Purposes of the ASHLEY DNA Study

Purposes of the ASHLEY DNA Study

The purpose of the study will be to determine possible relationships between different ASHLEY family lines (worldwide, not just the US, including variant spellings of ASHLEY: ASHLY, ASHLEIGH, ASHLEA, even ASHBY, ASHLIN, ASLIN)

Mainly, this study will help determine possible relationships between various ASHLEY lines of British descent (including those in the British Isles and other countries). The study will also assist ASHLEYS not sure of their lineage to determine with which group they may share a common ancestor

Join the study today!



ASHLEY history and records may be viewed on ASHLEY Families Home PAGES by Ethel TAYLOR: http://rebelcherokee.labdiva.com/ashley1.html


DNA Explained

The male Y chromosome is usually passed unchanged from father to son. However, every so often, there is a mutation in one of the alleles, or segments. Therefore, taking the average rate of mutation as the standard, an estimate can be made of how far back two individuals are related with a common ancestor. This estimate of Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) is the heart of a DNA study.

Keep in mind that it is ONLY an estimate.  Even the average rate of mutation is not completely agreed on; different data seem to show somewhat different rates.  Also, the average may not be true for all sub populations.

With a perfect match between two males on a 25 marker test there is a better than 50% probability that the MRCA is less than 8 generations back, rising to about 80% at 12 generations or less. However, if two individuals show numerous differences, it is almost certain that they are unrelated within any meaningful number of generations.

There is another type of DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which tests DNA passed by the mother. Testing for mtDNA would not meet the objectives of this study.

How the ASHLEY DNA Study Works

1. Participants may sign up using any of the methods outlined in the next section.

2. FTDNA sends a kit which includes the necessary equipment and a release form allowing the personal information to be given to the Project Administrator and releasing the administrator, and FTDNA from liability. If the participant did not sign up by credit card, an invoice is sent with the kit. 

3. When the kit arrives, the participant takes an inner cheek saliva sample on a swab, places it in an envelope, and mails it in with the signed release form and the payment (if credit card was not used).

4. FTDNA notifies the ASHLEY Project Administrator that the sample is being evaluated. At intervals, FTDNA sends copies of release forms in batches to the Project Administrator.

5. FTDNA sends the kit to the University of Arizona lab. In a few weeks the results will be sent to the participant and to the ASHLEY Project Administrator.

6. The Project Administrator posts the results on a web page in a table, identifying the individual by an ID number, not by name. The name of the participant is known only to the Project Administrator, the testing lab, and the individual himself.

7. The ID number will identify line of descent for each participant. The individual can look on the web page and see how his results compare to others in his and other ASHLEY lines. The web page will include explanation and interpretation of the results.

Privacy and Security

For the study to function properly, it is necessary for the Project Administrator to receive the results of your test.  These results will be sent ONLY to you and the Project Administrator.  The Project Administrator will assign you an ID number and post the results in a chart on this web site.  Only you and the Project Administrator will know your ID number.

You will sign a release form which will exempt Family Tree DNA, Inc. and the ASHLEY Project Administrator from liability.

To go to the FTDNA site for further information on how privacy and security are maintained, click here: http://www.familytreedna.com/privacy.html

Possible Disadvantages

1. You might find out you are NOT an ASHLEY. This could be due to an unrecorded or unannounced adoption, or illegitimacy ("Mama's baby, Papa's maybe" - yes, it happens in the best of families.) If you could not live with this information, don't sign up.

2. Many American ASHLEYS are looking for evidence of descent from William or John ASHLEY and Lady Jane COOPER.  This study can not prove that you ARE a descendent of the brothers; it can only give evidence that your ancestors may be related to him in some way. On the other hand, it could show beyond reasonable doubt that you are NOT a descendent of one of these men.  If you could not live with this information, don't sign up.

3. Results might be inconclusive. You might spend the money and not learn a thing. This could occur if there are a few differences in you and the others being compared, thus not affirming a probable relationship but not enough to deny a relationship.

4. You are looking for a specific answer to a specific question - "were B and C, supposedly the sons of A, brothers?" or "I have hit a brick wall five generations back; I want to know which ASHLEY line I am in.". Neither of these questions could be answered using current science.

In the first instance, the study could show that B and C are NOT closely related (probably unlikely) or that they MAY BE closely related. However, even if closely related, they could be brothers, first, second or third cousins, uncle & nephew, etc.

In the second instance, the study does not have validity in less than 8 generations, and does not have major validity until about 12 generations.

Response to objections 2 and 3

Your DNA would be preserved and available to your descendents. As the science improves (it is VERY MUCH in its infancy), these questions may become answerable. We never know when we will leave this earth so especially for older Paces, preserving this evidence for future generations may be a very worthwhile thing to do.

Testing & Costs

Family Tree DNA, Inc (FTDNA) provides evaluation tools, facilities, services, and used the University of Arizona lab for the actual tests.  Click here for the FTDNA home page and further explanation.

Costs (project pricing at a discount)

12 marker Y-DNA test $99 + $2.00 postage/handling
25 Marker Upgrade $90 (no new test necessary)
25 marker Y-DNA test $169 + $2.00 postage/handling

NOTE: International Postage is $4.00 US

"Marker" refer to the number of alleles,or positions, that are checked in the Y chromosome tests of male subjects. The more markers tested, the more accurate the results. It should be emphasized that a 12 marker test can only give negative results; in other words, many differences on a 12 marker test would prove that the individuals compared were NOT related, but a perfect match would only show a 90% probability of relationship within 48 generations, so it wouldn't prove much.  An upgrade would be needed.

There are some who have indicated that they want to start with the 25 marker test anyway.  This would have no disadvantages and would save a few dollars if you upgrade later.  You have the choice.

As soon as FTDNA has received six applications, the study will begin.

How to sign up:

(1) Send a descendency chart of your line from you as far back as you can trace it to Jackie PACE (jackie@ashley-pace.com) This may be in an e-mail or attached file. You need only send the straight male line.  Be as specific as possible with birth dates, and include source evidence if you have it.

(2) Go to the signup page at Family Tree DNA and fill in the form.  You will receive further instructions on how to apply and pay for your kit.

(3) If the participant does not have computer access or for some reason does not wish to sign up online,  the participant can mail his information to the Project Administrator (Jackie Pace, PO Box 7852, Pasadena, TX 77508).  The Project Administrator will then sign you up and have FTDNA send the kit and invoice.


You may wish to sponser part or all of the study for an ASHLEY who would like to join the project but cannot afford the price.  If you can help, or if you need help, please let me know. DO NOT BE EMBARASSED TO APPLY. This is not a charity, and your DNA sample is valuable to the study. Please contact jackie@ashley-pace.com