Stark Families DNA Project
  • 234 members

About us

This is the FamilyTreeDNA supported Stark Family Y-DNA Project web site

New Marker information is automatically posted to the DNA Results Charts as soon as it becomes available
[The text on this page was last updated on 01/29/2018.]

   Welcome to the Stark Family Y-DNA Project. My name is Clovis LaFleur, one of the volunteer Administrators of the Stark Family Y-DNA Project. Sheila Schmutz and Gwen Boyer Bjorkman are also volunteer Administrators of the project. Each of us have been Administrators for a number of years and have experience analyzing Y-DNA results  and Stark Family genealogy. If we can be of assistance explaining the Genetic results; or assist in your genealogical research, please let us know. If there are others who would like to become Volunteer Administrators of this Project, please let us know.

  Sheila Schmutz maintains a website with charts showing the Project Members Lines of Descent from their shared Stark ancestors.  Enter in your browser or click on to access that web page.

Who Can Join

Membership is restricted to Males with one of the above Project Surnames or a derivative. The male Y-chromosome is handed down from father to son relatively unchanged through the generations. A comparison of the Y-DNA of two males with the same surname can determine their relatedness to each other. Groups of males with the same surname so tested and compared can define family groups and establish a probability they have a most recent common ancestor within the time frame that surnames were adopted in Western Europe (about the 13th and 14th centuries).

Genealogical research combined with Y-DNA testing can often determine and verify a most recent common ancestor of a group of males who have been found to be related. Because subtle mutations will occur over the generations, some family branches can often (but not always) be defined or verified — provided the genealogy is known and accurate. As the genealogical research of these families is being developed, Y-DNA test can often assist in furthering and refining the direction of the research.

Those who have participated in the Stark Family Y-DNA Project have come from many different lines of descent. The Stark Family Y-DNA Project has clearly verified descendants  of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] of Connecticut are not related to descendants of Archibald Stark of New Hampshire (father of General John Stark of Revolutionary War Fame); James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia; nor Dr. Richard Starke of York County, Virginia. However, descendants of Archibald, James and Richard are related to each other; although the identity of their common ancestor is not known.

This is an example of the benefits of combining genealogical research with Y-DNA testing. Even if a person doesn’t know their ancestry, a Y-DNA test may reveal their relatedness to one or more of the participants in this project.

 The Plan

Because Family Tree DNA supports "surname projects," they have been selected to perform the Genealogical DNA testing and analysis.  FTDNA is one of the more prominent research firms in this field. The Houston, Texas based company was founded strictly for performing genealogical DNA testing and analysis. They work closely with Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona who is actively pursuing DNA surname research.

The project will compare these test results to the genealogical research to: determine relatedness; prepare reports; and define and separate the participants into family groups. These goals are best accomplished by individuals being tested over 25 (Kit Y-DNA12), 37 (Kit Y-DNA37) markers, 67 (Kit Y-DNA67) Markers, or 111 (Kit Y-DNA111)Markers . 12 (Kit Y-DNA12) marker test results are welcome; but our experience to date suggests the project objectives can best be achieved if new participants are tested beyond 12 DYS markers.

Y-DNA Test Kit

Blood test are not needed to provide a Y-DNA sample for testing. A cotton swab is provided in the Y-DNA Kit you receive from Family Tree  DNA. You swab the inside of your cheek per the kit instructions and return the kit to FTDNA. Click HERE for instructions on how to use your test kit.

A Word of Caution About Non-paternal Events

Be aware that your test results could have an unexpected outcome. Some comparisons may vary by two or three markers which could be representative of lines of descent that are either older or younger than the currently observed lineages. The most difficult unexpected outcomes to explain are those in which a participant is not related as expected. These are classified as unrecorded "non-paternal events." Types of non-paternal events could be; pregnancy outside a marriage; adoption; man takes the Stark name when he marries a Stark daughter; Stark man marries a pregnant woman whose husband died; wife who was a Stark chooses to give her children her surname; clerical errors assigning the surname Stark to the wrong person. These are a few examples of unrecorded non-paternal events.

Some may not want to see a result indicating a “non-paternal event” — but we are all legal Starks and a small sample size could be misleading. Therefore, remember, as more participants join the project along your line of descent, the mystery could be resolved; or you and others related to you will have defined a new Stark family group.

Test Kit Cost

By joining a FTDNA Surname Project, you  receive a price discount. There are also special prices available for upgrades of Y-DNA12 and Y-DNA25 kits to 25, 37, 67, or 111 DYS markers respectively. Check with the administrators if you desire to be tested over additional markers.

A History of the Stark Surname Over Genealogical Time

In Scotland, the family name is an old one. In the words of Sir George Mackenzie (1636-1691), a legend, then nearly 200 years old, proclaimed one origin of the name in Scotland.

"Stark, beareth azur, a chevron, argent, between three acorns in chief, or, and bull's head erased of ye 2nd base. Those of ye name are descended on one John Muirhead, 2nd son of ye Lord of Lachop, who at hunting in ye forest of Cumbernauld, one day seeing King James ye IV in hazard of his life by a bull hotly pursued by ye hounds stept in between ye King and ye bull, and gripping ye bull by ye horns and by his great strength almost tore ye head from it for which he was called Stark and his posteritie after him and bears ye rugged bull's head in their arms. Ye old sword of ye family has on it "Stark, alias Muirhead."

   The origins of the Stark surname in North America began with the arrival of Aaron Stark in New England between 1630 and 1637 —  his ancestral home in Europe not known with certainty. He was born about 1608 and died in 1685 in New London County, Connecticut. His service in the Pequot War under Captain John Mason in May of 1637, is the first record we have of him in Connecticut. He eventually settled in New London County, Connecticut in a region that later became Groton Township. Aaron Stark had three sons named Aaron Stark (Junior), John Stark, and William Stark (Senior). John Stark had no sons to whom he could have passed his surname and Y Chromosome. William Stark (Senior) and Aaron Stark (Junior) have numerous male descendants; many living today who carry the surname Stark.

   About 75 to 100 years after the arrival of Aaron Stark in Connecticut, three men with the surnames Stark and Starke arrived in New Hampshire and Virginia. Their names were Dr. Richard Starke of Virginia, James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia, and Archibald Stark of New Hampshire (the father of General John Stark of Revolutionary War fame). The genealogical research had not been able to determine if these three men were related. However, independent research of each has suggested their ancestral home could have been in or near Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland.

   As Stark pioneers began to move westward, descendants of the progenitors of these four early arrivals in North America became mixed in the records as they settled in the same regions. In some instances, some of the descendants of Aaron Stark began to spell their name "Starks." This occurred most often in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Northeastern New York where the descendants of Archibald lived. Some spelled the name Starke and were descendants of Dr. Richard Starke. About 1732, descendants of William Stark (Senior) — son of Aaron Stark — moved to New Jersey and later migrated into Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and later into Kentucky and Indiana. At about the same time, descendants of James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia moved into these same regions. As occurred in the Northeast, these families also became mixed in the records.

   In 1896, the Stark Family Association was created for the purpose of collecting and preserving the genealogy of the early arrivals to North America. From 1903 to 1952,  an annual yearbook was published by the Association on the activities and research of it's many members located throughout the United States and Canada. In 1927, Charles R. Stark compiled a genealogy based on the Association's research entitled; "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations of the Family of Aaron Stark of Groton, Connecticut." This publication recorded 2,171 descendants of Aaron. Today, the number of known descendants recorded has grown to approximately 15,000.

   In 2002, an excellent genealogy of the family of General John Stark entitled "The Family of General John Stark (1728-1822)," was published by Jane Stark Maney, which has a large compilation of the descendants of Archibald Stark. Another publication entitled "James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia and His Descendants" was compiled by Mary Kathryn Harris and Mary Iva Jean Jorgensen.

  Although there is a wealth of genealogical research available on these families, we do not as yet know with certainty, the location of Aaron Stark’s ancestral home. While the Genealogy suggests Dr. Richard Starke, James Stark, and Archibald Stark have their origins in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, documentation has not been found which positively records they were specific generational relatives sharing a common male ancestor with the surname Stark or Starke. Further more, many Aaron Stark family researchers believed they were related to General John Stark; or that Aaron was related to the New Hampshire families in Scotland.

Click on "Goals" to learn more about Y-DNA Genetic Analysis ad the Administrators method for placing Members in Various Groups that are presented in the DNA Results Colorized presentation of Members Y-DNA Results.