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About us

BACKGROUND: The Kerchner, Kirchner, Kercher, Kircher, Karchner, Karcher, Kerger, Keicher, Karriger, Carriger surname YDNA project was one of the first Y Chromosome surname DNA research projects in the world conducted by a genealogist. Its purpose is to determine the unique Y-DNA chromosome markers for various un-linked male lines with the same or similar sounding (in English) Germanic surname family groups in the USA and Germany, and to determine if any of them share common male ancestor in Germany in the last 400-600 years, and if possible to find their respective home villages or regions in Germany. The project's first specific goal when started in February 2001 was to determine if there was a direct male line genetic relationship between individuals such as myself Kit 577 in the Y Results table link above, as a descendant of the 1741 immigrant ancestor Adam Kerchner, and the descendants of another early immigrant ancestor who arrived in 1751 named Frederick Kirchner, represented by Kit 581 in the Y-Results tables. The early immigrants Adam Kerchner and Frederick Kirchner lived near each other in Berks County PA in the 18th century. They also named some of their children with the same given names. For example, Adam named a son Frederick and Frederick named a son Adam. While no paper trail records in history have been found to conclusively prove or deny a relationship, based on the traditional circumstantial evidence available it has often been theorized that these two immigrants may have been related. The Y-DNA testing of descendants of these two immigrants proved they were related. This was the project's first success story. For more success and progress stories see the Results link above. We continue to look for the ancestral home village for these two immigrants by testing German natives and other immigrant families to the USA with the same or similar surname. If we can find a match with our haplotype, and that other male line knows their ancestral village of origin in Germany or some German speaking region of Europe, then likely we will have found our village of origin and we can then focus our paper trail research in that area of Germany/Europe. The project has been expanded to test any male with a similar sounding surname to determine which Kerchner, Kirchner, Kercher, Kircher, Karcher, etc., families are related on the direct male line and which are not. We have successfully linked up several male lines in the USA with each other and also with their distant cousins in Germany. Click on the Goals, News, Results, and Y-Results buttons/links above for more details.

WHO CAN JOIN: Kerchner (or similar sounding or spelled) surnamed males or someone sponsoring a Kerchner surnamed or similar sounding/spelling surnamed male. Only males can be tested for this project since only males have Y-DNA. However a female researcher can sponsor a male who is related to her, i.e., a brother, father, uncle, great-uncle, cousin, etc., as long as that male was born with a surname being studied in this project.

HOW TO JOIN THIS PROJECT: At this time you must have been tested either directly via FTDNA or indirectly via FTDNA via the NGS Genographic Project to join this project. Genographic Project customers must first do the free transfer of their results from the NGS database to FTDNA's database. See the "Learn More" link at the bottom of your Genographic Project personal page for how to do the free transfer of your test data to FTDNA or call FTDNA for assistance in doing the transfer. Once you have a personal account page at FTDNA, to join this Kerchner project sign/log in to your FTDNA personal account page and click on the JOIN PROJECTS section in the upper left part of your personal page screen. Find the "Surnames" projects section. Click on the letter "K" category. Then click on the Kerchner project link. You will then see a description of this project. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the small white join button at the bottom of the Kerchner project join page. You can add a comment too if you wish. That is all there is to it. If you have not been tested before either by FTDNA or the Genographic Project and want to join this project you need to order a YDNA test kit. Click on the Request to Join This Group link in the upper left hand corner of this screen to contact the Project Admin and arrange ordering your test kit. For helpful information and resources regarding how YDNA Genetic Genealogy works see my DNA Info help page: