December 2017 Report

The Iowa DNA Project, formed in November 2014 has now reached 1312 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: 1312
  • Family Finder Tests Completed: 1100
  • Average number of database wide matches per member:  1303
  • Weekly New Member Inter-Project Match Updates
  • All Iowa Counties Researched and Represented

Nuts and Bolts

Since its inception, the Iowa DNA Project has maintained a list of surnames and related areas of interest.  Details can be provided directly so that they may be added to the indexes and/or posted for discussion on our Project Activity Feed.  Index searches are available to all existing members and collaboration is encouraged.

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 in your profiles, you are strongly encouraged to do so!  You can get detailed instructions on how to complete the process here.

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

  • Total Iowa Surnames: 1416
  • Members with Family Trees: 872
  • Members with listed Surnames:  1018
  • Members with listed Most Distant Ancestors: 878

 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  to utilize 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.

Inter-Connectedness Atlas

Inter-Connectedness Atlas

Using the ICW Tool gives Iowa DNA Project members easy access to a wealth 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: 253
  • Full Siblings: 176
  • 1st Cousin: 66
  • 2nd Cousin: 264
  • 3rd Cousin: 550
  • 4th Cousin: 1584

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 YDNA:

As expected, the most common Y haplogroup remains R and its subclades, with I and its subclades the second most prevalent.  Over the last 6 months, we have seen a slight increase in the rarer haplogroups Q, C and T.  To date,  84 project members have completed the Big Y test and 183 have completed the Y-DNA111, with a total of 11 subgroups represented.  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 various offers and tailored SNP packs to get closer to their terminal SNPs, particularly those who had been languishing under the enormous umbrella of the R-M269 subclade.

Member YDNA Haplogroups:

  • R-M269: 193
  • R (excluding R-M269): 139
  • I: 84
  • E: 16
  • J: 14
  • G: 9
  • N: 4
  • Q: 3
  • C: 2
  • T: 2
  • B: 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 has remained stable other than a marked increase in K haplogroup members.  Currently, 372 project members have completed Full Mitochondrial Sequencing and another 473 the mtDNA Plus, with a total of 17 subgroups represented by the project.

Member  mtDNA Haplogroups:

  • H: 198
  • U: 56
  • K: 52
  • T: 50
  • J: 37
  • W:  12
  • I: 12
  • V: 11
  • L: 5
  • HV: 4
  • X: 3
  • A: 2
  • B: 2
  • N: 2
  • HVO:2
  • RO: 2
  • C: 1

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

Declared Countries of YDNA and mtDNA Origin

YDNA Declared Country of Origin

mtDNA Declared Country of Origin

MyOrigins Leaderboard

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

  • British Isles 43,273
  • West and Central Europe 23,464
  • Scandinavia 11,168
  • East Europe 5,466
  • Southeast Europe 4,395
  • Iberia 1,492
  • West Africa 523
  • Asia Minor 423
  • Ashkenazi 400
  • Finland 317
  • North and Central America 305
  • Sephardic 234
  • West Middle East 210
  • South America 112
  • Northeast Asia 75
  • East Middle East 88
  • East Central Africa 31
  • Central Asia 19
  • South Central Africa 11
  • North Africa 11
  • South Central Asia 5
  • Siberia 2

With the newest version of myOrigins, population trace amounts are also available in the ethnicity report.

  • West Middle East 174 members
  • Finland 151 members
  • East Europe 128 members
  • Oceania 109 members
  • Southeast Europe 99 members
  • North and Central America 97 members
  • South America 93 members
  • Asia Minor 76 members
  • Siberia 63 members
  • South Central Africa 61 members
  • Central Asia 60 members
  • North Africa 54 members
  • Ashkenazi 52 members
  • East Middle East 52 members
  • West Africa 50 members
  • South Central Asia 45 members
  • East Central Africa 38 members
  • Sephardic 29 members
  • Southeast Asia 26 members
  • Iberia 25 members
  • Scandinavia 25 members
  • Northeast Asia 20 members
  • British Isles: 7 members
  • West and Central Europe 6 members

 100% Club:

Currently, 4 of our members have returned a 100% result (1 British Isles, 2 Scandinavia and 1 Eastern European).

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  41,915
  • Early Farmers 40,411
  • Metal Age Invaders 11,670
  • Non-European 1,011

Coming Results:

The FTDNA lab is currently waiting for the following test kits to be returned: 3 Family Finder (1 3rd Attempt), 7 mtDNA Full Sequence,  3 YDNA 37, 1 YDNA 111, 1 SNP and 1 Factoid.

From the FTDNA lab, project members are waiting for the following results:   5 mtFull Sequence, 1 mtDNA Plus,  2 YDNA 37,   2 YDNA 67,   6 YDNA 111 (1 delayed),  5 Big Y (3 delayed), 2 Y Haplogroup Backbone (1 delayed),   4 SNP Pack (2 delayed), 7 individual SNPs, 1 Family Finder Geno2+ and 5 Family Finders.

Current members, please keep in mind you cannot be checked for inter-project matches without a completed 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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