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Foad Surname DNA Poject

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Results So Far ...

Fourteen Foad, Foat and Foate men have now been tested for the standard 67 STR markers (Short Tandem Repeat Y-DNA markers) and we can assign each of them to one of five genetically-distinct family lines (see summary table below).  

Seven of the men match each other on at least 63 of the 67 tested markers, so they all share common paternal line ancestors, probably within the last eight generations.   (Note that "eight" is a probabilistic prediction and is necessarily very approximate.)   Early testing of these seven gentlemen has found them to belong to the haplogroup I1a-Z140, giving reference to the groups defining polymorphism (single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP) known as Z140.   All of the men have also now tested positive for a polymorphism further downstream from Z140, known as F2642.   Several members of this same cluster have taken the "Big Y" tests offered by FTDNA and have added new polymorphisms, A1546+ and  CTS9834+.   So, at present, CTS9834 is their terminal polymorphism and defines their branch of the Y-Haplotree.   It is very likely that more polymorphisms will be discovered for this cluster (Family Line "A") as further testing and analysis proceed.  Research is on-going.

Haplogroup I1 is a very ancient genetic group and is often referred to as "I1a-M253", named after the polymorphism that characterizes it.   The origins of Haplogroup I1 in northwestern Europe are under debate.   The group may have originated as long ago as 15,000 to 20,000 years ago (before the end of the last Ice Age) or as recently as 4000 to 6000 years ago.   More recent research favours the 4 to 6 thousand year ago period.   Haplogroup I1 is found throughout northwest Europe and is most common in Scandinavia.

The other seven gentlemen do not match this major family line.   One of them belongs to Haplogroup R1b-U106 (named after the U106 polymorphism) with "terminal" polymorphism Z155+.   This group is thought to have originated about 3500 years ago and is today most common in Frisia, the Benelux countries, England, Austria, and northern Italy.   Like the I1* group, it also has an Anglo-Saxon association.   Another belongs to Haplogroup R1b-L2, which some researchers believe originated about 2400 years ago and is today found in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, and Norway.   Ethnically it is referred to as Alpine Celtic.   Two gentlemen, with surname Foat belongs to Haplogroup R1b-L21, which is thought to have originated about 4000 years ago.   It is most most frequently found in Ireland, Britain, northwest France, and southwest Norway, and is referred to as Brythonic, Gaelic and Gaulish Celtic.   Two more gentlemen also belong to haplogroup R1b-U106 but with "terminal" polymorphism of S10415+, of ancient Germanic origin. 

The appearance of several different Y-Haplogroups among Foad and Foat men is probably our first indication that the Single-Founder Hypothesis might be false for Foads.   However, there are many reasons for genetic diversity and our sample size is still very small, so it is essential to test more men before coming to any firm conclusion on this question.

Foad and Foat Family Lines

The table below describes the five genetically-distinct (Y-DNA) Foad and Foat family lines or groups discovered so far among members of the Foad Surname DNA Project :

MembersGenealogical OriginsWhere Found TodayY-Haplogroup,
Terminal SNP
Tentative Ancient Ethnic Origin
7 England (Kent) England (Kent, Lincolnshire, Surrey),
Australia (NSW), Canada (Ontario)
M253+ Z58+ Z140+ F2642+ CTS6739+ FGC2491+
A1553+ A1546+ FT120861+
strongly West Germanic
1 England (Kent) Wales R1b-U106
M343+ U106+ Z381+ Z301+ Z155+
1 England (Hertfordshire) USA (Tennessee) R1b-U152
M343+ U152+ L2+ Z49+
L562+ Z147+
Alpine-Celtic (Hallstatt-La Tène), Italics
3 England (Kent) USA (Wisconsin, Minnesota) R1b-L21
M343+ L21+ DF13+ Z251+ Z16943+ A6078+
North Atlantic (Brythonic, Gaelic, and
Gaulish Celtic)
2 England (Kent) New Zealand, USA (California) R1b-U106
M343+ U106+ Z381+ Z301+ L48+ Z8+ Z344+
Z6+ A96+ S10415+

Notes -

  1. Distinct family groups are designated arbitrarily by letters.
  2. The Y-DNA haplogroups have been determined by specific SNP tests done on project members by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and are labeled as currently defined in the FTDNA database.  Based on these tests, some haplogroup designations have been extended according to the co-ordinated haplotree maintained by ISOGG*.  In many cases further extensions of the tree have been made by reference to the experimental haplotrees maintained by relevant haplogroup projects at FTDNA and sometimes also by reference to the experimental tree maintained by the genomic analysis service of  The labels shown here are reviewed and revised periodically in accordance with advances in knowledge of the haplotree. 
  3. A terminal SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) has been determined for members of the "I1-M253" group and attention is now being given to finding terminal SNPs for members of the different "R1b" groups.
  4. The tentative ancient ethnic origins are according to various sources, usually based on older data, and will be revised as research in anthropology and population genetics goes on.

* ISOGG = International Society of Genetic Genealogy at

Foad and Foat Family Lines in the Y-Haplotree

The simplified diagram below shows the positions of known Foad and Foat family lines in the Y-DNA haplotree.  In keeping with convention, the tree is shown in inverted format with the more ancient SNPs at the top and the youngest SNPs shown at the bottom of the branches.  Only the relevant branches of the tree and a few important SNPs are shown. 

haplotree diagram

Please note that, strictly speaking, the SNPs should be shown in the diagram as branches instead of nodes.  However "wrong" that might be, it is just easier to draw the diagram with the SNPs as nodes. 

The Challenge

We need to test more Foad and Foat men everywhere to find common ancestors between family lines in England, North America and elsewhere, and to see what proportion of Foad and Foat men belong to each haplogroup.  If you are a male Foad or Foat (or variant surname), I invite you to join our project to see which family line you might be connected to and to possibly extend your own genealogy when a close match is found. 

Interested?  Please contact Martin Potter, the project administrator, at the address near the top of this page.