Y-DNA Studies

On the Home page of this site you'll see a Founders table, consisting principally of emigrants from old England known to have established a Brooks descendant line in New England by 1700, to whom are added several candidates. To learn more about these men and how they (and we, their descendants) might be interrelated, in 2006 we launched a privately organized Y-DNA testing project using the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) lab. Our project tests the comparative makeup of the Y-chromosome which is present in all males (and only in males). Participants to date have been 33 Brooks men who, on the basis of traditional ("paper") research, descend from one of seven particular founders. We've identified additional candidate descendants via the lab.

You can click HERE to view a PDF spreadsheet of our test results. (Click the ellipsis (three dots) in the upper R corner of the Dropbox window to download the file.) Then zoom the view to fit your monitor and viewing comfort. This spreadsheet may include candidate descendants who are not included in the more formal and restrictive charts available via the DNA Charts link.

To view a spreadsheet of the larger FTDNA Brooks Surname Project, which includes all their male customers of this surname, click HERE. To join FTDNA's Brooks Surname Project, administered by Nigel Brooks, click HERE. NOTE: If you are a descendant in one of the New England lines and plan to order a test, FIRST please read the text at the bottom of this page and contact ME before ordering.

Each link on this page will open a new page in your browser — you can tab back and forth between two or more pages.

DNA 101 — An Introduction

Web Sites

ESSENTIAL! — National Geographic's "The Genographic Projectprovides Y-DNA basics in three short (two minutes each) videos with no technical overload. These tutorials demonstrate overview concepts with easy-to-grasp analogies and props — a confidence-builder for those who are intimidated by science.

View the three tutorials in the righthand sidebar in the top-to-bottom order presented. Then, because they're so simplistic, view them again. Keep doing so until you understand and will remember the simple concepts they present.

As a matter of fact, do only this step, and also read the explanatory text boxed within the Brooks/New England results spreadsheet, and you'll have enough to understand your test results as well as the spreadsheet itself.

Blair Genealogy’s “DNA 101: Y-Chromosome Testing (plus his “DNA-102” and “DNA-103” followups) provides a more traditional introduction to DNA. Very well-written and illustrated for laymen; a smidgen more technical than the previous recommendation. For those who were comfortable in junior high school science classes.

Those who understand the basics, and want to follow DNA back into prehistory — a broader goal than our narrowly focused Brooks project has pursued — will want to visit the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG).

Finally, there’s a mutation phenomenon abbreviated as recLOH (for “recombinational loss of heterozygosity”) which figures prominently in the haplotypes (“genetic signatures”) of several of the Brooks lines tested to date. (See the columns colored in brick red in my Results spreadsheet for examples of suspected RecLOH.) Dr. Thomas Krahn, founder of DNA Fingerprint and now chief research scientist at FTDNA, offers an illustrated explanation of this phenomenon here. See also Wikipedia's RecLOH entry.


One and only one recommendation. Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner, Trace Your Roots with DNA, paperback, 272 pages, list $14.95.

Interested in joining us?

You'll need to be a Brooks male with an uninterrupted Brooks male line as far back as you have information. Our participants all jump in with FTDNA's Y-DNA67 test, so we avoid the "apples vs. oranges" problems that occur when a variety of tests from a variety of labs are compared. While there are many vendors offering DNA tests today, FTDNA has the largest customer base and remains the industry leader in advancing the science. We've been with them since 2006. Their Y-DNA67 kit is currently $268, but product sales throughout the year offer attractive discounts. If you qualify ancestrally, but cost is an obstacle, DON'T give up on the idea as unaffordable — write. We can probably assist financially, and are always looking for new participants.