The Yoder Newsletter (www.yodernewsletter.org ) is sponsoring a Yoder Family DNA project.
HOW IT WORKS: The Y chromosome DNA is passed virtually unchanged from father to son. Matching results on individual DNA “markers” on the Y chromosome between the descendants of a common known ancestor can identify the DNA “profile” of that ancestor. Comparison of DNA profiles can establish the closeness of family relationship between family lines with a previously unproven relationship. The more markers which are checked and found to match, the closer the relationship which can be assumed. A testing kit is sent and returned through the mail, and a simple scraping/swabbing of the inside of the mouth captures the cells needed for the test.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The Yoder DNA Project is intended to complement the genealogical work on the Yoder family. The goal of the Project is to use focused testing of Yoder male descendants to create YDNA profiles of the earliest known common ancestors, and to establish or to rule out the links between the various family lines. By “focused testing” we mean we intend to encourage the testing of representatives which should provide the most genealogically significant results to the overall study. This does not mean you cannot seek testing under the project (and at project rates) regardless of whether your family “profile” has been worked out.
For example, it is known that the Oley Valley Yoders and various Alsatian and German Yoder lines descend from the brothers Jost Joder (b. 1607) and Nicolas (b. 3/25/1609) of Steffisburg, Switzerland. It has been suspected, but not proven, that the Mennonite Hans Yoder of Great Swamp, the Amish Yoder immigrants of 1742, and Melchior Yoder of Weidenthal also come from this family. If the DNA profile determined for the progenitor of each of these lines is found to match one another, our hypothesis would be supported. YDNA testing of living male descendants CANNOT PROVE who was the father of a Yoder immigrant. It can, however, establish that a common ancestor was shared within a certain number of generations (depending on how precise the analysis). It can also rule out a close relationship.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: If you are a Yoder/related surname male, you may want to participate in the testing. As only one or two test results are needed within any one extended family, we encourage folks to "pass the hat" and find a person to represent them in the study. The Yoder Newsletter is also hoping to partially subsidize the testing of key lines when needed. Contributions to this end are welcome.