"Got Shenton DNA ?"

And, if you do have Shenton DNA, are you willing to share it ?

The newest development in genealogy and family history research is the use of DNA to support the more conventional methods of research, since - in some cases - it can provide definitive answers to such questions as "Are we really related ?" and "Is my interpretation of this paper trail really valid in assembling an ancestral tree ?" The most pertinent use of DNA is the analysis of specifically selected "markers" or loci on the Y-DNA (which is available only from males, since females have only X-X chromosomes) and comparison of those markers against other males who potentially should be related, i.e., who have the same surname.

So quite a number of "Y-DNA Surname Projects" have have been initiated by researchers over the last half-dozen years, collecting and comparing these markers of men with the same surnames, with a lot of interesting results. I've been aggressively monitoring the efforts, eagerly awaiting the formation of a Y-DNA Shenton Surname Project so that I could join. In mid-2007 I gave up and started one myself. The Project is now off and running with (as of January 2011) eight Shenton participants. And I am now soliciting and encouraging other male Shentons to "take the test" and let us all see how (and if !) we are really related, and hopefully answer some long-standing issues.

I've established a separate web site which provides answers to most of the questions you might have. Basically, though, as explained on the site and some of the links, there should be little need for concern about privacy - the DNA tested is "non-coding" or "junk" DNA and has no medical or unique identity implications, plus you can be identified on the site by just a code-number. There is a one-time cost for the test, but it's modest and - as participants of a Surname Study - we get a heavily discounted rate. And those on the Euro or other non-U.S. currency get an additional break since the fee is in (weak) U.S. dollars.

I strongly urge male Shentons to consider participating -- please check the web site, look around and investigate as you need, and write to me if you have questions or if I can help in any way. Note that the test itself is a simple cheek swap you do at home - no drawing of blood required ! Note also that, as explained on the web site, the surname analysis is possible only on the Y-DNA of males - interested females can participate by having a brother, father, uncle or cousin of the Shenton surname tested.

Thanks for your consideration, and I hope you will join me at the leading edge of genealogical research.

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