Project Description

We are working with Family Tree DNA to establish a database for Gordon family DNA results.  We are using Y-DNA testing which tests Gordon and Gordon Sept males only.  The Y chromosome is passed from father to son unchanged except for minor mutations for 500 generations.  

Family Tree DNA was chosen because as users of their software and many programs, most of us are already familiar with them and trust them.  They are using the testing facilities at the University of Arizona and they have experts available to help us interpret the test results.  University of Arizona will put our test kits in a storage area so that we can come back for further tests i.e.. you did a 12 marker test and want to upgrade to 25 marker, or maybe you would like it to be tested for Native American markers etc.  without having to go through the testing kit procedure again.  ( click here to go to FTDNA).  They have security measures already in place to protect privacy.  We will be identified by number, no name, etc. will be available except for ordering the testing kits.  I want to stress however, that DNA results are really of no use to anyone by themselves.  No one can "take" anything from them.  They are only of use when you are comparing them to other DNA samples, such as this project.  If you do not wish to be contacted by others that "match" your DNA, we can set it up so that I am the only one with your e-mail and if someone wants to contact you, I will send to you and you can contact them if you wish to do so.  I will not be posting e-mail addresses on the site unless you specify that you want to be available for e-mail contact. 

Test kits may be ordered using the order form off this website or you can order directly from FTDNA by clicking

They have given us a special pricing of 37 markers, US $189 instead of the usual $259.00.    There is an order form on this web page that you can fill out and e-mail to me.  FTDNA will send you the kit immediately. After you complete the test, you send the kit back with your payment.  I understand they do take credit cards.  

FTDNA offers the simplest testing kits. They consist of 2 cotton swab type brushes, a tube with a preservative solution to hold the swabs and the mailing kits with instructions.  To complete the test, your male Gordon representative needs to brush the inside of his cheek just like brushing his teeth.  Be sure to brush really well, as the quality of the sample depends on how much DNA material is collected on the brush.  They include 2 brushes, please use both of them.  

Using 37-markers that are present on the DNA strand testers can tell with certainty if 2 participants are related or if they are not related.  A perfect match would be 37/37 but could be considered related if 36/37 or sometimes even 34/37.  The 67-marker test will give a more accurate time frame of the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) of the 2 participants.  

Number of Matching markers 50% probablity MRCA was within this number of generations Average number of years back to MRCA Range of years possible back to recent ancestor
10 of 10 63.25 1270 yrs  280- 3760
11 of 12 38 760 yrs 110-2690
12 of 12 14.4 288 yrs 20-1660
23 of 25 28.5 570 yrs 120-1570
24 of 25 17.5 350 yrs 50-1180
25 of 25 7 140 yrs 0-760
* Note: Unmatching markers are off by one number.

Table 1.  Prediction of MRCA from the number of matching markers.


Once we determine kinship of 2 or more participants, the next task would be comparing our families genealogy records and research to determine who the father of both lines could be.  This is of course one of the ways that we relate to each other already.  So, why do we need the DNA testing?  Because we don't have enough paper evidence to put the family together.  The Gordon Genealogists are the most generous and kindest people I know.  We have Gordon researchers who have extensive databases and would love to help others make connections. The hurdle we need to clear is the hesitancy we experience when we are not sure.  We don't want to send someone off chasing rabbits that may not pan out because we gave them wrong evidence.  This will give us definite direction and a common goal.   

As we match these Gordon families and/or its Septs using DNA you will want to map them to your own family history.  The number of matches between the other participants will determine how far back your MRCA will be.  I am going to group them in tables that will match the families to the common ancestors that you give to me.  As we start to post results, you will see how easy it is to find those matches.