Family Association

Worden Family Association




The dawn of the 21st century has brought the amazing gift of DNA testing to genealogy. Now we can validate (or disprove) the paper trails that are so often flawed by the lack of records, the illegibility of records and sometimes the wishful thinking of former genealogists. Now, combined with the internet and the almost universal use of computers, we can reach out to distant cousins long lost in our family histories. We can reunite our families, uncover the lives our ancestors led, share their dreams and sorrows. A cheek swab or saliva sample can reveal where we came from and who our ancestors were. But it takes work to tie DNA evidence to a family history. The need for diligent research has never been greater.

This page contains an overview of the kinds of DNA tests you can choose and how the Worden Family Association is integrating them to learn ever more about our family history.

DNA Tests for Genealogy

There are four types of DNA testing for genealogy, and the first decision you must make is which one is right for you.

Y-DNA tests the direct paternal line back for hundreds, even thousands, of years. Only males can take this test because only males have a Y chromosome. While some companies provide limited Y-DNA and mtDNA results, they are much less useful than the robust tests provided by FTDNA.

The Worden Family Association is working with the Worden DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA.com to develop a Y-DNA profile for the immigrant ancestor Peter Worden (1576-1638) from Lancashire, England to America. All male direct descendants carry the Y haplogroup J2b2, or J-M172. Several participants have done advanced SNP testing and/or the Big Y, which has refined their position on the Y-haplogroup tree, an ongoing research project to which all Worden males are invited.

The online database at this WFA website is being updated to show Y-DNA tested lineages. A “Y” icon is shown beside the name of each testee and his direct paternal (Worden) ancestors. (Notice that the names of living persons are excluded from this online database, so you should look for nonliving ancestors.)

MtDNA tests the direct maternal line back for hundreds, even thousands, of years. It is available for males and females. Note, however, that males do not pass this DNA to their children. Only females carry their mtDNA forward. While some companies provide limited mt-DNA and Y-DNA results, they are much less useful than the robust tests provided by FTDNA.

The Worden Family Association has an ongoing project dedicated to using DNA to determine the origins of Mary Unknown Worden, wife of Peter II. We have identified a direct maternal descendant of Mary and tested both atDNA and mtDNA in hopes of finding matches.

atDNA: Everyone is encouraged to have an autosomal test, the type offered by Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder, MyHeritage, LivingDNA, and 23andMe. This test is not specific to Worden ancestry but rather to one’s entire pedigree. Since each of us has two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, 16 great great grandparents, etc., that can soon add up to a lot of ancestors! You find them by testing cousins and/or studying the trees of DNA matches to learn how those matches are related to you. To expand the usefulness of any of these tests, it is wise to download the raw data and upload it to Gedmatch.com. FamilyTreeDNA, LivingDNA, and MyHeritage also permit you to upload your raw data from other companies to find new matches in their databases.

SNP testing is primarily for learning about one's deep roots, before genealogical time, but also contributes to ongoing research that may eventually reach into genealogical time.

So, what do you want to learn from a DNA test?

If you want to learn about your father's surname, you will order a Y-DNA test -- if you are a male. If you are a female and want to learn about your father's surname, you must find a male surrogate to test -- brother, father, uncle, male cousin in your father's line.

If you want to know more about your mother's heritage, you will order an mtDNA test -- whether you are a male or female. It is especially difficult to research female lines because the surname changes in every generation. The mtDNA remains but many people will share the same DNA. Unless you do advanced mtDNA tests, you are unlikely to find someone who is related closely enough to be able to find a common ancestor, or at least a cousin on both your maternal lines.

If you want to find distant cousins who share common ancestors with you on all different lines in your family tree, you will take an atDNA test. The atDNA tests offered by Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA are virtually identical, but the differences are problematic. Ancestry's current test results can be transferred to FTDNA and to GedMatch (and must be if you want to thoroughly analyze matches and expand the database against which you are matched). 23andMe's current offering is transferable only to Gedmatch, MyHeritage and LivingDNA so, unless you tested under Release 3, you are limited to comparing against their database. Neither Ancestry nor 23andMe allows transferring into their databases. These autosomal tests offer a secondary benefit, an estimate of your ethnic makeup.

Worden DNA Project

All Worden family descendants are welcome to join the Worden DNA Project . Much more information is available at that site.

While there are many books, blogs and mailing lists devoted to discussions of DNA testing, the primary sources of information are the company websites and ISOGG, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy which provides unbiased and extensive information in many forms. The links are below:



Family Tree DNA


MyHeritage DNA


Join Worden Family Association (WFA)

The Worden Family Association invites you to become a member.
A subscription to Wordens Past (WP) quarterly newsletter and access to our secured online, web-based services are provided for our members.

For further information on becoming a member of WFA , please contact the webmaster


Contact: Worden Family Association


Page last updated:

  24 February 2020

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