Shetland Islands DNA is a geographical project involving a Y - Chromosome surname study; and a newly added mitochondrial DNA (maternal line) project. *****IT IS ONLY OPEN TO THOSE WHO CAN SHOW WITH GENEALOGICAL RECORDS THAT THEIR ANCESTOR IN EITHER THE DIRECT PATERNAL OR MATERNAL LINE RESIDED IN SHETLAND in the 1800s or earlier (NO EXCEPTIONS)******. The ancestor should appear in the database for Shetland at http://www.bayanne.info/Shetland/. With respect to the first of these projects, the primary goal of the is to help individuals locate genetic cousins. Until the 1800s a patronymic naming system was common in the Shetlands among Norse families. Due to this practice, it would not be unusual in such an isolated part of the world for someone with the surname Williamson to find their closest Y chromosome matches in those with the surname Robertson. Normally we would ignore 12 / 12 marker matches if the surnames were different. This is not true of surnames originating in Shetland. The second goal of this geographical surname project is to shed light on the hypothesis that those with Scandinavian - type surnames such as Williamson, Anderson or Thomason will show DNA evidence of Viking DNA heritage (from the 800s).