GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-01 > 1167985767
From: OrinWells <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Surname Challenges - FTDNA on the Case
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2007 00:29:27 -0800
I will second Adrian here as a project manager for a pretty large project.
Most of our participants have been tested at Relative Genetics or in
the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Project. I encourage everyone who
is interested in participating as a descendent of a Wells family to
test with Relative Genetics. The plain and simple reason is that if
they are going to get a good match with our baseline families it is
in their best interest to test through the project at Relative
Genetics to get the same set of markers for comparison. No one to my
knowledge has tested at DNAHeritage, but if they did they would be
happily welcomed into the project.
As for Family Tree DNA, I have had the same experience with their
participants as has Adrian. The ones I have been able to contact have
simply never responded. I would gladly integrate them if they wanted
to join us and we would do what we could to figure out where they fit
in the scheme of things. There are some I have been able to
identify who have had tests run at FTDNA and who also have been
tested in our project. There are a few who have tested with the
genographic project and are also in our project. In such cases we
already had the 12 markers identified.
We would never turn away anyone who has an interest in the Wells
surname no matter where they chose to be tested. Especially as
difficult as it is to get people to get tested in the first place. I
think they would be foolish to be tested at another lab because they
can surely get it done more cheaply though our project.
I will also say that Relative Genetics has been very helpful in
identifying the few loners who have wandered in off the street and
have helped get them attached to our project. Of course the folks at
Relative Genetics are awfully aware of the Wells project so they
would have to really be asleep at the switch to let someone slip
through who wasn't steered to us. There probably isn't a week that
goes by where they do not have at least one Wells sample going
through the lab. By the way, the turnaround at Relative Genetics
lately has been 5 to 10 days. The holidays has slowed it a bit though.
I do wish there was a better way to publicize the many different
projects underway. But, we have testing company business interests
that seem to get in the way of freely making this information
public. We thought that the worldfamilies.net site would solve this
problem, but it's close alliance with familytreeDNA caused the other
testing companies to be reluctant to provide the project information.
Bill Davenport probably comes as close as anyone to at least
identifying the larger projects. It could be very useful if a
completely independent entity could provide a registry of surname
projects for the world to reference. It is possible the Guild of One
Name Studies will one day take this on, but not for the immediate
future. Maybe if we left off the identity of the testing company the
other companies would be more willing to offer their project
information. Quite frankly, FamilyTreeDNA has done a much better job
of marketing their testing so the sheer number of tests and projects
can be a bit intimidating when compared to the other companies. I
can clearly see that they would not want to have all the new folks
run to FTDNA simply because they have more tests and projects under
Even I have several small projects that are not on anyone's radar for
all practical purposes and a new one about to see the light of day
that may catch some attention given who the participants happen to be.
There is a lot going on "out there" that is not really well known.
At 10:09 PM 1/4/2007, Adrian Williams wrote:
> You said....
>"Beyond the assumptions, what really gets me is all this talk about "sharing"
>and "helping others" from Project Admins who do not include participants
>from other testing companies in their Projects for various reasons. Please
>forgive my ignorance if I am mistaken and I take it back if I am, but
>looking at the WILLIAMS DNA Project website
>(http://williams.genealogy.fm/dna_project.php), I see only a link to order
>kits from FTDNA and FTDNA customers profiles. (It's a gorgeous website by
>the way! I would join if I were a WILLIAMS). If the WILLIAMS DNA Project
>were truly about helping other WILLIAMS it would not be exclusive to one
>company. Are the WILLIAMS who tested with DNAH, RG, etc. not worthy?"
> First, thank you very much for the compliment on the website...Lord
>knows I have spent many, many hours on it and it's content.
> On the flip side, I must say that I don't appreciate what certainly
>comes across to me as a personal attack on my efforts with the Williams
>project and a not so subtle attempt to call me a hypocrite. There is
>clearly a difference between constructive criticism and plain old
>lashing out....and your final comments fall very short of constructive.
> Just so we're clear,
> I have regularly perused all of the testing company portals for the
>last few years now, always on the lookout for Williams testers...for the
>longest time, none of the other testing companies besides FTDNA would
>even publish the information about which surnames were being tested with
>their company. Finally, after a long while, Relative Genetics finally
>started publishing their surname information and I even discovered a
>couple of Williams testers using their product and got in touch with
>them, inviting them to the Williams project....they declined, citing
>their knowledge that they were a small group of documented relation who
>had a known adoption event and that their true surname wasn't Williams.
> I continue to this day to monitor all of the available outlets for
>the testing companies as well as ySearch, constantly looking for "lost
>sheep", and regardless of which lab they have tested with, I offer them
>participation in our project. Long ago, the MEMBERS OF THE PROJECT
>decided to use FTDNA as the primary testing resource for the Williams
>project, due to the fact that (at least back in Jan 2003) they were the
>only one's who were being open about participation. I have only carried
>out their wishes with the solitary testing company indicated on the
>website as FTDNA. You will also notice an utter lack of anything saying
>that ONLY FTDNA kits are acceptable. The fact that all of the kits in
>the project are FTDNA kits does not mean that we only endorse FTDNA,
>rather it's indicative of the fact that I rarely find Williams surnamed
>testers with the other companies.
> And to further flesh out my dedication to this endeavor (which I
>find rather strange that I have to defend here), I have even delayed the
>availability of my project admin software because I felt it necessary to
>make sure it fully supported all testing labs and kits out of the
>starting gate instead of a phased approach as originally planned.
> As I close, I would ask please sir, in the future, please refrain
>from this type of incendiary commenting of your fellow list members.
>This type of alienation is most definitely not in the spirit of
>genealogy and this online community.
>Williams DNA Project Administrator
>David Weston wrote:
> > Bill, Adrian and others,
> > Motivated by this discusion thread to enquire, I have been reassured by
> > have great trust in and respect for the people there so am satisfied that
> > there is nothing for me to be concerned with. Fortunately, FTDNA is smart
> > enough to keep their customers interests as their top priority not those of
> > overzealous Project Admins.
> > I continue to disagree with some of the other points raised in this and
> > related threads as they rely on assumptions that are too often
> incorrect. I
> > will pick on those Bill made below though no personal disrespect is
> > intended.
> > 1. This whole conversation is about helping folks by "bringing them into a
> > surname project where they can be helped"
> > This assumes the person's research goals are shared by the surname Project
> > Admin and they want or need help in the first place. Surname projects are
> > virtually useless for NPEs. Perhaps they are only interested in their deep
> > and ancient ancestry, as many Genographic Participants are, and aren't
> > interested the genetics of their surname.
> > 2. FTDNA could give them the option of joining a Surname project ... to
> > helped by a "knowledgeable coordinator".
> > This assumes the Project Admin is knowledgeable. From my own personal
> > experience I can definitely say this is not always the case. I started my
> > own surname project despite the existence of another because the Admin did
> > not have a clue what he was doing nor could even be contacted to offer
> > assistance. FTDNA will allow any customer to start their own Project, no
> > questions asked. I have seen evidence of equally unknowledgeable Project
> > Admins for other surname Projects through my East Anglia
> Project. I am very
> > proud to say that many of East Anglia Project participants have benefited
> > more from my assistance than they ever have from their respective surname
> > Project Admins. But I am biased :-)
> > Beyond the assumptions, what really gets me is all this talk
> about "sharing"
> > and "helping others" from Project Admins who do not include participants
> > from other testing companies in their Projects for various reasons. Please
> > forgive my ignorance if I am mistaken and I take it back if I am, but
> > looking at the WILLIAMS DNA Project website
> > (http://williams.genealogy.fm/dna_project.php), I see only a link to order
> > kits from FTDNA and FTDNA customers profiles. (It's a gorgeous website by
> > the way! I would join if I were a WILLIAMS). If the WILLIAMS DNA Project
> > were truly about helping other WILLIAMS it would not be exclusive to one
> > company. Are the WILLIAMS who tested with DNAH, RG, etc. not worthy?
> > I'll step down from my soapbox now before I start ranting if I haven't
> > already.
> > Cheers, David Weston.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > [mailto:] On Behalf Of Lowe DNA
> > Sent: January 4, 2007 6:46 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: Re: [DNA] Surname Challenges - FTDNA on the Case
> > David..
> > I am sure that FTDNA will retain the privacy of individuals
> without a doubt.
> > This whole conversation is about helping folks by bringing them into a
> > surname project where they can be helped. Not a control issue at all.
> > Each enrollee can they sign up for a DNA test with the "vanilla" enrollment
> > form. However, FTDNA make a change and could simply give the enrollee the
> > option of not joining the SURNAME project (and paying more for their test)
> > and they retain their complete privacy; or, FTDNA could gives them the
> > option of joining a Surname project (and get a discount) to helped by a
> > knowledgeable coordinator.
> > And give Bennett and Max the benefit about privacy issues as I am sure they
> > And I am sure you will stay with FTDNA with the policy in effect.
> > Bill
> > -------------------------------
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Orin R. Wells
Wells Family Research Association
P. O. Box 5427
Kent, Washington 98064-5427
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