Y-DNA Project

Welcome to the Medford SURNAME DNA PROJECT (last updated March 6, 2011)

NOTE: To join this project, go to: Medford Surname Y-DNA Project Registration at FTDNA. The test results are listed here.

Update March 6, 2011: Our 4th test results are in!


This Surname project is for persons named Medford, Midford, Mitford etc. Our first goal is to determine if descendants of several early immigrants to America named Medford, Midford or Mitford etc. have a common ancestor. We seek participants who descend from different emigrants from England and Ireland who came to America and originally settled in Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas before their descendants became pioneers throughout the United States. 

Purpose of Project

The purpose of the Medford Surname DNA Project is to perform Y chromosome DNA tests on a sampling of men with the "Medford" surname (includes all variants), to calculate the Most Recent Common Ancestor for those surnames with a significant marker match, and to create a report describing the results. The report will then be available to all Medford researchers and descendants.

About DNA Tests

Since the Y chromosome is only found in men, only males can take the Y-DNA test.  Each male participant will provide a mouth swab sample to be analyzed by a competent DNA laboratory like Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). This sampling technique is painless and only involves the use of a swab to collect a small amount of cells from the inside of a person's cheek. The participant administers the test in the privacy of his own home. A standard swab kit is provided from FTDNA. Each test kit consists of three cheek scrapers and three holding containers for shipping. The reason for three of each is to ensure a good collection of cheek cells for analyzing from at least one of the collection samples. Instructions generally insist that we use both. We need 2 males from each Medford Line to provide samples.

Each participant will be required to sign a waiver/release and consent form/letter of authorization allowing me to see all test results.  This is a necessary part of administering this Surname DNA project.  Your DNA results are meaningless by itself but are priceless when compared with the results of others related to you.  

The Analysis

After all samples are collected, takes about 5-6 weeks. All Medford descendants need to be aware that we are looking for lines of males genetically unbroken by adoption, illegitimacy, etc. I certainly do not mean to offend anyone, but if we test a non-Medford (or variant spelling), it will be a waste of time and resources. Be certain that each participant comes from a long line of heredity. If the results show "false paternity", meaning that the participant does not have Medford Y-DNA (or variant surname spelling), then the participant will be informed discretely.  Usually your results can be matched up with another surname in the FTDNA database.

Medford Lines to be Tested

Please view the Medford Lines link to see the lines that we have identified for testing. This list is by no means complete.  Right now we have lines for many of the southern Medfords.  We are hoping to get in touch with a Maryland researcher that will help us identify the Maryland lines that need to be researched.  If you do not know which Medford line you fall under please email me your ancestry going back at least 4 generations if possible. 


Here is the pricing for the DNA test kits.  We are recommending that you at least order the 25 marker kit. The 12 marker kit will tell us if there is a relation or not, but might not be useful in identifying particular Medford line variances.  If you can only afford the 12 marker test you can order it and then upgrade to the 25 marker later without having to reorder a test kit.

12 marker Y-DNA* test $99 + postage

12 to 25 Marker Upgrade $49
12 to 37 Marker Upgrade $99
12 to 67 Marker Upgrade $189

25 Marker Y-DNA* test $148 + postage (lowest recommended test)
25 to 37 Marker Upgrade $49
25 to 67 Marker Upgrade $148

37 Marker Y-DNA* test $189 + postage
37 to 67 Marker Upgrade $99

67 Marker Y-DNA* test $269 + postage

*Archival storage of your DNA for 25 years is included with all FTDNA tests.

Click here to order your kit!

Project Capitalization

The only issues preventing this project from instantly moving forward are money and participants.  It is hoped that many of the participants will feel that this project is sufficiently important to Medford surname research that they will be willing to pay the cost of the analysis of their own sample. 

If you are able to contribute to the Medford Y-DNA Project General Fund, you can do so here.

Project Results

As the results come in they will be posted here for all visitors and the participants of the program to view. The participants will not be identified by name unless they want to be. The DNA participants will receive more detailed messages and reports as the project progresses.


First of all, you should know that no medical tests are being run on your samples, therefore, there really is no privacy issue. However, your privacy is of concern to me and to FTDNA. Complete privacy for each participant will be guaranteed. Each person will be assigned a sample number which only FTDNA (and I) will know. Any reports resulting from this test would only identify sample numbers, not individual names. The only risk of participating in such a study is that the participant might discover that he is not actually a male Medford descendant as he expected. This, of course, could happen if one of your ancestors was adopted and this fact never recorded. In addition, there could be the case where children were born out of wedlock.  Only an individual who did not test positive for one of the Medford lines and myself (the administrator of the project) would know that fact, so the individual himself would not be identified. However we would want to perform additional tests on other individuals in the same tree to determine where the surname link was broken.


Dr. J. Douglas McDonald's maps of "Y Haplogroups of the World", "Y Haplogroups of Europe", and "mtDNA Haplogroups of the World" (Thank you!)

DNA Consulting (Panther-Yates)

Distribution of Blood Types (by Dennis O'Neil

Kerchner DNAPrint© Test Results Log Book

DNA Genealogy Timeline (from Georgia Bopp)

Custer's DNA Basics

Blair's DNA 101

Chris Pomeroy's Chart of Company Markers Offered

Ron Lindsay's Chart of Company Markers Offered

NIST's Short Tandem Repeat DNA Internet DataBase

YHRD - Y Chromosome Haplotype Reference Database (Supplants the YSTR databases--more robust search)

The Genome Database

Leiden University's Regional Allele Frequencies Database

SMGF Database Search [by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation]

Custer's Y-STR Loci Allele Frequencies [spreadsheets, frequency graphs]

Roper's in-depth review of BioGeographical Ancestry Testing

Free DNA matching Database [by the Genealogy Researcher Community]

Other Links

YBase Y-chromosome haplotype database

RootsWeb Genealogy-DNA ListServe

Brigham Young University DNA Project [current project will yield a huge database of results--whether anyone gets access to it, and how, remains to be seen]

SNP Consortium [856,666 mapped SNPs; 607 are y-SNPs in 8th data release]

National Center for Biotechnology Information database [dbSNP--3 million SNPs]

Genetic/Genealogy Books

DNA for Family Historians, by Alan Savin Savin DNA book here

"Mapping Human History" by Steve Olson, May 2002.

"The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey" by Dr. Spencer Wells

Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. and Cavalli-Sforza, F. The Great Human Diasporas: the History of Diversity and Evolution, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, MA (1995).

"The Human Inheritance: Genes Language and Evolution" edited by Bryan Sykes. Published by Oxford University Press 1999

Sykes, Bryan. The Human Inheritance: Genes, Language, and Evolution (1999)

Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi Luca. "Genes, Peoples, and Languages" (2000)

Sykes, Bryan. "The Seven Daughters of Eve" (2001)

Other Genetic Books

"The Molecule Hunt: Archaeology and the Search for Ancient DNA" by Martin Jones (Archaeological Science, Cambridge Univ.), April 2002.

SNP and Microsatellite Genotyping: Markers for Genetic Analysis (Molecular Laboratory Methods Series), Edited by Ali H. Hajeer, PhD, University of Manchester, UK. Fall 2000, Hardcover, 172 pp, Color insert; ISBN 1-88129-38-4. See Here [Talk about high-throughput!: MADGE, SNP, Microsatellites, High-Throughput]