February 2017 Quarterly Report

The Iowa DNA Project, formed in November 2014 has now reached 901 members.  Categorized as ‘geographical’, the project is designed for those who have direct ancestors who lived in Iowa, or those researching collateral lines that lived in Iowa. Our focus is on those who have taken autosomal, aka  Family Finder  tests.     However,  we also have numerous members enthusiastically investigating their mtDNA and YDNA origins.

Those new to DNA testing are especially welcome and their research aims are supported and encouraged  within the project.  If you have tested with another company, you may wish to transfer your results to FTDNA and join us.  Instructions are available here.

Key Figures

  • Total Iowa DNA Project Members: 901
  • Family Finder Tests Completed: 800
  • Average number of database wide matches per member:  1411
  • Weekly New Member Inter-Project Match Updates
  • All Iowa Counties Researched and Represented

Nuts and Bolts

The Iowa DNA Project Surname Index can be found here.  Surnames associated with specific counties can be found in our FAQ here.  Current members, if you’ve not already uploaded a gedcom and entered your surname and most distance ancestor details, you are strongly encouraged to do so!  You can get detailed instructions on how to complete your profile here.

As you can see from the figures below, most members have completed their profiles, thus increasing their odds of making the connection that will break down a brick wall.

  • Total Iowa Surnames: 1155
  • Members with Family Trees: 644
  • Members with listed Surnames:  772
  • Members with listed Most Distant Ancestors: 689

Iowan Family Groups

The long term goal of the Iowa DNA Project is the inclusion of multiple generations and extended family members who have taken the Family Finder test.  These family groups assist in helping inter-project matches determine how they may be connected and which branch of their family trees to examine further.  We have teamed up with Göran Runfeld of dnagen.net  to trial his ICW Tool to map out the inter-connectedness of the entire Iowa DNA project.   Below is the ‘Atlas’ or a graphical depiction of the current connections between our members.

Project Interconnectedness.png

Using the ICW Tool gives Iowa DNA Project members easy access to a variety of additional information and charts including a tabulation of our members’ Suggested Relationships.  As you can see, our members are actively recruiting close family members to test.

Suggested Relationships

  • Parent/Child: 184
  • Full Siblings: 152
  • 1st Cousin: 56
  • 2nd Cousin: 224
  • 3rd Cousin: 264
  • 4th Cousin: 768

More can be learned about the process and results here*.

*Detailed information, filters and charts are available to Iowa DNA Project members.  Current members, if you would like to find your kit(s) in the Atlas , choose ‘KIT’ from the ‘FILTER’ drop down button on the left and enter your kit number(s).


Project YDNAAs expected, the most common Y haplogroup remains R and its subclades, with I and its subclades the second most common.  To date,  51 project members have completed the Big Y test and 119 have completed the Y-DNA111.  If you are interested in getting closer to your terminal SNP but are put off by the price tag of the Big Y, there are numerous reasonably priced SNP packs available to help get you further down the phylotree*.  As you can see from the results below, members have taken advantage of the recent sales and discounts to get closer to their terminal SNPs, particularly those who had been languishing in the R-M269 subclade.

Member YDNA Haplogroups

  • R-M269: 137
  • R (excluding R-M269): 93
  • I: 62
  • E: 10
  • G: 9
  • J: 7
  • N: 3
  • B: 1
  • C: 1
  • Q: 1
  • T: 1

More information on the project’s patriarchs and YDNA results can be found here.

*If you are unsure, check with your Haplogroup’s administrator for guidance on which SNP pack is suitable for you.

Project mtDNA:  

 The most common mtDNA continues to be H and its subclades with a variety of other haplogroups also represented.  The representation of haplogroups by project members has remained stable since the previous quarterly.  Currently, 257 project members have completed Full Mitochondrial Sequencing.

Member  mtDNA Haplogroups:

  • H: 134
  • U: 44
  • T: 38
  • K: 37
  • J: 29
  • W:  11
  • V: 8
  • I: 8
  • L: 3
  • HV: 3
  • X: 2
  • A: 2
  • B: 2
  • N: 2
  • HVO:2
  • C: 1
  • RO: 1

Complete information on our project’s mtDNA matriarchs, statistics and mutations can be found here.

Declared Countries of YDNA and mtDNA Origin


MyOrigins Leaderboard

Based on percentage points per member, the Iowa DNA Project populations are listed below in order of frequency.  Descriptions of each population cluster can be found here.  Additional admixture tools can be found at Gedmatch.

On the whole, as our numbers have risen since November 2016, the populations seen in the project have remained at generally consistent proportions.

  • British Isles 45,621
  • Western and Central Europe 27,325
  • Scandinavia 26,446
  • Southern Europe 7,687
  • Eastern Europe 5,382
  • Finland and Northern Siberia 874
  • Asia Minor 772
  • West Africa 398
  • Ashkenazi Diaspora 300
  • Eastern Middle East 287
  • Native American 237
  • Central Asia 233
  • Northeast Asia 143
  •  (Blended Population Cluster) Eastern, Western and Central European 100
  • ECW Euro 100
  • North Africa 87
  • East Central Africa 16
  • South-Central Africa 9

100% Club:

  • 100% British Isles 9 members
  • 100% Western and Central Europe 6 members
  • 100% Scandinavian 2 members
  • 100% Eastern, Western and Central European 1 member
  • 100% Scandinavian, Western Central European 1 member

Ancient Origins

FTDNA has added the Ancient Origins calculator to its list of offerings, and describes it as, “The European Continent has been witness to many episodes of human migration, some of which have spanned over thousands of years. The most up-to-date research into these ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.”  Now, those who have taken the Family Finder test can also learn more about their deep origins.

In general, across the board project members are returning roughly equal proportions of Hunter Gatherer and Early Farmers, with additional 10-15% Metal Age Invader ancestry.  Detailed information on the calculator and how to use this new tool can be found here .

Ancient Origins Leaderboard

  • Hunter Gatherers  30,148
  • Early Farmers 28,840
  • Metal Age Invaders 9639
  • Non-European 780

Coming Results:

Following the recent seasonal sales, the FTDNA lab is currently waiting for the following test kits to be returned:1 Family Finder, 4 mtDNA Full Sequence,  and 1 Factoid.

From the FTDNA lab, project members are waiting for the following results:  6 mtFull Sequence (1 delayed), 1 mtDNA Plus (delayed),  3 YDNA 67,  2 YDNA 111 (1 delayed),  3 Y Haplogroup Backbone (2 delayed),  1 SNP Pack (delayed),  3 individual SNPs (1 delayed) and  2 Family Finders (1 delayed).

Current members, please keep in mind you cannot be checked for inter-project matches without a completed and unlocked Family Finder test. 

Do You have Iowan Roots?

If you have Iowan roots, you are very welcome to join and encouraged to collaborate, share your family’s history, and find connections with your fellow Iowans.

You can read more about the benefits of joining a project at FTDNA here .  If you would like to join the Iowa DNA Project, please visit our homepage here.  The project has converted to MyGroups and has activated its Activity Feed to encourage collaboration. The Feed may be accessed after joining and of course our links section, which contains tutorials for FTDNA users and case studies,  is available to all.




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