The British Isles and Beyond
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QUESTIONS on administrative policies, project eligibility, FTDNA account setup, eligibility for testing 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. How should I set up my FTDNA Profile?

  21. How do I set up my earliest paternal ancestor?

  22. How do I set up my results to be publicly viewable?

  23. How do I upload a family tree into my FTDNA account?

  24. How do I get my results included in the extensive analysis on the project website?

  25. What other projects should I join?

  26. Can the project help me with genealogy research?

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

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


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.


Origin, Purpose and Eligibility Back to top

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

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


New to DNA Testing Back to top

See our more extensive FAQ.


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.

Cost of Y Test Back to top

See Part I, #4 on our extensive FAQ.


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.


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.


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

-- To show you understand eligibility and 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


General Fund Back to top

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


Genealogical Record Contributions Back to top

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

If you've filled out a pre-approval form giving permission for us to use your data plus you've set up your account as prescribed on this page, your results will be automatically included in our analysis.


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.


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.


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.

Eligibility for Y Test Scholarships

Our purpose in offering a free 37 marker Y test is to recruit men within the British Isles or who maintain close ties to their ancestral origins. These men are generous sharing their family histories and generous with their time assisting others with their family histories or volunteering time with their local historical societies. Their participation could aid those out in the diaspora who are trying to find their roots back in the British Isles. The funds come primarily from the project administrators and secondarily from generous project members.

In lieu of funding 37 markers, we may, also at our discretion, instead offer to split costs 50/50 for tests or offer upgrades from 37 markers to 67 markers to specifically qualified people. (Your investment in a Y37 test and enrollment in the project being one way to demonstrate interest in the project.)

Scholarship aid is given only when it is advantageous to the project to do so, e.g., during the end-of-year test sale.

Unconditional free tests are not given at DNA shows. If you attend one of these shows and are eligible for a Y scholarship, you must contact the project administrator and demonstrate your eligibility as described here.

For now, 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).

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.

Additional details:

  1. You understand that: To support the lineage you've provided, three separate citations for three different people in your family tree must be provided, from at least two separate repositories. At least one person must be a man with a last name qualifying you for sponsorship. The citations can be links to records on a freely accessible website e.g., Massachusetts Marriages on, or Or if your source is from a subscription website, you can email the project administrator an image and state exactly the name of the record set it came from, the volume and page number or other lookup number if applicable, and how you accessed that record set.

  2. You understand that: Sharing your results with the project and with project visitors means that you agree to maintain your FTDNA account configuration as described on this page, including a family tree. The project administrators can assist you.

  3. You understand that: 37 marker testing is not normally sufficient for finding genealogical matches with a very recent common ancestor.

  4. You understand that: Only your sample number, earliest known paternal ancestor, lineage, and actual test results are publicly revealed. Your family tree, name, and email are revealed to your matches. No personal contact information is ever posted publicly. This DNA test does not reveal medical problems you are currently experiencing.

  5. You understand that: All eligibility documentation must be submitted to the project by November 7 during the end-of-year funding cycle.

  6. You understand that: Your blank cheek swab kit will be sent out the first day of the end-of-year DNA test sale (about mid-November) and somebody must be on hand to receive it.

  7. You understand that: When you get your cheek swab kit, you'll need to sign a release form so that your data can be used in the project. You must verify there is postal tracking on the swab kit when sending it back to the lab, and you must immediately communicate the tracking number back to the project administrator handling your sponsorship.

  8. You understand that: Your test will not be purchased by the project until you have demonstrated that you can follow these written instructions and your kit arrives at the lab as soon as feasible. Failure to communicate a postal tracking number to the project, or failure to promptly do the cheek swab and immediately send the kit back to the lab with a postal tracking number that is communicated to the project administrator means you forfeit your Y scholarship and you will not be eligible for any future scholarship. In other words if these instructions are not followed and you want your sample analyzed you will have to fund it youself. We are investing in your participation and we expect cooperation from you. Do not accept a scholarship unless you are certain you can follow these instructions and get the kit back to the lab on time.

  9. You understand that: If you are getting a relative to do the swab it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that relative follows these instructions to the letter.

  10. You understand that: Once the lab has confirmed receipt of the kit, the project will order your Y37 test. If the kit is not received by the lab by December 27 the scholarship is forfeited.

  11. You have read and understood FTDNA's policies on revoking test consent.

  12. You will need to sign forms indicating you understand the sponsorship terms and conditions, fill out a family history, and submit these back to the project administrator.