top of page


A DNA Project allows a group of researchers who share a common thread in their ancestry to work together to further their genealogical knowledge.

  • You may want to join more than one project to get the most from your DNA test, or you may want to test different family members to represent different branches of your family tree and join projects for each test.

  • Family Tree DNA allows test takers to join as many projects as they feel are beneficial. 

  • Ordering your DNA kit through a project automatically makes you a member of a project, but you can also join projects through the "join projects" link on your personal page at FTDNA. 

  • Some projects require permission from the Project Administrator to join the project.


Here are the types of projects you can join:


Surname Projects

  • A Surname DNA Project is a group of genealogy researchers who share a surname, or a genetic link to the surname, and who join together to use yDNA testing, paper trails, and research to identify those with whom they share a common ancestor.

  • Why join a Surname DNA project?
    The aim for many participants is to identify a participant who "matches" their test results, and who can help them find the paper trail that leads further back up the family tree. When the DNA information is combined with family pedigrees and other relevant information, the full power of Genetic Genealogy is utilized.  In addition, yDNA tests cost less when you order them through a surname project at Family Tree DNA. Note: most surname projects include a number of spelling variations - which may share common ancestry - as many families shortened or modified their names as they moved to a new culture.

       Here are some of the benefits of joining a surname project:

  • A project website allows you to join others in posting results and pedigrees to see how it all fits together.

  • Ordering through the project's order page gives you a cheaper price for yDNA tests.

  • Ordering through the project's order page automatically makes you a member of the project.  

  • Joining a project, either through ordering a test or joining through your page at FTDNA, lets you receive

    • a welcome message with specific information about the project's website.

    • emails informing you whenever new results or pedigrees are posted on the project's website.

    • updates about the project, FTDNA sales, and other news of interest.  

  • How do I join a Surname DNA Project?
    Ordering your yDNA test through a project automatically makes you a member of a project (and gives you a lower yDNA test price).  In addition, you can join a project through the "Join projects" link on your FTDNA Personal Page. 

  • What is a Project Administrator? They are Volunteers.  Typically, one or two researchers who provide leadership for the project, coordinating the collection and display of pedigrees, the correlation of pedigrees to results and the presentation of results. They also share the project’s learnings with the members and coordinate the efforts to increase interest and awareness in the project.

  • Who can join a Surname Project?
    Surname projects use the yDNA test for their research, as yDNA is passed from father to son, just as the surname is passed down.  Females do not have yDNA, so can't be tested for a surname project.  However, many females have found a male relative to yDNA test for their surname of interest.  This male must be descended, through males only, from a common male ancestor of this surname with the female researcher.  Men who want to research a surname that came to them through a female ancestor will also need to find a male relative to yDNA test who is descended, through males only, from a common male ancestor of this surname. 

  • How do I find a Surname Project?

  • If you're not sure whether there is a project for your surname, go to and type your surname in the search box.  Follow the links to find your surname project..

  • To view all FTDNA's surname Projects:

Geographic Projects

  • Geographical projects cover a defined geographical area, and are established for a variety of reasons. One reason is to assist those whose family trees go back to an area where hereditary surnames were established only within the last few hundred years, and patronymic surnames were previously used.

  • Why join a Geographic project?
    A Geographic Project connects individuals whose direct line comes from a specific location. The focus of a Geographic Project may be for a town, county, country, or region. We have three different types of Geographic Projects: Y-DNA, mtDNA, and Dual Geographic Projects.

  • Who can join a Geographic Project?
    Y-DNA Geographic projects are for those who have taken a Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) test.
    MtDNA Geographic Projects are for individuals who have taken a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test.
    Dual Geographic Projects are for individuals who order an mtDNA or Y-DNA test. Either their direct maternal line or direct paternal line originates in this area.
    If your direct maternal or direct paternal line does not come from the location you are interested, you may have a relative who is descended directly from that ancestor in that location test.

  • How do I join a Geographic Project?
    Ordering your DNA test through a project automatically makes you a member of a project.  In addition, you can join a project through the "Join projects" link on your FTDNA Personal Page.

  • How do I find a Geographic Project?
    Search for a Geographic Project at Family Tree DNA 


Haplogroup Projects

  • Haplogroup Projects provide a place for individuals with the same haplogroup to connect with one another and study their common origins through historic, pre-historic, and anthropological migrations.

  • Why join a Haplogroup Project? 

       Projects are designed to help individuals who may have similar ancestry           connect with one another. You should consider participating in a                       haplogroup project if

  • You are interested in comparing with others of your haplogroup

  • You are open to sharing information and working with others

  • You are interested in comparing against others.

  • you have not had success within a surname group, and you are looking for relevant matches.

  • How do I join a Haplogroup Project?
    You will not see these projects listed on FTDNA's public site, only in your myFTDNA account, because you must already have results in order to join this type of project. 
    Once your results are ready, you can join your Haplogroup Project through the "Join Projects" link on your personal page. 

bottom of page