The Geer DNA project is a (Y-chromosome) testing project ongoing since 2005. When results of this y-chromosome testing are compared between participants, males with the same sequence of markers (also known as matches or near matches within 1 or 2 mutations) will likely share a common male ancestor within the last eight to nine generations. As mutations (markers greater than 3 mutations) increase, results indicate the common ancestor is likely further back in time.Many times this information will confirm a paper trail of one’s family history, but in some cases the results will disprove long standing beliefs as to one’s biological ancestry. Note, however, that when results disprove a genetic link to others of the same surname, there can be many reasons for the difference - such as varying countries of origin, a flawed paper trail or unrecorded life events like adoption, intentional name change or unmarried spouses. No matter how the DNA result comes out - you're still a member of the Geer family.
The Geer DNA Project works to:
1. Provide researchers working on Geer (Gear/Geere/Gere etc) family lineages a place to come together to find and share their common heritage.
2. Identify the DNA lines of ancestor Geer families and compile them and their lost branches into distinct genetic lineages through DNA matches.
For a detailed discussion of DNA google: Genetics & Genealogy - An Introduction With Some DNA Case Study Examples by Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
What Is DNA?
DNA (or ) is a molecule found in the center (or nucleus) of a cell that contains genetic instructions for building living organisms. This chemical structure, known as a gene, is packaged in 23 pairs known as chromosomes. Each individual has 46 chromosomes, 23 received from each parent. It is in the 23rd chromosome pair that males receive one X- and one Y-chromosome, while females receive two X-chromosomes, thus allowing researchers a new avenue to trace paternal ancestry on the unchanging Y-chromosome by measuring the number of sequences (repeats) of DNA pieces collected in a simple cheek swab by participants. For a full explanation of DNA see: Genetics & Genealogy - An Introduction With Some DNA Case Study Examples by Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
DNA tests are found in two primary forms: y-chromosome (paternal) and mitochondrial (maternal) line ancestry, each providing separate identifications. New testing procedures, such as Family Finder, provide more extensive DNA profiles and will identify matches across male and female boundaries.
Y-DNA Testing - Fathers’ Ancestry Passed only through Sons
The Y-Chromosome, passed virtually unchanged from father to son over hundreds of years, has definable segments of DNA with known genetic characteristics, as does the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These segments are known as . These markers occur at identifiable physical locations on the chromosomes known as a . Each marker, as defined by international standards, is designated by a number; known as DYS#, the label for genetic markers on the y-chromosome where D = DNA, Y = Y chromosome, S = a unique DNA segment). Technically the marker is what is tested and the locus is where the marker is located on the chromosome. When put together, these numbers provide a (alleles) unique to a particular identifiable group of males that is described today as a .
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) - Mothers’ Ancestry Passed through Sons & Daughters
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed from mother to child, both male and female. This test traces the participants direct mother’s line without influence from other lines. This test is used to support or disprove a direct maternal connection between two or more individuals. Because of the broad range of input, results identify ethnic and geographic origin of a particular group of females and not individual family surnames.
Haplogroup - Deep Ancestry & Migration Patterns from Ancient Times determined in both y-DNA & mtDNA Testing
In the study of genetic genealogy, molecular evolution is described by , which are a group of similar haplotypes; a combination of DNA sequences (alleles) at different places (loci) on the chromosome that are transmitted together. Each haplotype share a common ancestor with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation, thus indicating a participants deep ancestral origin dating back thousands of years. The Y-DNA haplogroups and mtDNA haplogroups are both used to define genetic populations. Remember, Y-DNA is passed solely along the paternal line, from father to son, while mtDNA is passed down the maternal line, from mother to offspring of both sexes. Neither recombines, and thus Y-DNA and mtDNA change at each generation with no intermixture between the parents' genetic material.