Townsend Society of America
Established in 1962
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
(516) 558-7092

DNA Results Information

This page provides some basic information to help understand test results. Click here to access a list DNA related websites to continue the learning process. Please scroll down this entire page as there are various sections.



Test results cannot be posted to the Project Test Results pages due to privacy changes at FamilyTreeDNA as well as the retirement of the person who maintained an independent site with our results on it.  We need to determine how to present a summary of the test results on this site but that will take some time.


They can be viewed in full at FTDNA if you have joined our Townsend Project there:


A number of Townsend family groups have emerged or been confirmed with results shown in the Y Chromosome Results spreadsheet. Results that match no other are towards the bottom of the page.   



Townsends are English in origin but not all are of the same genetic stock, rather they represent the various groups that lived in or that passed through England over the centuries as shown by the haplogroups that Townsends represent.

Of the  more than 150 Townsends tested to date the largest number are R1b and R1b1c followed by family groups that are R1a, I, and J2.  Only one or two persons are reported as E3b, F, G2 and N.  The following explanations of the different Haplogroups are from FamilyTreeDNA.

The Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2006 at  is for informational purposes only, and does not represent an endorsement by ISOGG who prepared it.

R1a  Haplogroup R1is a lineage is believed to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes north of the Black & Caspian Seas. This lineage is thought to descend from a population of the Kurgan culture, known for the domestication of the horse (circa 3000 B.C.E.). These people were also believed to be the first speakers of the Indo-European language group. This lineage is found in central & western Asia, India, and in Slavic populations of Europe. 

R1b  Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype. 

R1b1c  Haplogroup R1b1c is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype. 

 Haplogroup I dates to 23,000 years ago or longer. Lineages not in branches I1a, I1b or I1c are found distributed at low frequency throughout Europe. 

I1c  The I1c lineage likely has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking / Scandinavian populations in Northwest Europe and extends at low frequencies into Central and Eastern Europe.

E3b  This haplogroup is believed to have evolved in the Middle East. It expanded into the Mediterranean during the Pleistocene Neolithic expansion. It is currently distributed around the Mediterranean, southern Europe, and in north and east Africa. 

F  The supergroup F is the parent haplogroup of G through R. Undifferentiated F lineages, F*, are extremely rare. F lineages are distributed in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Future work will better resolve the distribution and historical characteristics of this haplogroup. The current expectation in the science world is that branches will ultimately be found to account for all F lineages. 

G2  This lineage may have originated in India or Pakistan, and has dispersed into central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The G2 branch of this lineage (containing the P15 mutation) is found most often in the Europe and the Middle East.

N  This haplogroup is distributed throughout Northern Eurasia. It is the most common Y-chromosome type in Uralic speakers (Finns and Native Siberian). This lineage most likely originated in northern China or Mongolia and then spread into Siberia where it became a very common line in western Siberia.


Mutations occur randomly at any time. FamilyTreeDNA notes that it is obvious from their observation of 1000's of samples that some markers change or mutate at a faster rate than others. While that actual 'faster rate' has not yet been definitively calculated, not all markers should be treated the same for evaluation purposes.

The marker names in red on the test results pages have shown a faster mutation rate then the average, and therefore these markers are very helpful at splitting lineages into sub sets, or branches, within a family tree.  Markers with faster mutation rates are actually the most useful in observing various family branches.

Explained another way, if one matches exactly on all of the markers except for one or a few of the markers that FTDNA has determined mutate more quickly; then despite the mutation this mismatch only slightly decreases the probability of two people in a surname group not sharing a recent common ancestor.


The color highlights of marker numbers in each family group indicate differences between persons believed to be in the same family group.



DYS 19 is also known as DYS 394.


464 a-d is a complicated marker that is scored differently.  It is multiple copies of the same marker and the values are listed from lowest to highest.  The changes that occur on one marker, if mirrored at another location, are read together.  For example, the difference at 464 a is 3 and at 464b it is also 3.  Instead of reading this as a three step mutation, the scientists see that whatever caused a to change, also caused b to change at the same time, thus, they only count each difference as one.

So, 464 a and b = 3 instead of six.  Then they are one off at 459 a one off at 389-1 and 2 and one off at 439 for a total genetic distance of 6.