Wells Family DNA Project

Wells Family DNA Project

Current Status: As of 18 January 2006

Current Participants/Results Reported

* = 20 samples were collected during phase 1 of the project that are not direct male descendants and will not be processed until phase 3. Of those tested, 4 are from a sub project on the Auxier/Axer/Oxier families.

UPDATE: 120 results for phase I from BYU were released 14 November 2002 and were posted on the results pages. The results have provided some interesting information including the ability to connect several "orphans" to their baseline families. We began Phase II with Relative Genetics and have processed an additional 227 Wells samples with another 19 from allied lines. We always have additional tests in various stages of being included. The current test results can be viewed on the results pages along with all the phase I results.

Current Results

In several of the cases we have been able to connect the phase II participants to their Ancestral families and with knowledgable researchers. We have been able to identify how they connect in many cases. We have not been able to link all the phase II participants. But we have a long way to go yet, so there is still hope.

We collected many samples from the UK so far, but we will need a LOT more to make this work for everyone.

Phase I of the project is now closed.

The first phase of voluteers for the Wells DNA study was limited to collecting samples from 4 direct line male Wells descendants from each of the 24 initial Wells families. This number is changing constantly as we see new clusters of related individuals. These families are being called "Baselines".

Also included in phase I were several additional samples from early American families, several Australian and New Zealand families and several families whose connection to their UK origins are known. We were able to add some UK families and a very few Canadian families.

Phase II of the project is now open.

Phase II is designed for those researchers who are "stuck" on their family research and do not know how to determine which family they connect to. It is also for those who may have some question as to whether the genealogy on their family has them connected to the correct family or just to confirm they have it right. During 2005 we expect to increased the emphasis on the Australian, New Zealand, UK and Canadian families.

The cost for participation in Phase II is a special group pricing for our large project. The price is confidential and will be revealed only to qualified applicants for the project when they request entry into the project.

Phase II samples are being collected by using Buccal Swab kits which contain two large Q-Tip like collection swabs that can be completed in the privacy of the home. The two swabs are individually swished around the mouth to collect cheek cells for the DNA and then sent back to the lab by ordinary mail.

All samples for phase II are collected by sending kits to the participants who then are able to take their samples in the privacy of their homes and mail the sample back to the testing laboratory. We hope to also do another round of collections in Australia and New Zealand later in 2004. We will also be focusing on participants in the US, Canada and the UK. Due to the nature of the colleciton kits, participants in other countries will also be able to participate quite easily.

Current participation reflects the following:
Country Samples
Australia 21
Canada 7
France 1
Germany 1
New Zealand 4
Scotland 1
UK 20
USA 329

IMPORTANT NOTICE:The initial collections in the UK were completed in November 2002. We will continue to take registrations from researchers who live in the UK, Ireland, Scotland and other European countries and will handle them individually.

Interested parties in Canada will be notified through the Wells-Canada-l@rootsweb.com list.

Interested parties in Australia and New Zealand will be notified through the Wells-ANZ-l@rootsweb.com list.

How to participate

Individuals who are interested in participating in the Wells DNA study, phase II must meet the following requirements:

To register to participate, please send an e-mail to DNAProject@wells.org with the following information: NOTE: If the contact person and participant do not have an e-mail address, you can register by mailing the above information to the following address:
Wells Family Research Association
P. O. Box 5427
Kent, WA 98064-5427

Interested participants will receive the cost for the sample testing and further instructions once your request to participate has been received. There is a 100% money-back guarantee up to the point that your sample is tested. So if anyone signs up and then changes their mind before the testing is done by the lab, their money will be refunded.

Participants will be required to submit a copy of their genealogy either in the form of a GEDCOM file if they work with a genealogy program (we can help you figure out how to generate this) or in a traditional paper format if they are still paper based with their genealogy. Submittal of this genealogy will be required prior to payment for participation which will precede the transmittal of the collection kit.

The purpose of the first phase of the project was to establish the y-chromosome DNA marker patterns for each of the 24 early Wells families families as a baseline from which we will start matching other participants as they come into the project. Unfortunately, we were able to obtain participants in only 22 of these families but we did pick up a few that are not currently shown in the table below. We will continue to expand the Baseline as we identify multiple descendants from "new" Wells families. We will also fold other "orphan" families into the baseline families when we can identify the specific ancestor to whom the branch is connected.

So, here is what we need. If you are a Wells or know of a relative who will work with us and match the criteria here, start preparing your genealogy to be submitted to the project. Here is where you researchers who have been stuck may be able to break through the dead-end paper trail and find the family you "belong" to. There are no guarantees we will find a match. But the odds should be pretty good.

Those of you who are female or do not carry the Wells surname but have ancestors where you are seeking connection answers will have to wait to phase III when we will have a broad enough base that using the nuclear DNA for the research will be practical.

We are no longer be collecting samples for the Wells study at the Molecular Genealogy Project collections. Do NOT go to a Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Project collection expecting to participate in the Wells study. But PLEASE DO go to help them collect their 100,000 samples.

Not only should you go, but please try to bring some other participants such as a wife, a child (18 or over), a cousin, a friend who is interested in genealogy or someone you have met through genealogy. To participate in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Project each person MUST be able to provide a COMPLETE 4-generation chart (through the person's 8 great-grandparents) showing the name, birth date and birth location of each ancestor. No more than two items (date or location) can be missing and no adoptions. Some leeway is allowed if one of the ancestors is born outside the US and has significant ancestry in the 1800s.

For anyone who is willing to participate in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Project study, go to their website and order a free DNA collection kit.

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Project

Note: THIS IS NOT THE WELLS project. But you are encouraged to participate in this. You will need a complete 4-genearation chart to be elegible. Everyone who is eligible should participate because your DNA pattern will be made available anonymously in their database for searching and matching with common ancestors.

The famililes currently included in the study are the following.

If you believe we are missing a major family (or families) please let us know so they can be added. We are primarily focusing on the early colonial, Canadian, Australia, New Zealand and UK Wells/Welles families and will add the "orphan" branches as we go, so don't feel you will be left out. You won't. We are also be adding families in Phase II that do not come up matching the Phase I lines.

Wells Study Families

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