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About us

Welcome to the Parry DNA Project, which has been established to make use of the discoveries in the developing field of genetic genealogy to assist us with the research of this surname and its variants.

The surname is thought to originate in Wales, when the patronym “ap Harri”, meaning “son of Harry”, was taken up by families as a permanent surname and the “ap” attached itself to the name to become Parry. This process happened over a period of time, largely between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. With such an origin, it is clear there will be many separate family lines carrying the surname, all with different geographical origins. For reasons as yet unknown, there are concentrations of the surname across North Wales, and in the Welsh / English border area where Monmouthshire and Breconshire in Wales adjoin Herefordshire in England. The distribution of the surname is further complicated by the movement of people from their native Wales as, for some families, the name evolved into variant spellings such as Parrey, or Perry - surnames which might also have other origins.

The DNA Project is a worldwide project, which is being run in conjunction with the Parry one-name study, since the combination of the results from genetic genealogy with those of traditional family history research should prove more effective than either method alone. The significant research and information about the surname and associated family trees can be found at:

Our project is just getting started and welcomes all participants, so we encourage you to join today. Participating in the project is an opportunity to uncover information not provided in the paper records, which will help to guide your future family history research. We do expect to discover previously unknown relationships between families, as well as indicate which families are unrelated to each other. As the project progresses, the results for the various family trees will provide information about the evolution of the surname and help to establish which of the families now using variant spellings really did originate as Parrys.

In order to assist with the surname project, a Y DNA test is necessary. A small portion of the Y chromosome, which is found only in men, is passed from father to son, virtually unchanged. So this test tells you about your direct male line, which would be your father, his father, and back in time. You must be male to take this test, and you should have one of the surnames shown. However, if you believe there is a Parry or variant in your direct male line, even though you now have a different surname, you are also welcome to participate. If you are female, please find a male in your family tree to participate.

The test result contains no personal information – indeed, the fact that close male members of the same family will all have the same result is the very basis of its use for surname studies. The result is a string of numbers, relating to the markers tested, which can then be compared to the results from another male. By comparing the results, you can tell if the two men had a common ancestor, and approximately when the common ancestor occurred.

Y DNA tests are currently available for 12, 25, 37 or 67 markers - we encourage males to order a 37 marker test, if possible, since this increases the probability that matches are within a genealogical researchable time frame. If you order less markers, you can upgrade later, although this costs a little more.

It is possible to belong to multiple projects without additional cost so, if you have already had your DNA tested with Family Tree DNA as part of a geographical project or another surname project, but believe your direct male line was a Parry or variant from Wales, then you are welcome to join this project too. Simply click on the "Request to join this project" button at the top left, enter your kit number and password and your results will automatically be included in this project as well.

The availability of the Family Finder test makes it possible to discover connections to descendants of all of your ancestors from approximately five generations back (great, great grandparents). Whilst not as useful for the project as the Y-DNA test, because of the random nature of the passage of DNA, this test does enable both females, and males whose relevant ancestor is not in their direct male line, to take part in the project. Family Finder testees with a relevant surname in their more recent ancestry are therefore welcome to join the project.

Both males and females may also be interested in learning about their direct female line, which would be their mother, their mother's mother, and back in time. You would order a mtDNA test for this. For matches in a genealogical time frame, order the mtDNA Plus test.