Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Hands up and mouths open wide for the great Fitz(-)Henry DNA study!

A lot of things have occurred since I last posted. Apart from a trip to Winchester and Ashtead to follow up on the leads about William, Barbara and Martha Fitz-Henry, the worldwide Fitz-Henry / Fitzhenry DNA study is now up and running.
Or rather taking a leisurely stroll, as so far there's only one participant (my Dad).

So what's the DNA study all about?

If you're male, the thing that makes you male is a Y chromosome. You inherit it from your father. If you're female, you get an X chromosome from your dad along with the X chromosome that you get from your Mum. In the patronymic manner of name giving, the surname goes from father to son along with the Y chromosome. It doesn't mutate very often so the same genetic fingerprint is passed on over many generations.

How does this help in creating an extended family tree and finding out whether different branches are linked?
If you're a Fitz(-)henry in the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland or where-ever, then you may have a common Fitz(-)henry ancestor with me in England. If you have are male, then you can take a DNA test to compare your Fitz(-)henry DNA to the DNA from my tree. If they are a close match, it is very likely that we have a male ancestor in common.

If you are interested in taking part, please take a look at the DNA project page at:

.. and if you want to discuss anything, there is a direct contact email address for me on there. There's no results on there at present as my dad's test is still being processed.

The study is being conducted through FamilyTreeDNA , a well respected genetics firm based in Texas which is hosting most of the DNA studies from Guild of One Name Studies. Unfortunately if you're a woman, you don't have the required Y chromosome (hence I had to test my dad), but you can badger one of your male Fitz(-)henry relatives to take part. If you have been considering getting tested but the price has put you off, there is a discount if you get tested through a One-Name Study.

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