DNA testing is a new and exciting development for genealogical research. The Perry research project, as a surname project, is primarily concerned with testing the Y-DNA of members. There are, however, several different tests that can be taken and details of these are below. The Perry group was established at Family Tree DNA, although other testing companies are available and Perrys who have tested with another company are welcome to join our project. Taking a DNA test involves taking a swab from the cheek of a participant and sending it into the labs at FTDNA in Houston. Results are usually available in 8-10 weeks. The project admin team for the Perry project are all volunteers who have successfully used DNA testing themselves to help solve their family mysteries.
Once the yDNA test is complete, there are additional DNA tests that may provide supporting data for the Perry DNA genealogist. The main ones are autosomal DNA (atDNA) and advanced snp testing. Please note that there are separate Perry atDNA Project (Family Finder) and Perry mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA) Projects available for testers who wish to follow these routes.
The Family Finder test, by Family Tree DNA and 23andMe’s Relative Finder (see also the ancestry.com DNA test, though less comprehensive) all look at atDNA, which is passed down through all ancestral lines. Therefore it is possible to determine cousin relationships between descendants of the same ancestor, even where they have different surnames. As autosomal DNA gets passed down randomly through each parent, it isn’t possible to determine which line the common ancestor is from without further research. The test can prove a relationship between two people, but cannot disprove a relationship, as the common ancestor may be too many generations in the past for the two testers to share DNA.
Some people who have already atDNA tested have found it useful to upload their raw data to GEDmatch, where results from all testing companies can be compared.
Advanced snp testing is for the more experienced genetic genealogist, but can provide valuable additional information. An index to existing Haplogroup Projects can be found by clicking on the ‘join’ button under the Projects tab on your account page.