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About us

The Milligan/Milliken DNA Project is open to all families, of any spelling variation, and from all locations.  
(If your surname is not included please contact the Project Administrator.)   We will also accept persons whose DNA indicates they are a Milligan/Milliken, etc., regardless of surname.

This Milligan Family Project was started to:

  1. Help researchers from common or related families work together to find their shared heritage.
  2. Identify how the participant's families are connected, both genetically and through paper trails.
  3. Identify and confirm genetic Lineages of ancestral families.
  4. Ultimately catalog pedigrees and genetic connections of all of the known project families.


Participating in a Surname DNA Project provides:

  • The participant's genetic DNA, which is very close (and sometimes identical) to his earliest known ancestor.
  • The participant's "deep" ancestry (Haplogroup), which identifies the paternal ancestor's prehistoric origins.
  • A sense of camaraderie, which is particularly strong for those who share a genetic ancestry
  • Stimulation to family research and renewed sharing of information
  • A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realize how much we are a World Family.
  • A chance to compare your genetic ancestry with those of your Surname and the spelling variations
  • Your genetic matches who do not share your common surname


Forthose of you considering testing, either the 37 or 67 marker test is the ideallevel for starters.  Fewer markers willgive you a general idea, but the greatest variation is in the 26-37 markerrange.   If you have already tested atfewer markers, you should consider increasing to 37 markers.  Often people who appear to be related at 25markers will diverge at 37 markers.  There are also 67 marker and 111 marker tests available from FTDNA,either as a stand alone or as an upgrade. The additional markers in the 67 marker test are slower to mutate andcan help with matches, particularly if you have an unusually large number ofmutations in the first 37 markers. The additional markers in the 111 markertest are another combination of slow and fast mutating markers.  As we start finding closely related groups,one person from each group would usually be sufficient to test at the highermarker level.  If unusual mutations arefound, additional people could try the higher level.

Therehave been new developments in haplogroup studies.  New SNPs have been discovered and arecontinuing to be discovered.  There areseveral options for those who want to work on your haplogroup positioning.  There is Next Generation Sequencing,including FTDNA’s Big Y, that searches your Y chromosome for both known SNPsand variants that are unique to you.  Wehave been trying this with the two M222 subgroups and a few ungrouped membershave also tried it.  I would suggest thatyou contact me if you are thinking of trying the Big Y.   I wouldhave an idea of who has already ordered these tests as additional testing bysomewhat closely related people may not offer much, if any, benefit.  SNP packs have recently becomeavailable.  These determine your positionamong currently known SNPs, but do not identify SNPs that are unique totoy.  Single SNP testing is also possible. For suggestions, you can check with meor, if you are in a haplogroup project, with the administrator of that project.  


Other Projects

Thereare additional projects you can join.  Iencourage everyone to join the project for their haplogroup and/or itssubgroup.  There are also geographicprojects you can join.  Included amongthese are ones for Ireland, Ulster and Scotland.  It is interesting to compare your results toothers and joining the groups also helps people who may be conductingstudies.  For those of you who tested atFTDNA, there is a join projects button on your personal page.


Othertesting companies

Personswho have already tested their Y-DNA at companies other than FTDNA are encourage to transfer your results to FTDNA and take advantage of their offer toconvert to the equivalent of their 37 marker test.  There are some markers in that conversionpackage that are very useful to the project.  In the past we were able to manually enter results from other companies, but this has been discontinued for the foreseeable future. 


FamilyFinder and mtDNAtests

Wehave quite a few project members who are not in the direct male line of aMilligan/Milliken, but who have taken a Family Finder or mtDNA test.  We’re still trying to figure out how to bestmake use of this information, but I want you to know that you are welcome inthe project.  Some of the Y-DNA groupsthat look like there might be a common ancestor within 250 years or so maybenefit from the members adding a Family Finder test to see if it can predictthe cousinship level.  It’s not aguarantee, but it might be worth a try.