Sollenberger DNA Project

Sollenberger DNA Project

This project has been started to provide further evidence and assistance in the genealocical research of the Sollenberger surname. 

There are three main objectives to this project which include, but are not limited to:

1.  Matching ancestors to lineages in America as well as in Europe.

2.  Providing a research point for those of you tracing family lines where there is scant documentation available.

3.  To prove or disprove the relationship of similar surnames.

The first objective begins by establishing a baseline for each known lineage back to the immigrants who came to America.  From genealogical research it appears there are 2 immigrants known to be related namely Ulrich and Joseph Sollenberger (Zollenberger).   The 3rd immigrant to America was Daniel Sollenberger.  To my knowledge there is no proof of a direct relationship between Daniel and Ulrich/Joseph.  Ulrich, Joseph and Daniel are the only 3 known 18th Century immigrants and there may have been more.  Hopefully the DNA tests will resolve these issues.

Once the baseline has been established the second objective can begin.  As in my case I have not traced my family line back to one of the 3 respective immigrants to America.  In my family line the paperwork trail is falling off to nothing.  When that happens speculation has to take over and that can lead to faulty research.  With a baseline to measure against, it may be possible to link families to their 18th century ancestors with minimal speculation.

This leads to the 3rd objective.  There are many similar surnames to Sollenberger and this can lead to confusion in genealogical research.  Surnames such as Solenberger, Solenbarger, and Sollenbarger are known derivatives of the Sollenberger surname.  But what about the Sullenberger, Shollenberger, or Sollenger surnames?   Can they also be related?  The DNA test may help to provide an answer to this.


I began the DNA journey after watching a National Geographic program in which Dr. Spencer Wells, with the support of the National Geographic Society, IBM, and the Waitt Family Foundation launched the Genographic Project.  This is a five-year effort to understand the human journey—where we came from and how we got to where we live today.  After participating in this project I released my DNA results to Family Tree DNA to begin the Sollenberger DNA Project.

The science of DNA testing is well over my head. From what I have read we will be basing this research on the Y-chromosome which is passed from father to son unchanged with the exception of a mutation occurring approximately every 500 years.   The Y-chromosome is broken down into markers - 12, 25, 37, or 59 markers.  The matching of these markers helps to determine the MRCA, most recent common ancestor.

I have set up the Sollenberger DNA project at Family Tree DNA.   As a registered surname project at Family Tree DNA, our project will receive project pricing and a set of tools for the Group Administrator plus automatic matching notifications.  Family Tree DNA recommends establishing the project with the 12-marker Y-chromosome test. 12 markers are sufficient to determine whether or not two people are genetically related.  The value of the 25, 37 or 59 marker test occurs when two participants are related based on the 12-marker test. When participants match with the 12-marker test, the test can be upgraded to 25, 37 or 59 markers. The objective of upgrading to additional markers is to further reduce the time frame of the common ancestor between the matching participants.

The surname project pricing is:

12 marker Y-DNA* test $99 + postage 25 Marker Y-DNA* test $148 + postage 37 Marker Y-DNA* test $189 + postage
12 to 25 Marker Upgrade $49 25 to 37 Marker Upgrade $49 37 to 59 Marker Upgrade $99
12 to 37 Marker Upgrade $99 25 to 59 Marker Upgrade $148 59 Marker Y-DNA* test $269 + postage
12 to 59 Marker Upgrade $189

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