TROUT-DNA Research Project - Goals


Vision Statement and Concept of Operations:
While each individual project member will establish their own personal research goals, our general group research goals include:

  • Initially use the least costly 12-marker comparisons of Y-chromosomes (Y-DNA) to help basically sort which, if any, TROUT-variant- surname lines are connected, as well as help prove our individual TROUT lines.
  • Contribute our Y-DNA test results to ySearch.org, a research web page designed to compare very large numbers of Y-DNA research results from multiple labs and universities, thus gaining the greatest number of potential Y-DNA comparisons possible, and thereby increasing the chances of perfect and near matches.
  • Seek out representatives from as many known TROUT-variant-surname family lines as possible to participate by submitting 12-marker Y-DNA tests, so as to widely expand the TROUT-variant-surname family sorting and line linking process. TROUT-variant-surname family lines from all countries, to include the USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany, are very welcome and warmly encouraged to participate.
  • On finding DNA matches of interest, consider upgrading to even more precise 25-marker and 37-marker Y-DNA tests to more accurately estimate the generation of your MRCA (most recent common ancestor). See FamilyTreeDNA FAQ for details and examples.
  • Also consider using test upgrades to establish very general deep ancestry geographical regions of origin (Y-DNA Haplogroups). Consider confirming predicted Haplogroups through SNP testing.
  • Some researchers will also want to test for mitochondrial-DNA (mtDNA) links to their various maternal lines, and are encouraged to do so. See FamilyTreeDNA FAQ for full explanation of mtDNA and mtDNA Haplogroups.
  • Through scholarly discussion of our early family information and research strategies, work in concert to advance the general knowledge of our early TROUT-variant-surname family lines in America and their ancestral countries of origin.


General Administrative Notes:
  • Our TROUT-DNA Research Project has selected "FamilyTreeDNA - Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd.” of Houston, Texas, as our primary testing resource. FamilyTreeDNA is currently the largest company providing DNA research for genealogy purposes, and offers the broadest range we could find for desired testing services and support resources. FamilyTreeDNA uses the widely-respected labs of the University of Arizona for all actual DNA testing. To date, we are very satisfied with FamilyTreeDNA's host services and exceptional responsiveness to our needs.
  • The TROUT-DNA Research Project is a volunteer administered, non-profit, DNA-focused genealogy "club" that has no dues, and we have no financial relationship with FamilyTreeDNA beyond the advantage of "group rates" when requesting DNA-testing through their associated lab facilities. Any fees are for lab testing costs only and the TROUT-DNA Research Project does not benefit in any way, beyond expanding the universe of available TROUT DNA tests and reference lines availible to compare and match with.
  • Each TROUT-DNA Research Project member is strongly encouraged to thoroughly read FamilyTreeDNA FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and related official FamilyTreeDNA reference materials, and only then develop your own personal goals and research expectations accordingly. As with all genealogical endeavors, individual family research accomplishments will vary.
  • All project members are encouraged to clearly identify your "Earliest Known TROUT-variant surname ancestor" by name, dates, location, and other descriptive data as appropriate. Any web links that will help other family researchers understand your family lines are encouraged. Edits, updates, or corrections are welcome at any time. Copyrighted or proprietary information should be labeled accordingly.
  • As always, all family research, to include DNA-based research, is a careful balance between sharing early family histories for research purposes, while also carefully protecting personal privacy for living persons. This is a genealogy project, and for this group endeavor to succeed, a reasonable sharing of early family history is encouraged so as to multiply our individual research effectiveness, but every project member should also be ever-sensitive to the personal privacy of living persons.
  • If a person contributes a portion of a DNA test kit processing fee or test markers upgrade lab fee, that person is also entitled to share in the results of that sponsored test.
  • In the event of a confirmed DNA match, the affected active participant will be presented with identity and address of the person with whom they match and vice versa. This match notice will be made directly by FamilyTreeDNA staff, while also notifying our volunteer Project Group Administrator (Craig Trout) for general reporting and tabulation purposes.
  • We will do our best to present test data in simple and generalized terms that are readily understood by novice DNA researchers, while also carefully respecting the personal privacy of living individuals.

Additional Reading on DNA research:
  • In addition to reviewing the FamilyTreeDNA FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), some researchers may also want to visit the FamilyTreeDNA Tutorials Links page which includes various topics, such as a basic "DNA - 101 tutorial, glossary, reading and comparing results," and similar useful titles.
  • Also note that Video and Books includes their recommendations for various DNA genealogy books and videos that might be of potential interest. I particularly like "Trace Your Roots with DNA : Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree," by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner. It is an easy read and makes DNA technical concepts very accessible for those of us who did not take high school biology and chemistry, but want to use this important tool in our family research.
  • DNA web site, book, or video recommendations from group members are warmly encouraged and will be posted here.
  • Also of potential interest, you may want to visit FamilyTreeDNA Forum.
  • For very general references, the FamilyTreeDNA home page is at FamilyTreeDNA.

Recommended DNA Groups, Societies, and Newsletters:
  • The TROUT-DNA Research Project is also a proud supporter of the National Geographic's "The Genographic Project." Our TROUT-DNA Research Project members can show their support for this truly fascinating worldwide DNA research project by uploading their DNA test data to the The Genographic Project for a nominal processing fee of only $15. See Genographic site for project details. For TROUT-DNA project members only, go to your data page and select the orange tab labeled "Genographic Project" to upload your existing TROUT DNA test results.
  • The TROTT One-Name Research Group (TONRG) has just recently established a TROTT Surname DNA Project for the names TROTT, TRATT, TREAT. While TONRG is also researching TROTT-variant surnames in England, they are very actively attempting to determine if any of their TROTT lines in Germany, Canada, USA, Australia or New Zealand also have connections to the TROTT lines in either England, Germany, or the USA. Barbara Jean "B.J." McNamara of Germantown, Tennessee, was recently appointed the North American representative for TONRG and would welcome any inquiries from TROUT researchers regarding TONRG or their new DNA website. TONRG offers many special resources for TROTT-variant surname researchers, and their annual dues are a very affordable $8 per year. Contact B.J. McNamara for additional information. Our TROUT-DNA Research Project members are reminded that you can join up to two DNA sites at no extra cost or effort, so you may wish to consider adding the TROTT-DNA research project as your second group. Contact Craig Trout for details.
  • Researchers desiring advanced information regarding DNA research are also encouraged to join the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) . Membership is free, and includes access to many informative DNA-related articles, interpretive tools, links and similar aids, as well as a very active Yahoo Forum on DNA-related issues. If you are a novice DNA researcher, they also include a special DNA-Newbie Yahoo Forum designed especially for you!
  • Recommended DNA-related research newsletters and journals include FamilyTreeDNA’s Facts & Genes, and the relatively new Journal of Genetic Genealogy.

Basic DNA Glossary:
  • Selected DNA terms of genealogical value only, see FamilyTreeDNA Tutorials Links for additional terms). (grouped by general concept)DYS - (DNA Y-chromosome Segment) A unique number designating (naming) a specific “marker” on the Y chromosome (e.g., DYS 393, DYS 385a, etc.), as established by international convention. Actual DYS numbers are assigned in the order discovered, not in the order of their relative sequence on the chromosome strand. Note the DYS numbers indicating the specific markers for which allele values were reported in your own Y-DNA test results. Allele - DYS marker value (as opposed to designator) reporting the number of STRs (short tandem repeats) for each marker locus (location). This is an oversimplified explanation; see FamilyTreeDNA Tutorials Links for more details. Note the alleles (values) reporting the number of repeats at your DYS markers in your DNA test results.
  • A novice genetic genealogy researcher needs only to initially understand that his/her allele values either exactly match or do not match that of another individual’s test results. Perfect or near-perfect matches indicate the two subject lines are directly related, descend from the same genetic stream (family line), and ultimately from the same common ancestor.Genetic Distance - The number of mutations (miscopies) explaining the net difference between one Haplotype and another.
  • In novice, over-simplified terms, Genetic Distance this is generally the sum total of all of the differences between your allele values (Haplotype) and that of the line you are comparing your values with. If you have a difference of 2 at DYS-459a and 1 at DYS-448, your “genetic distance” from that line would ordinarily be about “3." In actual practice, certain fast-moving (quickly mutating) markers may be “weighted” differently than slow moving markers, so there might be slight variations in the actual math in some cases. STR - (Short Tandem Repeats) Also known as Microsatellites, the repetitive stretches of short DNA sequences of two to six nitrogenous bases counted as unique repeat values (alleles) to trace an individual's genetic line. In your test results, alleles report the number of STRs for each of your markers. As an example, an allele of “13" reported for DYS-393 simply means that there were 13 short tandem repeats at that marker locus (location). Locus - (plural is "Loci") The relative “marker location” in a 12, 25, 37 or 67-marker Y-DNA test results panel. As an example, Locus #1 is always DYS 393, Locus #2 is always DYS 390, etc. These are the marker numbers 1-12, or 1-25, or 1-37, or 1-67 noted on your test results, depending on the level of testing you selected. Again to clarify, this is the relative test panel location only and does not represent the actual location on your Y-DNA strands. DNA sequences - DNA is made up of four nitrogenous bases: Adenine (A); Cytosine (C); Thymine (T); and Guanine (G). The specific order of these bases is called the DNA sequence (e.g., GATA, etc.). See FamilyTreeDNA Tutorials Links for diagram and detailed explanation. Also see STR. Haplotype - A given individual's Haplotype is formed by their exact pattern of STRs, plus other genetic markers. This is the Y-DNA signature for their ascending TROUT male line.
  • In very simple terms, your DNA test results panel is your family line Haplotype, which is common to every related male in your specific family line. If your are a TROUT male, your 4th great grandfather TROUT would have had the exact same DNA test panel that you have, unless you have a slight miscopy (mutation) that slipped in somewhere along the way. Haplogroup - (abbreviated "Hg") The very large but specific group of people who share exactly the same UEP (Unique Event Polymorphism) within their DNA, or that is to say, the extended family of peoples descending from the same common genetic deep ancestry (think thousands of years). Example Haplogroups from our TROUT-DNA project include Hg "R1b1b2" (Line #1 above) and my own Hg "I1" (Line #3 above). Also see UEP. UEP - (Unique Event Polymorphism) Various Y-DNA segments occasionally mutate (mis-copy) over hundreds of generations. The term UEP refers to a class of mutations in which the mutation rate is so extremely low, it is essentially a unique event, such as a SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism), and therefore making it very useful in exploring deep ancestry. Also see Haplogroup. SNP - (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) Pronounced "Snip," a small genetic variance (mutation) in the DNA sequence when a single nucleotide, such as an "A" replaces one of the other three nucleotides, C, G, or T. This event occurs so infrequently it is a primary method used to define Haplogroups, or that is to say, that very large group of peoples who descend from a common genetic ancestry. SNP tests are used to confirm a person's Haplogroup (deep ancestry). DNA - (DeoxyriboNucleac Acid) Double-stranded double-helix that encodes genetic information, composed of phosphate, dioxyribose, and the four nitrogenous bases, A, C, G, and T. Y-DNA - An individual has 23 pairs of chromosomes. The first 22 pairs (Autosomal DNA) are “coding pairs” that pass down detailed instructions for various traits (eye color, hair, etc.) from family generation to generation. The 23rd pair is “non-coding” and only determines the sex of the individual, by either pairing a XX (female) or XY (male). Our project -ONLY- considers this 23rd pair, and more specifically, the unique genetic markers on the Y-chromosome, as passed down from TROUT-variant surname males, father to son, for hundreds of generations. Females can also conduct Y-DNA testing by submitting a DNA test kit for a closely-related TROUT-variant surname male as her surrogate. It is important to understand that a TROUT birth name female only passes down the Y-DNA of her eventual husband, not her TROUT father. For this reason, a TROUT female breaks the TROUT Y-DNA chain, and must submit a closely related TROUT male Y-DNA sample in order to achieve useful results. Also see mtDNA.
The fact that Y-DNA is a “non-coding” pair means that it does not include instructions for any of your physical traits (beyond gender), and this is central to the concept that Y-DNA testing specifically does not involve any privacy or medical issues. As an analogy, think of it as being like your blood type, it only identifies you as a member of a “class” of people (male TROUT descendants), but Y-DNA cannot identify you as an individual person. mtDNA - (Mitochondrial DNA) The corollary of Y-DNA, mtDNA is passed down from a mother to all her children, or that is to say, is passed down from your mother's mother, and so forth, always along your maternal lines. Both males and females can conduct mtDNA testing. Our research project also provides for mtDNA testing.



Basic Genealogy Glossary:
(and selected genealogical computer terms) (alphabetical order)

  • Ahnentafel Report - The formal term for an ancestor-ordered genealogy report, or that is to say, an ascending genealogy report. (Also see Register Report below) 
  • GEDCOM - A standard file format for exchanging data between genealogy software programs. The acronym GEDCOM stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. Virtually all genealogy software programs have a facility for exporting and importing GEDCOM files, and this is one of the primary ways for skilled family researchers to exchange and compare their databases. (Also see "RTF" below). Always do a backup before performing a merge of an imported GEDCOM with your own database. 
  • Kinship Report - Table displaying relationship of all or selected names in your genealogy database and their specific civil and canon relationships to the key individual you have selected, such as your earliest ancestor, or even yourself. 
  • MRCA - (Most Recent Common Ancestor) That ancestor where two ascending research lines intersect or merge. Outline Descendant Report - Same concept as Register Report (below), but in minimal outline format displaying selected key data only. 
  • PDF - (Portable Document Format) The native file format for Adobe Systems' Acrobat software. PDFs compile documents into a locked image-like format that can be universally read and easily searched. While the advantages of PDFs is that they hold the original format and layout of the document (and prevent alterations), the disadvantage is that you cannot cut & paste from the text of a PDF without very sophisticated, expensive software. 
  • Pedigree - Same concept as Ahnentafel Report (above), but in minimal outline form, giving only the names and key data for direct ancestors. Many “family tree” diagrams are a form of pedigree reports. 
  • Presumptive Line - Relationship is highly likely based on sound genealogy research techniques, but has not yet been fully proven. 
  • Register Report - The formal term for a descendant-ordered genealogy report, or that is to say, a descending genealogy report. (Also see Ahnentafel Report above) 
  • RTF - (Rich Text Format) A universal text-sharing format that can be easily opened, read, and saved by virtually any word processing software, to include Microsoft WORD, Corel WordPerfect, etc. These word processing softwares also have utilities for very easily exporting text in this universal format. Most genealogy software, such as Family Tree Maker, also have utilities for easily exporting genealogy reports as RTF files. The use of RTF's is a very user-friendly method for exchanging genealogy reports and similar information between researchers (without needing to know what software they use), and is less technically challenging than using GEDCOMs. (Also see GEDCOM above.)