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November 24, 2011

In October of 2001, our founder, Rufus B. "Byron" Brown, established the Brown DNA Study via the good offices of Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). Then on November 24, 2001 -- exactly ten years ago on this year's Thanksgiving Day -- Byron's test kit arrived back at FTDNA's Houston TX headquarters, as did the kit of our second member, the late Raymond C. Brown. Therefore, we may now celebrate a full ten years of DNA research on various Brown and "Brown-variant" surnames!
As we commemorate our tenth anniversary, the project currently has DNA results for 796 men, most carrying the Brown surname or a variant like Braun or Browne, plus a handful of "biological Browns" who carry non-Brown surnames. These numbers make us one of the largest surname projects on the planet, surpassed only by Smith, McDonald, Johnson and Williams.
(There are several projects that are even larger, but they are based on geography, clans or haplogroups. That is, they aren't organized around one surname.) 
As of today, our members fall into a total of 366 biologically separate, unrelated Brown family lines. Of these men, 572 have matches with other Browns (or Brauns or Brownes or Brownings, etc.), while 224 are still waiting for their first matches. Therefore, our "match rate" now stands at 72 per cent.
Then, as an extra added attraction, our website also has results or partial results for another 64 "Anonymous" Brown-surnamed men who have tested with FTDNA but who haven't yet joined the Brown DNA Study.
(To be sure, we can't claim that all our matches eventually will turn out to be genealogically useful, but at least they all appear to have some degree of potential significance.)

So if you're a Brown descendant who's thinking about a test for yourself or a Brown-surnamed male relative, or if you've already had a test but haven't yet joined the Brown DNA Study, we'd be more than pleased to hear from you!


February 14, 2011

The Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study now has results for 712 members!

Among this number, we've identified 131 "relationship groups" consisting of men with matches that appear to have genealogical significance. Then we have another 218 members still waiting for their first matches.

Therefore, we've so far identified some 349 biologically distinct, unrelated Brown family lines (including variant surnames like Browne, Braun, Browning, etc.). And we now have a "match rate" of approximately sixty-nine per cent.

Then, we have another seven members who are awaiting their first lab results, and our website lists partial results for about 50 "Anonymous Browns" who match one or more of our members, but who haven't yet joined the project. If you're among these "Anonymous" folks, you'll certainly be welcomed into the Brown DNA Study. So please do get in touch!


November 17, 2009

The Brown DNA Study now has 605 sets of members' DNA results! The honor of being our 600th member is shared between Richard Graham Brown of Queensland, Australia, and Neil Francis Brown of Pennsylvania, USA. (Your project administrator received these two sets of results at the same time.) So our heartiest congratulations go out to Richard and Neil. And sincere thanks to both of you for helping us reach this important milestone!

Among our current membership, 406 men have matches that appear potentially useful for genealogy, while 199 others are still waiting for their first matches. Then we have results (or partial results) for another 29 "Anonymous Browns" who have never joined the Brown DNA Study. Of these men, 26 have matches with our project's members, while three have no matches. Therefore our "total match rate" is a bit more than 68 per cent.

Our 406 matched members fall into 119 "relationship groups." So if you add the latter number to our 202 sets of non-matched results, you'll see that we've identified some 341 biologically distinct Brown family lines (counting families who carry close-variant surnames like Browne, Braun, Broun and Browning). This growing total implies a diversity of origins for our surname that continues to astound your administrator!

In the meantime, activity has picked up just a bit for our Scotland/Ulster Test Program. Subsidized test kits have now been distributed to five men, with four kits already returned. The funds remaining will allow us to finance 17 more tests.


July 1, 2009


Good news! The project's membership have now exceeded our original fundraising goal for free tests in Scotland and Ulster. As a result, we'll be offering 20 free tests at the 37-marker level, plus basic mtDNA testing for the successful applicants. Click here for details.


May 28, 2009


Your project administrator is happy to announce a new initiative for encouraging genealogical DNA tests in Scotland and Ulster.

A large percentage of the Brown DNA Study's members (administrator included) either think or know they descend from Scottish Browns. But the Brown project  currently has only one participant who was born in Scotland, plus one other member whose father was born there. So our attempts to find DNA connections with "the old country" have so far been seriously handicapped.

Therefore, as a means to build a "Scots Browns" DNA database, I'm proposing that our project raise funds to offer a limited number of free DNA tests for Brown-surnamed Scotsmen and Ulster Scots.

The perfect opportunity to launch such an effort is now before us, because the contractor for the Brown DNA Study, Family Tree DNA, will be sending representatives in July to Scotland for the international "Gathering of Clans" convention at Edinburgh. The FTDNA folks have told me they would be happy while there to publicize the availability of free tests for Browns in Scotland (including Brouns, Brownings, etc.). Moreover, if we're lucky, they may even be able to recruit and "swab" a few men in person!

I believe a reasonable goal will be for us to raise funds for a minimum of ten 12-marker DNA tests. But of course, more would always be better. Then if we're successful in finding matches at the 12-marker level, I recommend that upgrades to 37-markers be the responsibility of the Scottish participants and/or their expatriate "DNA cousins."

If you're willing to help, you may make a donation in any amount to the Brown DNA Study's "general fund" via the following link:

Once you go to this page, just click on the letter "B" at the drop-down menu on the left, then scroll down the second list until you find "Brown" and click again.

Once you've indicated the amount of your contribution, please indicate that the type of donation is "Individual" -- unless you wish to remain anonymous. And please indicate in the "Note" box whether your donation is restricted to Scottish DNA testing, to testing in some other geographic location, or whether it's unrestricted. You may pay either by credit card, by PayPal, or by a check mailed to FTDNA. The rest of the donation form should be self-explanatory.

Please note also that if we raise more funds than can be used this year for tests in Scotland, your donation will be left in our project's "general fund" for future testing, and we'll follow instructions as to whether you've restricted your contribution to Browns born in Scotland.

Finally, although we have an immediate opportunity to begin an undertaking in Scotland, if we're successful we surely can expand this program eventually to other countries. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Best regards,

Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.)
Volunteer Project Administrator
Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study



April 25, 2009

The Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study has just passed another noteworthy milestone, with 550 sets of members' DNA results now posted to our website!

The honor of being our 550th "reported" member goes to Richard Allen Brown of Montana, no. 148419 -- who has a perfect 37/37 match with longtime member Robby Lynn Brown, no. 16533, who has been waiting for just such a match since late 2003. Hearty congratulations to both Rick and Robby!
In fact the project has recently had a true "growth spurt" -- meaning among other things that we can now identify some 107 relationship groups. These groups are comprised of members whose matches seem potentially useful for genealogical research. They're listed here:
In the meantime, a total of 176 members are still waiting for their first matches and are listed here:
These numbers, 107 plus 176, mean the Brown DNA Study has now identified 283 biologically distinct family lines for the Brown surname or a variant (Browne, Browning, etc.). I don't know about you, but your project administrator continues to be intrigued by this level of diversity for our surname. Who wudda thunk?
In other project news, there's a new feature at our website whereby we now give DNA results for several non-member "Anonymous Browns." These non-members are men who have already tested with our contractor, FTDNA and have matches with one or more of our members. We currently show results for 13 such non-members, and the number will grow as FTDNA's computers uncover more matches. Of course, we certainly hope to recruit these men sooner or later as regular project members. Keep your fingers crossed that they'll eventually join us!
The addition of these non-members to our Group Results page means we now have a grand total of 563 sets of results posted to our website. Among this total, 387 test participants are in our 107 relationship groups -- giving us a current match rate of about 68%.  
Another project-related statistic is that 22 members listed at our website have been tested by firms other than Family Tree DNA. We're more than happy to have these fellows with us! So if you're in touch with any Brown/Browne/Braun/Browning etc. who has already been tested by, Relative Genetics or another outfit, please let him or his sponsor know that our project will welcome them.
(On other hand, we definitely don't "recommend" testing via companies other than FTDNA, mainly because the non-FTDNA results are so difficult to analyze and compare. But that's another story, one I'll be happy to explain and discuss if you email me directly.)
Now an important note:
Unlike many other DNA surname projects, the Brown DNA Study's usual policy is to post our members' real names and their Email addresses at our website. But such listings aren't mandatory for membership, and we now display DNA results for a dozen or so members whose real names aren't posted. So if you ever decide you want your DNA numbers to be shown under some form of "alias" rather than under your real name, just let me know -- and I'll accommodate your preference as quickly as possible.
Ditto for your Email address: If you don't want it listed at our website, just dispatch an email to me ASAP at
Last but not least, please don't hesitate to email me directly whenever you have questions about your DNA results, about the Brown project, or about DNA genealogy in general. I'm here to help!
Best regards,

Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.)
Volunteer Project Administrator
Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study



January 15, 2009


The Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study is now slightly more than seven years old, having begun with a test by our founder, Rufus B. "Byron" Brown, on November 11, 2001. And we transition into our eighth year, I'm pleased to announce that the project has just passed the "five-century" mark, with 505 sets of results now available! 

The honor of being our 500th successfully tested participant is shared between Gerald L. Brown, whose results fit nicely into the project's Group No. 55, and James Hoyt Brown, whose results fit equally well into our Group No. 4.
(Their results were reported at the same time, hence the tie for 500th place.)
Project statistics are as follow:
1. About 66% of participants (334 men) have what appear to be significant matches with other project members.
2. These matched participants fall into 96 relationship groups.
3. Another 34% (171 participants) are still awaiting their first matches with other project members. About a dozen of these men, however, already have matches with Brown-surnamed men who -- for reasons unknown to your Administrator -- have never joined the Brown DNA Study.
4. These numbers indicate that we've identified more than 260 biologically distinct family lines carrying the Brown surname or a variant (Browne, Braun, Browning, Brownlee, Brune, Brunet, Bruijn, etc.).
5. Slightly more than 2/3 of our members fall into haplogroup "R1b" or one of its subclades. Other haplogroups represented (with number of members in parentheses) are: C (1); E (20); G (9); I (95); J (24); Q (3); and R1a (14).
Please note that it's the normal policy of the Brown DNA Study to show members' real names at our website. But about a dozen members have asked for some form of anonymity. In such a case, we're always glad to list the participant under an "alias" in the form of an ancestor's name. 
Therefore, if you ever should decide you don't want your name listed at the project website, please email me directly to I'll accommodate your request as quickly as possible. Ditto for any other change you might want for your personal listing, including your "earliest known ancestor" information and your Email address. 
Finally, please feel free to email me whenever you have a question either about DNA genealogy in general or about the Brown DNA Study in particular. I can't always guarantee an answer, but I'll guarantee to try!
Best regards,

Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.)
FTDNA Kit No. 4020 & Y-search ID 3CT29
Volunteer Project Administrator
Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study


November 1, 2008

The Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study now has results for 478 members, while initial lab work for another five members is currently ongoing. So as the project approaches its seventh anniversary, our tested membership has now reached a grand total of 483!

Among the DNA results so far reported, 320 participants have what appear to be "genealogically significant" matches with other members, falling into some 93 relationship groups, while another 158 members are still waiting for their first matches.

These statistics also mean that we've so far identified 251 separate, biologically distinct Brown family lines. Although we've always known that the Brown surname had diverse origins, this level of diversity continues to be much greater than many of us would have expected -- all the more so since our project has thus far tested something less than 0.02 per cent of the Brown-surnamed men in the English-speaking world! 

Best regards,

Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.)
Volunteer Project Administrator
Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study

April 25, 2008

Now that we've recently entered the seventh (!!!) year of the project's existence, the Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study continues its impressive growth trajectory. A total of 455 participants have so far returned test kits, and we currently have results for all but six of these members. The numbers indicate that we're still not the largest surname project, but we'll get there one of these days!
(Williams and Clan MacDonald definitely have more participants. Moreover, depending on whether the count is by "kits distributed" or "tests completed," we're either slightly ahead of or slightly behind the Walker, Johnson/Johnston and Rose projects.) 
The project's results now fall into 82 "relationship groups" -- each one of whose members probably share common Brown ancestries within the past 500 years -- plus, there are 156 members (about one-third of total membership) who have yet to find a match with another participant.
Among other things, these numbers mean that our project has now identified some 238 unrelated, biologically distinct Brown family lines. Your administrator continues to be surprised by the diversity in the origins of the "Brown" surname that may be inferred from these numbers!
Finally, an important reminder:

Unlike many DNA surname projects, the Brown DNA Study has always posted participants' names alongside their results at our website, unless a participant has requested otherwise. So if you ever decide you'd like to have anonymity, just let the project administrator (Jim Brown) know your preferences, via Email to




March 21, 2007

We now have DNA signatures for 342 participants, among whom there are 203 members classified into 61 relationship groups -- while another 139 members have yet to find matches with other project members. 

In other words, we now have a match rate of 59%, compared with only about 50% a year ago. These numbers also mean that we've so far identified at least 200 biologically distinct Brown lines -- a level of diverse origins for the Brown surname that continues to surprise.
(At least, it surprises the project's administrator!) 
 What's more,  our webmaster, Randall Colston, has now made the entire website searchable: Just click here!
In the meantime the effort to update our website's "earliest known Brown ancestor" information continues, under the able leadership of David W. Brown (no. N6674). David now has compiled earliest ancestor data for about 3/4 of our membership. If you haven't yet sent him info for your Brown line, please furnish something (no matter how brief) very soon. Then we'll be able to finish this worthwhile exercise and post the resulting information to the project website.
There remain about 70 members for whom we have earliest ancestor data, but for whom we lack permission to post Email addresses. David has recently contacted these participants and sponsors. If you're among them, and if you still haven't replied to David's request, we'd appreciate your permission ASAP.
(Important note: When we do list your Email address, we'll put it in the form of a "picture" that can't easily be harvested by Email spammers.) 



June 13, 2006
The Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study now has results for 262 men, 146 of whom have found potentially significant matches with other project members.
This outcome means that our study's match rate now stands just shy of 56% -- as compared to a rate just under 54% at the beginning of 2006, and a rate last year at this time that was still below 50%. So our "success percentage" has continued to rise, just as we've long thought it would.
The matched men now fall into 44 separate groups that appear to share common ancestries within the last 600 years or so. Therefore, when combined with our 116 participants who lack matches, it seems we've now identified 160 unrelated, genealogically distinct Brown lines.
We've always known that our Brown surname had diverse origins. But I don't think anybody could have predicted four years ago, when Byron Brown began our project, that we would have discovered so much diversity after having tested only about .01 per cent of the estimated two to three million Brown-surnamed men in the English-speaking world.
In any event, for our website's latest compilation of the project's overall results, see here:
(Note that results are presented separately for those members who fall into a "group," as opposed to those with "unique" DNA signatures. So if you don't find yourself on the page for group results, just check the page for unique results. And if you find a mistake or omission in your results as posted, please contact me ASAP off-list. Please also be aware that if you've received new results since June 1st, they may not yet have been posted.)
Finally, special thanks to all those who've helped spread the word not only about our study but also about DNA genealogy in general. Every bit of positive publicity will surely help our drive to recruit new members. And even though we're not yet the largest surname project (the Wells, Rose and Walker projects all surpass us for the time being), we'll surely get there one day soon -- but only with your help!
Best regards,

Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.)
Project Co-Administrator
Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study



June 1, 2005

Hello to all Brown researchers and descendants!

Our Study now has yDNA  signatures for 143 men, of whom
70 -- or about 49% -- have so far found genealogically significant
matches with other project members.
This "success rate" has been rising steadily over the life of the
project, and we can expect continued increases over the next
few years as more and more people learn about the new field
of DNA genealogy. 

FYI, our rate of matches was only about 30% at this time last year.
And two years ago, it was about 10%.
Moral of the story: If we all pull together and work to recruit new
members, then by this time next year, I'm sure we'll be able
to say that a healthy majority of our members have found
matches with other Brown families!
Best regards,

Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.)
Project Co-Administrator
Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study
PS: Go to our project website's "results" section, and you'll see
that we now have twenty-six (!) groups of matching members:
If my arithmetic is correct, then these 26 matched groups plus our
73 members without matches mean that we've so far discovered
a grand total of 99 separate, unrelated Brown lines. So if anybody
doubted the extremely diverse "multiple origins" of the Brown
surname, we now have overwhelming proof!




March 14, 2003

We now have 78 members on our Brown DNA Study's mail list.  There are  37 member who have returned their test kits to our contractor, FTDNA,  with a total of 42 who have so ordered the kits via the Brown project. 




September 1, 2002

The Brown project's founder, Rufus B. "Byron" Brown has served the group extremely well since it began in January 2002.  He turned 75 in June and now would like to have someone else assume administration of the Brown DNA Study.  Randall Colston has volunteered to serve as the new Administrator, and he also will furnish web space for the project's Internet site at no cost to the membership. 



January 2002

The Brown Study began the first of the year 2002 and at this time we have seven tests returned with 12 registered.  We are moving quickly now so contact me to order your Kit as soon as possible.  We will add you to list of members and others who are interested in the Study and sign you up for the mail list.  Even if you can not qualify to participate in the study send us a note and let us know that you are interested.  We would like to encourage everyone to do what they can to help.  


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