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The British Isles and Beyond
  • 375 members


Prospective members who have any questions ABOUT THE PROJECT after reading the materials here should email Susan at collinsdna @ If you expect your email to be seen and you want a reply, copy and paste the exact phrase COLLINS PROJECT into the subject line of your email. Current project members need to add their FTDNA account number on the subject line. Emails must be BRIEF (300 words or less). Do NOT send attachments. Otherwise your email will be regarded as spam and you will not get a reply.


August 5, 2023 expanded testing requirements for men with non-eligible surnames.
  Changes at FTDNA have made it so internal links on this page no longer work. You will need to scroll through the page.

READ THIS PAGE for information on: project eligibility; project resources, including our DNA test Q&A; setting up and navigating your FTDNA account; creating and sharing your family tree; privacy and communication policies; advanced level participation, and MUCH more!

This project utilizes a third party website to describe and illustrate FTDNA account features.  Links to that website are in a box with a gray background like this one.

    Eligibility and Joining

  1. What is the 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 not eligible but I have project surname ancestry. Is there anything you can do for me?

  4. Administration and Policies

  5. How is the project administered?

  6. Communications

  7. Privacy / Unable to see Y DNA results

  8. DNA Testing and Project Resources

  9. How long to get DNA results

  10. How to upgrade my Y results

  11. Websites and their resources

  12. DNA Testing Q&A

  13. What other projects should I join?

  14. FTDNA Account Setup and Navigation

  15. Set up my FTDNA Profile

  16. Grant the administrator(s) access to my account

  17. Opt in to DNA matching

  18. Set up earliest known paternal ancestor

  19. Share your Y results and paternal ancestor data with projects

  20. Share origins data with matches

  21. Upload or edit, and share a family tree

  22. Maintain your surname list

  23. Expert Level Participation

  24. How do I participate in the EXTRA analysis that goes beyond what FTDNA offers?

  25. How do I grant permission to the project administrator for Expert Level Participation?

  26. Are there Y DNA scholarships?

Eligibility and Joining

  1. Origin, Purpose and Eligibility Back to top

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


    Maintenance of the tester's REAL name is required in the first and last name fields of the FTDNA account. Account monitors who are not the testers need to put C/O [monitor name] in the MIDDLE NAME FIELD of the account.

    A Y DNA test of 37 or more markers must be obtained or already have been obtained from FTDNA. Check FTDNA's Y Products page for current test prices.

    It is not enough to have a man named Collins in the ancestry. The tester's last name must be Collins and the men in his DIRECT PATERNAL LINE must be named Collins.


    See also: PROJECT GOALS.

    If you are a man named COLLINS (or spelling variant) and you've taken the Y37 test or better or have the test on order, you are automatically eligible.

    State the most recent Y DNA test ordered at FTDNA in the JOIN window when you click the JOIN button (upper right).

    Non-eligible relatives may test and enroll an eligible male relative with 37 or more markers. Project results are kept private, so if you want to be able to see and compare results, you must have access to your relative's account !

    This is NOT a haplogroup (SNP) matching project, an autosomal DNA match project, or a mitochondrial DNA project. If you are new to testing and need help understanding the different types of DNA tests for genealogy, see Part I of our off site testing tutorial.

    Y SNP transfers from Nat Geo, Living DNA, or other companies are not sufficient for eligibility. Your data must be Y STR match enabled.

    Project "shoppers" and "browsers" are not admitted, even temporarily.

    Transferring Sorenson Y DNA Data

    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.

  3. Non-Project Surname Back to top

  4. There are two paths by which men with non-eligible surnames enroll in the project.


    Men whose paternal line name changed from Collins to a non-eligible name may join the project by submitting genealogy record documentation of the name change to the project administrator. Scans of documents such as birth certificates and documents of the relevant paternal line ancestor showing the name change - a court record showing the name change, or a census record showing use of the new name - should be sufficient.



    -- You must have done Big Y.

    -- You must have at least two Collins matches at 111 markers at a low genetic distance (no more than 3).

    -- Your Y subclade should match (or be equivalent or close to) those of your matches.

    The following conditions MUST be met - NO EXCEPTIONS. Otherwise your data cannot be properly grouped.

    -- Your Collins matches must be IN the project.

    -- Your Collins matches must have granted the project administrators LIMITED access or better.

    -- Your Collins matches must match each other and be clustered together in a LINEAGE or PEDIGREE. See explanation of Results.

    -- Your Collins matches must not exhibit evidence that they are a better fit in ANOTHER surname project. This is to prevent "chain migration" of non-eligible surnames, e.g., several men named Manley happen to have a match named Collins so the Manleys decide they want to be in the Collins project. In that case the Collins match is probably a better fit in the Manley project.

    -- If genetic evidence shows you are in an SNP subclade that conflicts with those of your matches, you must accept that your kit could be removed from the project.


    1. I have tested 111 markers.

    2. List your terminal SNP or haplogroup,
    as given by your Big Y results in your

    haplogroup badge on your account home page:

    3. List the name, email, Genetic Distance, and
    terminal SNP of your project surname match with
     lowest Genetic Distance at 111 markers:

    Name: _____________
    Email: _____________
    Genetic Distance: _____
    Terminal SNP: _______

    4. List the name, email, Genetic Distance,
    and terminal SNP of your next best project
    surname match at 111 markers.

    Name: __________
    Email: ___________
    Genetic Distance: _____
    Terminal SNP: _____

    5. I understand that if future genetic evidence
    were to separate me from what appear to be
    matches, I could be removed from the project.
    INITIALIZE HERE: _________

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

  6. The project does not admit people who want to "browse" the project. Even if you were allowed to join, you will not see much more than a table of yDNA results (strings of numbers). You will not see the contact information of members, or their family trees. Most members do not even fill in paternal ancestor origin data. The administrators do not give out the names of testers or their email addresses nor do they forward messages.


    Even project members only get the contact information of their matches, not of any project member at large.

    Your best bets are the options below.


    If you want to "browse" data you can visit the external project haplogroups page.

    Dedicated Pedigree Page

    The project maintains a list of pedigrees. If you want a dedicated pedigree page added to the project's pedigree collection, follow the non-members instructions. Your published pedigree is a slimmed down  version of what you might have published elsewhere, stripped of clutter, and gives page visitors an opportunity to contact you.

    Research Inquiries

    Research inquiries should be posted on or on Roots Chat or some other surname forum venue of your choice, including regional genealogy groups at Facebook.

    Check for any genealogy help desks at the city and county libraries in your ancestral region of interest.

    Enroll with the local genealogical societies in your ancestral region of interest. Society volunteers may have collated local data collections that are not otherwise available on commercial genealogy sites. Lots of these interest groups have an online presence or are on Facebook.

    Autosomal DNA Testing

    You can do autosomal testing, not only at Family Tree DNA (Family Finder) but at Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23AndMe, and Living DNA. The last two venues do not have particularly good resources for family trees; the first three have better family tree resources. FTDNA has a family tree feature by which if you link in known autosomal DNA matches into your family tree, FTDNA will look for matches with matching segments and triangulate them if they are found.


    It is recommended that you take the lab test at each venue, and not just transfer data. Data may get dropped in transfer and you may lose match precision. Also, test relatives in the oldest generations possible descended from the people you are researching. You should test lots of relatives.

    Testers may choose to upload their results to GEDMATCH or another analytical venue of your choice.  If your surname ancestors were in a particular geographic region for a length of time (multiple generations), use Google and look for an appropriate regional autosomal DNA project or consider starting a project up for your region of interest. With autosomal DNA, the opportunity for contact in a specific place is of particular significance since (unlike yDNA) there is no correlation with surnames. So your detailed family tree is important.


    *** This project does NOT provide assistance with autosomal DNA. ***

    Administration and Policies

  7. How the project is administered Back to top
  8. Project administration is 100% volunteer work. Administrators do not receive  compensation from FTDNA or special discounts on tests.

  9. Communications Back to top
  10. contacting the project administrator:

    Email or forward an email to the administrator at

    Include COLLINS PROJECT in the subject line.


    Include your kit number in the subject line of your email IF YOU ARE ALREADY A PROJECT MEMBER.

    Do NOT send attachments until they are requested.

    After reviewing this FAQ, state your question BRIEFLY (300 words or less).

    TO ENSURE A RESPONSE, emails must follow these guidelines. Otherwise emails are assumed to be spam and/or contain viruses and will get deleted.

    contacting project members:

    Click on a match's name in your match list for that person's email.

    Check the external PEDIGREES page for any published pedigrees with contact information.

    The project administrators are not an email forwarding service between non-members and members.

    The project administrators are not an email forwarding service between non-matching members.

    Members can post on the Activity Feed.

    not getting email:

    Check your spam folder to make sure email with the addresses of FTDNA ( or and the administrator(s) are not marked as spam.

    Make sure the email in your account is up to date.

    Make sure FTDNA has not flagged your email address as a problem. Check your account Updates (left sidebar) for a message that says Correct email issue.

    Make sure you have not opted out of communications in your account settings.

    👉 If you are expecting a response from the project administrator and have not gotten one, make sure your email contains the phrase COLLINS PROJECT on the subject line along with your FTDNA account number.

    See external help: Email Notifications.

    internal project communications:

    The most recent bulletin is posted on the BULLETIN - MEMBERS ONLY page. Project members must be logged in to their FTDNA accounts to read them. (Click ABOUT in the left sidebar.) Bulk emails are sent out strictly to remind members to read the latest bulletin. Old bulletins are moved to the UPDATES - MEMBERS ONLY page.

    Interim news is posted on the public NEWS page.

    An annual project bulletin is published in the autumn, around the end of October - early November, to coincide with the start of the annual year-end DNA sale. It is announced by project bulk email. Any interim announcements are posted in the Activity Feed.

    Make sure you know how to access those resources.

    project news for non-members:

    See News for latest status.

  11. Privacy Policies / Cannot see project Y DNA results Back to top
  12. For project Privacy policies, see Code of Conduct.

    See also: FTDNA's Privacy and Sharing page.

    See also: FTDNA's Project Administrator Settings page.

    Please do not email the administrator to complain about making the results public again. This is not debatable or negotiable. If you are not in the project and somebody in the project matches you, email your match directly for further information. The project administrator will not intervene.

    DNA Testing and Project Resources

  13. Time to get results back Back to top
  14. See: Learning Center article.

  15. Y Upgrades Back to top
  16. To upgrade your Y DNA results, make sure you FIRST log in to your FTDNA account that already contains your initial Y results from a swab. THEN order your upgrade by clicking  add ons & upgrades near the top right of your dashboard.

    If you try to purchase more Y DNA testing without logging in first to your account with your initial Y DNA testing, you could end up with two accounts meaning you will unnecessarily pay for and repeat testing that you have already completed.

  17. Project Website Back to top
  18. There are three websites associated with this project.

    The FTDNA Website

    There is a representation of the project here at our lab FTDNA ("the FTDNA website"). This website holds basic project information, including this page.

    Y DNA Results are available from the left sidebar, visible only to members when they are logged in.

    On the left sidebar, LINKS will take you to other resources possibly relevant to your research.

    Members logged in can access recent project communications by clicking ABOUT in the left sidebar.

    The Project 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 project website includes: surname histories; a DNA Testing tutorial; project pedigrees published with the permission of project members; potentially useful historical and genealogical data; haplogroup pages; and more extensive analysis of Y DNA results for those who are ACTIVE Members.

    The Support Website

    A third site ("the support website") also not the property of FTDNA, holds supplementary pages to help you learn to navigate and set up your FTDNA account. It also hosts DNA tutorials that are shared with this project and several other projects.

    Any other Internet sites, forums, or social media groups, postings or pages claiming to be speaking for this FTDNA Y-DNA project (other than from the project administrators) are disavowed.

  19.   DNA and Y DNA Testing Tutorial  Back to top
  20. The tutorial on the project website gives a beginner overview of DNA testing but focuses on Y DNA. It covers the differences between types of DNA tests; costs of Y DNA tests; the process of doing a test; and initial navigation and interpretation of new Y results.

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

    Part II of the tutorial talks about the process of doing the Y DNA test).

    Part III of the tutorial goes into navigation of Y STR results as well as basic interpretation of those results. You'll learn concepts such as STR marker, SNP, and Genetic Distance.

    Part IV of the  tutorial goes into detail about advanced Y SNP testing at FTDNA. If the tester can reswab if necessary, Big Y is the preferred advanced test.


  21. What other projects to join Back to top
  22. Project members have different 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.

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

    FTDNA Account Setup and Navigation

  23.   Set up Contact Information Back to top
  24. See external help: Set up contact information.

  25. Granting Access to the Administrators Back to top
  26. If you enrolled after May 2018, you grant LIMITED access to the project administrator(s) as a condition of enrollment so you do not need to take further steps. Please do NOT alter this setting.

    If there is still a problem:

    See external help: Grant access to administrators.

  27. Opt in to matching Back to top
  28. Normally when you send back your swab you sign a form allowing FTDNA to process your results and release them for matching. So you may not need to take further steps.

    See external help: Opt in to matching.

  29. Set up paternal ancestor  Back to top
  30. See external help: Set Paternal Ancestor data.

  31.   Share Y results and paternal ancestral data with projects Back to top
  32. See external help: Share Your Results with projects.

  33.   Share your origins data with matches Back to top
  34. See external help: Share origins data with matches.

  35. Create, upload, share a family tree with matches Back to top

  36. See external help: Create, upload, share family tree.

  37.   Maintain your surname list
  38. See external help: Maintain surname list.

    Expert Level Participation

  39. Expert Level Project Participation Back to top
  40. All project members will get their Y results categorized under a suitably labeled cluster under Y DNA Results on the FTDNA website provided LIMITED access is granted. This is considered REGULAR, or BASIC LEVEL participation.

    You are an EXPERT LEVEL Project Participant if you have taken the following KEY STEPS:

    • LIMITED access or better granted to the project administrator (normally DONE at project enrollment).

    • Opt In to DNA matching (normally DONE when you send your swab back by mail).

    • Profile and Contact Information are set up in a project-friendly manner.

    • Set up Earliest Known paternal ancestor.

    • Opt In to share out your Y and ancestral results with the project.

    • Share Origins data with matches.

    • Share family tree with matches.

    • Sufficient testing in place of 111 markers. (Waiver for those getting sponsored for test upgrades.)

    • Provide at minimum a project surname paternal line in your family tree, with names, dates, spouses, and places. Your family tree is shared out with MATCHES.

    • FINAL STEP: Provide the project administrator explicit written permission to publish your anonymized data (below).

  41. Written permission to publish anonymized data (EXPERT LEVEL PARTICIPATION) Back to top

  42. To participate in detailed analysis OFF the FTDNA website, written permission is required so as not to run afoul of privacy laws and FTDNA project administration agreements.

    COPY AND PASTE THE TEXT BELOW into the body of your  email to the project administrator to give permission to publish anonymized yDNA results, and origins, plus pedigree data on a dedicated page.


    Edit the last line to state your email publication preference. PLEASE allow for the publication of your contact email so that relatives can contact you directly. The project administrator is not an email forwarder !

    I want to participate at the expert level and hereby grant permission to the Collins project administrator to publish my ANONYMIZED yDNA results (STR and SNP data), ancestral origins, and pedigree, as provided by me.  If I am not the tester, I have authorization from the tester to participate. I agree to maintain my account in the manner described in the project FAQ, including the necessary opt ins for data sharing. I understand the types of data that will be published and that it will be tagged with a project number - not my FTDNA kit number.

    I understand that is NOT an FTDNA website. 

    CHOOSE ONE: I DO / DO NOT want my email contact information published on my dedicated pedigree page.

    The subject line of your email must include the keywords COLLINS PROJECT and your KIT NUMBER.

    example:  COLLINS PROJECT kit #abcdef Data Publication Permission

    Once this written permission is received you will be assigned a Collins project member number (separate from your FTDNA account number) that will be used to tag your data.

    You may REVOKE permission by email at any time.

  43. Y Test Scholarships

  44. 100% free tests are not given away at DNA shows, talks or presentations because attendees are not prepared to participate in the project at an advanced level at the time of the event. Nor can the project administrator personally visit you to make you sure you swab properly and return the kit back to the lab in a timely and considerate manner.


    If Y37 seems too expensive, remember that the sale price drops to USD $99 during the year-end sale. Factoring in S&H, $2.20 set aside every week for a year will more than cover the cost of Y37.

    Scholarships are no longer offered on a project-wide basis, though the administrator may choose to financially assist Collins men with ancestry from certain regions of interest (Counties Cork and Kerry from Ireland) and who are prepared to participate when the opportunity arises.


Prospective members who have any questions ABOUT THE PROJECT after reading the materials here should email Susan at collinsdna @ If you expect your email to be seen and you want a reply, copy and paste the exact phrase COLLINS PROJECT into the subject line of your email. Current project members need to add their FTDNA account number on the subject line. Emails must be BRIEF (300 words or less). Do NOT send attachments. Otherwise your email will be regarded as spam and you will not get a reply.