Turner DNA Project- Background





Now, for the first time in history, genealogists are able to determine scientifically if a male of their line is related to any other male of the same surname.  Thus, DNA is a perfect companion to conventional research in order to confirm lineage.

There are a wide variety of applications for Y-DNA testing.  Y-DNA testing can be used to confirm the paper genealogical research for your family tree.  It can determine which family trees with the same or variant surnames are related and can provide clues to help you with your genealogy research.  It can help eliminate lines to which your own can not be related--always a help on a common surname.  These are just a few of the applications for Y-DNA testing.


Only males have a Y-chromosome.  This Y-chromosome is known to be transmitted from father to son virtually unchanged at conception.  Testing the Y-chromosome provides information about the direct male line (the surname line), meaning the father to his father to his grandfather and so on.  Specific locations tested on the Y-chromosome are called "DYS markers."  Occasionally a mutation occurs at one of the markers on the Y-chromosome at a conception.  A mutation is simply a small change in the DNA sequence--sometimes called copying error.  They are natural occurrences and take place at random though infrequent intervals.  Overall, they are estimated to occur once every 500 years per marker.  Thus mutations can be valuable in identifying branches of a family tree.

Each marker has a name assigned to it by the scientific community, such as DYS#391, DYS#439 or GATA H4, etc.  The scientists classify these markers as Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) because at each of these marker locations a short DNA code repeats itself.  The value reported for a marker is the number of times the code repeats at that location and is called the "allele value."  As an example, the number of repeats that one male might have on DYS#391 could be 12 repeats.  Another male might have 15 repeats on that same DYS#391.  The number of markers (DYS numbers) tested depends on the test ordered--12 markers, 25 markers, 37 markers or 67 markers.  The result will be a string of values at each DYS marker tested that produces what is called a haplotype or DNA signature for the person testing.  We would then be able to tell that two males of the same surname with matching DNA "haplotypes" or DNA signatures likely share a common male ancestor at some point in the past.  The closer the matches, the more recent in time the common ancestor is predicted to be.  Too many mismatches and we know those two males are not apt to share a common ancestor.

The haplotype of STR values can usually predict the "haplogroup" to which a person belongs which points to deep ethnic origins.  Two people who do not share the same haplogroup will never be related.  A predicted haplogroup can be confirmed by a different type of test to determine the presence of absence of specific SNPs.


A surname project is a project which is established to test and compare those with a common surname or variants of that surname.  The project has a leader known as the Group Administrator.  This person collects the lineage outlines of the members so we know what family lines are being documented, assists members with understanding their results, typically interprets the results for the group, and may publish for the groups benefit this information on a website either through Family Tree DNA's website or on another off-line website they maintain.  They get no monetary compensation for their role so they can give unbiased recommendations on the test that would best benefit the person desiring to be part of the project.

Because the Y-chromosome is ONLY found in men, those who take the Y-DNA test MUST be a male of the surname Turner to be part of this project.  For females who are interested in the Y-DNA result for their surname or family tree, a close male Turner would need to provide the sample.  There is a Family Finder test that a female who has a Turner line may take but it does not directly compare with male Turners for the surname project purposes.  Likewise, mtDNA tests which test for the person's direct maternal line are not part of our Turner surname project.  The mtDNA tests are not as useful in genealogy and are mostly for anthropological interest.



Click on the following secure link to purchase a test kit for a male Turner to do the Y-DNA test.  The Y-DNA37 marker test is the standard test to be a member of the project.  Other tests are available but are not required.  Be sure you understand what other tests will tell you before investing in them.  Several are of little help in terms of genealogy and are more for understanding your deep ancestral origins.  The current reduced group price for the Y-DNA37 marker male line test is $149 plus $12.95 Domestic Shipping & Handling (updated shipping as of 2016; includes return postage).  If you experience any problems, please contact me. 



Ancestor lists submitted by the project members for each of the kits are located under the toolbar tab "About the Group" and down arrow "Results."   Please read the guidelines for using the ancestor lists.  Ancestor lists are to be emailed directly to me as the group administrator of the project at the above email address so I can add those to our lineage outlines.  No information on living people is included so be sure I can tell who those may be in your lineage and I will substitute the word "Living."  Mother's of testees are also not included even if deceased.    Kits on the Y-DNA results chart are included by ancestor name--NOT by testee name for privacy. 

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