This is a call to all Ackers in general and those of New York State ancestry in particular.Now that the science of genetics has advanced to the point where it can be affordably utilized to determine relationship between others of the same surname, I’ve decided to take advantage of this exciting technology by starting the first and only DNA project devoted to our surname. While the primary aim of this study will be to sort Ackers of New York descent into related groups, and ultimately to determine which of several main lines each belongs, the project can of course be used by Ackers of any lineage who seek to establish relationship to any others. The earliest form of the name appears to be Eckhardt.The first to settle in New York came from Holland and became the progenitors of the Westchester County line.Two other families arrived from Germany at an early date and settled in Dutchess County and the Schoharie Valley.From these three groups spring the majority of those families residing in NY prior to the Revolution whose descendants claim Acker(t), Ecker(t), Aker, Eckard, Ea(c)ker or one of umpteen other variations of the surname. No matter what the present-day spelling, all are urged to support this project.While the test cannot provide the actual identity of a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA), it can assist toward that end by placing one among the proper group of related individuals.But the proof rests in the comparison between DNA strands, so, obviously, the more participants the better the results.For those who have stalled in their research, for those who want to help themselves and others to find “lost” relatives, or who merely wish to confirm their own place in their family tree, here at last is the opportunity to establish scientifically what the paper trail could not. The test itself must be taken by a male of the surname who is of direct paternal descent, since it is the Y-chromosome (which is passed unchanged from father to son to son in a direct line) that is tested.However, females can participate by encouraging their male relatives of the Acker name to submit their DNA sample.One common approach is for two or more relatives to split the cost to have a single representative of their family take the test. Participants receive a kit which consists of a simple mouth swab (similar to brushing the inside of the cheek with a toothbrush) which they then send in for analysis.Also, group members receive a considerably discounted rate over what it would otherwise cost if done independantly.The most widely used 12-marker test is sufficient to to determine relationship.There is also a 25-marker test which can narrow down the MRCA to within a smaller margin of generations.One can upgrade from the 12-to the 25-marker analysis later on without submitting another sample. For further details, please visit the following link, or feel free to e-mail me directly.(Be sure to browse the Family Tree DNA website to see some of the other surname projects or to check out the different tests that are available, or simply to learn more about the value of DNA as an important tool in family reconstruction).