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DNA Study - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Questions and Answers:

Testing Questions:

1.  Who can be tested in the Brown Project?
2.  Who does the Actual Testing?
3.  What does it cost to be tested?
4.  What is in the test Kit? 
5.  How do I Order a Test Kit?
6.  Who can I contact about the DNA Study?

Questions and Answers:


1.  Who can be tested in the Brown DNA Study?

You must either (1) be a male who carries the Brown surname (including variants like "Browne" and "Braun" and "Browning"); or you must (2) be a male who is thought to descend from a Brown-surnamed male ancestor in an unbroken male-to-male line.  The Y Chromosome test that we use for researching the Brown surname is only effective to trace DNA through father to son relationships. For example, the relationship must be You => father => grandfather => great-grandfather. This result comes about simply because women don't possess the Y chromosome, and therefore they cannot pass such genetic material to their offspring.


2.  Who does the Actual Testing?

A company named Family Tree DNA, located in Houston TX, is our contractor. They make all arrangements for actual lab work, which is performed in the world-class DNA lab at the University of Arizona.

The following link will take you to the FTDNA home page:

This site has detailed information on the uses of DNA for genealogy. In particular, you will find the title "Tutorial" on the right side of the page, below the search blocks. This link will lead you to explanations of the testing process, test kit contents and instructions, charts, and a host of other information. This FTDNA information link it is an outstanding resource, and we recommend it. Please note however that if you want to be part of the Brown surname project, you should NOT order your kit directly from FTDNA. We say this because you will not get our special discount price unless you order through the Brown project.


3.  What does it cost to be tested?

Currently the lowest fee for project members is $49.00 for the 12-Marker Y-chromosome test (plus $5.00 for shipping and handling). Please be sure to keep in mind that this is a discounted price for the Brown DNA Study.  The kit must be ordered through the group administrator, Jim Brown, to get the discount. (Individuals who order directly from FTDNA will pay higher prices.)

For most new participants, however, we strongly recommend the 37-marker test. For more info on fees, click here.


4.   What is in the Kit?

FTDNA will send a kit that contains 3 swabs, 3 vials, instructions, and a release.  The following link has a picture of the kit contents and instructions:


5.   How do I Order a Test Kit?

To order a test kit, you only need to send an email to Jim Brown (James Armistead Brown, Jr.),
Here's the info needed:

Full Name of test participant including his middle name, Shipping Address, Billing Name and Address (if different from Shipping Name and Shipping Address), and E-mail Address. A contact Phone Number is helpful but not required.

We also would like to have your basic genealogical information in the male-to-male line. Specifically, we most need info on your earliest known Brown-surnamed male ancestor. But if you don't have full information, please just send what you can. And you may send information on additional generations if you wish.


6.  Whom may I contact about the DNA Study?
Jim Brown, Volunteer Project Administrator,
Contact Jim to order a test kit, or for any questions about the Brown DNA Study or about the broader field of DNA genealogy.  



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This page was last updated on 05/20/13.

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