The test for Alexanders is taken by a male Alexander because it is only through males that the yDNA is passed from one generation to the next. Thus this is only good to research your surname Alexander ancestry and not other surname ancestries.
yDNA testing enables you to compare to other Alexander DNA's and then locate and share research with other Alexander "cousins" of your line. If your surname is not Alexander and/or if you are female, you will therefore have to find a male Alexander who you know related to you to test for you. Often the cost is shared by close, interested close family members.
Generally, we recommend a 37 marker test which if you order through the Alexander DNA Project costs $191. (You can also opt to test 12, 25 or 67 markers at relative costs, but if you are interested in breaking through a brick wall as they say in your known line, 37 is probably the best. We can help you with that decision by comparing your known lineage to our other testers.)
The test is taken by scraping the inside of the cheek with a tiny plastic toothbrush-type affair. All communication is done by email and internet.
scroll to 37 markers, enter your credit card on the next page. Notice they allow for two email addresses so you might share the info/fun with another if you wish.
The next working day, FTDNA mails you the little test kit; probably takes a total of an hour to unpackage, understand the directions, scrape the cheek, repackage, and send it back. They even pay the return postage and it does not require a trip to the post office. They give you a “personal page”, posting target completion dates so you can follow its progress through their system. You get notice by email of the results, and because you order through the Alexander DNA Project, they send your results to that project. We as administratorts of the Alexander DNA Project get notices that you do so we can make sure your best interests are represented, and will correspond with FTDNA on your behalf.
As more people are tested, you get auto emails from FTDNA advising of “matches” with a link where you can check it out.
The advantage to DNA testing is that you will be able to identify and correspond with Alexanders with similar DNA's. In this way you can team with other "family" members of whom you had no previous knowledge and share information and research.
For the benefit of our members we maintain a lineage spreadsheet of all members, so you can see in advance what lines of Alexanders are already in the group. This sheet is not on a public site and is maintained by me in Excel.
We also have on our team an experienced DNA person who maintains, analyzes, organizes and answers all questions about all members' DNA's. On this sheet similar DNA's are grouped together so one can easily identify others he is close to, plus the DNA differences are highlighted within a group so that differences can be identified at a glance.
We currently have 52 lines of members on the above sheet out of 67 members. (Some members have chosen not to share their lines for a variety of reasons we presume.)
The results take about 8 weeks from order until you get them and we currently have 16 members waiting on results. Please notice that is a growth rate of 2 members per week which is what we have averaged over the last 3 months when our team began to spread the word. We expect that growth rate to continue indefinitely as word is spread by our growing number of members.
While you may not closely match anyone when you first get your results, there are still benefits: 1. At least now you know your DNA and that you currently match no one previously tested, neither of which you knew before. 2. You can search for and spread the word to others who share or may share your ancestry on message boards like this, or distant possible cousins, or whatever. All of this depends on your particular circumstances and the length of your known line.
We have had a website in the past, but it has intentionally not been maintained because we are developing a new one. Until that time we have been communicating via emails and message boards.