• 243 members

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. 

Patrilineal Line

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!

The original RUSSELL DNA Project website was created and is still hosted on  It contains a wealth information on Russell genealogy, as well as Russell y-DNA lineages and y-DNA information, such as....

  • RUSSELL Patriarchs - A lineage abstract of y-DNA tested lines.  (Click image below to visit Patriarchs page.)
     Russell Project Patriarchs

  • RUSSELL Progenitors - This invaluable body of research on the progenitors of Colonial American Russell families was compiled by George Ely Russell, Jr, CG, FASG, FNGS (1927-2013).  The Progenitors Page is 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.  (Click image below to visit Progenitors page)
     Russell Progenitors

  • RUSSELL y-DNA Results - This page displays y-DNA results for Russell Project members and assigns members to their appropriate lineages.  Testers names are not displayed, rather results are posted by kit number and name of Most Distant Known Ancestor (MDKA). includes these helpful pointers for understanding what your results mean(Click image below to visit y-Results page.)
     Russell Project y-DNA Results
  • Haplogroup - Results are grouped by Haplogroup.
  • Lineage - Men who match at least 23/25, 33/37, 62/67, or 100/111 are grouped within the same Lineage.
  • Possibly same Lineage - Men who match a Lineage closely enough at 12 markers are considered possible matches to that Lineage.  Twelve markers are simply not enough to be sure that there is a shared common ancestor, but the possibility definitely exists.  In addition, men who are just outside the range to be considered part of a particular Lineage may be categorized here because it's possible that if they upgraded to more markers, they would match.
  • No match yet in the Project - Members who don't match anyone else in the Russell Project are grouped here.  In time, as more men test, they may be assigned a new Lineage within their Haplogroup.
  • Mutation color coding - Color coding is used to mark the mutations (differences) from each Haplogroup profile.  The color-coding chart is below:  (Click image of chart below to visit page on understanding your results.)

    Color Coding chart