How to Participate

Who can participate?

Autosomal DNA

For an autosomal DNA test (Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder, AncestryDNA, 23andme’s Ancestry, etc.), any direct descendant of Zachariah Dutton can participate in the project, whether male or female and whether your Dutton ancestor was on the maternal or paternal line. Your participation is valuable and helpful, whoever you are, but especially valuable are tests from older cousins and those who are closer to Zachariah Dutton in number of generations. If you are within five or six generations of Zachariah Dutton (i.e. he is your great-great-grandfather or great-great-great-grandfather) — or if you have an older relative who is — we would definitely like you to test!

Since at each generation, we inherit half our DNA from each parent, each generation that separates us from an ancestor means that we have only half as much DNA belonging to that ancestor as the previous generation. Autosomal tests are only guaranteed to match cousins sharing a common ancestor four or five generations back, but six-generation or more tests have also proved to carry sizable chunks of Dutton DNA. So if you are interested in helping, please do not hesitate to contribute!


We have had a number of Dutton men test their Y-DNA and have accomplished our primary goals. If you are a direct male-line Dutton descendant (i.e. your surname is Dutton) and wish to contribute, I would generally recommend the autosomal test, which is less expensive and more likely to be fruitful at this point. If you still are interested in Y-DNA, there are still a few ways in which this can be valuable, but they are generally very expensive. Feel free to email me.

Who to test with?

Family Tree DNA

There are multiple services now offering genealogical DNA testing. Which should you test with to help our project? All of the testing I have been involved with is through Family Tree DNA. At the time we started this project, they were the clear frontrunner, and I believe they still offer the best, most comprehensive, and most thorough products available for helping to make genealogical connections through DNA. At a regular price of $80 (and frequently on sale at $60), they are also at present the least expensive.

Already tested?

If you’ve already tested your DNA, even if you used a different service, there are several important ways you can help!


Though I don’t prefer AncestryDNA and think it lacks some important features that FTDNA offers (first and foremost a chromosome browser), it is nonetheless the service many cousins have tested with and I want to use it to make contact with others. A very important way you can help is by sharing your AncestryDNA results with me (my username is jtrichardson280). Ancestry offers a feature where you can simply share your results with a guest without sharing your whole account. This will allow me to see who you match with and the strength of the matches.

Another important way you participate in the Dutton DNA Project with AncestryDNA is through Family Tree DNA’s Autosomal Transfer program. This lets you transfer your AncestryDNA test to Family Tree DNA for free, and access its full features for only a nominal fee of $20. This way, you can match with and contribute your DNA to the Dutton database I am working with. Please read on.

Autosomal Transfer

Family Tree DNA offers a valuable service by which users who have tested their autosomal DNA with AncestryDNA, 23andme, or other services can transfer their test results to FTDNA’s database for free. If you have tested with these services, I would highly recommend you do this. In addition to giving you many more matches, it allows you to match with the database of other Dutton testees I am collecting, and contribute your DNA to my efforts to map Zachariah Dutton’s chromosomes. To do this, you need to download your raw DNA data from the service you have tested with and upload it to Family Tree DNA’s Autosomal Transfer program. The following links should be a helpful guide.

Joining the Dutton Surname Project on Family Tree DNA

After joining FTDNA with an autosomal transfer, or especially if your test is already with FTDNA, you only need to join the Dutton Surname DNA Project, where I am a co-administrator. This will allow me to compare your results to other cousins and see what connections I can make.

If you go to the surname project page, there should be a join link in the upper right corner. I have found this sometimes doesn’t work correctly from a phone or mobile device. If that doesn’t work, you can try this link to join. Please let me know you are joining, either by commenting here or by emailing me.

Ordering a Test

Family Finder

Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder test is more affordable than ever, now regularly priced at $80 (it frequently goes on sale at $60). To order, simply follow the link to their website.

Covering the Family

I would like to have as many tests from as many different branches of the family as possible, to maximize our chances of having as wide a collection of Zachariah Dutton’s DNA as possible. Below are the number of tests we currently have by branch. If you don’t see yours represented, your contribution will be especially valuable!

Tests from Known Zachariah Dutton Descendants (updated January 26, 2017)

  • Zachariah Dutton
      • William Dutton and Mary Hogan
          • James Zachariah Dutton, wives Margaret Elizabeth Hunter and Mary Jane Flowers
              • 4 tests at 4 generations (great-great-grandchildren of Zachariah)
              • 1 test at 5 generations
      • John Dutton and Omah Parrish
          • Thomas Dutton and Elizabeth Kitchens
              • Mary Frances Dutton and Stephen Penn Dutton
                  • 1 test at 6 generations (double-descends through Edmond Dutton > Stephen Penn Dutton)***
              • Lavina Presley Dutton and James Andrew Hogan
                  • 1 test at 5 generations (double-descends through Edmond Dutton > Louinda Dutton Hogan)*
                  • 1 test at 6 generations (double-descends through Edmond Dutton > Louinda Dutton Hogan)**
      • Zachariah Dutton Jr.
          • Matilda Dutton and Elijah Bass
              • 2 tests at 5 generations
      • Alexander Dutton and Rachel Feazel
          • Louisa Dutton and William H. Pipes
              • 1 test at 6 generations
      • Gerrard (Jarrett) Dutton and Charity McDonald
          • Zachariah Dutton and Mary Emily Rushing
              • 1 test at 6 generations
      • Edmond Dutton and Margaret Barnett Ross
          • Louinda Dutton and Kelso Dearmond Hogan
              • 1 test at 5 generations (double-descends through John Dutton > Thomas Dutton)*
              • 1 test at 5 generations
              • 1 test at 6 generations (double-descends through John Dutton > Thomas Dutton)**
              • 1 test at 7 generations
          • John Dutton, wives Rachel Kay Templeton and Adrian (Ada) Sillavan
              • 1 test at 4 generations
          • Stephen Penn Dutton, wives Mary Frances Dutton and Sarah Jane Dutton
              • 1 test at 6 generations (double-descends through John Dutton > Thomas Dutton)***
          • George Washington Dutton, wives Martha Emily Simpson and Adrian (Ada) Sillavan
              • 1 test at 5 generations
      • Samuel Sneed Dutton and Elizabeth Robinson Threadgill
          • Zachariah J. Dutton and Martha Jane Morris
              • 1 test at 6 generations
          • William Cavasso Dutton and Martha Jane Maner
              • 1 test at 4 generations

5 thoughts on “How to Participate”

  1. I’m very interested in testing and participating with the study, Im researching doing so now. Im a bit down the line in the family however, Zachariah was my 5th great-grandfather, I descend from his Grandson Levi through Levi’s daughter Francis. Ive been tracing my own ancestry and came across your site and am fascinated at all you’ve done! I look forward to communicating with you in the future!

    1. Hi Christina, it would still be great if you could test. I don’t think we have any to test from the Levi line yet — really one of the more elusive lines. I haven’t updated the chart above yet but we have one from William son of Gerrard and one from Martha daughter of Gerrard so it is nice to add more breadth there. I am glad to be in contact with you and would like to learn more about your line! Feel free to email me at

  2. Matilda Dutton Bass is my 6th great grandmother. I only have mtdna at the moment so I’m not sure how helpful that would be.

    1. Yes, mtDNA is probably not going to be very helpful for the Duttons — unless perchance, you’re a direct maternal-line descendant from Matilda Dutton Bass. By that I mean, your line is daughter-to-mother all the way back to Matilda. Matilda only had one daughter, Elizabeth Bass Murphy, but she had three daughters — I guess it’s possible we could find somebody like that. Although even if we found that, we probably wouldn’t have anything to compare it with, since there are no known direct maternal-line descendants from Zachariah Dutton’s first wife.

      Your best bet to help would be an autosomal test, either with or Family Tree DNA. Neither of these tests is very expensive (the FTDNA test is on sale right now for $60). Then there are ways you can share your results with me.


      1. It is my direct maternal line. I have emailed you a while ago. I have taken the autosomal DNA. I see that I am matches with a few people, but there are so many of my matches that don’t have trees up to compare anything with. I would like to help and also to see where I fit into this clan.

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