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Allison/Ellison Family DNA Project

Great news for genealogists, particularly women!

Call for Participants!

The Allison/Ellison DNA Project is a collaborative project of genealogists who use DNA testing to further their family research. We are actively seeking participants. The project is called the Allison/Ellison DNA but, because of historical variations in surnames, we will accept membership from any similar surnames such as Alison, Allyson, Elison, Ellis, Ellyson, Elliston, Alliston, Allanson. The following are eligible to join.

  1. Males with the surname Allison, Ellison or similar who will undertake a Y-DNA test or have already done so.
  2. Males who have been Y-DNA tested and share a high quality match with an Allison or Ellison male
  3. People who have an Allison or Ellison great x 5 grandparent or closer who will undertake a Family Finder test or have already done so.
  4. Any person with an interest in the project who is able to recruit someone in the above categories to undertake a test.

This project is a collaborative one. Members of the project

  1. will have their results, relevant to the project, posted on this website. Participants are anonymous and referred to by their kit number.
  2. are expected to provide a pedigree showing their line back to their earliest known Allison/Ellison. Those members with a different surname who join because of a close match are encouraged to submit a pedigree but, because it might publicise a 'non-paternity event' are not required to.
  3. are expected to provide an email address for contact. Those that do not want their email address posted on this website will have messages to them forwarded on by the administrators.

There are, in reality, two projects the Allison/Ellison Family DNA Project with which this website is associated and the Allison/Ellison Surname Project at FTDNA, the largest genetic genealogy testing company. The two overlap significantly because almost all members of the Allison/Ellison Family DNA Project have tested with FTDNA. Members are not bound to test with FTDNA, although few do not.


Project Objective

Our goal is to aid anyone interested in researching their Allison/Ellison family history through DNA testing. If you are a serious genealogist, sooner or later you are going to reach the end of a proven "paper trail". When this happens, looking beyond this so called "brick wall" can become very exasperating and next to impossible. DNA testing offers an exciting new approach to solving this problem. There are two classes of DNA of interest to genealogists, the DNA of the Y-chromosome and the rest of the DNA of each cell nucleus. A Y-DNA test is that of the Y-chromosome which is passed down through the generations from father to sons only. The graphic at the side of this page illustrates how this occurs. Family Finder tests DNA that is received by both parents. The results of a single DNA test, standing alone, is of little value. It is by comparing that single test with others in a database that it becomes valuable. That is the purpose of this project! Each participant's test results are of equal importance in this regard. There are now almost 300 participants in the Allison/Ellison DNA Project. Our database grows larger with each new participant and so does the chance that another rumbling sound will be heard as one more "brick wall" comes crashing down!

Research shows that most Allisons and Ellisons trace their lineages back to England, Scotland, and Ireland. Therefore, we are especially interested in encouraging greater participation by Allisons and Ellisons worldwide.

How to Participate

Participation is easy and DNA testing is quick and painless. Your privacy is maintained. The reasonable fees for participation and ordering a DNA test are given below. You are sent a DNA test kit in the mail by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) with a release form to be signed. To conduct the test, you use a small brush, and stroke the inside of your cheeks. The brush is then placed in a tube, and the procedure is repeated hours later with a second brush and tube. The kit is then returned by mail to FTDNA. The lab will analyze the DNA and provide your test result in about 8 weeks.

To maintain your privacy, the lab will assign a number to your DNA sample and you are furnished with a unique username and password for your private webpage on the FTDNA website. The lab at FTDNA will automatically notify you of others who share your DNA signature and who would be willing to correspond with you. For Y-DNA you are given the choice of comparing your result to the group or to the entire database. As the project co-administrators, we will compare the results of all the participants and prepare and update a chart of these results on this website.

How to Join the Y-DNA Project

FTDNA is the company that is analyzing the DNA samples for our DNA project. DNA testing is helping many researchers find connections between the various lines of different surnames. The company is located in the United States, but they routinely mail their DNA test kits to any place in the world.

You can order your test kit online qualifying for our special group rate from Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), the most reliable and well-respected test lab in the world. Place your order at

FTDNA offers reduced prices for some DNA tests to registered family groups like our ALLISON/ELLISON group. For standard prices of FTDNA tests click here. A small charge is made for international postage. FTDNA's charges for upgrades are accessible when participants login to their personal pages at FTDNA.

For the first-time user of Y-DNA testing we recommend choosing either the 37 or 67 marker Y-DNA test. The 111 marker test is recommended for those who already have matches at the 37 or 67 marker level and wish to estimate the time to their most recent common ancestor with more precision than given by a lower number of markers.

If you are eligible to join the project and decide to order a test kit, please contact one of the project administrators. Please let us know as much as you can about your family history and your current e-mail address.

As Project Co-administrators, we are very excited about this project and the prospects of unraveling some of the mysteries of the past. We need participants, and encourage you to sign up today.

Mary Allison Yonan      Robert Anthony Allison

History of the Allison/Ellison DNA Project

Our Allison/Ellison Family DNA project was "unofficially" begun in April 2001 when two members submitted samples to Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). In February 2002 the Allison/Ellison Surname Project was officially organized as a surname DNA project at FTDNA.

In April of 2001, the two original Allison participants (# 617 in Group B & # 618 in the Ungrouped category on the DNA Results chart on Table 1 on the Results Page) wanted to find out whether there was a genetic connection between the Joseph Allison and Lawrence Ellison/Allison lines. Joseph Allison (origin unknown), was living on Long Island, NY by 1720 and moved to Orange Co., NY ca 1725 and Lawrence Ellison, who was born in Yorkshire, England, and migrated to New England ca 1632 and then to Long Island in New York. Lawrence Ellison's descendants moved to Orange/Rockland Co., NY in the 1700s and were using the Allison spelling by then. Several researchers of the Joseph Allison and Lawrence Ellison/Allison lines have searched for documentation to prove or disprove a connection between the two families, but traditional genealogical research has failed to find a paper trail that proves that they were related. Participant # 617 had traced his ancestry back to Joseph Allison and # 618 had traced his ancestry back to Lawrence Ellison. They each sent their DNA sample to FTDNA in April 2001 and the test results showed them to have very different DNA scores. Although disappointed by the DNA test results, they concluded that the two Allison/Ellison lines had coincidentally lived on Long Island and in Orange Co., NY at the same time in the 1700s and were not related.

Fortunately, shortly after our DNA Project was officially organized as a surname DNA Project in February 2002, other Allison and Ellison men who trace their ancestry back to Orange County, NY became interested in DNA testing. Thanks to their decisions to order DNA tests, our Allison/Ellison Family DNA Project is now providing evidence of the genetic connection between descendants of Joseph Allison and Lawrence Ellison. As a result of DNA testing of the additional participants who have Orange/Rockland Co., NY roots, all of whom make up Group B on Table 1, we discovered that the two original test results had led us to the false conclusion that the Lawrence Ellison and Joseph Allison lines were unrelated. The Allison male (# 618) who was one of the two original testees had done very careful research and had traced his ancestry back to Lawrence Ellison. However, his DNA score is very different from the men in Group B who have Orange County, NY Allison/Ellison roots. This seems to be a classic case of a non-paternity event and #618 has no idea during which generation it occurred. A non-paternity event means that one of his male ancestors who had the Allison surname was not a biological Allison. In other words, in some generation an Allison husband wasn't the biological father of one of his sons. This could have happened as a result of an adoption, perhaps of a relative's or neighbor's son who was given the Allison surname. It's also possible that child was born out of wedlock.

From those small beginning the project now has over 140 people who have been tested. Many have taken or upgraded to the Y-DNA 67 marker test.

In April 2010, for the first time, women could join the project as contributors of DNA. Prior to that time testing was restriced to the Y-chromosome. With the introduction of the Family Finder test which tests DNA contributed by all ancestors, there is now a way of testing whether any two people share a close common ancestor. Because the common ancestor can be on any line we require a paper trail to an Allison/Ellison ancestor to be reasonable sure that the match is not through another common ancestor.

Disclaimer, Conditions and Agreement

The Allison/Ellison Surname Project organizers have no commercial affiliation with FTDNA or any profit making organization and receive no compensation for services or expenses involved with the project. At present, this webpage is maintained for posting DNA results and pedigrees of participants who choose to make their information available.

Although the Allison/Ellison Surname Project receives discounts at FTDNA, as do all Surname Projects, that by no means suggests a business partnership or other relationship between the Project and the Laboratory. All funds are payable only and directly to FTDNA. The Allison/Ellison Project Co-ordinators will not be the recipient nor steward of any DNA samples and has no responsibility for their care, handling or return to participant, nor duty to act on behalf of Participant in mediation of any dispute between the Participant and the Laboratory.

While a match between two participants may indicate that they share a common male ancestor, it will not identify the specific ancestor and there is no guarantee that every participant will match another participant.

By participation in the project, the participant agrees to all conditions of the Project.

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Last updated 13 Sep 2019

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