The Belcher Y-DNA Project is part of the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) testing company. I believe it is currently the only major DNA testing company that offers Y-DNA testing. FTDNA also offers mitochondrial DNA testing (mtDNA) and autosomal tests (Family Finder). The company also provides several tools to aid their customers in analyzing their results and DNA matches.
The purpose and scope of this project has been significantly revised. Actually, this has not really been modified from our original intent. However, we are now stating it clearly to avoid misuse and misunderstanding of the material here. The information here is intended primarily for project participants. We hope that this project will aid the project participants in understanding, compiling and confirming their family histories, as well as making new connections with previously unknown relatives.
DNA testing, while an important tool for the modern genealogist, is not sufficient. Standard research techniques are required for the DNA results to be meaningful. Participants have submitted copies of their male ancestry to share with other project members. While revising this website, I discovered that several people had copied pages from the old website and were using them as sources for their own genealogy. This is a terrible idea and, in my opinion, the sign of a lazy genealogist, or at least one who is less interested in accuracy than in adding names to their trees.
As a result, I have greatly reduced the amount of information displayed in our trees. Now only a birth and death years, with approximate locations are included with the names in the trees. Also, in this iteration of the website, I used a technique I condemned above -- using other people's work to extend the lineages. These trees should be considered as research tools, not complete, not sourced, and most certainly not accurate. It is hoped project participants will find sources to correct or confirm the changes I'm made. Their discoveries will be used to modify the trees when necessary, but details will still be missing when posted here. Each participant will no doubt have their own personal ancestries with sources, etc.
Project participation is available to males only. They should have an uninterrupted line to Belcher ancestors. This means that their surnames should be "Belcher," their fathers' surnames should be "Belcher," their fathers' fathers' surnames should be "Belcher," etc. Having a grandmother who was a Belcher is not useful in this project.
FTDNA makes it possible for individuals to compare their Y-DNA results with all the others who have had Y-DNA testing done. Occasionally someone may find that there are no natches in the project for their surname, but there are multiple matches in the Y-DNA database with Belcher men. They are welcome in our project where they will hopefully find clues as to when and how their Belcher surname was lost.
To join the project, you must have taken a Y-DNA test. There used to be a discount on all tests offered to project participants and we would have individuals join who then took only "Family Finder" tests, which are of no use for our project. There is no longer a discount for being a member of a project. You can order a Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA's product page. They used to offer Y-67 tests, but now only Y-37 and Y-111 tests can be purchased. A "Big Y-700" is also available, but the other tests will give you enough information to be useful.
FTDNA has recently posted updated privacy policies in order to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU). Without this compliance, FTDNA would not be able to sell their products in EU countries. You can read these policies, and more explicit privacy requirements for project administrators at their legal site. When we first started this project in 2004(!), privacy policies were not as strict. The only one we "violated" was posting full names and email addresses on the ancestry pages, which we are not doing any more. Otherwise, please be assured that as the administrator of this project, I have not violated any of the policies for Group Administrators on the page linked above, even before they were made more explicit.
The codes in the Results Table are the participants' kit numbers. On this website, I had to make up my own codes since I can't remember more than 3 numbers at a time! The characters at the beginning of my codes are to help me remember which participant I'm referring to, and are frequently not initials. (As an aside: One of the suggestions from FTDNA on what we might use instead of participants' names or kit numbers was surnames, not a great solution for Y-DNA or Surname projects!)
The DNA test results are displayed in a table created by FTDNA and posted on the the website they provide. (See link in navigation bar on the right.) Be aware that some participants have chosen not to make their results public and they will not appear in the chart.
The chart does have one advantage: You can copy and paste the contents of the table into a spreadsheet or other program to run your own investigations of how results may be related. However, the color codes on the results do not copy.
On some of the supplemental pages for the Henry group, I use a couple of free programs, one online, one installed locally, that you may wish to experiments with. You can find information about them there.
Individuals can donate to a "General Fund" provided for this project. This money can be used to help pay for test kits. In the past, we have used some of the money to help foreign participants to pay for their kits because the exchange rate made the cost excessive for them. At other times, current participants have recruited friends or family members to join the project and wanted to pay for their tests. Because we are a small group, I recommend contributing to the general fund only when situations like these occur. The money deposited in the fund is non-refundable and belongs to FTDNA. The group administrator can direct how the money will be spent as far as purchasing kits, but otherwise has no control over the funds. Please contact me before donating to the fund. The method for using the fund for kits has changed quite a bit in the past few years and I will want to be sure that the funds can be accessed correctly.
In the past we have offered a general email list for those interested in the project but who are not themselves participants. Unfortunately, it has not been working lately. I sent out a time-critical message about the 3rd week in April. It turned up in my email box on May 5. I don't know if anyone else received the message at all. Also email addresses are changed or deleted and I don't know until rejected message arrive in my email box. For the time being, until a more reliable email procedure is found, the email list will be discontinued.
Because the the names and email addresses of participants will not be listed on the revised website, you will need to contact
me and I will then relay your email to the correct participant. Please include the kit number or code and a brief message about
why you wish to communicate with the participant, for their benefit. You can reach me at email@example.com.