I thought people might like to know that there is now a Kinsman genealogical DNA project (of which I am one of two co-ordinators) in conjunction with Family Tree DNA, the world leader in genealogical DNA research. Fundamentally, we are hoping that as many people as possible who share the Kinsman surname will take a Y-DNA test, so that we can form a detailed picture of the various family lines going back to the Middle Ages and beyond.
The DNA test will reveal which Kinsmans are your distant cousins. If you share identical (or near identical) DNA with someone else in the project then you must be related, even if written records don’t go back far enough to prove the connection. Furthermore, as more and more people join the project, we will also be able to resolve such fascinating questions as:
1. Do the Kinsmans all trace back to a single (possibly Cornish) ancestor or are there several ancient lines? 2. Are the USA Kinsmans mostly descended from Robert Kinsman, who left Southampton for Massachusetts in 1634? 3. Were the Kinsmans among the original inhabitants of the British Isles, or were they perhaps Normans, Vikings or Anglo-Saxons?
I do hope you are excited by this project and that you might be interested in organising a test by someone within your branch. One of the advantages of testing your DNA via a surname group is that there is a substantial reduction in the price of the test, from $259 down to $189 for the recommended 37 marker Y-DNA test. The test itself is completely painless and just involves taking a couple of cheek swabs to send off to a lab. Only men can take a Y-DNA test, so female researchers would require the participation either their father, a brother, or another male relative who carries the Kinsman name.