Shirley Family
DNA Project

The Shirley Association has launched one of its most important genealogical projects to date. DNA testing has been proven to be an invaluable genealogical tool and the Shirley Association has jumped into the latest technology with both feet. We are hoping to use this technology to connect the many unconnected Shirley branches from all over the world. Testing is open to all males with the Shirley surname.

DNA Tip Jar
Can you help the Shirley Association pay for certain critical DNA tests? FamilyTreeDNA provides a method for Shirleys to contribute small amounts of money toward the DNA research project. You might make a donation in memory of a loved one. Contributors are able to make donations online to the Shirley surname project at the FamilyTreeDNA website by credit card, PayPal, or by mail.

Contribute to the Shirley DNA Project here 


Shirley DNA Testing Project

DNA is the Gene in Genealogy!

Have you hit a brick wall? Can't find any documents for that elusive ancestor? Wondering if you are related to another family with the same surname? When you can't find the documentation you need to connect, DNA testing is an option.

What is DNA Testing?

Inside every human cell are 23 pairs of chromosomes, made up of DNA. One half of each pair comes from the mother, the other half from the father. One of those pairs determines a person's sex. Women generally have a pair of similar chromosomes called XX, men have XY.

If the father contributes his X to the offspring, it will be a girl. If he contributes his Y, it'll be a boy. It's the Y chromosome that determines maleness. And the Y doesn't exchange much genetic material with its partner X, so a father passes his Y chromosome on to his son virtually unchanged.

The Y-Chromosome test effectively traces the MALE line only.

How is DNA Testing Done?

The DNA test kit consists of two cheek scrapers and two collection tubes---designed for a single persons use.

Each tube contains a fluid designed to arrest bacteria growth, so you can scrape your cheek and return your kit in any type of weather (hot or cold). The sensation of using the scraper is like brushing your inside cheek with your toothbrush.

Remember, a good scrape produces lots of DNA, which makes the extraction process easier and decreases the chance that one or more of your markers will fail to be readable on the first test of your sample. 

Are you ready to Order?

If you need more information, then read the helpful FAQs below

When you are ready, click on this link and order your Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) test


Q: What can I learn from the Shirley DNA test?

The purpose of doing a Y-chromosome DNA test within the Shirley DNA project is to help determine which Shirley branch you are related. The Shirley DNA project to date has over 150 participants, thus there is a good chance your test results will match results from someone who has already been tested. DNA tests are particularly helpful for those who have reached a genealogical 'brick wall' in their research. Your DNA haplotype produced in this test alone can help narrow the number of prospective Shirley lineages to a more manageable amount for your future research.

Q: Who may participate in the Shirley DNA project

The Shirley DNA project is Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) only, thus exclusively for MALES who have the SHIRLEY surname. The Shirley DNA project encourages Shirley males from all countries around the world to participate

Q: What if I am female, or male and my surname is not Shirley?

If you are female, or male and your surname is not Shirley, then you cannot directly participate in the DNA test. However, you can help by finding your male Shirley relative and encouraging his participation. You may also organize and manage the sample collection process yourself. For example, you can pay for the test, send for the DNA kits, and once completed, mail it back to the lab. That way you know the DNA was sent in.

Q: Which DNA company does the Shirley Association use?

We use FTDNA exclusively. If you use a competitor like Ancestry, then your results will not be comparable to the growing database of DNA results already on file for male Shirleys. See FAQ below for conversion options.

FTDNA has over 350 Family groups involved in DNA genealogy testing at the present time. Arizona Research Labs at the campus of the University of Arizona keeps the DNA. The University of Arizona controls and maintains the genetic library.

Q: How much does FTDNA charge for tests?

These are special prices for Shirley group participants only. Prices are as of January 2016

Y-chromosome 12 marker test - $59.00

Y-chromosome 25 marker test - $109.00

Y-chromosome 37 marker test - $149.00

Y-chromosome 67 marker test - $248.00

Y-chromosome 111 marker test - $339.00

Q: Does the Shirley Association recommend a specific Y-chromosome test?

Yes, we recommend purchasing at least the 25 marker test. The 37-marker test is probably 'just right', enough markers to make proper inferences about your family tree. Of course, you can purchase tests with more markers

Q: How do I pay, who gets the money?

You order the DNA kit via the FTDNA website and pay the company directly. The Shirley Association does not receive any funds for this project.

Q: I don't have a lot of money to spend on this, can I upgrade my results and add more markers later?

Yes, FTDNA keeps your DNA sample on file for 25 years and allows you to upgrade your 12 marker test, for example, to 25 (or higher) later.

The Shirley Association also recommends that you pass the collection plate in your family to pay for the test of your male Shirley DNA participant. His DNA is also the family's Shirley DNA, so everyone benefits from the test

Q: How do I ensure I get the special Shirley group pricing for my test?

Navigate to the Shirley group DNA page to find special pricing. Purchase your test from that page only.

Q: How can I convert my Ancestry, GeneTree, or Sorenson's SMGF DNA Y-chromosome test to FTDNA?

FTDNA offers a service to convert a 33 marker Y-chromosome DNA test by Ancestry, GeneTree, and Sorenson's SMGF to one useful for the Shirley DNA project. There is a fee for conversion.. You will find more information near the bottom of the Shirley group webpage at FTDNA under the heading "Third Party"


We are accepting donations to pay for some DNA testing. If you are a female Shirley descendant you can still be involved in helping us by sending a donation. There may be other circumstances which we will need additional funding and an account to draw from will be helpful. If you wish to donate, please use the "tip jar" link at the top of this web page. Thanks for this consideration.


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