Groundwork, or the foundation is how this all started. We have since discovered much about data, analytics and reporting, or outputs.

by Quinn Genealogy

Researching Your Ancestry

A Brief Introduction

Distinguishing one’s own unique historic identity first begins mostly as a hobby.  However, for those of us focused on genetics, a hobby is too loose a word.  We all begin by doing something. For us it came as a result of searching for records based on understanding and knowing more about ourselves, or at least trying to learn more about our true identities.  Most often, this endeavor begins by searching for ancestors that bore our own surname, searching for items of heraldry, or a family crest are also used frequently to aid in further identification.  What we discover rather quickly is that the information one can find online is disconnected from the historic reality and is often not hardly accurate.  Hence the relevance of genetics and finding the facts that are centered on individuals, not just a surname.

Currently there are two of us that spend vast amounts of time related to this odyssey for the Quinn Genetic Genealogy Project.  The first is Mr. Michael A. Gwinn, a knowledgeable professional and honorable man.  Michael served for more than 20 years in the United States Navy and has a tenacity about him that I appreciate, regardless of our differing opinions from time-to-time.  He is by far the person that has kept the Quinn Genetic Genealogy Project going with Family Tree DNA as my interest have been elsewhere in our DNA research.  I credit Michael with managing the Quinn Surname project whilst I pursue a different set of objectives for the project.  Michael manages the day-to-day analytics and never lets anyone in the project sit and wait for classification.  Thank you Michael for all that you do, have done and will do.

As for myself; Timothy A. Quinn, you may and can call me Allen. I too served in the United States Navy.  The irony here is that my experience and Michael’s experience is quite similar.  However, I left the United States Navy in 1993 shortly after Desert Storm to take a new challenge with Microsoft Corporation and then IBM.  I cannot tell you that I am an expert in anything, let alone genetics.  My focus has long been to unravel the enigmatic, or elusive truth of the past by whatever means is necessary.  The place where all of us Quinn’s intersect in time.

The Quinn Genetic Genealogy Project has taken genetic issues to task for anything related to the word, name and surname Cuinn to form a foundation of understanding that is confirmed using what we know and are learning about genetics and relationships between the X and Y chromosome.  As such, we remain fully committed to learning and exploring both the material and fictional realms of information available to us in 2015.

This is our agenda and practical part in helping all those individuals that would find the information useful find their own truth.  We are willing, able and excited to help you.  Whether to unravel a non-paternal event, get beyond genealogical roadblocks and perhaps find a new member of our family.

You can locate us easily by using this website.  We are on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.  If you want to find us, you have accomplished that task.

The First Steps

The very first thing you need to know is that the information provided here relates back to the Quinn Surname Project at Family Tree DNA.  Family Tree DNA the mechanism that provides us and you with a true foundation for exploring your genetics and your genealogy.

We are here to help, in turn, we need your help.  We would like to encourage everyone with the means to provide us with a contribution of any kind.  We need more folks like you to expand the project and to help those that cannot afford the expense get the same information that those with greater resources can afford. Don't send us a check; instead donate to the Quinn Surname Project via Family Tree DNA.  We do not do this for capital gain, we do this so we all can benefit.

Then, if you're interested in solving riddles from your own genealogy, order a kit from the Quinn Surname Project where you will receive a generous discount and further our understanding of where we all fit into the historic timeline of human history.

What If My Surname Is Not Quinn

That is the point, if you suspect that your lineage is associated with the Quinn lines and you do not know how, or why, a DNA test kit will help unravel these mysteries.

What Surnames Are Considered Allied, or Component Surnames Associated with Quinn

There are many surnames that we consider allied, or component surnames associated with the Quinn surname.  We first consider spelling by default, but this is a complicated and very often misleading interpretation, or perception.  These factors greatly depend on where in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales your ancestors lived and how the pronounced names, the spelling roadblocks can often be removed, or illuminated using modern DNA testing.

There are really only two genetic surname projects that offer any amount of assistance in vetting these anomalies. 

The Guin, Gwin, Guyn & Gwyn Surname Project  | Order Your DNA Test Kit Now

The Quin, Quinn & Cuinn Surname Project | Order Your DNA Test Kit Here

Please visit us there to learn more about what you will receive when having your DNA testing done.  Consider Family Tree DNA the premier source for getting the most out of genetic testing.  There are other testing authorities that may entice you to test with them.  The reality is that not all testing authorities are the same. If you have heard of National Geographic's Genographic Project you should also be made aware that the testing for that project would not exist if not for Family Tree DNA, or Gene by Gene the parent company and IBM with it's tremendous computing power.

A few resources to assist you.



Understanding DNA

Base Page Data @ to view with graphics.

DNA is the carrier of our genetic information, and is passed down from generation to generation. All of the cells in our bodies, except red blood cells, contain a copy of our DNA.

At conception, a person receives DNA from both the father and mother. We each have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Of each pair, one was received from the father and one was received from the mother. These 23 pairs of chromosomes are known as nuclear DNA because, with the exception of red blood cells, they reside in the nucleus of every cell in our body.

The 23rd chromosome is known as the sex chromosome. As with the other chromosomes, one is inherited from the father, and one from the mother. The 23rd chromosome from the mother is always an X. From the father, a person either inherits an X chromosome or a Y chromosome. The chromosome inherited from the father determines their gender. An X from the father would result in an XX combination, which is a female. A Y from the father would result in an XY combination, which is a male.

We also inherit our mitochondrial DNA, mtDNA, from our mother, and none from our father. Mitochondrial DNA is located outside the nucleus of the cell.

DNA is made up of four bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), thymine (T), and guanine (G). The order of these bases is called the DNA sequence.

Whenever a particular base is present on one side, its complementary base is found on the other side. In the example above, see how the bases always occur in complementary pairs. Guanine (green) always pairs with cytosine (red) and thymine (yellow) always pairs with adenine (blue). So we can write the DNA sequence by listing the bases along either one of the two sides. In the example shown, one side reads:

T G T T C G T C etc.

For Genetic Genealogy, which is the application of DNA testing to genealogy research, two types of DNA can provide information useful in conjunction with genealogy research. These two types are the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA.

Y-Chromosome DNA

The Y chromosome is transmitted from father to son. Testing the Y chromosome provides information about the direct male line, meaning the father to his father and so on. The locations tested on the Y chromosome are called markers. Occasionally a mutation occurs at one of the markers in the Y chromosome. Mutations are simply small changes in the DNA sequence. They are natural occurrences and take place at random intervals. Overall, they are estimated to occur once every 500 generations per marker. Mutations can sometimes be valuable in identifying branches of a family tree.

Each marker has a name assigned to it by the scientific community, such as DYS#391, DYS#439 or GATA H4. The scientists classify these markers as Short Tandem Repeats


The markers used in our standard Y-DNA Tests are classified by scientists as Short Tandem Repeats, STR. They are called because at each of these marker locations a short DNA code repeats itself. The result for a marker is the number of times the code repeats at that location and is called the allele value. Each marker has a name assigned to it by the scientific community, such as DYS391, DYS439 or GATA H4.

The result received for a Y-DNA test is a string of allele values called a haplotype. Here is an example of a haplotype for someone who took the Y-DNA 37 marker test: repeat-x rgb(26, 47, 75);">PANEL 1
29 repeat-x rgb(26, 47, 75);">PANEL 2

*Also known as DYS 394
**On 5/19/2003, these values were adjusted down by 1 point due to a change in Lab nomenclature.

You can read about using Short Tandem Repeats on the y-Chromosome to compare results.

Surname Project

A Surname Project is a project which is established to test and compare those with a common surname and variants. A Surname Project has a leader known as the Group Administrator. This person assists the members with understanding their results, typically interprets the results for the group, and may publish this information in a newsletter or web site.

There are a wide variety of applications for Y-DNA testing. Y-DNA testing can be used to confirm the paper genealogical research for your family tree. It can determine which family trees with the same or variant surnames are related, and can provide clues to help you with your genealogy research. These are just a few of the applications for Y-DNA testing.

Since the Y chromosome is only found in men, those who take the Y-DNA test must be males. For females who are interested in the Y-DNA result for their surname or family tree, a close male relative with that surname would need to provide the sample.

Y-DNA Haplogroups

Using the results of a Y-DNA marker test, Family Tree DNA estimates the tester’s haplogroup. The haplogroup identifies the person's major population group and provides information about the ancient origin of the male line. Family Tree DNA also offers a haplogroup test which participants can use to confirm their haplogroup assignment. The “Backbone” haplogroup test confirms the base haplogroup assignment, and the “Deep Clade” haplogroup test identifies the branch of the haplogroup the person belongs to.


Using the results of any of our Y-DNA tests, Family Tree DNA also predicts the haplogroup. The haplogroup identifies the person's major population group and provides information about the ancient origin of the male line. Family Tree DNA also offers a haplogroup test which participants can use to confirm their haplogroup assignment. The "Backbone" haplogroup test confirms the base haplogroup assignment, and the "Deep Clade" haplogroup test identifies the branch of the haplogroup the person belongs to. You may read more about y-chromosome and SNP here

Mitochondrial DNA

Mitochondrial is passed from mother to child. Since only females pass on their mtDNA, testing the mtDNA tells about the mother, to her mother, and so on along the direct maternal line. Both males and females receive mtDNA from their mothers, so both men and women can test their mtDNA.

While mutations occur in mitochondrial DNA, the rate of mutation is relatively slow. Over thousands of years these mutations build up so that one female line will have a sequence distinguishable from another. As people spread throughout the world, mutations occasionally occurred in different populations over time. This allows us to test the mtDNA to identify the world origin of a person's lineage.

mtDNA is tested and the result is compared to a reference sequence called the Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS). By comparing an mtDNA sequence to the CRS, we can identify the ancient lineage to which you belong, called the haplogroup. Many haplogroups are continent-specific and some of their branches are region-specific.

Mitochondrial Haplogroups

Haplogroups are labeled alphabetically. Today, anthropologists have identified certain haplogroups that originated in Africa, Europe, Asia, the islands of the Pacific, the Americas, and sometimes particular ethnic groups. Of course, haplogroups that are specific to one region are sometimes found in another, but this is due to more recent migration.