• 237 members


Q1. Is there any benefit to joining this surname project without Y-DNA results?

A.  There are no additional tools for autosomal (Family Finder) matching for you within the DNA project. Your best tool for finding relatives with your autosomal DNA results are the Family Finder match pages which are part of your basic FTDNA profile. Likewise, Mitochondrial DNA results are best matched within your own profile.

So the best course of action is to have Larkin relative to join the project WITH a Y-DNA test. Note that and 23andMe autosomal transfers will not be informative for Y DNA results at FTDNA or this project.

If you do not have a male Larkin relative immediately at hand, consider recruiting a cousin.

If you have not been able to recruit a Larkin relative to provide a Y-DNA sample but you know the ancestral geography of your earlier Larkin male relative around 1800-1850, you might find a Y-DNA lineage within the Project which comes from that same time and place and thus is likely to be the same Y DNA lineage.

However, if you do not know the origin or geography of your earliest Larkin relative and have no Y-DNA sample, then there will not be anything learned by joining this Project. So those searching for information on recent adoptees without Y-DNA need not join as there is no benefit or information to be gained.

Q2. Does my Larkin surname come from Ireland?

A.  In many cases yes, but not always. It's best to TEST, not guess.

The Larkin surname does come from several places in Ireland. But the surname also originated independently in England. The main purpose of this Project is to sample all Larkin Y-DNA lineages and be able to identify the origins of each Y-DNA lineage. As we have sampled extensively in Ireland and the United Kingdom for over 10 years, we have the best insight in the world for classifying Irish and English Larkin lineages and tracing them back to where they originated.

Q3. What (additional) tests should I get for Y-DNA?

A. Big Y-700 Failing that, then Y-37.

In the past, there was a paradigm where small sets of STRs were tested and then upgrades were recommended when new STR panels were available. Some may still recommend this incremental approach. However, this Project's Manager believes that approach is outdated and the best and most economical approach is to order the Big Y-700 test.

Big Y test should provide high enough resolution for most genetic genealogy research scenarios. Once one has completed the Big Y and wants more matches, then the recommended approach is not to upgrade your results but rather to try to conduct Big Y testing on samples from potential ancestral geographies. Explaining all the reasons for this recommendation is a multi-faceted concept, but the presentation below seeks to explain the main points:
Why Get the Big Y presentation

Note that the Y-DNA results one might have gotten from 23andMe or other autosomal testing are modest resolution markers. For deep, meaningful classification of your Larkin lineage, you should get a Big Y-700 test. Likewise, SNP Pack tests cannot find new (de novo) mutations that are unique to you and your close relatives, so Big Y-700 is the recommended test.

Q4. How do I join this DNA Project?

A. Once you've returned your Y-DNA test kit to the FTDNA laboratory:

  1. First login to your FTDNA results.
  2. Then click on this link:

Statement relating to media reports on use of genetic genealogy for criminal investigations.

Media coverage of criminal investigations since 2018 involving the use of genetic genealogy sources have attracted new interest in the field, some of which is considered and some of which is not accurate.  The following points of fact are noted:

  • The investigative methods used in famous cases such as the 'Golden State Killer' (GSK) involved the use of a 3rd party database called GEDMatch. The Larkin DNA Project HAS NEVER UPLOADED ANY DATA OR INFORMATION to the GEDMatch web site.
  • The methodology used to solve the GSK case involves comparing AUTOSOMAL DNA allele raw results.  The Larkin DNA Project is focused on the Y-chromosome and has NEVER DISPLAYED autosomal DNA allele values.
  • The Larkin DNA Project may display or publish anonymized results identifying samples by a number or letter-number code along with the surname.  While the earliest known ancestor of a participant may be displayed, full family trees that would enable the kind of search done in the GSK case are never used in project publications or web sites.  Participants have the option of creating and uploading a family tree on the FTDNA site, but doing so is not required for the project.