The objective of this project is to match up individuals or families who share a common male ancestor with the Roberts surname and variant spellings including variant Robert, Robarts, Robartes, Robart, Robarts, Ropartz, Robberts, Ropert, and Ruppert.
This site is intended to present discussion of the results of the Y-DNA surname project hosted by Family Tree DNA. The format of the project sites at FTDNA is ideal for Haplogroup projects, but it is difficult to incorporate family history information as well. This site will assist with the objectives of the project by providing a place to record findings, family trees and discussions.
A collection of Roberts genealogies associated with the project is located here.
There are extensive resources on the web for learning about how DNA results are used (a few are provided below). At a long time scale (100,000-2000 years ago) the data can be used to study clusters of humans and their migratory paths. On a shorter time scale (100-500 years ago) DNA results can be used to find relationships between different families with the same surname, and predict how long ago (in human generations) this connection might have occurred. Y-DNA surname projects are of the second type.
The first observation from the Roberts DNA collected so far (November 2011) is that there are many different Roberts families, most of which have been unrelated (through a direct male lineage) for tens of thousands of years. Thus many people who join the group bring a new genetic lineage with them. For these people, time will tell if another Roberts line joins which is related in the surname-era (say the last 400-500 years). You may find much closer relatives outside the Roberts surname pool; these are your likely genetic relatives who happened to be living near a different village or river ford, or had a different occupation when names begin being used by ordinary people. I recommend your joining your haplogroup project (for example, I joined the I1 project) to explore this side of your heritage. These projects offer the real power of genetic genealogy beyond 500 years or so ago, and can tell you about the part of the world your male line came from 2000-3000 years ago. These sites will also allow new scientific research to be conducted by allowing more precise studies of clustering and branching in your DNA Haplogroup.
The main reason for DNA surname project is to potentially build our family trees back a few more hundred years or so. Are there other Roberts families that emerged from the same villages as yours? Perhaps your paper trail stops in the USA, but your genes turn out to be very close to those of someone who can trace their line back to Wales or France? Moreover, as additional people are tested over time, more detailed information might be obtained. For example, the difference in gene sequences of known N-th generation cousins can help pin down the origin of marker mutations, and how more distantly related Roberts families might be connected.
Roberts DNA Project at FTDNA
Colorized results at FTDNA
In order to support the surname project we aim to gather simple html or text based family trees of families who join the Roberts surname project on FTDNA. This will allow new members to connect with existing genealogies better, and also provide a database that can be linked to in discussions. If your family tree is not represented in the collection of current family trees. please consider submitting a simple version of your tree to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to make the project manageable we have set up a site for discussion and interpretation of results, and a sister-site for storing raw family trees. All of the these family trees can be linked to from this site, or elsewhere on the web, via a standard link address (with the last six characters being in the FTDNA kit number). A slight modification for kits numbers from other providers can easily be incorporated.