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Although more documentary evidence remains to be found, traditional genealogical research may never find all the connections between the various Underwood family groups. In addition, there are undoubtedly links that have been made that are not correct.The availability of Y chromosome analysis now provides a new way to determine direct male to male lineage, and this is the basis of this project.

This study may help answer these questions:

Q) How many different common male ancestors are associated with the Underwood surname?

Q) How are your Underwood ancestors related to other families with the Underwood surname?

Q) How are the different Underwood family lines related?

Q) Are all Underwoods from an ancestral country related, or are there many different families with the name Underwood?

Q)Which Underwood researchers should be collaborating because they share a common ancestor?

An analysis of the mutations in the Y-chromosome can also be used to estimate the "Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)" in terms of number of generations since the separation occurred.

If your Underwood research has hit a “stone wall”, DNA analysis could be the break through you have been looking for, to push your Underwood genealogy research back generations, by finding connections to other Underwood family Lines.


The Underwood DNA Project will collect data from Y-DNA tests on men with the Underwood surname (including all variant spellings). Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), one of the most prominent research firms in this field, has set up a "surname project" along with some admin tools for us to use. They work closely with Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona. Dr. Hammer is another highly respected geneticist who is actively pursuing DNA surname research. Prices fluctuate somewhat, but the pricing is approximately $150 for a 25-marker Y-DNA test. This is the test (25-marker Y-DNA) we'd suggest starting with. 12-marker just isn't enough data to really compare with others, and more than 25 is really only necessary when you get a match with someone and can't manually figure out how you're related. Once you have submitted a sample (it's a painless cheek swab) for the 25 marker test, you can always have them "upgrade" your data later to 37 markers or 69 markers without being retested.

The project member who acts as our coordinator with Family Tree DNA is:

Jim Bartlett
Underwood DNA Project Coordinator