done. Please put your FTDNA kit number (applicable if you are a project member) in the subject line of the email, use the following text, and complete with your name:

    I grant the Collins project administrator permission to publish my Collins pedigree at the project website, along with my contact email. I understand that is NOT the FTDNA website.

    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.

  10. See Part II, #4 on our extensive FAQ.

  11. See our Privacy Policies and Information on the Code of Conduct page. It includes information on law enforcement searches.

  12. 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.

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

    We maintain these pages here on FTDNA and those on the project website (not affiliated with FTDNA).

  14. 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
    -- project administrator access levels for your account
    -- basic differences between DNA tests - check our testing FAQ if necessary
    -- kit profile configuration (see Set up Profile, below)
    -- the necessity of family tree documentation INSIDE your FTDNA account
    -- FTDNA site versus project website
    -- different levels of participation
    -- familiarity with the operation of your FTDNA accounts

    Reading this FAQ is an excellent start.

  15. 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.

  16. Make sure email with the addresses of FTDNA (, and the administrator(s) are not getting filed into your spam folder. Make sure you have not in your Account Settings opted out of communications.

  17. Click Account Settings | Account Information. Under Contact Information | My Personal Story, state who you are and where your project surname 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, under Contact Information enter the tester's name. Under Middle Name, enter C/O Your Name. Example: John C/O Jane Smith Collins.

    Make sure all the emails on the account are up to date and that your primary email is accurate. If more than one person is accessing your account, please put TWO emails in the primary email field. Separate them with a semicolon (;). Example:;

    Safeguarding of the privacy of all members is the main priority of the project. Kits set up this way not only save the project administrators time, it helps minimize the risk of data breaches through present and future administrators. Kits without a proper setup will not be clustered and could face removal from the project. See Code of Conduct.

  18. By default, FTDNA sets your Project Administrator access settings to MINIMAL access. This gives the project administrators NO access. Administrators cannot access your kit to see your matches and their haplogroups, or read your family tree, or any other helpful information you might have written.

    Kits with the default MINIMAL access will NOT be assigned a cluster on the Y DNA results page and remain UNCLUSTERED. In other words, the project administrator won't touch your results - and will remove your kit from the project during the end-of-year project housecleaning if you have not granted access within a reasonable time. So if you want to be in the project and your results properly assigned a category, please provide the administrators LIMITED or better access:

    3. Under Your Projects, locate the Collins project and click Edit. Then follow the prompts to grant access.

    Your screen should look something like this when you have properly granted LIMITED access:

    See also: Project Group Preferences Page.

    See also: Project Administrator Settings Page.

    See also: Group Administrator Access Levels and Permissions.

  19. All project members will get their Y results categorized under a suitably labeled cluster under Y DNA Results on the FTDNA website. They may or may not share out results and data with others or may choose to remain completely private. This is one participation level.

    Active Project Participants go out of their way to share out their results and family history data. They do sufficient levels of Y testing so there is enough data to compare with others. They give explicit written permission to the project administrator to include their data in published analysis on the project website. Their data is published tagged with assigned project member numbers, not FTDNA kit numbers. When project members take these steps, the project administrator will be able to perform further analysis and interpretation. This is the second participation level.

    By taking the steps listed below (including granting permission), the project will then be able to use analytical and interpretative tools (most not available at FTDNA) to construct and publish haplotype tables with modal haplotypes, genetic distance tables, and TMRCA probability tables using alternative sets of average mutation rates; and SNP haplotrees showing lines of descent. Your name and other information that could potentially identify you are not published. When you inform the project administrator you want to be an active participant and grant permission to the project administrator to utilize your data, you are assigned a special project member number.

    The steps to take for being an Active Project Participant are listed here:

  20. Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Earliest Known Ancestors and click.


    - Click save (bottom left; not shown).

    - Click Update Location (on the right).

    - Now underneath the map, on the left side for Paternal, click edit location.


    Under Direct Paternal Ancestor, enter the earliest known ancestor name; a birth, marriage, or death year; and a location.

    - Enter a Country of Origin.


    - Under Step 1 - Choose Ancestor Type, click update paternal location (lower left, not shown).

    - If you already entered your ancestor's name, date, and abbreviated location, click next to skip this step.

    - If you didn't enter it before, under Step 2 - Update Paternal Information, enter the ancestor name, an approximate birth or death date, and a location. See the left graphic for one example.

    Here is another example:
    Martin Smith b.c. 1800 l. Hamilton Co, OH, USA

    - Click next to save your information or skip Step 2.


    - Under Step 3 - Find a Location on the Map, enter a known location for your paternal ancestor - where he might have been born, resided or died. 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 getLatLong 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.

    - Whichever way you enter the location, click search.

    - Click select on the map.

    Under Step 4, enter the display format of the location that you want to use on the map, e.g., Gortnascreeny, Caheragh, Co Cork, Ireland. Click next.
    Under Step 5, review all the information you entered for accuracy, and click save & exit.
  21. Access Account Settings | Project Preferences | Project Sharing | Group Project Profile, then check the box Opt in to Sharing. Ordinarily, this makes your results viewable to the public if the Y DNA results page were public. It is the policy of the project to keep FTDNA Y results viewable to project members only, but by checking this box you are communicating that it is okay for outside visitors to see your data, should that policy one day change. By sharing out your results your project administrator will also be able to manipulate your data in a spreadsheet. Otherwise, your data is inaccessible to the administrator.

  22. 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.

    To adjust the privacy settings on your family tree, click the Cog wheel where it says Settings. The project recommends sharing your tree with your MATCHES.

  23. Under Account Settings then Genealogy | Surnames, make sure you have filled out the surnames in your pedigree, along with specific locations (as specific as possible). This is even more important if you have done other types of DNA testing.

  24. The administrator deals with dozens of emails across several projects and needs this clarity in order to be able search emails effectively. If your email does not turn up in a search of subject lines, your data will not be published. So your cooperation is vital and appreciated!

    The subject line of your email needs to include the keywords COLLINS PROJECT, your KIT NUMBER, and the words DATA PUBLICATION PERMISSION:

    example: COLLINS PROJECT kit #abcdef John Doe Collins Data Publication Permission

    If YOU are the tester USE THIS LANGUAGE in the body of your email:

    I want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Collins project administrator to publish my yDNA results (STR and SNP data), and ancestral origins, as provided by me. I understand the types of data the project publishes and that it will be tagged with a project number - not my FTDNA kit number. I understand that is NOT the FTDNA website.

    If you are supervising somebody else's test, USE THIS LANGUAGE in the body of your email, completing the information in the square brackets []:

    My name is [monitor name] and I am the [relationship - daughter, wife, etc] of the tester. I am authorized to act on his behalf. We want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Collins project administrator to publish the tester's yDNA results (STR and SNP data), and ancestral origins, as provided by me. I understand the types of data the project publishes and that it will be tagged with a project number - not my FTDNA kit number. I understand that is NOT the FTDNA website.

    To submit an email to the project administrator to give permission to publish PEDIGREE data and CONTACT INFORMATION:

    I grant the Collins project administrator permission to publish my Collins pedigree at the project website, along with my contact email. I understand that is NOT the FTDNA website.

    You are welcome to combine two permissions into one email.

    Please email the project administrator if you wish to REVOKE any permission.

  25. You are considered an Active Project Participant (second level participation) - not just a project member (first level) - if the following is completed:

    1. 1. The kit Contact Information is properly filled in.
    2. 2. Project administrators are granted at minimum LIMITED access to your data so we can view your matches and properly group your results.
    3. 3. There is sufficient testing in place of 67 or more markers.
    4. 4. You have filled in your ancestral data under Account Settings | Genealogy.
    5. 5. Through your Privacy Settings you have checked Opt In to share out your Y and ancestral results.
    6. 6. You have provided at minimum a Collins paternal line in your family tree, with names, dates, spouses, and places. Your family tree is shared out with MATCHES.
    7. 7. You have given the project administrator explicit written permission to publish your Y DNA results and some ancestral data, tagged with your project number (not your FTDNA kit number).

    Updates of published analysis pages are announced on the Activity Feed and the mailing list.

  26. 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. Nor do we 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 surname pedigree on our external project website (not controlled by FTDNA) - WITH your email address. That way, you will not miss out on lost communication opportunities with relatives. Your pedigree should be published in your own FTDNA account before this is done. See Permission, above.

  27. 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 administrators cannot recover your password for you. 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.

  29. Eligibility for Y Test Scholarships
  30. 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 administrators will make sponsorship decisions on an individual case basis.

    We may offer to fund an upgrade from Y37 to Y111, subject to the terms and conditions below and availability of funds.

    At the present time, our paternal origin geographic areas of interest include: Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick in the province of Munster, 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.
    If you think you might be eligible for this opportunity, email the project administrator FIRST before purchasing any test, to inform us that you want to work towards the goal of obtaining a Y111 scholarship.
    • Must be named COLLINS (or spelling variant - see surnames).

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

    • Earliest known paternal line ancestry must be from one of our geographic areas of interest and should predate the start of civil registration in England (about 1837), or the Tithe Applotment books in Ireland (about 1835).

    • An existing project member who shares your direct paternal ancestry must not already be funded or partially funded by the project (not likely a problem).

    • If your Collins paternal line genetic pedigree or lineage is already significantly represented in the project, your test is not eligible for sponsorship (See explanation of lineage and pedigree).

    • Tester must be a new FTDNA tester, not an existing FTDNA customer.

    • Take a Y37 test (or arrange to test your eligible male Collins relative). If you want to wait for a good sale opportunity, join our mailing list to receive notifications of sales events. Then submit the pre-check form when you are ready to purchase Y37. If you are purchasing the test for a relative, decide in advance whether you are going to ship the kit to you or directly to your relative.

    • Tester must meet the definition of Active Project Participant (described above).

    • Once the above steps are completed, you may be eligible for a project sponsored Y111 upgrade. You will need to provide documentation of the direct paternal line, starting from the tester to the earliest known ancestor (copies of birth certs, baptisms, pages from family bible, etc) in a single PDF file before we commit resources to your upgrade.

    • If you are otherwise a good candidate and have submitted the requested documentation as described, but funds are not available, you will be wait listed for the next upgrade opportunity.

    You are known only by your sample number, test results, and family history. In accordance with the project's privacy policies, your name and contact information are NEVER published.

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

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