We are using DNA matching to conduct three family studies to expand lineages where records are unavailable. Using sourced lineages and atDNA and yDNA results, to discover linkages among the progenitors, solve genealogical roadblocks; DNA-verify line; and extend ancestral lines. In every case the DNA results of the oldest generation in a family line will have the strongest DNA results, thus for example it is best if the study uses your parent's DNA results rather than yours.

The purpose of the Tarleton-Tarlton-Talton Study is to learn more about the ancestors and descendants of Joel Talton (c1794-c1846) and Joel Tarleton (1814-before 1875). This study has about 50 descendants and has been underway since June 2019.

The purpose of the Weathers-Withers Study is to learn more about the ancestors and descendants of John Weathers/Withers who was born about 1725 in Virginia and died in 1812 in NC. This study has about 75 descendants and has been underway since March 2018.

The Duke-Dukes Study evolved to focus on five lines in the southeast United States:

Based on your lineage and your DNA results comparison, we will know if you are on one of these five lines of descent. This study includes about 175 descendants and has been underway since November 2016.

First some background on our efforts and then step-by-step guidance on how to join our studies. Genetic genealogy is the application of DNA evidence to historical genealogy research. Our studies apply DNA results as evidence of descent based on identifying DNA shared by two or more individuals descended from the ancestors being studied. Our volunteer team leaders have the skills necessary to understand how to analyze DNA comparisons and to present DNA evidence as one of the sources supporting a genealogical tree.

 

Our work is based on the concepts identified by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy We use wikitree.com's 7 centimorgan (cM) threshold as a benchmark for confirming relationships. We post your triangulation matches on wikitree as we identify them and we encourage you to post your own matches for your siblings and near cousins using the Wikitree DNA Confirmation Guidance so your line can be fully DNA-verified.

The studies include anyone strongly matched to the study participants. However, DNA inheritance patterns are random. Some direct line descendants do not inherit DNA from a particular ancestor or do not share DNA they did inherit with a sibling or cousin and thus will not be helpful to our study which is based on cousin matching using both atDNA and yDNA results. So having multiple people from your extended family, especially the oldest members, join our effort is important for drawing relationship conclusions. Descendants of the study participant can be auxiliary members and receive study documentation as well.

A DNA study participant must have at least one ancestor with the surname of the study on their tree. Trees with significant gaps in recent generations could mislead us to assume that shared DNA matches are from a specific line when instead the match could be from another unidentified line.

Steps to Join Family DNA Study:

Phase One: complete atDNA testing with ancestryDNA, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA or 23andMe. Testing techniques vary by company between a cheek swab or collecting a small amount of saliva. For the best prices look for special day and holiday sales.

 

Phase Two: After your atDNA testing results are complete, upload your results on Gedmatch, a free DNA results repository site where people put their atDNA results to do statistical comparisons and draw genealogical conclusions, regardless of the testing company used. Click on Gedmatch Directions and follow the steps. Provide your gedmatch number to the email at the bottom of this page so we can compare your DNA results to that of other descendants.

For males with the surname of the study, if you have already completed yDNA testing we need your FTDNA kit number. It would be very helpful if males with the surname who have not yet tested would take a yDNA test with FTDNA up to the Y-111 marker test. It is expensive so its best to wait for a sale.

Phase Three: provide the following data for our study participant list:

  • gedmatch number
  • email address
  • link/URL for your online tree

We will next verify our understanding of your lineage with you.

Phase Four: add your direct lineage with spouses for the line studied to the tree we are building on wikitree.com using these Wikitree Directions. This page shows an example of a wikitree profile with attached sources and ancestors for Julia Dukes. The DNA section on the center left shows atDNA matching data from our study which we added; this is the only data we post online. The bottom left shows sources. The far right shows, by gedmatch number, descendants of this progenitor who are in our study.

Phase Five:

The study leaders will provide you and explain the importance of your atDNA comparison data, post significant DNA matches to your and your ancestors' wikitree profiles, and identify potential ancestral connections based on our study data. For the study duration, the leadership will provide guidance and expansive reports on an approximate basis via email. The study leaders volunteer their time to direct these studies, and we will solicit your support for study activities from time to time.

 

Experience shows we have study participants related to each other multiple ways. Based on comparing your DNA results we will also identify your matches which are not on the line being studied, which we exclude from our analyses.

PRIVACY. You need to read the privacy policies of your testing company, gedmatch.com, and wikitree.com. In particular, wikitree.com has numerous different privacy levels to address all needs. All of our study analysis, research and guidance is provided to you via email and/or phone conversations and not posted online, with the exception of posting your sigficant matches on wikitree to DNA-verify your lineage.

To improve our study success we ask that you actively encourage your family members and new-found cousins from gedmatch and your testing site to join our studies. Refer them to the Ancestor Projects on gedmatch where our studies are hosted. As a member of the study you can keep abreast of your matches in the study by doing your own report on our gedmatch study site at any time.

We encourage you to read some of the many blogs, websites and books that provide information about DNA comparisons; share your knowledge with us; and to ask us questions.

Ready to join? We need your gedmatch number, given and surname, email, existing tree URL/link, wikitree profile number. This data will be added to the contact list for the study participants. The dropdown menu under the DNA tab guides you on how to get a gedmatch number and a wikitree profile.