This project was created when DAR began accepting Y-DNA evidence, effective January 1, 2014, in support of new member applications and supplemental applications. DNA evidence submitted along with other documentation will continue to be considered along with all of the other source documentation provided to prove heritage for one lineage link. Y-DNA will not be considered as stand-alone proof of linage because, while it can be used as a tool to point to a family, it cannot be used as absolute proof for an individual. For those applicants wishing to submit Y-DNA evidence as proof of lineage along with their other traditional proof documentation, they must submit Y-DNA test results from at least two test subjects following criteria outlined in the guidelines and test requirements for Using DNA Evidence for DAR Applications.
On April 13, 2016, the scope of the project was expanded to include collecting and studying all forms of DNA: Y-DNA, mtDNA and atDNA (autosomal); but the policy and procedures for the use of DNA with pending applications or supplemental applications remained the same as outlined above and only included Y-DNA for use with applications.
As of July 2020, the scope of the NSDAR DNA group project was expanded to allow the use of atDNA and mtDNA within the three most recent generations, in addition to Y-DNA to prove lineages on applications and supplemental applications.
Y-DNA still is the most attractive test for genealogical purposes because of the lack of complexity and its mutation rate. However, it must also be noted that Y-DNA is passed only through the male line, therefore, women applying for DAR membership using a male line will need to find appropriate male surrogates for whom the test results can be used to link the applicant to an ancestor and linage already completely verified by the DAR. The increased popularity of atDNA test and well as the development of analytical tools for all forms of DNA have broadened the specific types of situations in which DNA can be accepted by the DAR. The testing and reporting methods for the surrogate Y-DNA, atDNA and mtDNA test subjects, are outlined in documents that can be found at. Although there is a special autosomal test report, the documentation procedures are essentially the same as those used with Y-DNA
The DAR has accepted traditional paternity, maternity and siblingship tests of the type used by courts for over 20 years; these traditional tests are preferred over commercial autosomal tests. Like Y-DNA, the commercial autosomal tests can only be used as part of an analysis for one lineage link when traditional documentation such as adoption records do not exist or the records are sealed and cannot be reopened. Before considering the using of atDNA, the preparer of the application or supplemental application should refer the the adoption section of the Genealogy Guidelines on the member’s website. www.dar.org/DNA. Unlike Y-DNA, the use of autosomal DNA can only be used within the first 3 most recent generations. (The applicant, the applicant’s parents, and the applicant’s parents). MtDNA can only be used in combination with a Y-DNA or atDNA test. These changes in procedures will primarily benefit adoptees, children of adoptees, or those persons who discover that their biological parent (or grandparent) is not the one listed on their birth certificate or on their parent’s birth certificate. Use of any form of DNA is on a case by case basis and in rare cases, might be expanded based on the strength of the other documentation and test results.