DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT:
This project was initiated in the fall of 2003 by a number of
researchers actively investigating the possible links between various
Thorpe families in the United States, Canada and England. The
Thorpe surname originated in England almost a thousand years ago and
most likely has Norse roots. A number of Thorpe families
emigrated to the United States in the 1600-1700's from England and
today thousands of families can claim descendant from these early
American settlers. This project represents a historic effort to
determine if these various Thorpe lines share a recent (i.e. within
approximately 500 years) common ancestor with each other.
Additionally, this project is intended to allow descendants and
researchers who have been unable to discover a connection between their
earliest Thorpe ancestor and another Thorpe family line to be able to
possibly make that connection. Sometimes the documentary records
available for study do not provide enough evidence for descendants to
adequately trace their Thorpe lineage. The DNA study can be used
as an aid for descendants and researchers to link their Thorpe
ancestors to an earlier Thorpe line by providing
evidence of a genetic link between these families.
Finally, this Project allows Thorpe families to document their genetic
"fingerprint" for future study and comparison. Test results are
maintained in the database of Family Tree DNA for twenty-five years, so
that Thorpe families in the future may also test for a possible genetic
connection to volunteers that may have been tested decades
earlier. In order to provide a accurate genetic "fingerprint" for
particular Thorpe line, we recommend obtaining test results from at
least two or three volunteers claiming descendant from the same Thorpe
ancestor. This will prevent any skewing of test results due to
adoption or illegitimacy.
The Thorpe DNA Project selected Family Tree DNA ( http://www.familytreedna.com
) as the company to process our tests. Seven volunteers from five
different Thorpe lines joined the project early on and agree to be
tested. From these volunteers, we obtain tissue samples that were
tested for certain genetic markers to determine if any of these
lines shared a recent common Thorpe ancestor.
HOW THIS SITE WORKS:
For further information on the various Thorpe lines tested, please
click on the "PROJECT PARTICIPANTS" link below. Although the
identities of all volunteers remain confidential, this link will
provide you with information on the Thorpe lines participating in the
project. As more Thorpe families join the Project, we will
continue to add their distinctive Thorpe histories to this section.
If you have questions regarding how the DNA testing procedures work or
how DNA samples are obtained,
please visit the "FAQ" link below.
There are two sections you can click on below that contain results
obtained from DNA testing. The first section, entitled "DNA
RESULTS," contains information about the haplotypes uncovered by the
testing process. Haplotype testing allows geneticists to
determine if two different lines shared a common ancestor in the recent
past. Haplotype testing is incredibly useful for genealogical
purposes, allowing us to determine if two Thorpe lines were related to
each other within the last 500 years or so.
The other section, entitled "ancestral roots," involves placing
each Thorpe family in its appropriate haplogroup through a
determination of that line's deep ancestral origins. Haplogroups
are based on various ancestral groups that lived 50,000-10,000 years
ago and migrated through various parts of the world. One way to
look at the testing is that haplogroups represent the branches of the
larger family tree, and haplotypes represent the leaves on that
tree. (Looking at it this way, the Y-chromosome "Adam" and
mitochondrial "Eve" repesent the trunk of the tree, since all living
human beings today stem from these two African ancestors that lived
150,000-200,000 years ago!)
WE CONTINUE TO SEEK INTERESTED
VOLUNTEERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS HISTORIC PROJECT.
more families that participate, the clearer the picture we can all
regarding our Thorpe ancestors.
The DNA Project involves a Y-chromosome test, a chromosome that is only
carried by men. Thus, we can only test male volunteers with a
paternal line (father to son) of descent back to a male Thorpe
ancestor. Female Thorpes can still take the haplogroup test
(mitochondrial DNA test). However the results of female tests
cannot be included as part of this Project. The easiest way to
determine if you are eligible to participate is if you still
possess the surname "Thorpe" (or Thorp, Tharp, Tharpe). If
so, then you are probably eligible. Thus, males descending from a
female Thorpe ancestor are ineligible to participate, since they no
longer carry the Y-chromosome from their Thorpe ancestor. This is
not to say that females and descendants of female ancestors have not
inherited genetic characteristics of their Thorpe ancestors. We
hope that in the future geneticists will create testing procedures that
will allow us to trace recent genetic links for females Thorpes and
descendants of female ancestors.
If you would like to participate, please contact me (Ellen Coffman,
Project Coordinator) by clicking on the "CONTACT US" link below.
Additionally, you can go directly to www.familytreedna.com to sign up
for the Project. Once you are at Familytreedna, click on their
link "Surname Projects," then click on the letter "T." Finally,
scroll down the list of "T" surnames until you see the surname
"Thorpe." Once there, you will be given directions on how to
sign up for the Project.
If you have any further questions about the project or wish to obtain
information, please click on the "CONTACT US" link below. Again,
will allow you to email me directly.