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FORREST SURNAME DNA PROJECT

A Forrest surname DNA project has been initiated due to the interest of several people with ties to this surname. Any person with a Forrest/Forest lineage (or some variant of this name) from anywhere in the world is welcome and encouraged to participate. Given here is a brief description of the project, as well as the procedures you should follow if you wish to participate. Further information about the DNA techniques as they apply to the current study can be found on Page 2.

Since markers on the Y-chromosome are being analyzed in this study, the DNA sample donor must be a male with a direct male Forrest lineage. Only males have the Y-chromosome and it is passed directly, virtually unchanged, from father to son, never to or from females. Thus, females interested in obtaining information about their Forrest lineage would need to recruit a male relative (father, brother, uncle, a male cousin, etc., from their direct Forrest line) to actually supply the sample for analysis. Sample collection is painless; it merely involves rubbing the inside of the cheek with a foam swab.

Initially, one of the goals of the project will be to define how many different Forrest lines there are and which ones can be traced to a common ancestor. Finding relationships among various Forrest lines is another of the main goals of this project. Since most of those with the Forrest surname are probably descended from ancestors who lived in Lowland Scotland, another goal will be to determine how closely related the Forrest families are to other families from Lowland Scotland that have different surnames.

The company that is doing the DNA analysis in this study is Family Tree DNA. As a member of our Forrest surname group, the usual cost for a 12 marker Y-chromosomal DNA test (Y-DNA12) by FTDNA is $99, for a 25 marker test (Y-DNA25) is $124, for a 37 marker test (Y-DNA37) is $149 and for a 67 marker test (Y-DNA67) is $239. In addition, there is a $4 postage charge for US residents and $6 for mailing the test kits to foreign addresses. If you initially obtain results for 12, 25 or 37 markers, you can (for a fee) upgrade to more markers at a later date without sending a new test sample since the company stores your original sample for several years. It is strongly recommended that participants in our DNA project choose at least the 37 marker test (Y-DNA37) because the 12 and 25 marker tests are frequently not definitive enough to make distinctions among different lines. However, if cost is not too much of a concern the 67 marker test (Y-DNA67) would be even better.

Each participant is given a personal page on the FTDNA web site where the participant’s test results, and comparisons of the results with others in the FTDNA database, can be viewed when the results become available (typically 4 to 6 weeks after FTDNA receives the test kits back in their facility). Most communication with participants is by email but FTDNA also eventually sends each participant a written report and certificate with that person’s results. From time to time a summary of the results obtained by all members of the group will be posted at this web site. Names of sample donors will not be used in the web reports; the results will be linked only to the earliest known Forrest ancestor of each participant. In this way the results become useful since it is by comparing the results of each participant with those of others that meaningful genealogical conclusions can be drawn. That is the reason that we request ancestor information after participants join the project.

Contact Person and Procedures for Participants to Follow

All communication concerning this DNA project should be directed to Gordon Hamilton who has volunteered to be the project coordinator and to oversee all aspects of the study. He can be reached by email (preferable method), by regular mail at 806 McCormick Ave, State College, PA 16801-6527, or by telephone at 814-238-5695. To initiate the process each potential participant should send to the coordinator the name, mailing address, telephone number and email address of the person who will be the sample donor and to whom the test kit should be sent. If someone else will be paying for the test then you should also also send the name, mailing address, telephone number and email address of the person to whom the invoice for the test should be sent. Unless you specify otherwise each new participant will be signed up for the 37 marker test.

When the foregoing information is received the coordinator will sign you up with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) as a participant in the Forrest DNA project. Within a few days you should receive from FTDNA a test kit, instructions on how to collect the DNA sample, and an invoice for the test. After collecting the DNA sample you should return the test kit and invoice with your payment directly to FTDNA.

Eventually each participant should also send to the coordinator a list (or a pedigree chart or Gedcom file) of your direct Forrest line back to your earliest known Forrest ancestor. This information is needed when the results are posted to the web summary. As indicated in the current results compilation, you will not be identified in web reports, only your earliest known Forrest ancestors will be associated with the results.

If you have any questions concerning the project that are not covered above do not hesitate to contact the coordinator.

Last updated February 2011