Listed below are copies of a few recent e-mails between myself and Lisa (nee
Reed) Alther, the project coordinator of a recently-organized REED DNA
project. Please check it out, as well as any referenced links included
within, as it may help to explain what's going on. In fact, if you should
know other male, Reed friends and/or relatives who might like to
participate, then please feel free to forward this e-mail onto them, as the
more "testees" that we get, especially from those directly descending from
"any"of George Reed, Sr.'s (bc 1730; Europe or PA? - d 1807;present-day Floyd Co. VA) sons,
the better the project's results will be.
And since "the old paper trail" in our collective, genealogical research has
"run somewhat cold" over the last several decades, the thought that this
scientific/ DNA approach could aid in identifying "our" European "Reed"
ancestors' homeland for us, is quite exciting, to say the least.
In any event, I hope you (and many, many others) can get involved, and feel
free to contact me should you have any questions. "To be clear", this study is for "ALL" male Reed/Reith/Reid, etc descendants to participoate in, not just those suspected of descending from the aforementioned George Reed. The larger our database, the greater potential for making more genetic connections with other participants ~ i.e., connecting our ancestral lines with other Rieth/Reed, etc. descendants through "scientific" means.
P.S. Again, only "males" having the surname of "Reed. "Reid", Read",
"Reade", "Rieth", "Riet", etc can participate in this study.
Nice to hear from you. I believe my sister-in-law, Dale Reed, has been in
touch with you in the past (if it's the same Bob Reed) and has told me about
the important research angles you've already covered. Your work, along with
Susan Jurban's on Reed deeds in the Franklin County, VA area, and Charles
Thomas's on Reed taxes in the same area, led us to believe that if
information concerning George's wife, parents, and country of origin were
embedded in the documents, one of you would have found it by now. Hence,
the resort to DNA.
To answer your questions, the Y-DNA test costs $99 at our group rate. Only
the kit number and marker numbers appear on the public website, no names.
And if a participant prefers, those numbers can remain private too.
As to reliability, you can find the statistics in a DNA tutorial at
. In brief, a male carries the same Y
chromosome as his father, grandfather, etc. But a mutation occurs, on
average, once every 21 generations or so. In our particular case, my father
(descended from George via George, George, George, and William Henry) has a
rare Y pattern with no matches in the databases. So if D.L. Reed (the
participant who's descended from Caspar Riedt) should match him, it's almost
certain they have a common ancestor several generations back (can't remember
how many without looking at the charts!). If they don't match, we still
have to find another male from each line to test, in order to rule out a
My father's Y haplogroup is I, which suggests the Anglo-Saxon/Viking areas
as a place of origin. My grandfather had always said he thought he was
Scottish, but my father's markers aren't at all close to those of the Reids
in Clan Duncan. Nevertheless, our Reeds could still be from an area in
Scotland that was invaded by Germanic or Viking peoples.
I'm afraid I haven't explained this well, but a website with a good DNA
I'd be delighted to have you participate in the Reed DNA project if it
should appeal to you. We'd especially love to have you since you're
descended from Andrew. If your markers and my father's matched, then we
would know for sure that we have the correct pattern for George the First.
You could sign up via me or via the Reed Surname Project page at
Please do consider it. It would be a real
bonus for our study.
Don't hesitate to write again with any concerns or questions, and I'll do my
best to address them.
Lisa Reed Alther
P.S. The group rate for the 12 y-marker analysis is $99; 25 markers=$169; 37 markers=$229. To
upgrade from 12 to 25=$90. To upgrade from 12 to 37=$149. So you can see
that you save $20 by ordering 25 markers in the beginning rather than
upgrading. And you save $19 by ordering 37 from the start, rather than
upgrading. It would be fine if someone wanted to order 25 at the outset.