Heffernan DNA Project

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Genetic Genealogy for the Heffernan Surname
Genetic Genealogy for the Heffernan Surname
Requirements for Participation in the Heffernan DNA Project

There are just a few simple requirements for participating in the Heffernan DNA Project.  Please review these requirements below before signing up for the project.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the project administrator.

  • Testee Must Be a Male - Since the testing occurs on the Y chromosome which is passed down only from father to son, a testee must be a male.  If you are a female, you can sponsor a Heffernan male (or males) for testing from your immediate family or extended family—such as a brother, father, uncle, grandfather, male cousin, etc.
  • Testee Must Be a Heffernan Direct Male Line Descendant - Since this project is focussed on the Heffernan surname, a testee must be a Heffernan (Hefferman, Heffernon, Heffron, Hefferon, Hefferan, Heveran, Heffren, Heffern, O'Heffernan, O'Heffron, etc.) direct male line descendant—i.e., a male with the last name of Heffernan (or variation) or one whose biological father (or father's father, or father's father's father, etc.) was a Heffernan (or variation).  If you are a female or a non-Heffernan male and researching a Heffernan line, you can sponsor a Heffernan male (or males) for testing from your particular Heffernan line of interest.
  • Test Results Must Be Posted on the Heffernan DNA Project Web Site - For this project to succeed, participants should be willing to share their test results with others and must consent to their DNA test results being posted on the Heffernan DNA Project web site.  As discussed on the Basics of Genetic Genealogy & DNA Testing page, the testing is limited to the inactive junk DNA portion of a male's Y chromosome and reveals nothing regarding a person's physical characteristics or genetic illnesses or susceptibility to any medical or mental conditions.  My own test results are openly posted at several places on the web—see TRDA8 at Ysearch.  However, a testee can remain anonmymous if he wishes and be identified on the project web site only by a project code (such as H100).  Also, a project member can choose to withdraw from the project at any time and all of their information and test results will be removed from the web site.  See the Privacy Issues section below for more information on matters regarding privacy.
  • Details on the Heffernan Ancestry of the Testee Must Be Submitted - Since one of the primary goals of this project is to explore and compare Y-DNA profiles from the various Heffernan lines and to aid Heffernan researchers in making new connections to and among these lines, details on the Heffernan ancestry of the testee must be submitted.  The minimum amount of information needed consists of the names, dates, and places for the direct male line Heffernan ancestors of the testee starting with the testee himself and going back to the most distant known Heffernan ancestor.  This information can be submitted either via email, or as a link to where the information exists on the web, or as a gedcom file exported from a genealogy program.  The information submitted will be posted on the Heffernan DNA Project web site and associated with the DNA test results of the testee.  However, the names of living persons, and the name of the testee if he desires, will not be posted.
  • Compliance With Testing Company's Requirements - Some testing companies have additional requirements for testees.  These can include such things as being at least a certain age and signing consent forms.  So, a testee will need to comply with any requirements of the testing company.
  • Posting Test Results to Online DNA Databases (Optional) - Although the posting of a testee's DNA test results to the Heffernan DNA Project web site is the only posting requirement for joining the project, there are other places where testees are urged to post their results.  Ysearch is a large online Y-DNA database that is maintained by the testing company Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) which is the primary testing company for this project.  If the testing is done by FTDNA, a testee can automatically post their results to Ysearch via the FTDNA web site.  Adding their test results to Ysearch offers project participants more opportunities to discover others that match or closely match their DNA profile and to make new genealogical connections.
Privacy Issues

Each participant in the project has the option of choosing the level of privacy they wish to maintain regarding identifying information that is revealed about them.  Although testing is limited to the inactive junk DNA portion of a male's Y chromosome and does not reveal anything about a person physically or medically—see the Basics of Genetic Genealogy & DNA Testing page—some people may still wish to remain anonymous within the project.  At the highest level of privacy with the participant remaining completely anonymous, the only items that are posted to the project web site are the participant's actual test results, their pre-1900 Heffernan lineage, and their assigned generic project ID.  However, in order to facilitate contact with other Heffernan researchers and to reveal more information about themselves, project members can choose to have any or all of the following items posted on the project web site: (1) Email address, (2) Name, (3) Personal web site address, and (4) Post-1900 Heffernan ancestors who are deceased.  In Step 2 of the Join the Project process below, a prospective project member needs to indicate which of these additional items they want posted, if any.  After joining the project, if a member wishes to withdraw from the project for any reason, they can do so by contacting the project administrator in which case all of their information and test results will be removed from the web site.  Feel free to contact the project administrator with any questions or concerns regarding privacy issues.

Join the Project:  Three-Step Process

Joining the Heffernan DNA Project is a three-step process: (1) Select a Y-DNA test and place the order, (2) Contact the Heffernan DNA Project administrator to meet the project requirements, and (3) Take the test when the kit arrives and mail it back to the testing company.  Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is the primary and preferred DNA testing company for the Heffernan DNA Project.  If you had Y-DNA testing done at another company, it is possible to still be included in the Heffernan project and possibly have your results transferred to FTDNA.  Contact the project administrator for further details regarding non-FTDNA Y-DNA testing.

Step 1:  Select a Y-DNA Test and Place an Order
  • Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) - FTDNA is a world leader in genealogical DNA testing.  They are based in Houston, Texas with a state-of-the-art DNA testing laboratory and research facility.  FTDNA currently offers five Y-DNA STR testing levels—111, 67, 37, 25, and 12 markers.  The prices listed below are FTDNA's specially discounted prices (20-30% off regular prices) for having the testing done through a surname project.  Currently, some of the tests qualify for a special introductory project discount further reducing the price of testing.  See instructions in Step 2 below on claiming this discount.
    • 111-Marker Test (Y-DNA111)  $339  ($309 with Currently Available $30 Project Discount) - This is the top-of-the-line Y-DNA STR test at FTDNA.  It contains the largest number of markers of any test available anywhere and includes all of the markers in the 67-marker test plus 34 others.  This test provides the highest degree of resolution and certainty in determining relationships both among and within the various Heffernan family lines from around the world.  Many who started out at a lower testing level eventually go on to upgrade to the 111-marker level.
    • 67-Marker Test (Y-DNA67)  $248  ($218 with Currently Available $30 Project Discount) - This is an excellent and highly recommended FTDNA test.  It contains a large number of markers which includes all of the markers in the 37-marker test plus 30 others.  This number of markers will provide a high degree of certainty in determining relationships both among and within the various Heffernan family lines from around the world.  Many who start out at a lower testing level will eventually want to upgrade to the 67-marker or 111-marker levels.
    • 37-Marker Test (Y-DNA37)  $149  ($129 with Currently Available $20 Project Discount) - This test is a very good starting test for genealogical purposes and provides an adequate number of markers to use in finding genealogical relevant DNA matches.  It includes all the markers in the 25-marker test.  Matches or near matches at 37 markers almost always indicate close family relationships with a common ancestor not more than 10 to 15 generations back.  This can be invaluable in proving or disproving the findings or hypotheses of traditional genealogical research.
    • 25-Marker (Y-DNA25) and 12-Marker (Y-DNA12) Tests - These tests are of rather limited genealogical value and will not necessarily produce genealogically relevant matches.  They may be okay for finding initial matches or assignment to a broad Y-DNA population group, but will require an upgrade to more markers in order to obtain a greater level of certainty in verifying possible relationships with matches.
    • Combined Y-DNA Tests - FTDNA offers several combo tests (listed on the order page) that combine a Y-DNA test with a mitochondrial DNA test or the Family Finder autosomal DNA test.  You can order one of these combined tests if you would like to explore other parts of your ancestry besides your direct paternal line.  Any project discount for the Y-DNA level of the test will apply.
    When placing your order with FTDNA, be sure to select the appropriate test and fill out all the fields on the form correctly.  If you are not the person who will actually be taking the test, make sure you put the name of the person taking the test in the name fields.  Also, make sure of course that you enter your email address correctly as this will be an important means of communication.  If you have any questions or need help placing your order, please contact the project administrator.  You can click here to view the FTDNA test kit you will be receiving and instructions on completing it.  You can also visit the FTDNA Learning Center which answers many questions regarding DNA testing and the testing process. After placing your order with Family Tree DNA, proceed to Step 2 below.
Step 2:  Contact the Project Administrator

After placing your order, the next step in the process of joining the Heffernan DNA Project is to contact the project administrator.  The following items need to be sent via email:

  • Permission to post your DNA test results on the Heffernan DNA Project web site - Each member will be assigned a project ID (such as H100) which will used to identify test results on the website.  However, if they wish, members may elect to provide contact information—such as name, email address, etc.—so that other researchers can contact them.  Please indicate in your email if you would like your contact information posted and what information you want posted.
  • Details on your Heffernan lineage going all the way back to your earliest known Heffernan ancestor - You can send these details in the email, or you can provide a link to where the information can be found on the internet, or you can send a gedcom file containing the information.
  • Request for project discount - If the test you have selected qualifies for a project discount and you would like to take advantage of this offer, please request the discount in your email.  The discount will be drawn from the project's general fund and your invoice will be reduced by the discount amount or if you paid by credit card, a refund will be credited to your card.

You can now wait until the test kit arrives in the mail—usually in less than a week.  After it arrives, you can proceed to Step 3 below to complete the process of joining the Heffernan DNA Project.

Step 3:  Take the Test and Mail It Back

After the test kit arrives, thoroughly review and follow the test instructions.  There are restrictions on eating and drinking before taking the test.  After completing the test process, follow the instructions for mailing the kit back to the testing company.  Don't forget to enclose the consent form and affix the necessary postage.  You are usually notified via email after the test company has received your test kit and has begun processing it.  Getting your test results back can be as soon as 3-4 weeks or as long as 8-10 weeks depending on the test load at the lab.  Feel free to contact the project administrator and let him know that the kit has been mailed in, and also with any questions or problems you have at any point in the process.

Contribute to the Project General Fund at Family Tree DNA

The Heffernan DNA Project maintains a general fund pool at Family Tree DNA to help fund the testing of project members.  The project discounts offered for certain tests are drawn from this fund.  If the fund is empty, the administrator will deposit the necessary funds to cover any requested discount.  If you would like to contribute to the project's general fund pool, you can do so using a credit card, PayPal, or via mail, using the contribution link below.  If you like, you can place a condition on your contribution such as it going towards the funding of a particular Heffernan family line or even a particular person.  You can specify this condition in the Note section of the donation submission form.  Please contact the project administrator after making your contribution so that it can be confirmed and any conditions on its use are noted.

*** Click here to contribute the Heffernan project fund at FTDNA ***

(Make sure that the HEFFERNAN surname is specified as the recipient of the contribution)

Project Administrator
Michael L. Hébert
Heff [REMOVE.THIS.TEXT] ernanMLHebert.com
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Last updated on May 18, 2014.