Thursday, August 19, 2010

LEWIS Surname DNA Project

The LEWIS Surname DNA Project was created to enable various Lewis participants to Y chromosome DNA test and compare the results in one surname data base and across the entire data base at Family Tree DNA of Houston.  All Lewis lines are welcomed including variant spellings and non-surname matches to established Lewis lines. DNA analysis provides a tool for identifying participants who share a common male ancestor; and, when used in unison with documented Lewis pedigrees, can also aid in establishing links between Lewis groups who previously were thought to be unrelated.

Because many Lewis surname researchers have exhausted traditional genealogy research methods without identifying their elusive Lewis ancestor, this project combines genetics and genealogy in an effort to break through the proverbial "brick wall".


Since males are the exclusive carriers of the Y-chromosome, which passes down through the generations to the common ancestor's lineal male descendants, only males with the Lewis surname will be tested for this project. However, a female also can benefit from the DNA technology by having a brother, father, uncle, grandfather, nephew or cousin with the Lewis surname participate in the Lewis DNA Project.

FTDNA has given the LEWIS project a discounted price of $99.00 for a Y-DNA12 test, $124. for 25 markers or $148.00 for a Y-DNA37 test. If the 12-marker test is chosen, it can always be upgraded later to the Y-DNA37 test for $99 to identify the additional 25 markers. However, it is highly recommended that you choose at least 25 markers to start with. The Y-DNA37 and DNA67 tests are particularly useful in genealogy research since this knowledge can greatly reduce the number of possible generations between the participants and their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). We recommend the Y-DNA37 test because matching results with this test offer a significantly greater probability that the MRCA lived at a time when the Lewis surname was in use and paper documentation existed.

Participants are required to provide the project with a brief paternal lineage in the format shown for Kit#38757 . Please send a text file of the lineage to:


All testing for the Lewis Surname DNA Project will be conducted through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) in concert with Dr. Michael Hammer and the University of Arizona. Only that part of the DNA which contains the Y-chromosome will be tested. With the exception of infrequent mutations, the Y-chromosome remains stable in all lineal descendants of the common male ancestor. Test results will be entered into FTDNA's large database for comparison with the other results. Should a participant have a Y-DNA match within the database the lab will inform those participants provided they have signed the FTDNA Release Form. All project participants will receive a certificate and a general analysis and interpretation of their test results from the lab.

The FTDNA website provides answers to many questions regarding DNA testing and it's usefulness as a genealogy research tool. 

The Lewis Surname DNA Project website generates no monetary compensation for it's organizers.

Hopefully, the DNA results and pedigrees provided to the Lewis Surname DNA Project will further the unraveling of a surname group which at present has numerous broken lines. It must be noted that while participant DNA matches indicate only a nameless common male ancestor who might be part of an established Lewis group, it is up to the researcher to work diligently to place a name on that common ancestor.

Go here to Donate to General Fund

Go here to Order


In the form that pops up:

Enter your kit number, group number and a genealogy chart if possible. Thanks!