• 897 members

About us

This project is for those who want to, once and for all, put to bed the family lore that you are related to the family from Ross Castle in Kerry Ireland; the original Ross clan chieftain Fearchar Mac-an-T-Saigart of Balnagowan Castle, Scotland; the Antarctic explorers Sir James Clark Ross and Sir John Ross; John Ross, husband of US flag maker, Betsy Ross (or to John's uncle George Ross who signed the Declaration of Independence); or to Cherokee Chief John Ross (or other famous / infamous people)…DNA testing is the way.

The project uses advanced DNA analysis to determine whether families share a common ancestor.  The male chromosome is passed down virtually unchanged from father to son.  So, two male Ross 7th cousins would have virtually the same male DNA pattern.  This scientific fact is useful in genealogy when one does not have documentary records to show a family connection despite circumstantial evidence that suggest a family connection.  If the DNA of the descendants of the branches one is trying to connect do not have the same DNA pattern, then one knows they are not closely related.  If the pattern does match, then there is a common ancestor at some point in the past lineage.  The technology can’t pinpoint how many generations back the ancestor is, but it can tell us if there is a common ancestor.

Participants joining the project are sent a lab kit in the mail.  The kit includes a “Q” tip or toothbrush type of instrument that one rubs along the inside of one’s cheek with for 30 to 60 seconds.  Then the swab is placed in an envelope and mailed to the lab.  That’s all it takes.

Within 6 to 8 weeks, results are available for the sample submitted.  When enough samples are collected to make comparisons between branches of the family, a summary sheet will be supplied to each participant indicating which branches were shown to have a common ancestor.

Ross members who already have Family Tree YDNA test results or wish to order initial testing at discounted Group Rates are encouraged to order the test on the project order page:

If you would like to make a contribution to the Ross DNA Project General Fund, please click here:

If you would like to chat with other Ross researchers, there is a FaceBook group at:

It is run by volunteers very knowledgeable about Ross history.