Woody DNA Project
(Including Wooddy, Woodey, Woodie, Woode, deWoody, etc.)

DNA Helix

Created: June, 2007

 

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                The computer, the internet and the world wide web have revolutionized genealogy and family history research. These inventions provide tools that earlier generations of researchers never even dreamed about. The discovery of DNA and the widespread use of DNA testing and analysis have provided the modern family historian with yet another powerful research tool: however, the genealogical significance of the result of any type (yDNA, mtDNA, atDNA, xDNA) of individual DNA test is almost meaningless by itself: This result must be compared with other individual's DNA results to be useful. The Woody DNA Project was created in June, 2007 to provide a place where individual yDNA results and lineages can be organized, posted and compared with other results. A father's yDNA (sex chromosome) is passed to his son and this process repeats from generation to generation forever. Usually the father also passes his surname to his son, so yDNA is used as the basis for almost all DNA surname projects. The easily understood results of yDNA testing and this project help Woody genealogists and family historians identify and/or verify their paternal ancestry (father's father) in a quick and easy way. This saves time, prevents mistakes, and provides invaluable data that can be obtained in no other way. Click here for a more detailed discussion of the benefits and limitations of yDNA testing and analysis.
                Another very popular DNA test that can be purchased from Ancestry, FTDNA, 23andMe and others is based on autosomal DNA (atDNA). This paragraph is directed at those who have previously purchased an atDNA and are contemplating the purchase of a yDNA test.
In our instant society, we seem to want everything now and shows like Finding Your Roots, Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think Your Are? often leave some with the impression that they can completely map out a lineage in a matter of hours. This impression is reinforced by an almost constant flow of hyperbolic media advertisements, so much so that the hobby has become a fad. In particular, the website of one atDNA kit seller has many of the aspects of Facebook and popular dating sites such as Match. If you have found your way to the Woody DNA Project page, you have probably realized that this hype is just that. Looking closely at others "research" can help, but this information should only be a clue/hint for you. Even printed media from the past is suspect. Long before the advent of DNA testing, around the 1st anniversary of the American revolution, the genealogy fad hit the USA with  a vengeance.  During the late 19th and early 20th century blatant fraud occurred. While more than a few "professional" genealogists were involved, Gustave Anjou and Frederick A. Virkus were among the worst. Both preyed on the pretensions of Americans. Anjou specialized in the wealthy looking for connections to royalty, while Virkus mainly invented lineages for societies such as the DAR, SAR, GAR, SCV,  Mayflower, Jamestowne, etc. applicants. The Virkus story is especially troubling since he actually did legitimate research, but when he became the least bit stymied, he just resorted to forgery. In the early days of most of these types of organizations, the applicants fee was much more important than the facts, especially if the application was supported by a well known professional like Virkus; however, the applicant did not necessarily need the scammers help since the applications were virtually unscrutinized. Most of these organizations take their roles more seriously now, but the older applications are filled with fantasy and should be only be used as as hints or clues. What is much worse is that Virkus was the editor of many volumes of The Compendium of American Genealogy, a standard reference found online and in many libraries. Virkus sprinkled his forgeries in to these volumes, along with his legitimate research. The Woody, etc. surname will probably not be found in these references, but the situation serves a warning to those who might accept any person's supposed "research" at face value.
                At one time, this page included a very long discussion of the usefulness of the various types of DNA testing.  As mentioned above, we have come to believe that DNA test kits are very often impulse buys, with almost no thought given to their usefulness. We also believe that anyone really interested in the usefulness of the various DNA tests can easily find this information online.

                Make no mistake: atDNA testing does not replace yDNA testing. yDNA testing provides the surest and most efficient method for Woody males to discover and/or confirm their Woody family ancestry. Female Woodys can benefit by encouraging a close male relative to take the yDNA test. The test also makes a great gift for a male with an interest in his heritage. To find relatives that theoretically might help in solving nearer term family history situations, both male and female Woodys, as well as, close relatives of Woodys can utilize an autosomal DNA (atDNA) test; however, this test should be preceded by or used in conjunction with yDNA testing.

                Our project line leaders provide research assistance to novice family historians. Along the way, we have also helped several folks extend their known lineages, some significantly. We have focused others on the best locations to continue their research.

                     The Goals of the Woody DNA Project are to:

            1. Help researchers of all Woody families work together to find their common heritage. We do this by posting the abbreviated lineages that our project participants and other Woody descendants send us. This feature links yDNA results to specific lineages and is an integral part of our project. In our opinion, a DNA project that does not include such a feature provides very little research value. To view these lineages, click on the Patriarchs link above. We do not post any information about people born less than 100 years ago. To add your lineage to these pedigrees, just email a Project Administrator your abbreviated pedigree. If you would like your name and/or your email to be displayed, please tell us. You do not have to be a DNA test participant to add your family pedigree.

            2. Identify the DNA of the ancestor families and compile them and their branches into distinct genetic lineages through DNA analysis and matches. DNA analysis is used to determine the common ancestors of different branches of related Woodys. This analysis is also useful in extending Woody lines that have reached a "dead end" utilizing conventional research. Unless a participant asks to be identified, the Woody DNA Project does not post the name of any member; only their yDNA results and the patriarch of their line. The different lines are grouped by patriarch. Click on the Results link above to see our progress.

                      Project Successes - DNA analysis has shown that:

            1. Our Woody men make up at least four completely unrelated lineages (families with separate ancestors). Three of these lines have deep ancestral roots in Western Europe; the other in Scandinavia.

            2. Virtually all of the descendants tested, with ancestors from the Piedmont and Blue Ridge regions of Virginia, share a common ancestor.

            3. "Dead end" pedigrees can be connected to a known lineage. Because a lineage connection provides a family and locality to focus on, most of these these pedigrees have been extended, some very significantly.

                The project is open to any male Woody or man believing that he is the son of a Woody male. yDNA is passed from father to son, but not from father to daughter. So any line that includes a female link cannot be proven or disproven using yDNA. Female Woody descendants can help by strongly encouraging their male Woody relatives to join the project. To-date, all of the project participants have come from the USA, but we hope that Woodys from all over the world will join us.      

                For those of you that are interested in your heritage, but cannot actively participate in the project, the Woody DNA Project General Fund provides an alternative method of support.  The Project Administrator and Line Leaders use contributions made to this fund to share testing costs with those individuals having limited means.

                Although the Woody DNA Project accepts DNA results obtained from any testing company, the preferred DNA testing company for the project is Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).  FTDNA has detailed information on DNA and DNA testing. A yDNA test ordered from FTDNA, as part of this project, receives a substantial discount. The Woody DNA Project has no financial interest in Family Tree DNA and the project administrators and line leaders receive nothing but satisfaction for their volunteer efforts. The total testing fee goes to the testing company.

       

Click here to join the Woody DNA Project and order a DNA test.

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Dave Richards - Project Administrator & Line Leader [richardj AT gmail.com]

Dave Woody - Project Line Leader [woodydna AT live.com]

Revised Jan 6, 2019