Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finding People Who Match Your Results

Having done (ideally) 67 markers, you then look at the results page, and you may not find any matches within the listed Taylor results. Do not despair! You have several options.

Your first option is to wait until another Taylor joins the project and matches your results.

Second, you can search the entire Family Tree DNA database, if you indicate that you do not want to limit your search to the Taylor surname. It may be that you have a match with the last name Cruse, or Obama, or Robinson! Why could this be true? Because not all people carry the surname of their biological father. And when they have children, their children will carry (usually) the name of the father, so the "false" name is propogated down generations.

A third option is to upload your markers to to find matches with those who had testing done by other companies.

While you are going through this process, you should still work on refining your research on your own family tree. That is the family tree you want to post to the Taylor DNA project, and it is the family tree you want to share with people who match your results.

The best of luck to you on this! Our goal is to fully document all the Taylor lines! Fortunately, we won't run out of fun doing this job in the near future!

US President Zachary Taylor

Here are some comments following up on the subject of the previous post. These are from fellow Taylor DNA project administrator, Leigh Taylor:

Have you ever been told that you were related to Zachary Taylor? If so, you’re not the only one! But this is only is true for a very few people. He is probably the best-known and most prominent Taylor in US early history. He is also the base of many myths for our participants.

It might be helpful to view the tree for Zachary Taylor at Rootsweb's WorldConnect. [See link in previous post.] As it turns out, Zachary had no living direct male descendants. His only two male grandchildren died very young. You have to look further up/down his tree to his siblings & cousins to find your connection to Zachary, if any. Most of those branches also "daughtered out". The short version is: If your surname is Taylor, you're probably not related to Zachary.

If you or members of your family have been told that you are related to Zachary Taylor, you might want to compare your markers with the markers for participants in group 2 and study their family trees. Members of Group 2 that claim to have a paper trail to Zachary are:

Kit# 54705 - 12 markers but no tree submitted

Kit# 58928 - 67 markers but no tree submitted

Kit# 24691 - 37 markers = Kit# N2079 - 12 markers

Kit# 48113 - 37 markers similar to above

from Kit# 48113:
1. James Taylor (1610 ENG- 1698 VA) +m2 Mary Gregory
2. John Taylor (1696 VA- 1780 NC) + Catherine Pendleton
3. Joseph Taylor (xxx VA - xxx xx) + xxx

from Kit# 24691 and Kit# N2079:
1. James Taylor (1610 ENG- 1698 VA) +m2 Mary Gregory
2. John Taylor (1696 VA- 1780 NC) + Catherine Pendleton
3. Edmund Taylor (1723 VA- 1808 NC) + Ann Lewis

Monday, December 22, 2008

Think You're Related to Zachary Taylor?

The answer is Yes, No, and Maybe!

If you were born a Taylor you may have grown up with a family story about being related to Zachary Taylor. Well, in one sense you are.

Just as you are related to Confucius, the Chinese Philosopher, or Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemy XII and ruler of Egypt. In that sense, as a member of the human race, you are cousins with Zachary Taylor, as well as cousins with Confucius and Cleopatra.

If you mean that you are a direct descendant of Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) the American military leader and the twelfth President of the United States, it is likely that you are not. The reason is that Zachary had only one son, Richard "Dick" Taylor (January 27, 1826–April 12, 1879), Confederate States Army General. Richard Taylor had two sons, Richard (born in 1857) and Zachary (born in 1860), who both died during the war after contracting scarlet fever.

Thus, there are no direct male descendents of Zachary Taylor, unless 150 years of public interest and genealogy has failed to locate another male heir.

If your claim to being related to Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, is based upon having the Taylor surname, you could still be related to him as a collateral relative. That is, your line could trace through his brothers, uncles, great-uncles, great-great uncles, and so forth. To check this go to the extensive list of his Taylor line, found at Or see

But wait, there are still two other options. One is that you are a descendant of Zachary Taylor through the line of one of his daughters. Which you can investigate through the links provided. The other option is to be a biological relative of a heretofore unidentified line. That option would require DNA work to prove…

For more research:

Lalia Wilson, granddaughter of James Bentley Taylor, writing for the Taylor DNA Project

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why do y-DNA? Why FTDNA? And why now?

It's approaching the end of the year, and the end of the reduced prices at Family Tree DNA. If you ever wanted to do DNA work, now is the time to do it.

So why do y-DNA work? I'll post more in the future, but the short answer is that you can match up your male lineage to the correct early ancestors. This happens because your y-DNA is inherited from your father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father... Note that only males have y-DNA. Also there are some rates of change, mutations, at certain loci. So, over centuries, some markers (loci) change spontaneously. The number of changes is a statistical way of determining how recently you were related to a common ancestor.

First, you need to do the y-DNA test. If you're a Taylor, you are going to need to do 67--the current maximum--number of markers. Why? Because there are so many Taylors. (And associated surnames like Tyler, Tailor, Cameron, and so on.) Thus, having a 12 marker match with another Taylor means very little. Having a 67 marker match means a lot!

So your second step is to do the whole thing, 67 markers. If you are a female tracing your Taylor line, you need to have a male Taylor relative submit the sample. In my case... [drum roll] my Great Uncle Olin Taylor!

Then you need to submit your pedigree, your family tree male line, going back to the earliest Taylor (or related surname) that you have. The form Leigh Taylor is requesting includes dates of birth, marriage and death, locations, and names of wives. Leigh is also interested in your having some documentation, which we will discuss later.

The final step is to wait for a match. This may happen the day the results come in, or it could be much longer.

Why ftdna? Because Family Tree DNA has the largest database. The lab work is excellent and the results will be compared with the largest database. This means your chances of a match are much greater.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome to the Taylor DNA Project Blog—Taylor Topics!

In the interests of serving project members and forwarding the educational and informational goals of the project; the project administers have decided to use a blog for communicating with members.

Our goal is to provide you with information that helps you understand your family tree and to connect with relatives and go further backward to previous generations in your family tree.

The blog will feature short pieces of information about DNA testing, Taylor genealogy, famous Taylors and associated topics.

If you have managed to have a breakthrough regarding your Taylor line through using this project, please send the story to Lalia Wilson ( so that we can share your story with other project members.

We look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions so that everyone’s questions are answered.