Woody DNA Project

Woody DNA Project
(Including Wooddy, Woodey, Woodie, Woode, deWoody, etc.)

DNA Helix

Created: June, 2007

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        The computer, the internet and the world wide web have revolutionized genealogy and family history research. These inventions provide tools that earlier generations of researchers never even dreamed about. The discovery of DNA and the widespread use of DNA testing and analysis have provided the modern family historian with yet another powerful research tool. However, the result of any type (yDNA, mtDNA, atDNA) of individual genealogical DNA test is almost meaningless by itself: This result must be compared with other individual's DNA results to be useful. The Woody DNA Project was created in June, 2007 to provide a place where individual yDNA results and lineages can be organized, posted and compared with other results. The easily understood results of yDNA testing and this project help Woody genealogists and family historians identify and/or verify their paternal ancestry (father's father) in a quick and easy way. This saves time, prevents mistakes, and provides invaluable data that can be obtained in no other way. Click here for a detailed discussion of the benefits and limitations of yDNA testing and analysis.
         Since the Woody DNA Project was initiated, autosomal DNA (atDNA) testing and analysis techniques have been improved considerably and the price of these products has decreased sharply. Also, since atDNA  is inherited about equally from both male and female ancestors, these tests can be utilized by both females and males. Autosomal DNA testing and processing automatically and accurately identifies the matches of numerous relatives found in the testing company database of other atDNA participants. On the surface, this marvelous technology seems like a great research tool; however, for a variety of reasons related to atDNA results analysis, very few of the participants are able to derive any substantial family history information from their atDNA matches.
That is, they are unable to significantly advance their family history or achieve their family history goals. One well known and well respected atDNA analysis expert has observed "My perception is that only about 1% or less of people who have tested at Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and FTDNA's Family Finder actively pursue contact with their matches in those databases". We cannot overemphasize the difficulty usually involved in determining any meaningful family history information from the analysis of atDNA results.

        Make no mistake: atDNA testing does not replace yDNA testing.
yDNA testing provides the surest and most efficient method for Woody males to discover or confirm their Woody family ancestry. Female Woodys can benefit by encouraging a close male relative to take the yDNA test. To find relatives that theoretically might help in solving nearer term family history situations, both male and female Woodys, as well as, close relatives of Woodys can utilize an autosomal DNA test; however, this test should be preceded by or used in conjunction with yDNA testing.

        Our project line leaders provide research assistance to novice family historians. Along the way, we have also helped several folks extend their known lineages, some significantly. We have focused others on the best locations to continue their research.

The Goals of the Woody DNA Project are to:

        1. Help researchers of all Woody families work together to find their common heritage. We do this by posting the abbreviated lineages that our project participants and other Woody descendants send us. This feature links yDNA results to specific lineages and is an integral part of our project. In our opinion, a DNA project that does not include such a feature provides very little research value. To view these lineages, click on the Patriarchs link above. We do not post any information about people born less than 100 years ago. To add your lineage to these pedigrees, just email a Project Administrator your abbreviated pedigree. If you would like your name and/or your email to be displayed, please tell us. You do not have to be a DNA test participant to add your family pedigree.

        2. Identify the DNA of the ancestor families and compile them and their branches into distinct genetic lineages through DNA analysis and matches. DNA analysis is used to determine the common ancestors of different branches of related Woody branches. This analysis is also useful in extending Woody lines that have reached a "dead end" utilizing conventional research. Unless a participant asks to be identified, the Woody DNA Project does not post the name of any member; only their yDNA results and the patriarch of their line. The different lines are grouped by patriarch. Click on the Results link above to see our progress.

Project Successes - DNA analysis has shown that:

        1. Our Woody men make up at least four completely unrelated lineages (families with separate ancestors). Three of these lines have deep ancestral roots in Western Europe; the other in Scandinavia.

        2. Virtually all of the descendants tested, with ancestors from the Piedmont and Blue Ridge regions of Virginia, share a common ancestor.

        3. "Dead end" pedigrees can be connected to a known lineage. Because a lineage connection provides a family and locality to focus on, most of these these pedigrees have been extended, some very significantly.

        The yDNA portion of our project is open to any male Woody or man believing that he is the son of a Woody male. yDNA is passed from father to son, but not from father to daughter. So any line that includes a female link cannot be proven or disproven using yDNA. Female Woody descendants can help by strongly encouraging their male Woody relatives to join the project. To-date, all of the project participants have come from the USA, but we hope that Woodys from all over the world will join us.
        The autosomal DNA portion of our project is open to any male or female with a close Woody connection.

   For those of you that are interested in your heritage, but cannot actively participate in the project, the Woody DNA Project General Fund provides an alternative method of support.  The Project Administrator and Line Leaders use contributions made to this fund to share testing costs with those individuals having limited means.

        Although the Woody DNA Project accepts DNA results obtained from any testing company, the preferred DNA testing company for the project is Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). The FTDNA and WorldFamilies.net  websites both have detailed information on DNA and DNA testing. A yDNA test ordered from FTDNA, as part of this project, receives a substantial discount. The Woody DNA Project has no financial interest in Family Tree DNA and the project administrators and line leaders receive nothing but satisfaction for their volunteer efforts. The total testing fee goes to the testing company.


Click here to join the Woody DNA Project and order a DNA test.






Dave Richards - Project Administrator & Line Leader [richardj AT gmail.com]

Dave Woody - Project Line Leader [woodydna AT live.com]

Don Woody - Project Line Leader [donw88dy AT gmail.com]

Revised Oct 8, 2017