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About us

The Southby DNA Project welcomes all participants. We encourage you to join today!

Our project is just getting started, and we expect to have many exciting discoveries.  

Participating is an opportunity to uncover information not provided in the paper records, which will help with your family history research. We will also discover which family trees are related.  As the project progresses, the results for the various family trees will provide information about the evolution of the surname.

The surnames in this DNA Project are researched as part of the Southby one-name study.  You can learn more about this significant research, and the associated family trees, by visiting the one-name study web site, or contacting the Project Administrator.

The Y DNA test tells you about your direct male line, which would be your father, his father, and back in time.  You must be male to take this test, and you should have one of the surnames shown.  If you believe there is a Southby or variant in your direct male line, although you have a different surname, you are also welcome to participate.  If you are female, you will need to find a direct line male in your family tree to participate and represent your tree.

We encourage males to order a Y-DNA test for 37 markers, if possible.  If you order less markers, you can upgrade later, though this costs a little more.

The results of the DNA tests contain no personal information, and you will match or be a close match to those to whom you are related.  This is an opportunity to learn more about your origins and ancestry.

We have also established a General Fund, to accept donations in any currency via credit card. These funds will be held at the testing company, and used to help sponsor test kits for those key males who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of participation in the project. We encourage you to make a donation. To make a donation please click on the link below "To donate to the general fund please click here". If you decide to donate, please specify "Southby Project General Fund" in the top box of the Donation form.

Join us in making discoveries - order your test kit today.  Click Join Request in the menu bar above.

The background is that I have been studying my familytree for more than forty years and expanded this into a one name study when I took early retirement in 2000.

The Southby surname is quite rare, with less than five hundred members worldwide. My research shows that, apart from those who either adopted the name or gained it through marriage, everyone with this name is descended from three individuals.

These are John Southby who died in Buckland on the Oxfordshire/Berkshire borders of the UK in about 1530, Richard Southby who died just three miles down the road in Hinton Waldrist in1572, and John Southby or Surby who died in Sevenoaks, Kent in 1782.

The proximity of Buckland and Hinton Waldrist and the information contained in a will show that these two individuals are related, although the identity of their common ancestor is unknown. Their descendants therefore form two branches of the Berkshire Southby line.

John Southby of Sevenoaks had six children, three of them baptised Southby and three Surby. The children used the two surnames almost interchangeably which has resulted in the members of the Kentish line of the family havng three branches. One, based mainly in the UK, uses Southby, another, also mainly inthe UK, uses Surbey, while the third, mainly in North America, uses Surby.

Extensive research has failed to find John’s origins although there is a Surby family in Hayes, Kent in the 1600’s and this name also occurs in some early records of the Berkshire line.

The “by”ending indicates a Scandinavian origin and Surby is believed to be the original Scandinavian name, with Southby being the Anglicised form.