Michael Cooley's Genetic Genealogy Blog GEN • GEN
7 May 2016

Basic Information for Members of the Cooley DNA Project

Many of you have matches only to surnames other than Cooley and are not grouped. There could be any number of reasons for the lack of Cooley matches: the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) might have lived prior to the time of the emergence of surnames and then families took different names, as is likely with the Hackett match in CF01. And there might have been a non-paternal event—adoption or illegitimacy.

If your matches appear to be dominated by a single surname, you can join that surname project. There you can see the results and determine whether the tester has had advanced Y-SNP testing. At minimum, you could then test individually for that SNP ($39 at FTDNA) and, perhaps, learn a little something about the degree of relationship.

Another good idea is to do Family Finder ($99), which finds matches to potential cousins from all sides of your family. Typically, that test is good going back to about five generations. Indeed, one person I know was found to match my father and was predicted, if I recall correctly, to be a second to third cousin. Thanks to that lead (and others), she was eventually able to identify her father. Remember, though, that the paternal line is only one of many. To find a match along that line may be relatively rare—my own Family Finder results include no Cooleys.

To join another surname project, do a search for the surname at the FTDNA home page. Click the "JOIN" button and log into your account. In many cases, your results will automatically be included. In some cases, the admins need first to review your request. Should you decide to do Family Family, log into your account and click on the blue "Upgrade" button on the top, right.