Due to the the number of Umstead family members we can't connect to Hans Peter or even to the family in general, and also to the question of whether we have any connection to the OLMstead family (which I doubt), it's time to initiate the Umstead DNA Project. Anyone with an Umstead lineage (including variant spellings) is welcome and encouraged to participate.

Since markers on the Y-chromosome are being analyzed in this study, the DNA sample donor must be a male with a direct male Umstead lineage. Only males have the Y-chromosome and it is passed directly, virtually unchanged, from father to son, never to or from females. Thus, females interested in obtaining information about their Umstead lineage would need to have a male relative (father, brother, uncle, or male cousin) from their direct Umstead line actually supply the sample for analysis.

Sample collection is painless; it merely involves rubbing the inside of the cheek with a foam swab.

The company we will use is Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). The cost for a 12 marker Y-chromosomal DNA test by FTDNA is $99, for a 25 marker test $169, and for a 37 marker test $229. In addition, there is a $2 postage charge for US residents and $4 for mailing the test kits to foreign addresses. You can (for a fee) upgrade to more markers at a later date without sending a new test sample, since the company stores your original sample for several years. The 37 marker test was just initiated in December 2003, so there are few data for these extra markers. Thus, at least initially, there would be little advantage to it. It is strongly recommended that new participants in our DNA project choose the 25 marker test. Results obtained by other families have indicated that the 12 marker test is not definitive enough to make the distinctions needed among several lines. If, however, cost is a concern, certainly feel free to just have the 12 marker test run initially.

I hope that family members will consider helping with the cost of DNA sampling within their line. Not everyone is into genealogy, but our kids and grandkids may be some day. How many of us have been asked for family information by our kids and grandkids when they're in junior high? Wouldn't it be great to have firm information to give them?

Each participant is given a personal page on the FTDNA web site where the participant’s test results, and comparisons of the results with others in the FTDNA database, can be viewed. Most communication with participants is by email, but FTDNA also eventually sends each participant a written report and certificate with that person’s results. From time to time a summary of the results obtained by all members of the group will be posted here on this site site. Names of sample donors will not be used in the web reports; the results will be linked only to the earliest known Umstead ancestor of each participant. Once we have enough to compare the results of each participant with those of others, meaningful genealogical conclusions can be drawn.


Contact Person and Procedures for Participants

All communication or questions concerning the Umstead DNA project should be directed to Cris Hueneke at [email protected].

Please include the name, mailing address, telephone number and email address of the person who will be the sample donor and to whom the test kit should be sent.

Please include the name, mailing address, telephone number and email address of the person to whom the invoice for the test should be sent (if different from the donor).

Instructions concerning which test (12, 25 or 37 marker) you wish performed (the 25 marker test is recommended).

A list or a pedigree chart of your direct Umstead line back to your earliest known Umstead ancestor. If known, be sure to include dates, places of birth or residence, and spouse names, especially for your early ancestors.

When the foregoing information is received, we will sign you up with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) as a participant in our Umstead DNA project. Within a few days you should receive from FTDNA a test kit, instructions on how to collect the DNA sample, and an invoice for the test. After collecting the DNA sample you should return the test kit and invoice with your payment directly to FTDNA.

You can get more specifics on DNA testing from Family Tree DNA at


6 March 2004


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