Genetic Homeland map of surname origins in England and the United Kingdom

The English Mapping DNA Project

The English Mapping DNA Project is intended to support research on geographic origins and patterns of surnames and Y-DNA originating in England and Wales. The goal is that by comparing precise latitude and longitude origins of persons with similar Y-DNA signatures, their genetic homeland in the era of surname formation can be identified.

Although surnames have generally been passed patrilineally in England, their use has been flexible and often reflected apprenticeships and occupational characteristics of your ancestor.

In general, precise identification of geographic origin depends on two important factors:

  1. Having sufficient resolution in the DNA tests to indicate that the time-to-most-recent-common-ancestor (TMRCA) is 1,200 years or less.
    • Effectively that requires finding Y chromosome SNP matches at level 50 or greater on our DNA Ancestral Pedigree tool.
    • We recommend Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)'s Big Y-700 Test which includes both STR and SNP DNA markers with matching and matching maps.
  2. Having matches whose geographic origin are known with a degree of precision. Ideally this would mean finding and testing persons in England and Wales with a long geographical continuity. Failing that, persons with a good paper genealogy trail down to the parish level may provide geographical pointers.

Genetic Homeland Finder Tool

Comparing map plots of surname records of persons with genetic genealogy matches with tools like the Genetic Homeland Finder tool can show patterns that are not easily recognized in traditional genealogy records.

So if you are searching for WHERE in England and Wales your paternal ancestors came from, you've come to the right project. Take a look at your Y-STR matches and compare what is known about their geographic origins.

Static map image of plot of earliest known patrilineal ancestors from England and Wales for participants in the English Mapping DNA Project

Links for More Information