Open to all Armenians, the Armenian DNA Project (http://www.familytreedna.com/public/ArmeniaDNAProject/default.aspx) is an important resource for those of us who are interested in researching their family history and/or deep ancestry. Mark Arslan and Peter Hrechdakian jointly coordinate this project.
DNA testing is one of the most useful tools Armenians can use for finding lost or distant relatives. We consider the best company for DNA testing to be Family Tree DNA (FTDNA): http://www.familytreedna.com/http://www.familytreedna.com/ . They can ship the test kits anywhere in the world.
FTDNA has a very large database of 265.000 individual records. They also provide the ideal place to host projects such as ours.
DNA testing can be a valuable tool for people with different surnames in determining whether they are genetic cousins, particularly considering the destruction of many Armenian genealogical records and the fact Armenian surnames were often based on the father’s first name, his city of birth, his occupation, or a distinctive human characteristic.
This project has two complementary sets of goals: (1) Understand the genetic makeup and deep genetic history of the Armenian people. In the process, we hope to make sense of the historical impact of population migrations, invasions and expansions. (2) Provide a tool for genealogists to trace their recent Armenian ancestors, augmenting historical documentation (primarily from countries of the diaspora - ship lists, censuses, naturalization records, vital records, etc.) and oral traditions. Descendants of known diaspora Armenians who were scattered all over the world in the past centuries might rediscover their roots. Descendants of Genocide orphans may be able to find long lost relatives. Descendants of Armenian families which became separated during and after World War I can have a way of finding each other at long last.
This project is open to individuals with direct paternal ancestors (yDNA) or direct maternal ancestors (mtDNA) of Armenian ancestry.
Men can test both their paternal DNA (Y-DNA) and maternal DNA (mtDNA or mitochondrial DNA). Since women do not inherit the Y-chromosome from their father, they need to recruit a male relative on their father’s side to analyse their paternal DNA line.
After you have been tested by FTDNA, you should only join the Armenian DNA Project if your father’s direct paternal line (father, grandfather, great-grandfather ...) and/or your mother’s direct maternal line (mother, grandmother, great-grandmother ...) is Armenian. Please do not join our group if you do not have direct Armenian ancestry in your family tree.
If you want to know about both your Armenian paternal and maternal ancestry, we recommend the Y-DNA37 + mtDNA Plus test. There’s a cheaper one, but it isn’t very informative. If cost is not an issue and you want to go all the way from the start, you should order the SuperDNA test. (Pricing is available on the project web site. They are not in this posting because they change from time to time.)
If you only want to know about your Armenian paternal ancestry, we recommend theY-DNA 37 test. There’s a cheaper one, but it isn’t very informative. Here again, if you want to go all the way from the start, you should order the Y-DNA67 test.
If you only want to know about your Armenian maternal ancestry, we recommend the mtDNA Plus test. There’s a cheaper one, but it is not of much value. Once again, if you want to go all the way from the start, you can order the mtFull-Sequence test which is the most expensive and most complete single test available for order at FTDNA.
If we’ve managed to spark your interest, go ahead and take the plunge. You won’t regret it. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d me more than happy to help.
Mark Arslan – firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Hreckdakian – email@example.com