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Updated 31 January 2015

Very soon your project will undergo a major enhancement - it will "look different", but all the main options will remain in place although they will shift to a menu to the left hand side.

A totally new feature will be what is named an "Activity Feed". This will be totally closed to ONLY members of this project - nobody else is able to see anything that takes place.  That means all your files and information and photographs that you place in this new forum belong to you - you can alter, remove or add your own whenever you wish and be secure in the knowledge that ONLY fellow members can see same...  It will act a little similarly to a "Secret" facebook group.  But you will not be able to invite members to join in - any new member must first join the project.  (mtDNA;  Y-DNA;  atDNA makes no difference).

Updated 18 April 2014

Use the menu bar (including the drop-down menus) across the top of the project page to navigate to any page of the project website.

Surname DNA testing is the the best "add-on" tool available to genealogists!  The many advantages include:-

  • Surname tests (Y-DNA) enable genealogists to verify their father's father's...father's paternal ancestry.  (The molecular (aka genetic) ancestry overrides the surname ancestry).
  • Molecular ancestry information can be very powerful when combined with traditional paper trails and can uncover family secrets!
  • While a surname itself may give us incomplete or misleading or, at best, only general information about the origin of a family, DNA-testing can give us concrete evidence for identifying and separating family lines. Y-chromosome DNA testing is especially helpful because the male Y-chromosome is handed down, father to son, unchanged through the generations, except for rare mutations which, in themselves, can be helpful indicators of branching. The accessibility and affordability of family DNA testing is doubtless the greatest technical advance in the history of genealogical research because -- at long, long last -- we have a tool to break down those brick walls!

This project is keen for people from the United Kingdom, all the countries of Western Europe, Northern and Eastern Europe, the United States of America, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (and anywhere else I have missed when I considered the countries in which the surname exists...) to please join it.

Like all surname projects, this one is intent upon proving connections using DNA.  But it is NOT just surname ancestry.  It is molecular (or as some prefer it, genetic) ancestry.

The best articles I have found to date for understanding just what 'DNA' is and how the results of testing can help you with your genealogy.

Here is a hint for you if you have tested FF.

Once you (or anyone) joins a project, you can go to your FTDNA Home Page and hover your mouse over the FF Drop-down menu visible in the blue tool bar. Then select  "Advanced Matches" from that menu. Check FF and select whether you want to see your matches in either the full data base, or just in the specific projects that you have joined.

Because it is a pain switching from one window to another, I have three browsers, so that I can get the same person’s Home page up showing different reports for the same tester all at the same time.

If you are reading this, then it is assumed you are hunting for details about your ancestors and extending your knowledge about your particular line.

DNA testing will certainly aid you in a number of ways but you must still have a paper trail if you want to name that ancestor when you find you have a match! 
DNA testing will also inform you whether your paper trail is correct.  (My favourite 'hobby-horse' is to tell you not to rely on the work of someone else UNLESS they have supplied you with references to enable you to check these for yourself.  And please do check them).


In the 1850s two brothers arrived in New Zealand from Germany, via London where they had apparently been working for a few years. 

One was Johannes Georg (George) and the other was Johannes Frederich (John) RUDDENKLAU. 


It is from the German John and his Scottish wife Agnes Watt that the New Zealand branch of the family descends.  Their arrival was at two separate times in 1856 and 1857.  George had married in London where their only daughter was born but within a short time of their arrival in New Zealand, their only child died.


Prior to their English and thence to New Zealand travel, the direct paternal line has been traced back (on paper) toErsen to one Vester (Sylvester) RÖDENKLAU, B: 1649, Ersen, D: 1723 buried 11January 1732 at Ersen and married to Anna Gertrude ?? who was buried at Ersen, Germany on 20 June 1723.


We are told that there are no direct lines still left living, although there are still some RUDDENKLAUs living in the Niedermeiser (formerly Hesse Cassel) area of Germany. 


Are these and those who emigrated to America of the same lineage? Without Y-DNA testing, we may never know given that most of the records have been “lost”.  So if you are a RUDDENKLAU or suspect your earlier name was similar, then do please join this project.  It matters not whether you are male or female nor what test you have taken – DNA will have the final“say”.