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DNA Project

© 2014 Sherwo0d One Name Group

The first point to stress is that DNA testing is not, and never can be, a substitute for the traditional techniques used for One-Name Studies. However it can provide valuable supporting evidence to assist a One-Name Study and may be able to provide evidence of genealogical lineage which is absent from the historical record. Equally, it has to be recognised that a One-Name Study collects all references to a surname whether or not there is any genealogical connection between them; these will include references to wives, adopted children, some illegitimate children, slaves and others who for a variety of reasons have used the name.

How can I join a DNA Project?

We are sometimes asked why this study group has not set up project. Well, the answer is that there is already a project which anyone can join at FamilyTreeDNA. This project was initially set up to try to prove links to a Thomas Sherwood born 1586 in England who emigrated to New England in 1634, and has many descendants all over the USA. Some of his children were baptised at Kettlebaston, near Ipswich in Suffolk, the port from which he sailed to Boston. The project has 9 subscribers and covers the surname variants Sharwood, Shearwood, Sherod, Sherrod and Sherwood. The project aims to answer the following questions:

‘Where in England did Thomas Sherwood originate?’ And ‘What if any are the ties between the New England Sherwoods descended from Thomas and those that trace their lineage back to the middle Atlantic colonies?’ The purpose of the SHERWOOD DNA Project is to take advantage of the recently developed technology of DNA Y-chromasome testing to find relationships between living Sherwoods in America, Great Britain, and possibly elsewhere that may shed light on these and other questions. The same company also hosts the Sherrod Surname Project which also includes Sherwood.


The recent entry of Ancestry into this market will no doubt extend its popularity. This is expected to lead to DNA testing becoming more widely used, especially as part of One-Name Studies, and possibly cheaper.


There is also a new Sherwood Project at Ancestry.com which covers Yorkshire, England.

A DNA surname project aims to link bearers of a particular surname, by identifying shared markers of the Y-chromosome DNA which are passed down through the male line. Thus only male bearers of the surname can participate. DNA testing is a relatively new technique and only during this decade has it been possible for ordinary family historians to be able to afford the tests from the group of specialist testing firms that have emerged.

What is a DNA Project?

down through the male line. Thus only male bearers of the surname can participate. DNA testing is a relatively new technique and only during this decade has it been possible for ordinary family historians to be able to afford the tests from the group of specialist testing firms that have emerged.