Why Should You Participate?

If you have spent any time researching your Beatty family history, you have probably reached a point where you cannot identify early ancestors. Perhaps you have documented 3 generations, or 6, or 8. But, at some point the Beatty trail grows cold.  You are not alone! Every Beatty researcher (actually, every researcher of any family) has reached the same point at one time or another (the famous 'brick wall').  And, even though there are relatively few Beattys in the population, there doesn't seem to be many connections among them or widespread documentation of their origins. The Beatty Project 2000 (BP-2000) was started in 1996 to gather information about the various Beatty families. A lot of work has already been done to document Beatty lineages. But, important questions about connections and origins remain.  This Beatty DNA Project is intended to help provide additional answers to those questions.

Elsewhere on this website is an explanation of why only the Y-chromosome of male Beatty descendants is tested for this project.  But, you don't have to be a male Beatty descendant to participate.  If you have an interest in Beatty family history and know male Beatty descendants, you can participate by encouraging those Beattys to submit samples for testing.

If your Beatty family group has not been submitted to BP-2000 and received a Lineage Number, we encourage you to do so. For information about how to submit your family group (lineage), go to
BP-2000.  Even if only 2 or 3 generations are known to you, submit what you have.  Believe it or not, we have some one-name lineages in BP-2000 with Lineage Numbers.

Also, it is important to understand that not all male Beatty descendants need be tested. Generally, only one or two samples from a small family group are sufficient to determine linkage with other Beatty family groups. With larger family groups, additional samples might be needed. For this project to provide useful results, representative sampling rather than complete testing is sufficient.

It is also important to understand what DNA testing will and will not tell us. If enough people submit test samples to this project, we should begin to see previously unknown linkages between and among Beatty family groups. The test results won't tell us what those relationships are, only that some ancestral relationship probably exists.  The family groups can then communicate with one another to share information and help fill in the blanks.  A lot of important information about the Beattys has been uncovered.  But, much of it is scattered among many researchers.  When this information is combined and compared in a meaningful way, real progress in documenting family histories can be made.

Finally, you do not have to be an experienced genealogist to participate.  Most of us work on our family histories in our spare time as a hobby.  We are all researchers, not in the sense of being experienced professionals, but because we seek information about our past.

So, what are the benefits of participation?  Here are a few.

1. Break through the brick wall.  In some cases DNA test results provide independent information to bolster or deny a questionable ancestral story. We have already had a case of two men discovering by their test results that they are rather closely related prompting them to re-examine the genealogies they have been working on for many years. They found an unnoticed connection. These two men have different spellings of their surname, live in different countries, and had no previous hint that they were so closely connected.

2. Determine ancestral origin.  Many Beattys have wondered about the origins of the Beatty surname. Did all of the various spellings originate from a single Beatty ancestor long ago? Or, are today's various Beatty families descended from different, unrelated ancestors who acquired their surnames from their occupations, geographic locations, or other means?  Comparing DNA test results from enough Beattys offers the possibility of adding new information which might help answer these questions.

3. Define and clarify the entire Beatty ancestry more fully.  Beatty Project 2000 was started to allow Beatty researchers to pool their information and benefit from cooperation.  Many different lineages have been defined, but they have not been reliably joined by documentary research.  The Beatty DNA Project is a new type of cooperative effort that holds great promise for all of us. A Beatty Y chromosome database is being built. As it grows, it will become possible to point to relationships not previously suspected. We expect that within each of the BP-2000 lineages, the men will have very similar test results. Where they don't, it is desirable to look for clues to where the change occurred.  In most cases there is not much need for new data on known relatives of those already in the database. The main need is for diversity, e.g., lineages not yet tested, Beattys living in different places, and those with spellings of the name that are possibly not in the Beatty/Beaty/Beattie family.

As explained in
About Genetic Genealogy in this website, there is nothing in the Y-chromosome test results of this project which could be considered personally revealing or identifying. Still, the confidentiality of each participant is important. Therefore, only an ID number and Lineage Number of each person submitting a sample are disclosed in the results tables.  The identity of those people is known only to Family Tree DNA and the Project's Group Administrator. Naturally, for group discussion purposes and the sharing of information, email addresses and identification should be made known to those with a need to know.  But, such information will not be made available without the permission of the participant.

Finally, participants should be aware of the occurrence of "non-paternity" events in family histories. These are events in which a male offspring is not the biological descendent of his surnamed father. Such circumstances could be attributed to adoption, infidelity, rape, etc. Though not common, such circumstances do occur in every family history, and they offer one explanation for a divergence in DNA test results.  However, there are other explanations for such a divergence, so caution is advised before jumping to a conclusion that a "non-paternity" event occurred. 

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