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About us

The RUSSELL Project is a genealogical y-DNA surname project.  While a surname itself may give us incomplete, 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 occasional mutations which, in themselves, can be helpful indicators of branching. 

Genealogical DNA results are meaningless by themselves.  They only have value when compared to the results of others.  If your paper trails have run out and you've hit a "brick wall," DNA testing is the best (maybe only) way to break through that brick wall.  The accessibility and affordability of family DNA testing is doubtless one of the greatest technical advances in the history of genealogical research.

If you are a Russell male, you may join the RUSSELL Project and purchase your y-DNA test at the discounted Project price here.  Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) describes its y-DNA test here.

The RUSSELL Project, like all Projects hosted by FTDNA, is managed by volunteer administrators.  We receive no pay or benefits, other than the pure enjoyment of RUSSELL genetic genealogy!  We give priority to protecting your privacy and honoring your privacy choices.

Please also visit our Facebook page.

Other resources...

  • RUSSELL Patriarchs - A lineage abstract of y-DNA tested lines.  Please note that the Russell Patriarchs page previously hosted by is no longer published there.  We have saved the "Patriarchs" information and are considering various alternatives.
  • RUSSELL Progenitors - This invaluable body of research on the progenitors of early American Russell families was compiled by George Ely Russell, Jr, CG, FASG, FNGS (1927-2013).  The Progenitors pages are dedicated in his memory.  His children donated the majority of his genealogical holdings to The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. A number of George's important projects and special compilations will be digitized and presented there as a part of the George Ely Russell, Jr. Collection of The Genealogy Center.  George was an active participant in the Russell Project, and we are grateful for his contributions.

    The Progenitors List developed by George Ely Russell, Jr, includes founders of American Russell families who were married by 1850.  Some of the men may have been born in America, but as of yet, have unknown parentage.  Relationships between or among Russell men residing in the same locality, if not specified, should not be assumed.  Detailed and fully-documented typewritten accounts are available at The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library for each progenitor and his known Russell descendants to 1850.  To learn more, contact the Genealogy Center Manager at   (Please click on links below to view Progenitors pages)


Pages 1-2 (A-G)

Pages 3-4 (G-J)

Pages 5-6 (J-M)

Pages 7-8 (M-T)

Pages 9-10 (U-Z)