Because so many family associations are participating in DNA projects, I decided I should learn more about the information this testing could provide.?

How would this information help me with my genealogical research studies? The family associations want to test males with the applicable surname and do not want to test the female members.

There is a reason for this, and for a better understanding I took the "DNA 101" class on my Blair Family Web site,

The fact that we each have 23 sets of chromosomes was not new to me. Most of our 22 chromosomes are alike with one set from our father and one from our mother. The 23rd set determines our gender -- XY for male and XX for female.

Because the Blair Family Association is researching the surname, they use the Y-DNA testing. We pass down this DNA from father to son and provide a direct line of descent. Most of the time the DNA from father to son is an exact reproduction (markers are identical); mutation is possible but rare.

This testing does not tell one who their ancestor is, but when matched with the results of others it can show they all have a common ancestor. Tests are evaluated by markers that can be genes or other factors.

An example given was one researcher had traced his family back to Scotland through Vermont and another researcher's family was in Vermont but they could not make a connection.?

With the Y-DNA test they matched all 25 markers that showed they had a common ancestor.?Because one researcher had traced the family back to Scotland, they could decide which ancestor the two had in common.

One company that provides the DNA testing is The FamilyTree DNA. There is a family search capability at their Web site,, that lists how many people have taken part in the testing of applicable surnames.?

I searched for several of my surnames and found a DNA testing of my Hatt surname. They listed an e-mail address for the England-based group.

They set up this testing to help find connections between the members of the Hatt Family History Society.?They have 90 members and invited new members to join their group.?They publish a quarterly with information about family genealogy. Not everyone in the group has the Hatt surname, but they descend from the Hatt family. They provided an e-mail address and I wrote to learn more about the Hatts in England.

I received a reply from Judith who tells me the Hatt Family History Society is based in England but covers the surname anywhere.?Brian Hatt runs the society and sends out a small journal every quarter.?

The journal allows members to send in their trees and exchange information with each other, with e-mail being an excellent way to keep in touch with people from other countries.?Brian Hatt also had a large database of Hatt information.?

Judith, who is the administrator, got a second cousin to take the DNA test (since they only test males) and upon taking a haplogroup test they told them the ancient origin of their line was in Europe in the Viking areas.?

She did share that they have not decided the origin of the name, but in England Hatt meant a hill, so the name could have originated anywhere that had a hill.?They have members from Denmark and the United States.?One U.S. member is going to take the DNA test and had traced their Hatt family back to Wiltshire in England.?

Judith lives in Berkshire, but was born in London.?They pronounce the name like the clothing worn on your head -- hat.?I can join the group but I cannot participate in the DNA study unless I can find a male Hatt cousin.

There is some testing females can participate in called mitochondria (mtDNA tests), which test the female and the female lineage of males. These results are placed in a database and, when some of them match, they notify the individual tested providing they signed a release form.?

These tests will identify your ethnic and geographic origins, recent and distant for your maternal line.?It will show Native-American ancestry and which of the five major groups (settling in America) you descent from.?It can show your ethnic origins, known as branches.?These tests cost from $129 to $895.?Most of the family associations project charge a fee of $99 for the Y-DNA test.?

Maybe I can get my brother to participate in a DNA test for our Scott family.?My maternal uncle would be a good connection for my Simmons line. My research has been slow on both of those lines, as?they have?only been proven back to our?great-great-great-grandfathers.

These DNA tests are not the easiest system to understand, but with a little study I can now listen to an expert's presentation and have a better understanding of what he or she is trying to tell me.?

Several members of one of my lineage societies discussed this test this week, and there was one lady in the group who had participated in one of the tests.?We will see more participation as researchers learn it can help solve genealogical problems.

CCGS meeting: The Cleveland County Genealogical Society's (CCGS) meets 7 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Conference Room near the CCGS Library, 1119 E. Main St. in Norman. Speaker Dr. Billy L. Crynes' presentation will be "Outhouses: A Passing Americana," and will include "phew" pictures and a poem. This will be a light, lively presentation about the history and some facts about outhouses in America.?

For additional information, call the CCGS Library at 701-2100 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday or e-mail at The CCGS Web site is www.roots Visitors are always welcome to attend the meeting.

When sending in queries or sharing information write to: Relatively Speaking, P.O. Drawer 1058, Norman OK 73070, or e-mail Darlene Shawn at

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