Vance/Vans/Wentz Surname Y-DNA Project
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Please click here for the most current summary of how much we know about the tested members of the Vance/Vans/Wentz Y-DNA Surname Project.  

The table that will be presented breaks down the current information we know about each of the 16 sub-groups in the Project for major time periods in history.   For more detailed information about each subgroup, please see the Project's Results page.  

The time periods are:

Major Haplogroup:  Is the major Y-DNA haplogroup to which the particular Group belongs.  This generally identifies a group that is typically related by a common ancestor who lived earlier than 2000 BC.

Prehistory to Middle Ages:  This represents the time period from approximately 2000BC to 500AD.  Y-DNA cannot give us the names of our ancestors during this period, but it can show us how our male ancestors were connected in branches defined by SNP mutations.  These SNPs can often be assigned to major ancient culture migrations; while this is usually only at the level of major populations, it is greatly improved when SNP mutations have been found in ancient bones from archaeological digs. 

Early Middle Ages:  This represents the pre-surname time period from approximately 500AD to about 1200AD (really 1100-1300AD) when surnames came in to common use.   Typically in this time period traditional genealogical records are non-existent or of questionable pedigree, but Y-DNA testing can again show the branching relationships between ancestors even if their names are not known.  Since this period is outside the time of surnames, progress in this period is very dependent on finding matches of other surnames who connect with testers in the Project.

Time of Surnames:  In this period, defined as roughly 1200AD to 1700AD, Vance surnames were adopted in the countries of origin of the earliest ancestors of our Vance subgroups.  In a very few cases we know the names of these ancestors, but for most Project subgroups we rely on Y-DNA to show the ancestral branching from the subgroup's common ancestor down to the individual descendants who (in many cases) emigrated around 1700AD (give or take 100 years). 

North American Immigrant Origins:  Since the Vance/Vans/Wentz Y-DNA Surname Project is heavily made up of descendants of European immigrants into North America in the 1700s and 1800s, this time period covers the "crossing-the-pond" brick wall that typically stymies traditional genealogical research.  In many cases we can identify the country of origin for original immigrant ancestors of members in the subgroups even if their origin was not documented in traditional records.  

Firm Genealogical Period:  This covers the post-immigration period when descendant lines branched out across their new country.  In many cases much of what we know about this period comes not from Y-DNA but from traditional genealogical research, but Y-DNA has also been instrumental in connecting descendant branches who may have lost their earlier connections.