Genealogical DNA is an important tool to supplement traditional research. There are different types and purposes of genealogical DNA. Two are relevant to a surname project.
DNA Evidence-YDNA: The definitive evidence is YDNA. This compares DNA markers on the Y chromosome of males with the Beasley surname. Two men with closely matching YDNA profiles will be considered of the same genetic line and that it should be possible to find a common Beasley ancestor. All people related to the tested man are deemed of that type until evidence is found to the contrary. For consistency and validity, YDNA tests should be done at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) as part of the Beasley DNA Project. To be considered a match, there must be a MINIMUM of 37 markers with no more than 4 mismatches, PREFERABLY 67 markers with no more than 7 mismatches. Any match with fewer than 37 markers is considered inconclusive.
DNA Evidence-atDNA: This test, also known as Family Finder, may be done by anyone, male or female, Beasley or not. The test results show evidence of “cousins” with common DNA. Here, relationship to the Beasley surname, but is not definitive about ancestral line. It can give clues but must be carefully evaluated. Family Finder is less expensive, can be done at FTDNA or Ancestry and it is useful to transfer results from one company to the other.
DNA Evidence-Other: Other types of testing are not useful to a surname project. mtDNA looks at mitochondrial DNA, can be taken by men or women. It shows evidence only of the female ancestors. An extension of YDNA is Y-SNP study. For the most part, Y-SNP shows pre-historic differentiation and migration of humans well beyond the genealogical time frame.
YDNA Haplogroup: The YDNA Haplogroup refers to the pre-historic migrations of the paternal line. These Haplogroup designations are countinuously refined by DNA researchers. For the purpose of this Project, only the broadest categories of YDNA Haplogroup are identified.
Special cases: Ordinarily, it is assumed that for every known ancestor of a particular surname, there is another earlier generation to be found. This will not always be so. In the case of adoption, indenture or slavery, there will be a point where there is no further genetic ancestor of the Beasley surname. That Patriarch Tree will be identified as Terminated by (x) reason and noted any other legal, social or cultural connections with other Patriarch Trees. Where possible, YDNA typing will be sought, but further work on genetic ancestors will not be within the scope of the Project.
In the case of surname being passed on maternally, the descendants WILL be included in the respective Patriarch Tree REGARDLESS of the YDNA type under the “all descendants” definition. However, the break in the YDNA chain should be clearly noted for the sake of any Beasley descendants whose YDNA profile doesn’t match.
The key consideration for all Patriarch Trees is evidence. It is the objective to identify and record the best possible evidence for each individual, family and relationship in the tree. In many cases, factual errors are perpetuated among less careful genealogists. It will be the objective of the Project to publish corrections to mistaken attributions elsewhere and to note where more evidence is required.