The FTDNA Linvill(e) surname project began in 2004 with YDNA tests of a dozen males from the major branches of the documented family, and a few who could not be connected using traditional genealogical research. The original intent was to determine the genetic evidence that would support or refute the extensive research on the descendants of Thomas Linvill, seaman of Newhaven, Sussex (bc 1618) who second married (1648) Elizabeth Wickersham of Fletching, Sussex, acquired a small lot of manoral land, and died there in 1657.
As a result, the YDNA results (haplogroup R-Z156) supported the genetic relationship between the major branches of Thomas and Elizabeth's descendants and identified a number of Linvill(e) branches that appear to be the result of multiple marriages with wives bringing children into Linville households, informal adoptions, former slaves adopting the surname, and other non-paternity events. In the process, we also determined that there is no close genetic relationship between Thomas's descendants in North America and the Linfield/Lindfield/Linville families descended from other Sussex families still in Britain.
Anyone with the Linvill(e) surname in their ancestry (documentation, oral history, or circumstantial evidence) is welcome to join the project.