The British Isles and Beyond
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QUESTIONS on administrative policies, project eligibility, FTDNA account setup, scholarships for upgrades, 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. Based on my Y test, I believe I am a Collins. What if my last name is not Collins or a project surname?

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

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

  6. How much does a Y test cost?

  7. I'm eligible. How do I join? Where do I find the preapproval form?

  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 am I expected to know?

  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 is the mailing list?

  17. Will you email a project member for me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  24. (for Active Project Participants) What else should I be doing in my 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 anybody's participation - 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. All prospective members fill out the preapproval form. See #7 below.

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. 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).

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. Non-Project Surname Back to top

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

  • On the preapproval form, enter your last name as COLLINS [CURRENT SURNAME], for example, if your last name is now Roberts, enter your last name as Collins Roberts.

  • Under ELIGIBILITY, state that you have a qualifying surname. Email the project administrator if this is not clear.

  • Under PROJECT PARTICIPATION AND ANCESTRY enter your family pedigree back at least to the name change.

  • Under WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF THIS PROJECT?, describe the documentation you have (e.g., court records) showing the name change in your pedigree or how you otherwise know about the name change. We might ask you to submit a copy of your documentation.

From Y testing you believe you have a Collins ancestor

  • You must match more than one Collins in a cluster marked LINEAGE or PEDIGREE on our Y DNA results page. Here is an example:

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

    If your Collins matches are not enrolled in the project then you are not eligible.

  • If your Collins matches are in a PEDIGREE you must be a 36/37, 65/67, or 108/111 match or better to at least ONE Collins in that PEDIGREE. In other words, you must be a low Genetic Distance to the pedigree. If you have not fully tested to the maximum number of markers tested by your pedigree matches (normally 111), complete that testing BEFORE trying to enroll.

  • If your matches are in a LINEAGE, we do not expect for you to be as tight a match as to those in a PEDIGREE. If you have not fully tested to the maximum number markers tested by your lineage matches (normally 111), complete that testing BEFORE trying to enroll.

  • 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 with more markers. We will ask you 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 fill out our preapproval form. See #7 below.

4. New to DNA Testing Back to top

See our more extensive FAQ.


5. 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.

6. Cost of Y Test Back to top

See Part II, #4 on our extensive FAQ.


7. How to Join Back to top

Complete the pre-approval form (link takes you outside FTDNA to our project website). 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.


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.
-- Your project administrators have obligations and commitments elsewhere in their lives, and do not have time to repeat the information here in email that you are capable of reading on your own. We want to make sure you know the project resources that are available.

If you want assistance, 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

You can make your test results 100% private if you wish. If you choose to do so, then the project administrators assume you do not want to be an Active Project Participant in the project's extensive analysis, as described on this page.

If you opt in to share your results and ancestor, only your FTDNA kit number, surname, earliest known paternal ancestor, and Y results are published on our Y DNA result page. Your results do not reveal any particular medical problems you might be experiencing.

You can keep your family tree private if you wish. If you choose to do so, then the project administrators assume you do not want to be an Active Project Participant in the project's extensive analysis, as described on this page. You can control the visibility of your family tree as Public, Matches, or Private. People in your tree born less than 100 years ago are never displayed. You, deceased individuals, and individuals born more than 100 years ago are displayed to your audience. You can also hide the visibility of deceased individuals born less than 100 years ago by omitting death dates on their records in the family tree.

To be an Active Project Participant, your family tree, results, and ancestor MUST be shared out. Your family tree must at minimum be shared with MATCHES. An Active Project Participant gets a dedicated web page for his ancestry.

The project never publishes a member list, or any member's name, email, or living people family tree data. Nor (with the possible exception of your haplogroup project administrators) do we discuss your results with any outsiders.

These are the general rules we follow:

i. We do NOT publish a member list.

ii. We do NOT publish or release your name, contact information, or any information you choose to keep private to ANYBODY.

iii. We do NOT keep results data and identity/contact information for those results in the same file.

iv. For those who are Active Project Participants, your results are identified both here on FTDNA - AND - on our external project pages by your sample (kit) number, not your name. Active Participants tell US how much of a family tree they want published.

v. By default we can NOT access your account settings. To assist you, we CAN access your surname list, family tree, and earliest known ancestor settings.

See also: FTDNA's Privacy and Sharing page.

See also: FTDNA's Project Administrator Settings page.


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 (not affiliated with FTDNA).

We cooperate with haplogroup projects affiliated with Collinses, and occasionally undertake promotional efforts.

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.

We have numerous commitments and obligations in our lives other than the Collins project, which is why your cooperation as a project member is vital and appreciated.


13. 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.


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. 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.


17. 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.


18. 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.


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

All project members will get their Y results categorized under a labeled 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. Actively 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.


20. 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.


21. Set up paternal ancestor Back to top

Access My Profile | Genealogy | Earliest Known Ancestors and click.


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.


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

Access the Privacy and Sharings Settings menu and under Group Project Profile check the box Opt in to Sharing.


23. 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.

To adjust the privacy settings on your family tree, click the Cog wheel where it says Settings.

You can keep your family tree private if you wish. If you choose to do so, then the project administrators assume you do not want to be an Active Project Participant in the project's extensive analysis, as described on this page. You can control the visibility of your family tree as Public, Matches, or Private. People in your tree born less than 100 years ago are never displayed. You, deceased individuals, and individuals born more than 100 years ago are displayed to your audience. You can also hide the visibility of deceased individuals born less than 100 years ago by omitting death dates on their records in the family tree. The tree of an Active Project Participant must at minimum be shared with MATCHES.

If you are an Active Project Participant, your family tree in FTDNA needs to be a helpful one to the administrator and to your matches, with names, dates and places. Number of generations does not matter - the quality of the information entered does. Otherwise your kit is not considered an Active Project Participant.


24. What else should I be doing in my FTDNA account?

i. Under My Profile then Account Information then Project Preferences, make sure you allow your project administrators LIMITED access to your account.

ii. Under My Profile then Genealogy then Surnames, make sure you have filled out the surnames in your pedigree, along with specific locations (as specific as possible).


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 20-25), plus you have done a sufficient level of testing so that your results can be better analyzed and compared to your matches (usually 67 markers or better), 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

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 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 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 but have not yet purchased a Y test, email the project administrator FIRST 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 preapproval 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.

  • Set up your FTDNA account for Active Project Participation, including documentation of your paternal line family tree (read the FAQ 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 !